Name: Jennifer Konikowski
Designation: Agent 0071
Double Agent Role: Senior Software Consultant
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Favorite Emoji: 🦄
Probably taking an application that was primarily procedural PHP and putting them on the path to a more object-oriented approach, and through that helping them bump their test coverage from effectively 0% to 20% over the course of just three months.
Not being in a pandemic. And being able to meet my coworkers at some point.
Probably all of the other double agents. It’s nice to have a group of people to back me up who are able to help if I’m running into a problem that I might think is a little silly.
Probably that I feel like we’ve really managed to hire a group of truly empathetic individuals.
Right now, whether Rails can be separated from Basecamp and become fully community run instead of the benevolent dictator for life model (BDFL).
Do you see any other open source situations where there’s been more of that community model that you admire?
I think Python’s moved more toward this type of model since Guido van Rossum retired as BDFL. But even when he was the BDFL, it was still extremely community-driven, and there wasn’t really a company behind it. The Python Software Foundation does have corporate sponsors, but it’s not tied to any particular company. I think being tied to a particular company can become problematic. When you look at React, if you’re choosing React you’re sort of in some ways dependent on the whims of Facebook. I know that’s one reason why it made it hard for me to want to choose React for any project I’m working on for myself.
Due to the pandemic, I ran my first virtual marathon. I guess running a marathon all by yourself (plus a virtual 50K) is definitely an experience I am not likely to forget soon. I already had to repeat it once, and I would like to not repeat it again. With a regular race like there are usually a lot of other people around you and you have to finish the course because that’s the only way back. With a virtual race, it’s entirely self-motivated because it’s so much easier to just stop and go back home. The only thing keeping me going was me wanting to finish. The upside is I could do loops and stop by my house if I needed anything, which was definitely convenient because you don’t have aid tables. Overall, it was definitely more of a mental game, which is definitely good training as I get into longer races. But it’s not as fun and marathons aren’t really fun to begin with, so it’s not something I would prefer to continue doing.
Probably similar—the same 50K I signed up for last year and did virtually, I signed up for the in-person race in 2021. It’s going to be my first in person race in over a year now. I haven’t done any races since February 2020 and finally got one next weekend (May 15), which I’m pretty excited about. It’s an in-person trail race in the middle of nowhere in Ohio. I’m also signed up for my first 50-miler in September, so I’m terrified and excited about that.
I swear to you I do read a lot of quality books, but I also really love watching trash TV. Probably what has used the most of my mental energy is the whole 90 Day Fiancé franchise, because I watch all of it and it’s all terrible. Not only do I watch the show, but I also listen to a podcast about it when I run. I find it a little wild that, while it seems like the immigration process in the US is impossible, people meet someone for a few hours and they are somehow able to get them a visa to come here and marry them. It’s fascinating; I love it so much.
Probably being able to go to a bar again and just hang out. I love going to The Independent here in Pittsburgh, in Squirrel Hill. It’s a great place. Good cocktails, good beer, great bartenders.
Negroni. When everything was shutdown last spring, I started a Negroni blog called trashnegroni.com. I had a surplus of various liquors and liqueurs, so I got creative and came up with about 30 different variations. I am still drinking Negronis, but I slowed down on my Negroni creation.
I play the oboe (poorly).
This interview is based on a recorded conversation with Jennifer Konikowski and Cathy Colliver. It may or may not self-destruct.