The Shubhra Kar Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) Scholarship Program

Previous Recipients

Aminat Atanda, 25, Nigeria

Blockchain Blockbusters

Aminat is a PhD student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where she studies computer science. She developed a Hyperledger Fabric application that records birth registration in Nigeria with verification from a hospital official, custodian of the child, and a registration official. She hopes further training in blockchain from the Linux Foundation will help her build and deploy this type of application commercially.

Kommireddy Hiranmai Sai Supriya, 19, India

Blockchain Blockbusters

Kommireddy is a computer science student and part of ETHWMN Fellowship of Devfolio, where she is learning about Web 3.0 and working on a basic NFT Minter Project. She is also building a game that utilizes NFTs for additional gaming perks. She previously explored Hyperledger and even helped create a project using it in the American Express Makeathon, but was never fully successful at implementing it. She hopes studying Hyperledger through this scholarship will improve her blockchain skills even further.

Josue Aquino, 25, El Salvador

Cloud Captains

Josue is completing his computer science degree at the University of El Salvador while also interning for a remote sensor company. He has been using Docker and Kubernetes in remote sensing research and helped build cloud native applications to maximize operations. He hopes to share what he learns from this scholarship to encourage more organizations in El Salvador to adopt cloud technologies.

Abdalla Elfateh Abdalla Bukhari, 22, Sudan

Cloud Captains

Abdalla volunteers as a sysadmin for the Sudanese Society of Neurosciences, where he is working to form a computational neuroscience research group. His goal is to utilize applied hybrid cloud to further studies and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases which will support the healthcare system in Sudan. He hopes this scholarship will help him further improve his DevOps and container orchestration skills to accomplish this.

Mukhtar Salim, 21, Kenya

Cybersecurity Champions

Mukhtar helped start the Bsidesmombasa event, an independent, community-driven inclusive information security conference. He helps bring together women and youth in the community to learn about technology and how to safeguard themselves online, including how to avoid becoming spoofed or falling victim to phishing scams. He plans to share what he learns from this scholarship to improve what he is already teaching to the community.

Vicky Sy, 28, Philippines

Cybersecurity Champions

Vicky is a Java developer who recently moved to the DevSecOps role. When she switched to a cybersecurity career, she saw the impact of open source and realized the necessity of gaining Linux expertise, which she hopes this scholarship will help with. She has already designed and implemented secure CI/CD pipelines that ensure that the deployment and maintenance of applications apply the principle of least privilege, hence preventing unauthorized access to pipelines and critical services.

Dmytro Doroshenko, 31, Ukraine

Developer Do-Gooders

Dmytro is a software developer who tries to give back in ways like updating documentation or contributing improvements to open source projects like the .NET Kafka Client. While like many in his country he is currently distracted by the ongoing war, he hopes to be able to use this scholarship to learn more about blockchain with the goal of becoming a Hyperledger developer.

Marsalis Weatherspoon, 33, United States

Developer Do-Gooders

Marsalis is a public school music teacher in Arkansas who has become an open source evangelist since starting to use Linux a few years ago. He leverages Linux and open source software to champion community development in the areas of Black entrepreneurship and social justice work by steering organizations to programs like CiviCRM, LibreOffice Suite, Bitwarden and other open source technologies.

Sarah Ouerghemmi, 27, Germany

Hardware Heroes

Sarah is a PhD student studying wireless sensor networks at the Laboratory of Smart Diagnostics and Online Monitoring of The University of Applied Sciences Leipzig (HTWK). She is working on designing Low Noise Amplifiers that operate in different frequency ranges from simulation to hardware PCB implementation. She hopes this scholarship will help her pursue a career in embedded systems engineering.

Akhilesh Thorat, 27, India

Hardware Heroes

Akhilesh works in the green energy sector, where he is involved in developing low cost energy efficient open source Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. These include the use of open source components such as Arduino based frameworks for use in water and energy management solutions. He hopes this scholarship will help him learn more about how Web 3.0 can help in the decentralization of data for IoT and big data with a focus on creating an open, connected, and intelligent website with improved user experience.

Kalyan Bhetwal, 27, United States

Linux Kernel Gurus

Kalyan is pursuing a masters degree in computer science and working as a graduate research assistant in the field of high performance computing. His research involves the use of low level kernel programming to get optimized performance in machines. This includes developing open source software, called Hydroframe, for hydrologists to simulate water flow models in the continental United States.

Marcelo Schmitt, 30, Brazil

Linux Kernel Gurus

Marcelo is a graduate student in computer science who started working with the Linux kernel community in 2018 by helping refactor staging IIO device drivers so that they could get added to the mainline tree. He conducts research into Linux kernel device driver testing and has helped improve the Kernel Testing Guide documentation page. He hopes this training will help improve his driver work and provide better mentoring to fellow kernel newbies.

Jorge Miguel Campos Pelcastre, 31, Mexico

Networking Notables

Jorge works in the telecommunications field, and helped create a system called NAS (Network Administrator System) with 100% open source technologies. The system supports different applications that configure, manage and operate one of the largest telecommunications networks in Latin America. It was built with microservices and is implemented with containers. He hopes this scholarship will help him learn technologies like Kubernetes to be able to implement it in the system and make it more stable and scalable.

