James Hazelwood, a former engineer in the manufacturing industry, is going back to school to pursue a new career in Linux and IT. The Somerset, England resident spent 15 years in manufacturing and 5 years in tech support for fire alarm systems. But after being made redundant for the third time, he decided to retrain in system administration and is studying for a computing degree at Plymouth University, Hazelwood says.
Though he knew about Linux before he started school, he'd never used it. Fellow students and lecturers convinced him to try out Ubuntu. He's now running OpenSUSE, CentOS, Ubuntu and Fedora on his desktop and home network/ server lab.
“Linux adoption is exploding. It's a great operating system, not just in the server world, but also on the desktop,” he said. “I really love using it, and after I graduate I would like to get a Linux-based job.”
Because he's still a newbie, he's more focused on learning than contributing to open source projects right now. To get up to speed, he hangs out in a few different forums and studies for the Linux Professional Institute Linux essentials exam, in addition to his university work.
He recently joined the Linux Foundation as an individual member  “to show my support, to be part of the Linux community, and keep up to date on all things Linux,” he said. He loves his new @linux.com email address and is looking forward to taking advantage of the member discounts on hardware from Dell, HP and Lenovo.
Welcome to the Linux Foundation, James!
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