An interview with Xavier Noria

Any task can be perfected, done with all your attention and care

Xavier Noria is an independent Ruby on Rails consultant from Barcelona. Xavier is the author of Rails Contributors and a Rails core team member. Honored to have been presented a Ruby Hero Award at RailsConf 2010.

Hi Xavier! How was your last weekend?

Great, I am spending the summer in the seaside and it has been a lot of fun. Quality time with my family, combined with some billing, reading, open source... and my hobby this summer which is stand up paddle in the sea.

How you spend typical day?

In a typical day I wake up and check email and stuff while having breakfast. For example I am dealing with some weird commit that prevented updating Rails Contributors yesterday right now (weird in the sense of git itself, something related to headers unknown to grit).

Then I normally bill about 5 hours or something like that, at home, and in a row if possible for maximum concentration, with lunch in between. I have lunch everyday with my wife and daughter which is just invaluable.

After that I usually save some time for open source, mainly Ruby on Rails. And this summer, after 19h I go to the beach to do stand up paddle.

How would you like to spend a typical day?

The way I do, with time I have pretty much converged to a working day the way I wanted it.

What software are you using the most?

I have a MBA 11' mid-2012 max'ed, and the projects I work on are isolated in virtual machines running Lubuntu. I use VMware Fusion for that.

I use RubyMine for focused long sessions working on a single Rails application. But from RubyMine I use only the editor, I don't use it as an integrated environment, git, rake tasks, file generation, running tests, checking the database... I like the terminal for that. ST2 for light editing, and nano for ultra-light editing. I have been an emacs user for several years in the past, and my name appears if you grep the source tree of Vim, so I can win virtually any flame war you throw at me :D.

Imagine World without computers. What would you do for a living?

Whatever, I have done a few things for a living before being a computer programmer, which I only started in my 30s. From driving a delivery van to proof-read math textbooks. Any task can be perfected, done with all your attention and care, and with that attitude you can find cleaning toilets to be interesting.

Please describe your perfect holiday.

Nowadays, my perfect holiday is defined in terms of my daughter, it has to be her perfect holiday. One of the reasons we come to the seaside is that she has plenty of empty space, friends, a swimming pool, bikes, and the beach just crossing the street. She enjoys every single day with plenitude here, and that't a perfect holiday by definition :).

What music bands we can find in your playlist? Do you listen to music while working?

My father was a professional musician and I was an amateur musician. I have been surrounded by music all my life and listen to music all day. Of course I listen to a lot of groups and different styles. But if I had to single out one my preferred music style is Neo Soul: D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, etc. They are awesome.

Could you send me your new picture, exclusively for BaRuCo?

Let me send you a recent one where I was flying with a small airplane.


You are big enthusiast of flight simulation games. Have you ever flown a plane as a pilot?

If the hardcore flight simulation community finds that you called them "games" they are going to go find you :D.

Not really. I have done a couple of VFR flights in a Cessna 152 as co-pilot and has been given the controls a little bit, but taking the controls when you are in the air is no big deal, piloting is much more than that.

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