Abderrahmen Errached Tlili, 22, France

Networking Notables

Abderrahmen is a computer science student originally from Algeria. He is interested in learning more about RANs, which led to an internship at EURECOM where we works with OpenAirInterface, a platform to support mobile telecommunication systems like 4G and 5G based on open source. He hopes this scholarship will lead to more exposure to the ONF (Open Networking Foundation), so he can learn more about technologies like Kubernetes, gRPC, SDN, NFV, and protobuf.

Hadiqa Khan, 21, Pakistan

Open Source Newbies

Hadiqa is a computer science student with a passion for cybersecurity. She has been learning technologies like Linux, Node.js, React and others, even configuring her own kernel. She believes that Linux is a must-know technology to be effective in the cybersecurity field, so hopes this scholarship will give her the skills to start learning about and fixing actual bugs to reduce vulnerabilities.

Alexandra Shagzhina, 41, Hong Kong

Open Source Newbies

Alexandra recently relocated from Russia to Hong Kong. She is hoping to transition from a career in recruitment to technology. She has already worked on a project at the Wikimedia Foundation, where she received a practical introduction to open source and the principles and tools of collaborative development. She hopes the training she receives from this scholarship will help her transition into a job in technology project management.

Maraiza Adami, 33, Brazil

SysAdmin Super Stars

Maraiza works with a feminist hackerspace called marialab, which serves several civil society organizations in Brazil. Some of the system administration tasks she engages in for marialab include Shell commands and text editors, as well as managing packages, processes, networks, users, NTP servers, and logs. She hopes the knowledge gained from this scholarship will help her break down more barriers to increase the representation of women in the Brazilian technology industry.

Patience Cheptoo, 29, Kenya

SysAdmin Superstars

Patience holds a computer science degree and hopes to move into a sysadmin role from her current IT assistant position. She has used Linux and even managed to diagnose and troubleshoot the system with the help of internet forums. She hopes the training from this scholarship will help her to advance her sysadmin skills and be more marketable for a continuing IT career.

Navtej Bhatti, 13, United States

Teens in Training

Navtej is an 8th grader with big dreams of becoming an embedded developer, and is already off to a great start, having created a project that that allows you to boot Linux on the Depthcharge Coreboot payload used on Chromebooks ( Navtej hopes to learn more about the Linux kernel, specifically the embedded stack, through this scholarship.

Nikita Shrivastava, 18, India

Teens in Training

Nikita has just begun studying computer science at university and is especially interested in artificial intelligence, deep learning, and machine learning. She is contributing to a natural language processing project with a professor, and also is actively involved in the GirlScript Summer of Code bootcamps. She hopes this scholarship will teach her more about Linux and git so she is able to contribute more to projects in the future.

Ali Amer, 22, Iraq

Web Development Wiz

Ali was studying information technology at a university in Russia but was forced to return home due to the current geopolitical situation. He has previously learned Java, and also completed an edX software development course but is now focused on website development, including front-end development such as HTML, JavaScript, and React, as well as diving into the backend with Node.js and MongoDB. His hope is that by pursuing the OpenJS Node.js Application Developer (JSNAD) through this scholarship he will be able to become a professional full-stack developer.

Orim Dominic, 27, Nigeria

Web Development Wiz

Orim studied biochemistry in university but has since decided to pursue a career in web development. He has studied general programming and Node.js and even built @PickAtRandom, a Twitter bot that automates random winners for giveaways, which he has open sourced. He has been frustrated by documentation that is sometimes lacking, so hopes to use the knowledge gained through this scholarship to give back to the community by contributing new documentation and updating existing ones.

Ruth Charlotte, 22, Kenya

Women in Open Source

Ruth is at university studying telecommunications and information engineering, and also works on a community development project for school-age girls in remote areas of Kenya to reduce the spike in unwanted pregnancies by increasing awareness and providing skills training. She hopes to disseminate the knowledge she gains from this scholarship to these girls starting at a foundational level, and gradually building their abilities in Linux as a community.

Ernitia Paramasari, 41, Indonesia

Women in Open Source

Ernitia has a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering and a master’s degree in sustainable energy systems. After years working in environmental science and a break to care for family, she recently began working as an entry-level data scientist. She spends her free time working with organizations like Women Who Code, Women in Tech, and AI Wonder Girls. She hopes to use the knowledge gained from this scholarship to find solutions to climate change and environmental issues through data science, while also continuing to share with other women.

Saba Kifle (34, USA)
Blockchain Blockbusters

Saba is a UN Delegate for the UN Blockchain Commission for Sustainable Development and a part of the Women of Color in Blockchain Congressional Caucus. She is one of the few queer black woman working in the space and is very passionate about inspiring others in her community to get involved in blockchain. With this training, Saba – who speaks four languages – hopes to be better able to reach those who are more technically trained and may be interested in learning more about blockchain.

Santiago Figueroa-Lorenzo (33, Spain)
Blockchain Blockbusters

Santiago is a blockchain researcher at the University of Navarra who has run into difficulties performing efficient and immediate deployments of blockchain networks so that the proofs of concept to be performed are more immediate. He has accumulated experience working with technologies such as NodeJS, Web3JS, ReactJS, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy, and Hyperledger Besu. Santiago hopes that obtaining a Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator (CHFA) certification will reduce the learning curve, allowing him to focus on the research itself.

Badisa Mosesane (29, Botswana)
Cloud Captains

Badisa is a student at the University of Botswana where he studies computer science. He has been working with engineers developing automatic software deployments on High Performance Computing Linux clusters as an intern at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in the USA, where he developed a platform for visualizing cluster performance metrics, built a cloud-based user support cognitive chatbot, and supports advanced cyberinfrastructure operations of this major supercomputing center.

