By Aaron Hampshire

Meet Raphael "Teemperor" Isemann

This is the first part in a continuing series highlighting the development team. First up is Raphael “Teemperor” Isemann.

Raphael is an Information Technology student who currently lives and studies in Germany. He's been following the elementary project for a year and was voted into the development team about 2 months ago.


What is your job in the elementary project?

Most of my time I'm talking to people in the #elementary IRC-channel on freenode (also known as the "Live-Support" from the website), so I think the people who had questions or problems in the last months have likely met me.

If there is no one who needs help in the channel, I'm doing the usual development stuff while we are in the Luna-feature-freeze. We're fixing a few bugs on the login-screen and also in Maya. I'm also doing some other super-secret stuff.

I'm also trying to stay in touch with some third-party developers and apps like Lightread, Simple Scan, an ubuntu-voice-control project. I'm trying to help them and others make their applications ready for the elementary desktop.


Why do you develop for elementary OS? What fascinates you about the project?

It was honestly the community that really made me start developing and spending time on the project. Without the friendly guys and girls in the IRC I would have disappeared quite quickly in my first month. Additionally, everyone is open to new ideas. It's the perfect soil to grow crazy and cool new things.

Last but not least, it's the only desktop that runs on my low-end netbook and actually allows faster working then via CLI without hours of configuration. It's the first time I felt that someone actually spent a large amount of time to design a good user-interface and thought about what technologies should be used -- a good feeling.


How much time a week/month do you devote to elementary?

7 days a week at the moment. I think that will decline when I have other things to do like exams or personal life stuff. But at the moment it's a cool full time job.


7 days a week is a lot of time. What's your motivation? Is it just the community? Building a resume in school? Something else?

On one side, I do it to have more things to write into my CV, but on the other side, I see the amount of free time as a chance to change and learn something. So I actually want to use that time. I'm not the guy that goes to a university to party all day long. Additionally, working on elementary is lot of fun!


What are a few things you like to do when you're not working on elementary?

In my spare time, I make wooden swords just for fun, drink a good tea to calm down and try to prove people wrong on the internet.


What are ways the community can support you as a developer?

Showing every developer that you appreciate the effort they put into the programs - it's the best way of motivating developers.

Throwing money at the developer also helps I've heard.


How can individual users thank and encourage the development team in a tangible way?

Write something nice in the comments of a announcement for a new app-version on our website is a good way in my opinion. Just a short "Thank you, good job!" is perfect. By the way, saying the same from time to time to your postman, teacher, garbageman or the person at your local supermarket also doesn't hurt.


A lot of posts, especially on Reddit, are pretty poisonous. (Example) Is that kind of thing difficult to see?

My rule is that criticism of a software project is (nearly) always good because it has at least some part of truth, though that truth is sometimes very small and hard to find. If I read such stuff and think about it, I often find a detail that I could do a little bit better. For example that Reddit post reminds me that I too often sent people away with an "It's ready when it's ready" answer, and I promise that the next time someone asks, I'll take the time and try to explain it to him. The only case criticism isn't good is empty talk like "Your software is bad and you should feel bad," which doesn't support any kind of discussion and only makes people feel bad.


What is one thing you would love to see created for/integrated into elementary in the next year?

A good integration of LibreOffice is something I would love to have in elementary.


What are your favorite productivity tools for software development?

I use Nano for writing code because it's more intuitive to use. I use Scratch when working with Vala due to the nice syntax highlighting. And the rest is terminal work.


What's your advice for developers who want to get involved?

Come to #elementary-dev on Freenode (or ask in the support how to get there) and say that you want to get involved. Repeat whenever you feel like doing so.

And don't fear learning something new.