My name is John Cliff, I've been involved in Inkscape on and off since early feb 2004 (where the chat logs show just how patient mental, ishmal, bulia and co were with my complete lack of any idea what i was doing!)
Born in England I'm an aerospace engineer by trade, who grew up messing about on Acorn computers, starting with an electron, then moving on to an A3000. (Both of which are still in my loft) I found Inkscape when I was looking for something akin to Acorns !Draw program for windows. I initally found Sodipodi but the newly forked Inkscape had a much more active and welcoming community and I quickly got hooked. I started off just messing about using the program (a flood of signpost cliparts that I barraged the guys with were part of the reason they started OCAL) and then moved on to hacking at the code.
Bits I worked on included making the star tool do polygons, a bunch of work on the tool dependant toolbars, the intial work at a UI for multistop gradients (the dialog sucked but at least you could create them) Some work on getting markers working properly, and the addition of the stock marker file. the grid/rows dialog, work on getting patterns working and the on canvas UI. Most of these had serious input from Bulia, some just in him telling me what needed changing, some in him fixing it!
Have been fairly dormant in the actual coding for the last couple of years, but have still been involved in admin at the inkscapeforums site, and in some gsoc stuff.