Andrija Sagic (44, Serbia)
Cloud Captains

Andrija is a cultural heritage digitization professional who heads the Digital Development Department for the Milutin Bojic Library, where he is trying to find a sustainable solution for the need for small cultural institutions to present their digital content, namely storage and web access. He hopes the training he receives from this scholarship will help him to achieve that goal.

Danson Muia (25, Kenya)
Developer Do-Gooders

Danson works to develop software tools that solve problems at a local level using open source solutions. One recent project he created is an online property management system for small landlords in Kenya. He has open sourced much of his code on GitHub, and hopes the knowledge he gains from this scholarship will enable him to create and share even better tools to benefit his community.

Pablo Velasquez (32, Colombia)
Developer Do-Gooders

Pablo is a part of an organization in Medellin called Global Shapers, which strives to increase digital literacy and inclusion in the region. Projects he has worked on include an online system for arranging food donations and distribution to those in need, and setting up a local network to provide internet access to children. He plans to use the scholarship to study Node.js and use the open source technology to help even more people in his community.

Vandana Salve (47, India)
Linux Kernel Gurus

Vandana has years of experience working with the Linux kernel. From building Linux embedded systems for board support packages to developing device drivers and working on kernel security, she has contributed significantly to the community. She hopes to use this training to gain additional skills that will enable her to contribute even more to open source.

Alaa Emad Hossney (31, Egypt)
Linux Kernel Gurus

Alaa, who has a degree in embedded system engineering, participated in a Linux kernel mentorship in the spring of 2021, where she worked on fixing bugs in the kernel. She also was an Outreachy intern at Mozilla, where she worked on adding features on Firefox. She plans to use the knowledge she gains from this scholarship to pursue a career as a kernel developer, with a focus on embedded systems.

Nathalia Nascimento (28, Brazil)
Networking Notables

Nathalia has been working with Linux servers since 2009. After finishing university with a degree in computer engineering, she wanted to deepen her knowledge about computer networks but found the high level of vendor lock-in frustrating. She began learning about Software Defined Networking (SDN) and for the past five years has been working to implement it. Nathalia hopes to gain more knowledge about SDN and open networking generally from this training, in order to implement fully open source network infrastructures.

Ashish Kashinath (30, USA)
Networking Notables

Ashish is a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he works on SDN solutions for safety-critical networks. His work focuses on predictability in terms of latency and bandwidth guarantees for such networks, and has developed SDN applications using open networking tools like OpenFlow and OpenvSwitch. Ashish is excited to use this scholarship to learn more about Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and apply that knowledge to his research.

Zivile Silveira (37, Brazil)
Open Source Newbie

Zivile studied economics in school and has been a homemaker in recent years, but wants to transition careers with the goal of becoming a data engineer. She is fairly new to Linux and software development generally, but enjoyed learning about the command line and various applications of Linux in The Linux Foundation’s free Introduction to Linux course. Zivile hopes the knowledge she gains studying system administration with this scholarship will help her advance toward her career goals.

Tan Shaella Suhendro (25, Indonesia)
Open Source Newbie

Shaella studied interior design at university, but has since become interested in STEM. Interior design and architecture software tools are typically proprietary, so she wanted to learn more about open source alternatives. She has been independently studying open source tools and programming languages including C, Python and R. One of the things Shaella did to learn more about open source is complete The Linux Foundation’s free Introduction to Linux course, where she enjoyed learning about the command line and tricks to use Linux more efficiently. She sees the training provided by this scholarship as the next step in her journey to learning more about technology.

Juan Luis Porras Loria (31, Italy)
SysAdmin Super Star

Juan Luis is pursuing a masters degree in geophysics at the University of Pisa, where he has installed geophysical processing software on Linux environments. Originally from Costa Rica, he worked as a research assistant at the seismological observatory where he helped maintain and secure Linux servers, and deployed virtual machines to perform specific tasks and ensure connections between end-users and the Linux servers. Juan Luis would like to use this training to become a system administrator who helps the geosciences field to implement more open source software.

Zafer Balkan (33, Turkey)
SysAdmin Super Star

Zafer is a graduate of the Turkish Military Academy and currently serves with the NATO Deployable Corps while pursuing a cybersecurity degree at Tallinn University. He has also worked in developer, security and sysadmin roles for both the Turkish military and NATO. Zafer hopes to use the knowledge gained from this scholarship to encourage the use of more open source tools in defense to reduce vendor lock-in and improve security.

Monil Vadodariya (16, India)
Teens in Training

Monil is a straight-A student in high school who appreciates how important open source tools are for advancing new technologies like AI, machine learning, and blockchain. In his spare time he volunteers to teach younger kids about technology. Monil has participated in a number of hackathons, and helped develop software tools for his school including a proctored quiz system.

Mateo León (17, Chile)
Teens in Training

Mateo is a senior in high school who wants to study software engineering. He has taught himself about a number of technologies including programming languages like Java, Python, and C++, and developed his own cryptocurrency forked from Bitcoin. He has contributed to open source cryptocurrency projects by serving as an English-Spanish translator. Mateo hopes to use the knowledge gained from this scholarship to be a more effective developer.

Olufemi Benjamin Anjorin (21, Nigeria)
Web Development Wiz

Olufemi is a physics student at the University of Lagos who works part time as a software engineer. He uses open source technologies daily for projects such as building an open source interactive voice response system for crowdsourcing real time reports during natural disasters and other crises in Nigeria. Olufemi hopes this scholarship will build his technical skills to grow as a software engineer, and help him develop innovative software and systems solutions to solve problems within his community.

