Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 06:00
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At a Glance: Jean-Pierre Fortune

  • Involved in open source since: 2006
  • Works for: self-employed at Ialto
  • Eclipse Foundation contributor since: 2018
  • Involved in: Eclipse Keyple
  • Committer to: Eclipse Keyple
  • Committer since: 2018
  • Fun facts: Jean-Pierre practices Vinyasa yoga to relieve the physical strain caused by spending so much time sitting at his computer.

How did you first get involved in open source software communities?

I first used open source software in 2006 when I developed an Eclipse IDE plug-in to monitor virtual system resources for one of my clients. However, I didn’t participate directly in the open source community at that time.
Between 2008 and 2015, I also hosted the only mirror server for Eclipse Foundation software downloads in France.

How did you end up becoming a committer at the Eclipse Foundation?

It came about quite naturally. One of my clients is the Calypso Networks Association, a non-profit organization that promotes open standards for ticketing solutions for the public transportation industry worldwide.
The Association wanted to create open source software around its smart card technology so non-specialists could develop applications based on the technology. The smart card technology is quite complex to set up if you start from scratch with the specification and the goal was to make it easier for developers to use.
To facilitate this goal, the Eclipse Keyple project was created. Because I was already involved in the Keyple software through my work with the Calypso Networks Association, I was one of the first people on the project and I became a committer.

How would you summarize your experiences as a committer?

One of the most rewarding moments was when I met someone for the first time and he told me that my efforts on Eclipse Keyple had made his life much easier. I was happy to hear that.
I was also very proud to see the number of LinkedIn connection requests I received after I posted that I had become an Eclipse Foundation committer. I hadn’t realized it would increase my visibility.
The most challenging aspect of being a committer is ensuring the Keyple software remains generic enough that people can use it in many different ways. Because the software is publicly available, you have to anticipate and support many more use cases than with closed source software. You also have to ensure the software design and quality remain very high because anyone could start using it at any time.

What are your next steps and goals as a committer and Eclipse Foundation community member?

My immediate goal is to get a Keyple 2.0 release out this fall. After that, the goal is to grow the community around the project to be as large as possible. We welcome everyone who would like to get involved in the project.

What would you say to developers who are considering getting more involved in open source software projects at the Eclipse Foundation?

I would tell them about the rewarding experiences I’ve had as a committer. You feel better when you’re working on open source software than when you’re working on closed source software because you’re helping others use what you’ve created.
When the software you’re creating is publicly available, aligns with industry needs, and is high-quality, it’s very satisfying. It’s also good for your employer because you’re using better quality software in your work. It’s a win-win for everyone.