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Freeware Software _ Developer Spotlight _ Interview with Frank Niessink of Task Coach

Posted by: marko Apr 1 2010, 10:09 PM

Your real name:
Frank Niessink

Also known as:
Frank

How old are you?:
38

Your freeware software:
Task Coach

Your website:
http://www.taskcoach.org

When did you started developing freeware?:
I started developing Task Coach in 2004. It was first released early 2005. I was joined by Jérôme Laheurte soon after the first release. We´ve been working on Task Coach together since then.

Why did you start developing freeware?:
Like most open source developers, I scratched an itch. In my case, I was really bad at keeping track of all the small and bigger tasks I had. The task managers available at that time were either too simple or too complex for my taste. I wanted hierarchical tasks, without all the complexity of project management software. So I started to work on Task Coach.

Is it a career, or just for fun?:
For me, it is mostly fun. Although having hands-on experience with software development is useful in my day job as an consultant.

What's the most difficult project/development you've done?:
Well, I work only on Task Coach, so not much choice there. Within that scope, I remember creating a Debian package was rather challenging.

Please tell us a little about yourself:
I live in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with my wife, two kids, and a cute rabbit called Fox.

What would you consider to be your major accomplishments to date?:
Doing over 100 releases of Task Coach in 5 years.

Any failures you'd care to tell us about?:
Task Coach still isn´t bug free despite all these years and over 3500 automated unittests.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in developing/programming?:
I learned a lot about programming by reading: about design patterns, test driven development, languages, etc.

What websites do you visit to relax?:
Lifehacker.com

Do you have any particular plans for your freeware in the future?:
Plenty of small and big ideas, mostly limited by available time rather than imagination. Ideas include multi-user support, more import and export functionality, integration with web-based todo managers, etc.

What's your favourite book, movie, tv show, game, and food?:
Hitchhiker´s Guide to the Galaxy, Groundhog Day, Friends, Netrek, Home-made pancakes.

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