George Gognadze (26, Georgia)
Web Development Wiz

George is pursuing a masters degree in computer science who is passionate about open source. He built the first web application in Georgia to report bullying, and has been involved in numerous local technology events. He hopes to be able to share the knowledge he gains from this scholarship with others in his community, and begin contributing back to the broader open source community.

Fakhar un Nisa (29, Pakistan)
Women in Open Source

Fakhar is a trained veterinarian who is pursuing a PhD with a focus in cattle genomics. She is using Linux for analysis and interpretation of data around genotyping of different cattle breeds. Although she has little experience with Linux, Fakhar hopes that the training from this scholarship will make her more effective in her research, and believes strongly that the future of her field will be led by bioinformatics.

Dalal Mouani (22, Morocco)
Women in Open Source

Dalal, who speaks five languages, is currently pursuing a masters degree in data science. She eventually hopes to achieve a PhD in intelligent systems and to build intelligent applications. She has already built an OCR program for her university, and a web application for emotion detection. Dalal hopes this scholarship will give her skills she can use to improve her application development goals.

View all 2021 Recipients

Developer Do-Gooders


Mercy Tum (Kenya, 27)

Mercy is fairly new to software development, and is working to gain the skills needed to develop a website about women’s reproductive health in Kenya. Holding a degree in telecommunications engineering, Mercy has participated in programs organized by Google, Facebook and others to learn to code. She also recently began learning about cybersecurity through an internship and fell in love with it, so plans to pursue both coding and cybersecurity as a profession.

Aroma Rodrigues (India, 24)

Aroma first started using open source as an undergraduate at the National Institute of Technology, Warangal, where she participated in a hackathon and helped develop “shoes for the visually impaired” which can sense obstructions. She has also worked on an open source project to extract summaries from terms and conditions in accordance with the GDPR regulations to drive privacy, security and financial literacy, and another that involved detecting propaganda from fake news. She has presented both these projects at PyCon and continues to refine them and other open source projects including using natural language processing to detect gender biases in educational texts. She hopes this scholarship will help her further leverage open source solutions for these and future projects.

Blockchain Blockbusters

Mohit Pant (Cypres, 28)

Mohit is working to use blockchain technology to help farmers and small scale vendors in developing countries reduce their reliance on intermediaries to carry out transactions. His solution will also enable end customers to track products back to their original source via a distributed ledger. He plans to use his scholarship to study Hyperledger Fabric, which will assist in this effort.

Erick Poppe (Bolivia, 43)

Erick is a research engineer for the Bolivian government, specializing in distributed ledger technology. He has implemented blockchain technology, including Hyperledger Fabric, to fight corruption and preserve the integrity of digital documents. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been involved in using decentralized identity to help Bolivian citizens avoid appearing in person for certain required activities. He hopes to use the knowledge gained from this scholarship to continue improving Bolivians’ lives.

Cloud Captains

Tatenda Magondo (South Africa, 23)

Tatenda was not able to attend college due to financial constraints, but he persevered and taught himself enough to obtain certifications from Oracle, Cisco and Microsoft. Last year he was awarded a Google Africa Certification Scholarship, which introduced him to cloud technologies. That’s when he realized how essential Linux skills are for cloud professionals. He has since become interested in containers and Kubernetes, as well as DevOps tools including Ansible, Jenkins and Terraform. He hopes improving his cloud skills with this scholarship will help him launch a career in DevOps.

Sergey Madaminov (USA, 33)

Sergey is a PhD candidate in computer science at Stony Brook University, where he conducts research into the intersection of computational biology and cloud computing using technologies as Google Protobuffers, ZeroMQ, and Ansible. He sought a LiFT scholarship in hopes of improving his cloud computing skills in order to make this work more efficient, and the resulting solutions more reliable and faster for computational biologists.

Linux Kernel Gurus

Madhuparna Bhowmik (India, 20)

Madhuparna is a student at the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, where she has contributed to the RCU subsystem as a part of a Linux kernel mentorship program. She is also working on fixing race-condition related bugs in Linux kernel modules reported by the Linux driver verification project. She hopes formal training in Linux kernel internals will provide her with more knowledge about the entire kernel as a whole so she can become a Linux kernel developer in future.

Mamta Shukla (Switzerland, 23)

Mamta successfully completed an Outreachy internship, working with the Linux kernel community on the Linux GPU subsystem. She first contributed to the kernel under the staging tree and eventually added features in the Virtual Kernel Mode Setting driver in the Linux GPU Subsystem. She has also upstreamed test cases in the Intel GPU Tools (IGT) test suite which provides test coverage to graphics drivers, and was able to present this work at Open Source Summit 2019. She expects this scholarship to help her improve her skills so she can be a more active and effective contributor to the kernel.

Networking Notables

Shahzad Ahmed (Russia, 31)

Shahzad is pursuing a Masters of Information Security and conducting research on protocols for the Internet of Vehicles for his thesis, hoping to find a fast and secure communication protocol for IoV. He has completed two internships one for an IT security company where he had the opportunity to work with CISCO and Checkpoint networking devices, like switches, LANs, VLANs, servers, endpoint security, and more. He has also conducted experiments on IoT devices by using Raspberry Pi, and Metasploit. He hopes formal networking training through this scholarship will help him learn about advanced level protection to the IoT and other networking devices.

