Meet Your Developer: Jared Whiklo

The Islandora community has seen a lot of growth since the Islandora Foundation got its start in 2013. The growth of our user and institutional community has been easy to see, but there has been another layer of growth in a vital part of the community that isn't always as visible: Islandora developers. Modules, bug fixes, and other commits to the Islandora codebase are coming from a much wider varsity of sources that in the early days of Islandora.

Today, we are going to learn more about one of those community developers. Jared Whiklo is an Applications Developer at the University of Manitoba. He has also been an integral part of the Islandora 7.x-2.x development team and will be co-leading Islandora's first Community Sprint at the end of the month. Jared has authored some handy Islandora tools of his own, including Islandora Custom Solr to replace Sparql queries with Solr queries where possible for speed improvements. You can learn more about how he runs Islandora from the University of Manitoba's entry in the Islandora Deployments Repo.

Edited to add: and within an hour of posting this blog, Jared has been invited to become an official Committer on the Fedora project! Congrats!

Please tell us a little about yourself. What do you do when you’re not at work?

I am a self-taught programmer from days past (like Turbo Pascal on 14 disks, past). I am married with two young kids. I like to build, fix things, camp (in a tent), bike, skate and run the occasional marathon.


How long have you been working with Islandora? How did you get started?

Over the past 3 years in my current position I have slowly gotten deeper and more involved in Islandora. Our institution had invested early in the Islandora project, we liked the flexibility as we were moving away from about 3 different legacy products.


Sum up your area of expertise in three words:

Master of none


What are you working on right now?

We are migrating content from various different systems into our Islandora instance as well as bringing other groups on campus on-board to store their data.


What contribution to Islandora are you most proud of?

I am proud of each little contribution. Every little bit helps to move the community forward.


What new feature or improvement would you most like to see?

Islandora 7.x-2.x!!


What’s the one tool/software/resource you cannot live without?

Git. When you swing between work for different interests it makes it vital. 


If you could leave the community with one message from reading this interview, what would it be?

Don't get discouraged.