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9/28/2006
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Five Questions For Peter Lundblad, Google Programmer

Lundblad is a leading contributor to the Subversion open source code project, which has produced a widely implemented code management system. He was among five leaders of open source code recognized in August at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference. Unlike the others, Lundblad is blind, a fact that didn't bother Google, Lundblad's new employer.

Peter Lundblad
Google Programmer

Interview by Charles Babcock

Peter Lundblad, Google Programmer -- Photograph by Wiley Spiller/Getty Images

Photograph by Wiley Spiller/Getty Images

1
In Transition
"I have no idea exactly what I'll be doing for Google, but I know they already employ another blind programmer." Google uses Subversion to manage open source projects that it hosts on its site. Lundblad works in Google's Zurich facility."

2
Open Source Guru
"My work on Subversion was really helpful. When you work for a private company, it's easy to just sit in a cave. You don't get feedback from other programmers because you're not allowed to show your code to anyone."

3
How He Does It
"I was trained as a finger typist. I know from the feel of the keys if I've made a mistake typing. When looking at code, I prefer Braille." Lundblad uses a device that presents each line of code on the screen in Braille for him to read by touch.

4
First Contact
"I was 13 years old in 1989 when I got my first computer. Then a few years later, the Internet came along. It was a revolution. I could search for whatever I wanted, instead of going to the library to see what books they had in Braille."

5
Hands On
"I've spent much time improving performance in various parts of Subversion, especially the working copy library, the Subversion component that manages the user's copy of files."

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