January 11, 2008

Software development increasing in Tijuana

By Pablo Jaime Sáinz

Anton Zajac, co-founder of ESET, one of the fastest growing security software companies in San Diego, came to the United States via Mexico more than 10 years ago from, at the time, communist Czechoslovakia.

He came to Tijuana, as a guest lecturer at the Centro de Graduados del Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana and Universidad Iberoamericana. At both institutions he taught courses in software engineering, mathematics, and physics.

“It was a pleasure to share my knowledge with those youths,” said Zajac, who studied as a mathematical physicist at Comenius University in former Czechoslovakia and earned a doctorate in natural sciences in the field of quantum theory. “There was a lot of enthusiasm,” he said in fluent Spanish.

Zajac said in a recent interview that, although Tijuana isn’t known as a city of scientific research, there live a good number of professors and students that are developing computer software at Centro de Graduados del Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana and other universities.

Although Zajac hasn’t taught courses in Tijuana in a long time, he said that he keeps updated on what’s going on in terms of computer software development in the city and that he often meets with his old colleagues from Centro de Graduados.

His support for education in Tijuana continues to this day. In fact, ESET supports research and educational projects in Tijuana through scholarships and donations. In 2006, ESET donated $5,000 to Centro de Graduados del Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana.

“I don’t forget that Tijuana opened its arms when I arrived”, Zajac said. “ I remember that I was able to save to buy an used car for $800.”

Today, Zajac has walked a long road since he arrived in Tijuana. His company, ESET, headquartered in Downtown San Diego and has branches in Slovakia and Argentina, develops antivirus and security software. In the last four years, sales have increased 1,658 percent.

When he arrived in Tijuana years ago, Zajac already spoke Spanish and had a close relationship with Latin American culture.

“When I was a kid I lived three years in Havana, my father worked there for a while,” he said. “I’ve developed my Spanish ever since. Latin America is very close to my heart.”

Zajac said that he will never stop supporting young students who are trying to develop computer software in Tijuana.

“Tijuana has a lot of future in this field,” he said “There’s a lot of young talent.”

This year Zajac he plans to make a donation of several thousand dollars to the best doctorate work at Centro de Graduados del Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana in the field of computer software or any other related field.

Founded in 1992, ESET is a global provider of security software for enterprises and consumers. ESET’s award-winning, Anti-Threat software system, NOD32, provides real-time protection from known and unknown viruses, spyware and other malware.

For more information visit www.eset.com.

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