Ammad Ud Din (Pakistan, 31)

Ammad works as network administrator for the Pakistani government, managing multiple data centers, where he helped to virtualize compute functions. He intends to shift their network from a legacy vendor-based physical network to a virtual and open network platform. He hopes this scholarship will help him and the entire department to make an informed decision about how to proceed with their digital transformation.

Open Source Newbies

Gareth Walpole (Australia, 36)

Gareth is a professional chef who lost his job due to the COVID-19 crisis and decided it was time for a change. He previously completed the free Intro to Linux course on edX, and since the crisis has been retrofitting old computers and installing Linux on them. He hopes to eventually develop open food service automation technologies, combining his two passions, and helping smaller food service operators to compete with the major players.

Isabel Wang (USA, 23)

Isabel is a recent college graduate who learned some basic Linux commands as part of her coursework, and took it to the next level by completing the free Intro to Linux course from edX. She has created an open-source flood prediction project in Python which ingests and consolidates data from different sources of weather and flood data and implements several candidate models to predict flood occurrences and severity in a flood-prone historic trade route in the Midwest, allowing for comparison of their respective performances. She is passionate about improving public education and hopes to work on open source software that can help provide open educational resources to facilitate and increase access to all those who want to learn but would have less opportunity to do so through conventional means.

SysAdmin Super Star

Phillip Peter (Zimbabwe, 39)

Phillip has been using Linux at the University of Zimbabwe for more than 5 years for all of their IT network services. He also uses Linux to manage bandwidth at the University using Squid Proxy and SquidGuard Servers to filter content and restrict access to bandwidth intensive websites. He has done all this and more without any formal Linux training or certification. He hopes this scholarship will catapult his capabilities further.

Baboucarr Ceesay (Gambia, 27)

Baboucarr works as a system administrator at the Gambia Ministry of Health. He started using Linux in 2015, and since then has used it to solve many problems, both in his community and at the Ministry of Health. He has deployed and administers servers for the Ministry of Health to host open sources data collection tools and databases for electronic medical records, human resources records and health information systems. He expects this training scholarship to help develop his Linux skills in a formal way that will positively impact his work and community.

Teens in Training

Victor Rodriguez Montesdeoca (Spain, 17)

Victor has been training himself to become a cybersecurity expert for three years. He strongly believes there is a lack of privacy tooling and open source is the best way to address this. “First of all, I want to say that I usually use Kali Linux while resolving CTF’s. He has been involved in the Girls 4 Privacy project by Interferencias and financed by Kaspersky Lab, where he is helping to develop a tool called “Keep It Safe: Save your accounts” with his classmates. The project, which is being developed under an open source license, consists of a plug-in that will be able to sign out of accounts that the user has left open. He hopes this scholarship will help him become more active in the open source community.

Anna Smirdina (Russia, 17)

Anna started programming a year ago and quickly began using Ubuntu as her primary operating system, as well as starting to use Git. This year she took part in Google Code-Inj, working on tasks provided by Systers, an community. As a relative beginner, she relies on open source solutions to build out pet projects. Anna firmly believes the rapid pace of technological progress in recent times is thanks to the increase in the number of new open source solutions available, and wants to use this training to encourage more use of open source and collaborative development in Russia.

Web Development Wiz

James Arewa (Nigeria, 33)

James has degrees in chemistry, but learned about web and application development thanks to the WAAW Foundation. He now trains local teens in his community in basic web development and leadership, and mentors them on how to develop themselves and their communities. He also continues to volunteer with WAAW, and plans to use the knowledge gained from this scholarship to continue mentoring young people in the community.

Aditya Sharma (India, 19)

Aditya is a Linux and web enthusiast who loves contributing to and making open source web based projects. He has used open web development technologies like React, Node.js, Redux, Webpack and Mocha to make products that support entrepreneurs to keep track of their employees and organize ideas. This project has been selected in various open source programs like GirlScript Summer of Code and IIT Kharagpur, enabling him to mentor 300+ students to kickstart their journey in open source. He feels further training in web development from this scholarship will motivate him to research emerging topics like web enhancement and optimization to evolve the entire web.

Women in Open Source

Chantelle Dubois (Canada, 30)

Chantelle is a recently graduated computer engineer working in an industry that tends to stick to legacy software and hardware. She has experience with the open source framework Robotic Operating System, which she has used to write packages from scratch to manage sensors such as cameras. She feels that having more familiarity, training, and expertise in open source tools will enable her to excel and stand out as an on-site expert, ease the adoption of more open source tools, and help her stand out as a woman in the industry.

Natasha M. (Russia, 21)

Natasha has been using Linux since high school, where she participated three times in Google Code-In, working on a Wikimedia Foundation project in Python. She has made several contributions while also taking Coursera courses on Python to enhance her skills. She also runs a project-based learning program for 60 first-year students at her university. Natasha hopes this scholarship will help her land a job related to kernel development, and also to serve as an example of a woman in open source by continuing to mentor students, especially young women.

Blockchain Blockbusters

Trevor Sibanda, 21, Zimbabwe

Trevor is an employee at Golix, one of Africa’s leading active cryptocurrency exchanges, who enjoys contributing to open source projects. He plans to use his scholarship to enhance his skills and understanding of blockchain. In doing this, Trevor hopes to have a positive influence on Africa’s vision for blockchain and would like to contribute to a mainstream blockchain project in the near future.

