This is the first in a series of developer interviews. Our hope is that these will build understanding of the growing community working to improve LibreOffice, make connections with others, and show that it is indeed possible to get stuck in and contribute to the code. Clearly the views expressed here are the un-edited views of the interviewee themselves, and not The Document Foundation, yet hopefully over time they will provide a useful flavour of the community.
We are grateful to our first interviewee whom, while being a superstar, is also a rather private person – not a social networking user or a blogger, and we respect that. Hopefully we’ll get to know him better in person at the various LibreOffice conferences of the future. He also appears to be too modest – having done some outstanding work, as an example finally removing the VOS library (deprecated for a decade) from LibreOffice, and finding and fixing various threading issues in the process. Anyhow without further fuss:
Programming is about people: so please ! tell us a bit about yourself:
I am Norbert Thiébaud (shm_get on IRC). I’m French but I live in Dallas, Texas (USA).
What was your very first program ?
Oh, that was quite some time ago… somewhere in fall 1983. I don’t remember what it was about, but I know it was in Basic AppleSoft, and it was on paper since I didn’t yet own a machine to run it. I would squat the local electronic shop to experiment with the expo model 🙂
What do you do when you’re not hacking on LibreOffice ?
I work for an ISV (Independent Software Vendor). We write tools in the Change Data Capture field: Capturing database logs ( IMS, DB2, Oracle…), moving them around, transforming them and applying to some other database), mostly on Mainframe and Unixes.