Equinox Software recently welcomed Lebbeous Fogle-Weekley to its Evergreen development team.
For the past three years, Lebbeous worked for an information security firm in Cleveland, Ohio, where he primarily wrote software using open source tools. He has applied his passion for programming to diverse problems including vulnerability assessment, network perimeter management, log analysis, and more, and he is excited now to participate on a large open source project and to learn about how libraries manage information.
Lebbeous also enjoys history, following college football, and video games (sometimes to his wife’s chagrin).
We asked Lebbeous a few questions…
What is important about open source software?
Open source software is important for a lot of reasons, but one of my personal favorites is that it keeps developers honest. That transparency in showing your work to the world not only discourages us programmers from taking ill-advised shortcuts, but it can also mean that other people catch our mistakes, or that they suggest better approaches to difficult coding problems. Of course, this is sort of a technical reason to like open source, but consumers receive the benefits of that kind of collaboration, too.
Where do you see open source development in the next ten to fifteen years?
I think by that time we’ll reach a place where open source software is so mainstream that it will rarely be differentiated by a label anymore. Google is a big part of that, but certainly other, older forces are behind this trend as well.
I do, however, predict that along the way those seeking commercial advantage will test various copylefts in court, and that complex questions about intellectual property will continue to be raised. Software-as-a-Service will also provide a new context for debating the merits of open vs. closed source software.
When you get stuck on a problem how do you solve it?
The most obvious approach is to try to break the problem down into several smaller ones. If I’m still stuck, there’s always Google, and of course peers can be helpful in suggesting other approaches to a problem. Or, if I’ve got lots of different things on my docket, sometimes I just work on something else for a while. The next time I come back to the original problem, the answer might suddenly seem obvious.
What do you keep on your desk?
I have a picture of my wife, some coffee, a legal pad on which I sketch out ideas, and a pen. Beyond that I try to keep my desk as clear as I can. A clear desk with plenty of elbow room helps me think. Inevitably, however, junk accumulates until every once in a while I have to clear it all off at once.
What do you do to chill out?
I have a beer, of course! Or I may read. Sometimes the two can go together, but after more than two beers, that goes downhill. I may [re]watch some Star Trek; I have an awful lot of it on DVD.
Do you have any pets?
Not right now, no. My wife and I both had cats when we were children, but we’re holding off on getting pets until we buy a house (hopefully soon).