The Zephyr RTOS community recently achieved a major milestone – it surpassed 1000 contributors! To celebrate this exciting achievement, we sat down with Embla Flatlandsmo, an intern at Nordic Semiconductor, who nabbed the title as Zephyr’s 1000th contributor. Meet her in this video or read our Q&A.
What do you do professionally?
I just finished year 3 of 5 of my integrated Master of Science in Robotics and Cybernetics! I also work at Nordic Semiconductor as an intern to further hone my programming skills and improve my technical understanding.
How long have you been active in open source?
Zephyr is my first contribution to anything open source! I have not been active in open source for very long.
What made you want to become an open source contributor?
I’ve always thought that open source communities have really skilled and driven individuals. The fact that everything is so transparent is also a big plus. I think that the collaborative environment that open source fosters is the key to success!
Tell us about your favorite open source project and what problems did it aim to solve?
I’m really interested in graphics and visualization, so my favorite open source project must be blender. blender is a 3D visualization software, and it has had some major changes as of late that makes it rival the 3D industry standards such as 3ds Max and Maya. It is truly inspirational to see that a group of motivated individuals can bring a project to such a high level.
You are the 1000 contributor for Zephyr. What made you want to contribute to the project?
I recognize that I would have had a tough time getting my software to work with my hardware if Zephyr had not provided so many solutions for me to use. When encountering an issue, I feel like it often boils down to “fixing the problem this one time” vs. “fixing it for the rest of time”. Of course, I figured I want to be part of Zephyr’s collaborative community, so instead of just fixing it for myself, I also fixed it for others!
What PR did you do and why?
I did a PR to change the device tree of Nordic’s nRF9160 DK. I am working on a project that involves the use of shields and I was missing some support to make them work out of the box. Rather than working around this issue, I figured I could go to the source of the problem and fix it. This way, it will be solved for anyone that might have been wanting to do the same thing as me!
What’s one thing your current self would tell your past self when you were starting out?
Concepts, systems and standards might seem really daunting to grasp at first. Just take your time and learn about them one step at a time, and you will eventually get to a point where you feel perfectly comfortable doing things you never thought you could handle!
What are the criteria to define a successor and how do you measure quality and success for a contributor?
I think a successful contributor is one who has made the user experience better for other developers! I also think contributing with well-documented and understandable code is important, as there is no knowing who might pick up your code and improve it from where you left it.
What’s your favorite quote?
Whenever I had a hard time solving a problem or learning a new skill, my father would always tell me: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!