It has been a while since we had a entry for Meet Your Developer, but there is no better person to re-launch the series than longtime contributor Jonathan Green. The architect of Tuque and a part of the Islandora community since 2010, Jonathan Green is a Committer on both the 7.x and CLAW branches of Islandora. He returns to the community as a DevOps Engineer at LYRASIS, after a hiatus in another industry. Here's what Jon had to say:
Please tell us a little about yourself. What do you do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work I’m often still tinkering with computers in one way or another. I’ve always been interested in hacking on both hardware and software. Recently I’ve been playing with the Rust programming language and machine learning.
My other hobby is brewing beer, building things to brew beer and being an amateur beer snob. Recently I converted an old refrigerator into a keg fridge for my homebrew. Right now, I have a stir plate going in my kitchen to grow some yeast for a brew on Saturday.
How long have you been working with Islandora? How did you get started?
After moving back to PEI in late 2009, I started working at discoverygarden, Inc. in January 2010 and quickly started hacking on the 6.x version of Islandora. Spent a few years at DGI, working on the 6.x and 7.x versions of Islandora. In my time at DGI I was involved in building the 7.x version of Islandora and wrote the initial version of the Tuque library.
Then I took a bit of a detour in my Islandora experience and spent a couple years working on embedded software for the marine industry, primarily control systems for power distribution on oil rigs. After a few years floating around on oil rigs in Korea and the Gulf of Mexico, I joined LYRASIS as a contract developer and have been getting back into Islandora development.
Sum up your area of expertise in three words:
All the things.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m focusing on two things primarily. I am working on updating and improving the LYRASIS hosting environment for Islandora 7.x. We are always working on continually rolling out improvements for our Islandora hosting clients, so they can use the latest and greatest Islandora features.
The most exciting thing I’ve been working on is Islandora CLAW. LYRASIS has been generous enough to donate a day or two of my time every week to the CLAW project, so I’ve been jumping into that stack and trying to help with development of the MVP. Recently I committed the CLAW equivalent of the D6 and D7 Drupal filter. This time we are using Json Web Tokens to provide authentication against the external services like Fedora. I’m very excited about CLAW and I feel privileged to be involved in its development.
What contribution to Islandora are you most proud of?
I’m really proud of the work I did at DGI while developing the architecture for Islandora 7.x. It was a huge team effort when moving from Islandora 6.x to Islandora 7.x, and I was a very small part of it, but it’s been great to see how the initial small kernel of Islandora 7.x has grown into an amazing collection of modules and features, and to see the open source community grow around the Islandora project.
What new feature or improvement would you most like to see?
Usability and focus on user experience, especially new user experience. I think that we could do a much better job making the software work as one would expect out of the box.
What’s the one tool/software/resource you cannot live without?
There are so many fundamental pieces of open source software that I couldn’t develop as efficiently without, it’s hard to name just one. I spend my days standing on the shoulders of open source giants.
If you could leave the community with one message from reading this interview, what would it be?
Jump in and contribute, an open source community like Islandora depends on its members. Breaking things is the best way to learn.