Udah Vaghvani, 23, India

Udah is using blockchain technology to remove third-party verification authorities. In doing this, Udah wants to make multi-source verifications available under one network so all data is verified by the users — eliminating the need for further authentication. He has already created a skeleton of the application that will be used in this process, and with the LiFT scholarship Udah wants to advance his skill sets and move forward with completing this process.

Developer Do-Gooders

Rachael Nelson, 37, United States

Rachael graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from Texas Tech University.  She has a love for sharing, freedom and technology. While her goal was to major in computer science or electrical engineering, Rachael decided to take on a less demanding major so she could stay home and take care of her sick mother. Over the course of her career, Rachael has worked her way up from QA to network analyst. With this scholarship, Rachael wants to leverage open source technologies to help people in her community making it more affordable and adding protection to their freedoms and interests.

Oscar Villamizar, 38, Venezuela

Oscar is a student studying systems engineering at PSM Santiago Mariño. He has taken courses covering object-oriented programming, Domino, C/C++, Java and PHP. Oscar has developed a small application with the purpose of facilitating the calculation of poultry farm expenses. With this scholarship, Oscar plans to stay in Venezuela to develop technologies that can reach those who need it to encourage equity and accessibility.

Linux Kernel Gurus

Anna-Lena Marx, 23, Germany

Anna-Lena is a student working for a German company developing kernel drivers and fixing bugs in the Linux kernel and Android internal system. Her ultimate goal is to become a contributor to the mainline kernel and hopes to do so with the next few years.

Eric Curtin, 28, Ireland

To date, Eric has contributed to the Linux kernel twice and has particular interests in IPsec and Wiregaurd. Currently, he writes user space code. While he has been involved in several open source projects, Eric is specifically interested in kernel space code and getting more Irish contributors into the kernel community.

Open Source Newbies

Andrii Skrypchenko, 31, Ukraine

Andrii is a graduate of Kyiv Politechnical Institute with a background in applied system analysis. He has no prior experience developing software, but has a strong desire to work with industries adopting open source globally.

Pujan Mehta, 20, India

Pujan is a student pursuing a full-time Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering with interests in Competitive Coding, Open Source Development and Computer Vision. He was selected as an Open Source Software Developer at DJ Unicode where he develops applications to ease the life of students. Pujan was responsible for developing the back-end of their application. Upon completion of his LiFT training and certification, Pujan aims to train other individuals interested in open source and motivate them to pursue advanced training. Additionally, he plans to complete an internship in security and will use the stipend he receives to cover the costs for the training and certifications of other people interested in open source training.

Mohammad Hizz, 27, Jordan

Mohammad is an electrical engineer and Syrian refugee in Jordan currently taking online courses to receive his master’s degree. He has faced discrimination when seeking an education, but did not let that deter him from obtaining one. Mohammad has had experience with Fedora, Debian, Kali and more. Through completing his training and certification, Mohammad hopes to potentially gain employment working with Linux at the center of an IT enterprise.

Amith P, 18, India

Amith is a student in India working toward his bachelor’s of engineering with a focus on electronics and communication. He appreciates complementary open source softwares as opposed to more costly softwares. Amith plans to become a contributor to open source through utilizing the training and certification provided by the LiFT scholarship.

Ariel Isidro, 53, Philippines

Ariel teaches introductory operating systems and systems administration courses to computer engineering students. He wants to use this scholarship to further his knowledge about open source so he can provide valuable lessons to his students. In doing this, he is hoping more of his students will pursue open source systems as a career path.

Shumon Chattopadhyay, 28, United States

Shumon has a Bachelors of Science and a Master’s of Science in chemical engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He began taking introductory computer science classes once he developed an interest in programming. Shumon wants to use the LiFT scholarship to become a system administrator and developer, providing him with the foundation to gain exposure in open source software development.

Izabela Bakollari, 24, Albania

Izabela is a web designer with a desire to become a system administrator. She has a degree in information and communication technology with a focus on algorithms, computer architecture and object oriented programming from the University of Tirana. She also taught herself how to install technologies like Nextcloud, Collabora and Gitlab on her computer. Ultimately, Izabela aims to learn more about Linux distributions and have more local meetings to exchange knowledge with the open source community.

Khamidulla Ziyoe, 24, United States

Khamidulla recently moved to the United States and has begun studying Linux administration courses. Khamidulla plans to use his law degree and Linux education to generate startup projects that combine IT and law.

Thaigarajan Retanam, 33, Malayasia

Thaigarajan began his pursuit as an IT professional while in high school. Upon graduating, he went on to receive his Bachelor’s degree in software engineering. He recognizes the flexibility of open source software and feels there is no limit to what one can do with it. Thaigarajan will use the LiFT training course and certification to immerse himself in the Linux environment. He feels learning about Linux is the best way to progress in his career and resources similar to the LiFT scholarships are not readily available in his workplace.

Jumanne L. Adam, 30, Tanzania

Jumanne graduated from the University of Dodoma with a degree in computer engineering. He also studied Linux administration. Jumanne believes the digitization of transactions will become more prevalent over time due to globalization. Having access to learning more about Linux and becoming certified through the scholarship opportunity will put him in a position to create more software to sustain the global switch.

Sindi Issaka, 22, Niger

Sindi is a programmer analyst with a passion for open source. By completing the LiFT training and certification, Sindi wants to follow in the developmental footsteps of Linus Torvalds and dreams of creating new opportunities to technologically advance Africa.

