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An interview with Nicolas Valcárcel

Today’s interviewee volunteered to participate in the Ubuntu Community Interviews series some time ago. He is involved in some of the more technical aspects of the community, helping maintain and place packages in the repositories, working to keep Ubuntu up to date with security, and lots more. Enjoy!

1. Tell as much as you’re willing about your “real” life – name, age, gender, location, family, religion, profession, education, hobbies, etc.

I’m Nicolas Valcárcel Scerpella. I am a 24 years old male Peruvian student living in Lima – Perú with my parents, 2 sisters and a rotweiler. I’m coursing the 7th-8th period of systems engineering at the University “de lima”, working as Security Engineer in the OEM Solutions Group for Canonical. Before that i was Senior consultant in Aureal Systems, doing mainly sysadmin work on the client’s server (primary in Linux, but here was some other *nix like ones). I love adventure sports and outsides, i used to surf, skate and also played rugby at the university. While i was still at school i also used to row at the “Club de Regatas Lima” from 1998 until 2001.

2. When and how did you become interested in computers? in Linux? in Ubuntu? In computers?

Since i remember. When i was really young (4 years or so) my mother used to bring me to her work and sit me on a computer to play games all day long, i can’t remember any time of my life without a computer (well, only when i travel to outsides). With Linux i started late, in summer 2004 IIRC when read about this “OS for hackers” while i
was on the underground world of internet :P, then i tested a lot of distros until i found debian, after using it for a while Warty Warthog showed and i started using Ubuntu since then.

3. When did you become involved in the forums (or the Ubuntu community)? What’s your role there?

I’m not involved in the forums, but i started involving myself in the Ubuntu community on May 2007 when i sent my first patch ). Then it was a non stop road, slow at the beginning, until now that i’m a MOTU. Also i am part of the Peruvian LoCo team council, where we do a lot of advocacy. Now i’m focusing myself on bringing more people to the packaging world.

4. Are you an Ubuntu member? If so, how do you contribute? If not, do you plan on becoming one?

Yes i am! I contribute in the Server Team primarily.

5. What distros do you regularly use? What software? What’s your favorite application? Your least favorite? Distros?

Now only ubuntu, but on my previous work i use CentOS on servers for the clients due a company policy which i couldn’t change. For software i mostly use Firefox as a web browser, Evolution as mail client, Terminator as terminal emulator, Pidgin as msn messenger, Empathy as jabber client, python as programming language and a LOT of console tools.

6. What’s your fondest memory from the forums, or from Ubuntu overall? What’s your worst?

Well that would be my lovely mentors and sponsors. I have so much to thank them. When i give a talk i always remark how wonderful developers the ubuntu community have and how norsetto, persia and ScottK help me at
the very beginning. Also some people i admire (and always talk about them) are TheMuso and heno, who having real problems are so good at what they do, it’s just amazing, i really admire them. The worst? I don’t have any bad moment in mind (i haven’t had one or i have just forget them).

7. What luck have you had introducing new computer users to Ubuntu?

Really good, with the LoCo team we do a lot of advocacy and we have a lot of happy new ubuntu users.

8. What would you like to see happen with Linux in the future? with Ubuntu?

I really want to see more companies stop seeing linux as a hippies thing (or insignificant OS). I want to see more Hw manufacturers writing drivers for Linux, and more software being developed for it (as in propietary software migrating to linux [To think on them open his source is just craziness]).

9. If there was one thing you could tell all new Ubuntu users, what would it be?

Don’t quit, there is a wonderful world of amazing people and communities working behind the scenes for you to have this amazing product on hands. It’s hard at the beginning but really wonderful once you catch it.