Sunday, January 30, 2022 - 05:00
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At a Glance: Emily Jiang

When did you first get involved in open source software communities, and how did that happen?

The first time I was introduced to an open source software community was in 2010 when I became involved with Apache Aries at the Apache Foundation. I was working on the IBM WebSphere Application Server at that time, and we wanted to support OSGi technology. So, I got involved in open source OSGi development.  

How did that involvement lead to you becoming a committer at the Eclipse Foundation?

In 2016, IBM, Red Hat, Tomitribe, and others started the MicroProfile community. I was part of that community, and I initiated a MicroProfile specification project called MicroProfile Config. I was one of the main developers on that project when MicroProfile moved to the Eclipse Foundation, and I was proposed to be a committer. So, I became a MicroProfile committer, then an Eclipse Foundation committer.

In addition to MicroProfile, I also work on some of the Jakarta EE specifications. For example, I'm a committer to Jakarta Contexts and Dependency Injection (CDI). I'm also a committer to Jakarta Interceptors and am the co-lead for Jakarta Config. Because MicroProfile and Jakarta EE are complementary to each other, and MicroProfile relies on some of the Jakarta EE specifications, they form a great ecosystem.

How would you summarize your experiences as a committer?

I like the fact that you can contribute to projects, review other people's work, and help the community. Keeping the community growing is one of the important factors for the success of the project. I actively recruit potential contributors to join the community. I also acknowledge the great contributors by proposing them as committers. I'm on the Eclipse Foundation Architecture Council as well, and I work with others on the Council to talk about policies, how to help other communities, and how to mentor new projects. I like trying to refine processes and fix problems. 

How do you see the relationship between your role on the Architecture Council and your role as a committer?

As a committer, I work day-to-day coding and discussing issues with others in the community. I can take their feedback to the Architecture Council which then tries to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. In this way, I’m a channel between the community and the people who are the policymakers and process maintainers so we can improve processes. It’s very important that we’re agile because yesterday’s processes may not be used in tomorrow's businesses. We need to keep our minds open and processes relevant to ensure community members can quickly react to business needs.

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

I want to help MicroProfile and Jakarta EE be as successful as possible, to encourage innovation, and encourage others to join these communities and collaborate because these open source communities are full of passionate people. Sometimes, I spend my evenings and weekends working on open source as well because I also have that passion, and I want to collaborate on the growth of the community so that it benefits all of us. 

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

There are a lot of technical challenges to work on and the structure is very flat so we treat each other equally and nicely. You can use your voice, realize your passion, and use your technical skills. It's also a great networking opportunity to work in open source communities. Because I got involved in MicroProfile and Jakarta EE, I’ve met many friends at conferences and get-togethers. They are great communities and a lot of fun.