Sweety Shukla, 19, India

Sweety is a computer science major at NIT Rourkela with a strong interest in open source. As a developer, Sweety has used a number of open source softwares including Linux, Python, ThingSpeak and more. She is a firm believer in utilizing open source as a means to work together with other developers from diverse backgrounds and facilitating a sense of community with one another. She is currently doing projects related to IoT and cloud computing and wants to eventually begin contributing to the expanding open source community.

Karthik Ramakrishnan, 18, India

Karthik is a freshman at the Manipal Institute of Technology in India pursuing a degree in electronics and communication engineering. He has always shown an interest in technology and began using Linux as his primary operating system after he completed LFS101 on edx. Following completion of his LiFT training and certification, Karthik wants to continue exploring open source and exchanging knowledge with others within the open source community.

Fabian Manuel Pichardo, 24, Mexico

Fabian has Bachelor’s Degree in Mechatronics, and has worked with multiple hardware platforms such as Nvidia, Xilinx, Microchip, National Instruments. He is skillful with languages such as C++, Python, Matlab and Julia, and created the Mechatronic Student Society to offer programming training for newbies and demonstrate new technology trends.

Adedayo Bello, 28, Nigeria

Adedayo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and while a beginner in open source, he believes it is the future and will be very beneficial for problem solving and creating new innovations. He looks forward to learning more about both graphical interfaces and the command line.


Jotham Chikuwe, 18, Zimbabwe

Jotham is a young boy from Zimbabwe who taught himself the basic terms of programming through the use of open source software such as Linux Operating System, PHP scripting language and Python programming language. He believes learning open source is vital to tap into the minds of the world’s best developers and plans to use this scholarship as a stepping stone to become one of the best developers.

Lauren Li, 17, United States

Lauren is a senior in high school with an extensive STEM background. She has used open source software in a multitude of biology projects. Additionally, she has researched viruses using SWISS-MODEL and Clustal Omega, applied SCHEMA for chimera library design, and developed her own open source software to predict protein disruptions. Lauren wants to use this scholarship to learn Linux without the financial burden. Ultimately, Lauren aspires to make contributions to cure and prevent human illnesses through science, technology and music.

Cloud Captains

Monica Limachi, 34, Bolivia

Monica is a freelance software engineer in Bolivia with three years of experience working in Linux. She feels it is important to democratize technology, but one must first learn about the technology first. With this scholarship, Monica wants to become a cloud specialist and plans to volunteer as a teacher exposing others to open source.

Paul Wechuli, 25, Kenya

Paul works at a research institute in Kenya developing end-to-end IoT systems. He has a degree in Telecommunications Engineering, but due to his interests shifting toward software development, he taught himself about web application development and cloud administration. He has had substantial exposure to open source software including, but not limited to, Node, Docker, Kubernetes and React. Paul plans to use his training and certification to aid in his goal of developing applications that will benefit people and businesses.

Networking Notables

Feruzjon Muyassarov, 24, Finland

Feruzjon graduated from Tashkent University of Information Technology. He is currently in his second year of school attaining a master’s degree in sustainable technologies from the University de Lorraine and LUT. He continuously searches for courses that are dedicated to teaching SDN, OpenStack, virtualization technologies, networking and programming. Feruzjon believes the open source community is one of the best environments where all the experts can come together and share experience, discuss issues, help with deploying major and minor technologies as well as developing and advancing existing ones.

Maloto Nyirenda, 37, Malawi

Maloto is a network manager for Malawi Telecommunications Limited. He has a solid foundation in Linux systems through obtaining a certificate in Linux Administration, but believes he needs to further his training in order to sharpen his capabilities within his career field. With this scholarship, Maloto plans to explore new Linux technologies and deploy them so users in Malawi can enjoy the maximum amount of services offered.

SysAdmin Super Star

Onyeibo Oku, 43, Nigeria

Onyeibo manages an e-laboratory in the Department of Architecture at Enugu State University of Science and Technology in Nigeria. He feels that open source training and certification will make his inputs more convincing to his peers and to their ICT Department. Additionally, Onyeibo feels further training will make it easier to convince the institution to consider open source tools for administrative and public relations tasks. He wants to expose open source to other Nigerians who may not have access due to poor infrastructure and economy and believes this scholarship will help him do so.

Deepak Neupane, 36, Nepal

Deepak wants to use to use this scholarship as a means to provide easier access to medical care in the rural areas of Nepal. Initially beginning his career as a Microsoft system engineer, Deepak shifted his focus to open source five years ago and now feels acquiring training and certification in open source will make him an asset to his organization, rural area and his personal career.

Women in Open Source

Rae Becerra, 36, United Stated

Rae is the Senior Network Engineer at the Museum of Science in Boston. She has utilized open source to support public education and nonprofits. She believes that having the flexibility to implement a solution without an excess financial burden is critical in keeping organizations up-to-date and operational, especially in education, when funding is not always available.

Xheni Myrtaj, 24, Albania

Xheni has a Bachelor’s degree in business information and a MS in information security. She has used open source software for years and just began developing last year while contributing to Nextcloud. Xheni wants to use this scholarship to jump start her training for a career in security and desires to bring more women into utilizing open source.

Jona Azizaj, 24, Albania

Jona is in her final year studying Business Informatics at the University of Tirana. She’s been involved in open source for four years now, initially starting by contributing to Fedora, and is now involved with LibreOffice, Mozilla, Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap, Nextcloud and more. She also participates in the Open Labs Hackerspace in Albania, which has evolved to have 70% women participants. She hopes to get even more women involved in the open source community.

