Martin Jambon [mjambon]
How did you begin programming and at what age?
At age NULL. Then I switched to OCaml.
What languages do you code, and in what platforms?
OCaml, Linux and Emacs.
What machine configuration and operating system do you use?
Please list web addresses where we can see some of your work
What motivates you to undertake a new project?
Greed and ambition.
Seriously, it's a terrible phrasing. We just build cool stuff.
What part of project development is most gratifying to you?
You have to realize that the words "project" and "development" sound extremely boring. I hate routine. What's gratifying is to make tools that take care of the routine for people.
From the outside, it seems a rational job, but is creativity necessary for programming?
What conditions do you need to concentrate when programming?
Not being interrupted with questions requiring me to explain a design or worse to solve a design problem. Simple technical questions are usually not disruptive.
After working for long periods of time, have you ever felt as though you were in a bubble?
I am always in a bubble.
When you check out code you wrote time ago, what's the main difference with respect to code that you write nowadays?
Insignificant details only.
Do you still buy programming books, or do you learn everything from online sources?
In some occasions, books are the best medium.
Do you think programming should be taught at the basic education level?
Yes, as an optional alternative to other arts.
What has been your experience in marketing your software?
What do you learn from software users?
Very little. Only minor feature requests and bug reports. Unfortunately I never hear from people who decided to not use my software.
What would be your solution against piracy?
It is time to acknowledge that technology is what allows artists to distribute their creations to millions of people. Without them, all artists would be dirt poor like they have been for millennia before the 20th century.
Would you consider yourself rigorous in the organization of the coding that you write and on commenting it?
No. This is not how great things are created.
How do you calculate the budget for a software project?
It's the salary of the programmers that I've hired multiplied by the time I think they are going to spend. Productivity varies widely from one programmer to another, from 1 to 100x, and can even be negative.
What are your favourite games and on what platform do you play them?
My life is not boring enough to play games.
How often do you clean dirt-buildup on your keyboard?
Every full moon. I usually also sacrifice a virgin or two while I'm at it. It really works.
How do you feel when friends or family ask for your help in solving domestic computer problems?
Have you tried turning it off and on again?
As machines for development, what opinion do Macs deserve?
I'll leave opinions to others.
How do you protect your computer from viruses?
In social settings, do people become interested when you tell them you are a software developer?
I no longer count the number of ladies who proposed right after discovering that I was an OCaml programmer.
Do you work alone or in a team? Which do you prefer?
I currently work in a team and I really want to keep it that way.
Are you one of the first to update to new software when it comes out, or do you normally wait until more stable versions appear?
Usually I don't rush for upgrades.
What is your main reason for not meeting project deadlines?
Just for fun.
In your opinion, which company helps software developers the most?
Good programmers help themselves and each other.
How many breaks per day do you normally take?
From 0 to 10. It depends on the granularity of the tasks.
At this point in your career, what would be the project of your dreams?
I'm not gonna tell you my dreams.
What is your next project?
Which websites or forums for programmers do you frequently visit?
Caml-list mostly. Occasionally Stackoverflow and Quora.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a programmer?
Follow your dreams.
Mountain View, California