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Chris, Java Web Application Developer

Chris Bredesen is a Java developer from Ft. Lauderdale who uses Fedora as his primary development platform. Chris gives his top 5 picks of tools in Fedora for Java development, as well as advice for Java developers considering a move to Fedora.

Chris Bredesen

Where are you from?

Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Living in Holly Spring, NC currently.

What is your profession?

Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat.

What's your IRC nick?

When I'm on Freenode/Codehaus, etc, I use 'cbredesen' so as to be transparent about my identity. Here at Red Hat, I go by 'breddy' which is a casual shortening of my last name given to me by a college buddy. I decided to keep it as a nick because it is vaguely similar to the first name of one of my Norwegian ancestors, Brede, (from whom my last name is derived).

How did you first become a Java developer?

My degree is in Computer Science but I'd not been interested in a career in software development for whatever reason so I went down the sysadmin path. I had been doing server administration for many years, building mainly departmental and corporate Windows networks. I decided to get back into programming around 2001 and, due to circumstances, moved into a role doing Visual Basic development. Not long after I joined, we changed platforms from VB/C++/Windows to Java/*NIX/Linux. The rest is history.

When did you first start using Fedora?

Most of my development career has been devoted to the architecture and development of mid- to large-scale web-based e-commerce systems. That sort of work takes most of my time but I've got a few related projects in the works that I intend to release to the community and hopefully package for Fedora.

Tell us which 5 applications in Fedora you find most helpful for Java development in Fedora. What does each app do?

In no particular order:

  1. OpenJDK - having a high-quality, open-source JVM installed and updated in Fedora is a huge benefit.
  2. Eclipse - my IDE of choice, packaged in Fedora.
  3. Git - amazing distributed version control system.
  4. bash/zsh - I can't effectively do my job without a real shell. :)
  5. meld - Nice visual diff tool.

Tell us about some interesting desktop customizations you've done to your Fedora desktop to help your Java development workflow.

I've spent significant time in GNOME, KDE and XFCE. I've customized the desktop environment in many ways and arrived back at a fairly vanilla GNOME setup with Gnome-Do as a launcher. The only real customization I've done to the system I've flirted with is moving from Bash to Zsh due to some of the built-in command completion that Zsh offers. Most of the workflow involved in creating Java applications is to do with the code/test/commit cycle made possible with Git, Maven and some of the other tools we use.

Can you tell us about a Java application you recently made using Fedora?

I'm currently leading development of the Red Hat Customer Portal. This is a group of applications tied together by a Seam web application built on Fedora and running on JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and RHEL. You can visit it at http://access.redhat.com. We're using the SEAM framework in building it.

If you have a co-worker who doesn't use Fedora, can you still work on the same Java project together? How does that work?

Absolutely! The Java Virtual Machine is available for all major platforms and the same code runs anywhere. In fact my current team consists of a graphic artist running Mac OS X - he's got a full copy of the Red Hat Customer Portal running and connected to our Git repository.

Do you have any tips for enthusiastic future Fedora Java developers taking their first steps in using Fedora to create awesome Java apps?

Just to be aware that many of the tools that Java developers already know and love are available right out of the box in Fedora. A dev workstation that would take me hours or even days to build with Windows or Mac OS X can be installed and running in less than an hour, thanks to Yum and all the great OSS software that Fedora has built and packaged.

Thanks, Chris!

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