The People Shaping the Future of Linux

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We recently announced the winners of the first-ever Linux Foundaiton Linux Training Scholarship Program. During the month of September, we'll be sharing their stories with you. First, please let us introduce you to Arpit Toshniwal.

 

We recently announced the winners of the first-ever Linux Foundaiton Linux Training Scholarship Program. During the month of September, we'll be sharing their stories with you. First, please let us introduce you to Arpit Toshniwal.

Sharing Knowledge - and keeping it free

Arpit Toshniwal's musical taste has a tendency to change with his mood. One day it might be hard, driving rock. The next day, something soft and romantic. And when it comes to books, the only thing he won't read is a novel. But ask him about operating systems, and he doesn't waver. His love for Linux is steadfast and true.

The relationship started innocently enough, with a class assignment that required submitting a C code in Linux. He went to his school’s computer lab to try it out. Not long after that, he installed the OS on his own machine. And within no time, using Linux became a habit—and a passion.

“I love the free source nature of Linux,” says Arpit, who will soon graduate with a computer science and engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Rajasthan. “And with my ability to hack the code, I’m always motivated to explore further.” Add to this a whole world of easily accessible documentation, friendly technical support from users around the globe, and a resistance to viruses that’s unmatched by other operating systems, and it’s easy to see why Arpit has quickly become a Linux devotee.

A thirst for learning

Arpit already has the kind of hands-on Linux experience that many students don’t get until after graduation. Instead of spending his summers relaxing by the pool, he’s been hard at work launching a Linux kernel for ARMv7 architecture on QEMU – and creating a BusyBox to support that launch. “This summer project allowed me to expose the basic structure of the Linux kernel,” says Arpit. “I learned that working on it is easier than I thought – and rather interesting.”

As one of our 2011 Linux Training Scholarship Winners, Arpit will receive advanced Linux education—and he’s chosen to pursue our Linux Kernel Internals and Debugging course. “I understand the theoretical part of how the kernel works,” he says. “Now I want to learn more about implementation.”

In this 5-day, hands-on course, he’ll explore kernel algorithms, hardware and memory management, modularization techniques, and debugging. “I have a strong urge to learn all I can about Linux,” he says. “This course will give me the foundation I need to explore more—and do more.”

The passion to succeed

As Arpit continues to build his Linux acumen, he’ll also begin to think about his next move. But just like his fluctuating taste for music and books, he doesn’t want to be pinned down on the exact next steps for his career. “I’ve never decided about my long-term future,” he says. “Right now, I’d be happy to find a good job at a reputable IT firm.”

His future plans could include a master’s degree and work in the field of artificial intelligence. Or they could include something entirely different—and yet to be determined. “The best thing I find about myself is that I’m not afraid of failure,” says Arpit. And this willingness to explore, experiment, and try are a big part of what has carried him so far already—and what will continue to propel him forward.

But no matter how the specifics of Arpit’s career evolve over time, he has the vision to see a bright future for himself, the Linux community, and the world. “I dream of contributing something good and needful to society,” he says. “And I hope other young developers will join me. We must keep the Linux torch burning by sharing knowledge—and making sure it always stays free.”