Meet Richard Hughes – One of June's Most Interesting Developers

| July 7, 2014

Richard HughesJelastic has chosen Richard Hughes as one of our Most Interesting Developers for June, 2014! Let's find out what makes him so interesting.

Congratulations Richard!  Can you tell us about yourself?

I am my favorite subject, but for some reason when asked it does not come easily. I have a two year degree from a community college. I took courses in Cobol, Pascal, Fortran & assembler. I never used any of them professionally. I have worked in home improvement contracting, bar tending, security guard, event photography video, landscaping, Porsche repair & automotive machine shop.
Once on a trip to up state New York, I knocked a hole in the oil pan of my 1970 Oldsmobile Delta 88, I jacked it up, resting it on a tree stump, drained the oil into a box lined with a plastic bag and brazed it closed with my portable oxy-acetalene kit.
I have competed in autocross in the Porsche Club of America and won my class in C4 I also drove Bridgehampton, Watkins Glenn & Lime Rock race tracks with the Porsche Club. Bridgehampton was a challenge to me, I have spun off it once and had mechanical breakdowns there. I regret never driving the perfect lap there, it is now a golf course. 🙁
I have always loved aviation at work one day a co-worker asked "Why don't you take lessons?" I searched, it was probably Alta-Vista at the time for a flight school. I received a single engine land rating and bought a Cozy III, it is a canard aircraft with the small wing in front, large wing in back and rear engine. It is based on a design by Burt Rutan. I had an engine failure and was forced to land in a residential neighborhood. During the landing the plane penetrated a canopy of trees, knocked a hole in the roof of one house, spun around backwards and slid into another house.
I purchased another plane and used it to fly back and forth from Monroe Louisiana, to Palm Beach to visit my family while consulting there. The next consulting job was at the Mayo Clinic and while transporting the plane from Monroe to Rochester, Mn, the canopy flew open and items from the cockpit went through the propeller breaking off a foot of one blade. The canopy opening occurred 15 NM from the nearest airport, 9 NM from the nearest airport the engine failed and I was forced to land on a street in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The plane lands at about 100 MPH and there was a car in the left lane, on decent the main gear took out a power line, the right wing in touch down took down a stop sign, with brakes locked, the left wing hit the rear of a car and knocked out the back window. The plane went off the road to the right, into a drainage ditch. A two post speed limit sign broke the left fuel strake spilling out the tank's fuel. I got a call from the NTSB asking "...did you even get a bo-bo to put a band aid on?" I said "Yes, I got a scratch, but I did not put a band aid on."
I still fly today, I have a client in Albany, NY that I meet with on site several times a month. Even though flying from Long Island is $50 more expensive than driving with gas, tolls & hotel, it is cheaper in the end because I can work for another client during the time I would be driving.

Do you think you are interesting? If yes, why?

CRIKEY! See above! I do a lot of corner case things, flying, skydiving, scuba diving, snow skiing water skiing, auto racing. I am also a big supporter of the second amendment, my wife and I both have carry permits. I have blogs on tech and fire arms along with being a host on a weekly Linux tech podcast.

Can you tell us a little about your first development project? Is it still available today?

My first project was an IVR system written in dBase on a Watson system, it was designed to get data from branch stores in real time ( daily ) as opposed on paper at the end of the month. This was when an x86 system was $2,000 and it was too expensive to have a computer in each site. That system ran for years and has been retired many years now!

Preferred coding language?

For 15 years I have been writing ColdFusion from CF4 thru CF11, including the open source versions Railo & OpenBlueDragon.


CFML is a mature web application development language with many features built into it.
Any groups or open source projects that you are part of? I am working on an open source micro Linux distribution specifically as a Railo development environment.

Who do you think is the most interesting developer in the world (excluding yourself)?

Mark Spencer! Mark is a super nice guy, always happy! Mark wrote Gaim , the L2TPdaemon and the Cheops Network User Interface & ASTERISK. Mark also has an Eclipse 500 jet. I flew right seat in it once! Mark's ASTERISK software is saving lives and helping developing communities!

If you happen to use Jelastic, can you tell us what you like about it or share any apps or projects created with Jelastic?

Jelastic is a great low cost cloud solution to run open source CFML engines in with MySQL & other open source DBs.

And just for fun...

Choose one of the following:

Twitter or Google+?


iPad or Tablet?

Android Tablet

Xbox or PS4?

Neither, recovering gamer, former Halo clan leader

Thanks Richard!  So what will you do with the $100 prize money?

Please donate it in my name to The Wounded Warriors Project

Of course we will!  That's very generous of you!