Thursday, February 23, 2023 - 05:00
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At a Glance:

  • Involved in open source since: 2000
  • Works for: ZettaScale Technology SARL
  • Eclipse Foundation contributor since: 2018
  • Involved in: Eclipse fog05, Eclipse zenoh
  • Committer to: Both projects
  • Eclipse Foundation committer since: 2020

How long have you been a developer for? 

I graduated in 2000, so I’d say I’ve been a developer since then. That’s when I first got involved with open source too. My first job right out of university was with open source, as a user. The company I worked for used CORBA technologies, which is a specification that mostly has commercial implementations but has some open source ones as well. In 2005 I joined PrismTech, a company that supported open source versions of CORBA middlewares. 

Funnily enough, PrismTech ended up being acquired by ADLINK, and ADLINK of course was the source of the Eclipse zenoh project. So even though I’ve moved between companies and organizations over the years, I’ve been working with the same team of people for a long time.

How did that lead you to the Eclipse Foundation?

Well, we’ve been working on a project that has many different uses in many different verticals and domains. So, we really wanted to create a community around it so it could find its way into all those domains. And of course, we want to improve the project, which requires us to get feedback on user requirements and use cases, and open source is a fantastic way to do that. 

How long have you been a committer at this point?

Ever since we first moved zenoh to the Eclipse Foundation, so three years now. 

And how has that experience been?

It’s been great! I’ve really enjoyed being part of a community of people that are trying to evolve different softwares in various domains and make innovations. Everything happens in an open-minded way, and everyone tries to meet the needs of people around the world without any constraint. There’s work happening in various domains, from robotics to IoT. It’s been very motivating to see that we can bring a lot of good to various projects.

What have you found most rewarding about being a committer?

Funnily enough, it’s the same thing I’ve found the most challenging. 

Recently, at a conference, I got the chance to talk to a lot of people in the community. I was hosting a booth, doing demos, and getting direct feedback from users and potential users. And that’s very rewarding, but at the same time, the more people you talk to interested in your project, the higher the expectations are. If people find your project interesting, of course they’ll have ideas for ways to improve it and features to add. Meeting all those expectations can be challenging. 

Any advice for someone looking to get more involved?

Start by finding a project where you think you have a niche to contribute to, something you find interesting and think you can help with. Engage with the community and ask a lot of questions. Once you start to get more experienced and confident, it can be instructive to start answering people’s questions too. 

And, of course, open source projects always need help with fixing bugs, in testing, and especially in improving documentation. That’s another excellent place to start. In terms of challenges for me as a developer, keeping up good documentation is definitely up there.