What do you do?
I am the CTO (Chief Technical Officer) at Obeo. I'm in charge of the products, the technical aspects of the services we provide to our customers and the R&D projects. I manage a team of talented and diverse developers in a friendly environment, each one of them always looking for ways to do things better.
Developing Open Source solutions is a key aspect of our business strategy and that leads me (or the other way around ;) to being involved in several Eclipse projects, either as a committer in Sirius, EMF Compare and Acceleo, or as a project lead on EcoreTools and Amalgamation.
I actually do very little coding. Most of my time is spent managing teams and product roadmaps, meeting customers and users of our technologies, organizing the development process, giving talks and setting directions.
How long have you been using Eclipse?
I knew about Eclipse, but only started using it in 2006 when I joined Obeo. My job, from the beginning, involved extending Eclipse and so I never really could walk in the shoes of the pure "end user". Obeo was just founded; nobody knew the company, but doing OSS has been a powerful way to become known. The more we grew, the more we got involved in Eclipse. In a nutshell, it has been already 8 years (god!) of using and extending Eclipse for all kind of needs.
Name five plugins you use and recommend:
Of course, I use all the great plugins and tools which are widely used like the Java Development Tools or Checkstyle. So I'm going to focus on less known plugins which bring many of those daily "ahah !" moments:
- Wikitext: My days are filled with meetings yet I always need to have code accessible. That's why Eclipse is one of the first things I start and all my meeting notes are kept and organized using Wikitext. It's a simple and straightforward tool handling the Textile and mediawiki syntaxes (among others). It "just works" and allow me to easily publish notes on the Obeo or Eclipse wiki when needed. I have not taken the time (yet) to have a go at extending it to make it even more interesting to me but that's on my list.
- e(fx)clipse: JavaFX is pushing the boundaries of the user experience we can provide in a desktop application. Tom Schindl did an awesome job building the tooling and packaging the framework so that using this technology is straightforward. If you are interested in JavaFX, a complete tooling is just one download away.
- Target Platform DSL: Working with target platforms: ie a formalization of your dependencies and supported versions, is a necessary evil when your goal is to build tools broadly compatible with Eclipse. Unfortunately, the default tooling in this area is a pain to use. The frustration pushed Mikaël Barbero to write a small DSL to handle the target platform definition. We're not where we would like to be yet, but it already makes our life way easier. If you are coding Eclipse plugins or RCP applications, you should have a look.
- Arduino Designer: I am a proud father of two children and I look forward to them discovering my world. Mélanie Bats came up with this graphical tooling to design Arduino sketches and upload them easily to the board. A perfect ground to work on small robots with my kids.
- EcoreTools, Sirius and Acceleo: Obviously I'm biased, but being able to create a tooling for a specific need in a few hours is always a lot of fun. Think about it: I capture a domain model to represent something, and hours later I already have several iterations of my own graphical tooling which I can build and distribute if needed. I have dozens of nice little tools around which I did just for one purpose.
What's your favorite thing to do when you're not working?
I try to enjoy every bit of time I have with my kids, reading, sightseeing, and more importantly building things. It's amazing to witness how they react in front of the technology and how they easily "get it". Deep down, I'm addicted to coding and exploring new areas, I can easily spend nights prototyping some crazy idea or getting a grasp on a technology.