The Jelastic Spotlight: Matthew Woodward, CFML and Open BlueDragon

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This week’s Spotlight comes to your from Seattle, Washington! Our interviewee works on a number of cool projects, not counting his work as part of the steering committee for Open BlueDragon. He is the Principal IT Specialist for the Office of the Sergeant at Arms at the United States Senate and is well-known as a proponent of open source software. He is really well known in the CFML (Cold Fusion Markup Language) circles for his work and is part of the team that runs the OpenCF Summit as well being a member of Team Mach-II, the Free Software Foundation, the League for Programming Freedom, and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Remember, if you know of someone that is doing cool stuff and is using Jelastic, let us know! We would love to chat with them and showcase their work, here on the blog. If you know of someone that is doing cool stuff but has not tried Jelastic out, tell them about us!

Matthew Woodward and CFML

Hey, Matthew. Where are you based?

I’m in the Seattle, WA area.

What’s your background?

Well, before I started my career as a software developer I was a musician of all things. In terms of technology, I’m a huge free software proponent so I focus on those tools, and spend most of my time these in the Java/JVM world. I also do a lot of work with NoSQL databases, specifically CouchDB.

We actually met because of your work with OpenBD and the OpenCF Summit. So, before your current job, what were you doing?

My day job is with the Federal Government but I volunteer my time and technical skills to work with dog rescues in my spare time.

Alright, so I figure you can’t tell us too much about your day job, but tell us about one of your own projects.

The latest side project I did was a registration and donation site for a really great organization called Old Dog Haven, which is a rescue focusing exclusively on older dogs.

How you get involved with CFML and in particular OpenBD?

I’ve been a CFML developer for about 15 years now with some diversions into other technologies along the way. Up until 2008, CFML was a proprietary, single-vendor technology and since that didn’t gel with my free software sensibilities I was looking to make a change at that point, so I was very glad to see OpenBD be released in 2008. CFML is a highly productive technology that ultimately runs on the JVM so people used to WAR deployments will feel very comfortable with CFML.

So, you are started using Jelastic not long after we first released it. Is there anything in particular that you like about it?

The major thing that stands out for me with Jelastic is ease of use and the visibility the control panel gives developers. It’s absolutely fantastic to see what’s going on with your application at a glance and tune all the settings for your application very easily.

Do you have any plans for your project with Old Dog Haven?

As you can tell from the default Twitter Bootstrap look, I’m not a designer; so I’m looking for a designer willing to donate some time to spruce things up a bit. That site was built in a weekend so there are a lot of features that didn’t make it in for the first revision so I’ll be adding more functionality, and ultimately making it more generic under the hood so it can be used by any organization that runs charity walks.

What’s your favorite hobby?

Hanging out with my dogs!

Awesome! I love dogs, and have a few of my own. So where did you grow up?

I’m originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, and no that doesn’t mean I lived on a farm. 😉

Is that what everyone up there does? (Just kidding) What would you say that you like most about your work?

The thing I love most about being a technologist, and what keeps me going with it year after year, is there’s always something new to learn. Sometimes it’s small things like new features in tools I already use, and other times it’s more of a sea change. It’s certainly never dull!

Do you have a philosophy by which you live, something that you rely on when making decisions or use to guide you in tough times?

For me it’s the combination of “it could be worse” and “it will get better.” No matter how bad things get those two things have always proven true for me.

Thanks, Matt.

You can find Matt:

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