For people acquainted with digital repositories, conferences or mailinglists, Chris Wilper's name should ring a bell. After being part of the initial Fedora team at Cornell University, Chris was the Fedora tech lead at DuraSpace between 2008 and 2012. We are excited to add Chris’ vast experience with digital repositories and his unique perspective on the grass-roots of the repository community to our team.
Chris started his career in web software development at Hewlett-Packard in the late 1990’s, Chris quickly aimed at the direction of Content and Document management by switching to the Blue Fish Development Group. He became well known in the Open Repositories community through his involvement in the development of the Fedora repository platform. He continued on to work as a Sr. Research Programmer/Analyst in a team of digital library researchers and technical professionals from Cornell University and the University of Virginia to start the open source Fedora Repository project between 2002 and 2008.
When Fedora Commons merged with the DSpace Federation to form DuraSpace, Chris continued to be involved in the project acting as Open Source Technology Lead / Developer. In this role he recruited and supported an international team of volunteer committers to further the development and maintenance of the Fedora Commons Repository software.
Later on, Chris moved on to new opportunities and gained greater experience with larger development teams in a move to Thomson Reuters where he worked to enhance and maintain TR's in-house legal research platform. After working for Thomson Reuters for 2 years, Chris was offered an opportunity to work on next generation software repository and delivery technologies at Sonatype. In this position he worked to enhance and maintain Sonatype's Nexus OSS/Pro product.
Early this year, Chris decided to refocus on open source technology. Mainly from a personal point of view he wanted to investigate the possibilities for different repository platforms to interoperate. To expand his expertise on institutional repository technology he joined @mire in April.
I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work in this realm again, and excited to be joining Mark and the team at @mire. I have consistently found the field of digital preservation to be full of interesting and socially important problems. In this role, I will be helping @mire’s clients address some of those problems directly. I'll also be on the lookout for ways to improve interoperability and collaboration among the key software platforms in this community. - Chris Wilper
Role at @mire and ambitions
As a Tech Lead, Chris will be working closely with Mark Diggory on projects for our North American clients. He will be responsible for quality assurance of the work of our developers while providing mentoring and coaching. As @mire encourages active participation in open source communities, you can also expect his name to pop up in open online discussions and conferences including the upcoming Open Repositories 2015.
For our entire community, the rise of new open source tools and external services to integrate with provide new opportunities. With Chris on the team, @mire will explore those opportunities in order to extend, improve and tune our offering.
I have always considered Chris a great friend and colleague. I am very pleased to have Chris join our @mire US management team. His accomplishments in the community and breadth of repository experience are well known. As our North American office evolves, having a strong technical core in our engineering team is a necessity. Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and engineering leadership that will greatly aid our expansion. - Mark Diggory (@mire)