Laura: What do you do on the Launchpad team?
Jelmer: I’m one of the blue haired freaks on the Launchpad blue squad, although my hair isn’t actually blue – I’m sure we can fix this at the next squad sprint. At the moment, we are working on maintenance: fixing
critical bugs in Launchpad and dealing with incidents.
Laura: Can we see something that you’ve worked on?
Jelmer: I’ve contributed quite a bit to the code behind recipe builds. Most of my work has been on the backend though, not directly user-visible.
Laura: Where do you work?
Jelmer: Like most of us I work at home, which in my case is in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Occasionally I cowork with other teleworkers in Utrecht.
Laura: What can you see from your office window?
Jelmer: At the moment, I see just a big sad drapery made out of rain. On brighter days, I look out on a park and a canal.
Laura: What did you do before working on the Launchpad team?
Jelmer: The Blue squad, which I’m currently in, was originally the Bazaar team. Before that, I worked on the Launchpad team too. This was back in the days when there were no squads, but teams – I was in the Soyuz team. The inimitable Matt Revell interviewed me back in 2010:
Laura: How did you get into free software?
Jelmer: A long time ago, in high school, I ended up maintaining a few server machines running FreeBSD and Samba. After hitting some bugs, a dive into the source code followed to see what I could fix. I’ve been involved with various free software projects ever since.
Laura: What’s more important? Principle or pragmatism?
Jelmer: Do I really have to choose? That’s not very pragmatic.
Laura: Do you/have you contribute(d) to any free software projects?
Jelmer: Beside Launchpad, the main free software project I am involved in is Samba. There are several other projects that I have made major contributions to, such as Bazaar, CUPS, Wireshark, OpenChange, BitlBee.
I’m a Debian maintainer and Ubuntu uploader, mostly for projects I am involved in upstream. This knowledge comes in handy when working on the archive side of Launchpad.
Laura: Tell us something really cool about Launchpad that not enough people know about.
Jelmer: https://launchpad.net/builders lists all the Launchpad builders and
the mischief they are up to.
Laura: Is there anything in particular that you want to change in Launchpad?
Jelmer: It would still be really nice to have dashboards of some kind in
Launchpad. There is even a LEP.