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Mender Hub User Profile Series – Pierre Jean Texier

As today marks our third user profile in a series of blog posts that reflect our active Mender Hub contributors , we are happy to share about Pierre-Jean Texier. Pierre-Jean is an embedded software architect since 2014 when he started his career in the field of femtosecond lasers. Now, he works in the secure payment field where he designs embedded software for outdoor payment terminals such as in gas station pumps. Recently, he started Koncepto to help customers build Linux-based embedded hardware using the Yocto Project.

We sat down with Pierre-Jean to learn more about him.

Mender: How did you find out about Mender?
Pierre-Jean: End of 2016 when I had a project for firmware updates on embedded Linux (with the Yocto project) I searched and found a very detailed documentation on mender.io.

Mender: Do you use Mender yourself? If yes, tell us briefly about the project(s).
Pierre-Jean: I use Mender for personal projects (with Hosted Mender), based on BeagleBone (green), Atmel ATSAMA5D27 and NXP WaRP7. I also use Mender when I teach Embedded Linux courses at Ynov Bordeaux which requires to do software updates during the course.

Mender: What do you like most about Mender and any improvements you could suggest?
Pierre-Jean: What I like most about Mender is the online community! Secondly, the end-to-end solution and that there is a hosted version. It is very cool to test and deploy easily with intuitive and user friendly web GUI. Mender is easier than Hawkbit to implement on new boards which makes life much better. In terms of improvements, phased rollout updates to devices, be able to deploy to test-sites before production and support for microcontrollers would all be fantastic additions.

Mender: What is your aspiration for Mender Hub being a maintainer?
Pierre-Jean: Mender Hub is a very good platform for exchange with the community. Moreover, the Board Integration section is a valuable help for beginners with Mender. There are starting to be many reference boards and good to see more is being added. This is really something I would like to be involved in even more. One of my students is contributing to the project as well. This person works part-time and uses Mender at work also. Be more aggressive with news and blogs, more promotions and do meetups.

Mender: What do you see as the biggest challenges in embedded and IoT industry today?
Pierre-Jean: In my opinion, the biggest challenges are security from both hardware and software perspectives, remote data collection and logs, remote firmware updates and the product longevity for systems on chip (> 10 years).

Mender: What are some of the most interesting trends you see in the industry?
Pierre-Jean: Use of technologies such as TrustZone, secure boot (with U-Boot) and secure remote firmware updates are some essential elements in security trends which is also true in the payment industry.

Mender: What can be done to make connected devices more secure?
Pierre-Jean: Better software support to make devices always up to date (as few CVEs as possible), and better private key management (PKCS).

Mender Team