Who is Jonathan Perret (@jonathanperret) ?

The 12th person on the Who Is serie is Jonathan Perret. Jonathan was proposed by Laurent Bossavit. The first time I knew who Jonathan was, was when he subscribed to a McCarthy bootcamp I was organizing. Unfortunately I could not go myself, but I have ran into him multiple time since. One of the most remarkable moments was when he did “Un kata marant” (A funny coding dojo) with Emmanuel Gaillot At Agile Tour Bordeaux. And funny it was. They had a bunch of code and tasks like: “rewrite your code so it LOOKS like ASCII art”. They did all of that without breaking their tests. I’m sure that Joshua –LimitedRedSociety- Kerievsky would have loved it.

You can find out about his creativity by downloading his free Ipad ArtGame called Nr 32

Jonathan is one of the people I hope to run into this week at ALE2011

What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?

My extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins…) is quite large, approximating fifty people, and yet close-knit.  Most of us meet at least yearly, and support each other whenever there’s a need.  I guess being part of such a group from the youngest age has made me feel safer in life.

If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?

That’s pretty difficult to imagine given that I was obsessed with programming computers ever since the age of nine, as far as I remember.  But I suppose I would have enjoyed being a fiction writer — I have always enjoyed stories and regularly fantasize about inventing and telling them.

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?

My biggest challenge is that I seem to have a very small attention span. I tend not to stay motivated by a particular project or task for long, and quickly get distracted by shiny objects.  That’s a good thing because I’m in a state of constant excitement and learning, about one thing or another !

But what’s better is that it pushes me to seek people that complete me with their focus, and who appreciate whatever skills I can bring to bear given the right context.  For this reason I immensely enjoy pair programming.

What drives you ?

Smiles on the faces of the people I love. I could wrap this up in grander visions but that’s what it really comes down to.

What is your biggest achievement?

Helping build my family, day after day. Every time I feel a bit down and it seems I have not achieved anything of significance yet, I just have to think of my wife and my two daughters to know I have something to be proud of.

What is the last book you have read?

John Varley’s Gaea trilogy: science-fiction that manages to combine the kinky and the thoughtful in delightful and unexpected ways. A friend recommended it to me during a discussion where the topic of musical modes had come up, but I’m not telling more in case there are kids reading your blog.

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?

How hard is it for you to write about yourself? Very! Finding words to express the jumble of thoughts that goes on up there takes me forever — I’d rather be coding ! But I’m not complaining, I do appreciate being pushed into it. I wish I had found more to write, though.

Who do you think I should ask next?

I have several names in mind, but I’d really like to read Arnaud Bailly’s  answers to your little questionnaire. I met Arnaud at the Coding Dojo, and feel lucky that we ended up working together for some time. I am constantly amazed at the amount of stuff that man reads !