Interview with Patrick Cason

GitHub: @CerealLarceny  |  Slack: @CerealLarceny


Where are you based?

"Mostly in Lisbon, Portugal... But also split my time between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Nashville, Tennessee.  Wherever the weather is warm!"

What do you do?

"I'm fortunate enough to work for OpenMined more or less full time.  I am the team lead for the Web and Mobile team, which is working to bring federated learning to OpenMined in the browser, on Android, and on iOS."

What are your specialties?

"I spent most of my time on organization projects within the community, and working on syft.js.  I also developed the website and maintain our small (but growing) devops needs."

How and when did you originally come across OpenMined?

"I was there from the beginning actually.  Andrew and I have been long time friends since college. The whole project kinda started when he stayed at my house in Nashville for a few days, and pitched the initial version to me.  We got a whiteboard, a lot of wine, and got to work. How it's grown, I think, has been the biggest surprise and honor of my career... I don't think either of us expected what it's become."

What was the first thing you started working on within OpenMined?

"The website!  I lack an ML background but have a lot of experience developing websites. I wanted to help out where I could, and ended up working on developing the first versions of syft.js... with a lot of help!"

What would you say to someone who wants to start contributing?

"It's really intimidating to jump into open source development. There's not a single day that goes by where I feel remotely qualified to be here. I think that's really normal, and most regular contributors to OpenMined that I know feel the same way. I consider being a professional programmer to be a privilege, so I feel a strong desire to give back in whatever way I can.  Ask for help, and understand you're not the first beginner to do so. Everyone has to start somewhere."