Open Mic Spotlight: Julien Danjou

JulienDanjouThis post is part of the OpenStack Open Mic series to spotlight the people who have helped make OpenStack successful. Each week, a new contributor will step up to the mic and answer five questions about OpenStack, cloud, careers and what they do for fun. 

Julien is a Free Software hacker working as a independent consultant. He’s the Project Technical Leader for OpenStack Ceilometer, and a member of Oslo core. He also contributes to other free software projects, like Debian and GNU Emacs, regularly. You can follow him on Twitter @juldanjou

1. What is your go-to beverage or snack while coding?

Coffee, without surprise, especially in the morning. However, I can’t drink coffee during my late evening coding sessions, for obvious reasons (I do need to sleep), so I enjoy scotch whisky once in a while.

 2. What behavior has helped get you the furthest as a developer?

I think being pragmatic most of the time helps a lot. It’s very hard to keep this in sight, as I, like many developers I guess, do have a tendency towards building some sort or perfect systems. But you have to make compromises all the time, and being ready to do so every day helps a lot building successful communities and projects. Also when dealing with open source projects, being humble and diplomatic is also a key to get your contributions accepted. You have to remember that you’re entering a zone where people don’t owe you anything and may be smarter than you.

3. What is your favorite project that you’ve contributed code to?

I think that it’s the on I use the most (I’m typing this in it), and it’s GNU Emacs. I do a lot of things with Emacs, coding obviously, reading and writing my mails, chatting on IRC, etc. It’s a really powerful tool for developers, and is easy to leverage to help in you in any tasks. And it got me into Lisp, a fabulous programming language, I’m thankful for that!

4. Have you organized an OpenStack meet-up/event or spoken about OpenStack at an event? What did you learn? What was the best part?

I spoke at a couple of events, and it was really great. I think the best part is getting feedback from users on what you built. This is really rewarding at a personal level, and valuable at a product level. That way, you know that you’re on the right track, or not.

5. Where’s your favorite place to code? In the office, at a local coffee shop? In bed?

This isn’t going to be original, but I do like to code at my desk at home. I find it hard to work in corporate offices most of the time, due to the noise, people going in and out, etc. I do prefer quiet and calm places so I can concentrate. Though I experienced doing OpenStack code reviews from a deckchair in the garden this summer, and it’s definitely something that I’ll have to try again!

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