Marie Drottar, 62, United States

Marie is a Clinical Research Specialist in the neonatal neuroimaging department at Boston Children’s Hospital where she does neuroimaging data analysis. She believes improving her skills in large batch processing of imaging data using Linux scripting will enhance training of new research assistants, postdoctoral employees, and medical students, the large majority of whom are women. She hopes to use open source to enable us to analyze larger and larger volumes of data and to make predictive models for health care and early intervention studies with infants and children.

Academic Aces

Asirifi Charles, 22, Ghana

Asirifi is in his final year studying computer science at the University of Ghana. He has taught himself about web development through free online resources, and recently became interested in open source, completing the free Intro to Linux course on edX. He hopes this scholarship will help expand his open source expertise so he can share it with others in Ghana, where it is difficult to access IT education.

Camilo Andres Cortes Hernandez, 31, Colombia

Camilo studies technology at EAN University in Colombia, where he also runs a nonprofit that teaches individuals about cloud computing. His main focus currently is on Azure, and he hopes this scholarship will help him to obtain the MCSA: Linux on Azure certification from The Linux Foundation and Microsoft.

Developer Do Gooder

Badri Basnet, 65, Australia

Badri uses Ubuntu along with an open source Geographic Information Systems software, QGIS, and open source learning management system Moodle to develop hands-on GIS learning resources and teach GIS skills to undergraduates at the University of Southern Queensland, in addition to volunteering to educate others about GIS. He hopes this scholarship will provide skills to improve software based hands-on GIS learning resources.

Pedro Guarderas, 33, Ecuador

Pedro started with open source by creating a plugin for QuantumGIS with Qt and C++. Since then, his interest in open source development increased, and he has gained experience with Debian, C++, R, Python, Fortran, SQL, git and several scientific libraries. He wants to learn more about Linux, in particular distributed or parallel programming.

Linux Kernel Guru

Bhumika Goyal, 22, India

Bhumika has had over 340 patches accepted into the Linux kernel. She served as an Outreachy intern earlier this year, focused on the Linux kernel, where she worked on securing the kernel from surface attacks by making the kernel structures read-only. Since her internship, she has continued this work with the support of The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative. Her goal is to become a full time kernel engineer after completing this current project.

Mohammed Al-Samman, 25, Egypt

Mohammed has spent the last year working on the Linux kernel, doing analysis, debugging and compiling. He has also built an open source Linux firewall, and a kernel module to monitor power supply electrical current status (AC/DC) by using linux kernel notifier. He hopes to become a full time kernel developer, and expand the kernel community in Egypt.

Linux Newbies

Alexander Anderson, 28, United Kingdom

Alexander starting coding in PHP at 14 years old, and currently runs Debian as his primary operating system. He hopes this scholarship will help him establish a career in open source so he can better care for his wife, who suffers from disability.

Fatma Aymaz, 28, Turkey

Fatma was raised in a region where most people believed women should not receive an education. She fought for the ability to attend school, and eventually received a university degree in international relations. She hopes to take this opportunity to make a move and establish a career in open source computer science.

Jules Bashizi Irenge, 36, United Kingdom

Jules is an asylum seeker from Congo, who has earned a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Liverpool. He is a long time Linux user, completing his undergraduate project on CentOS 6. He hopes to go onto a Ph.D program in computer science, and use Linux for future research projects.

Cruzita Thalia Cabunoc, 21, Phillippines

Cruzita is currently studying computer science at the Technological Institute of the Philippines-Quezon City. She found shell scripting intriguing while taking Intro to Linux, and now has the goal of becoming a Linux systems administrator after she completes her studies.

Dimitris Grendas, 27, Greece

Dimitris has studied informatics and cybersecurity at two different universities, and hopes to eventually earn a Masters in cybersecurity. He is preparing to start an internship where he will compile a custom Linux system based on Systemd from source code instead of using pre-compiled binary packages.

Valentin Ilco, 25, Moldova

Valentin works at the Center of Space Technologies of Technical University of Moldova, where he has helped with development of the first Moldovan satellite, which utilized open source software. He hopes to use even more open source in his future projects.

Andreea Ilie, 28, Romania

Andreea studied Japanese and East Asian culture during her university years, but had a strong interest in IT. She taught herself using free online resources in her free time, and eventually managed to secure an IT job despite her lack of formal training and experience. She has a few Python projects hosted on GitHub, and hopes this scholarship provides her with a stronger knowledge of Linux, and the certification to demonstrate it.

Carlo Martini, 27, Italy

Carlo is currently pursuing a computer science degree at night school. He is active in the Venice Linux Users Group, volunteers to write documentation for the Mozilla Developer Network, and is part of the Amara Translating Team for the GitHub. His day job is working for a government-sponsored program for Italian youth, but hopes this course will help him become a full time open source professional.

Emmanuel Ongogo, 24, Kenya

Emmanuel holds a computer science degree, and is a fan of Ubuntu, using it as his primary operating system since 2013. He’s seen an uptick in the use of open source in Kenya, including using CentOS to run the recent elections, and hopes to encourage it to spread further in the country.

Darius Palmer, 47, United States

Darius is a ward of the state of California, currently living in a halfway house with other formerly incarcerated men. He always had an interest in computers when he was younger, and after completing the free Intro to Linux course, he wants to learn more and eventually become active as a contributor to the Linux community.

Andi Rowley, 25, United States

Andi has a drive to learn more about open source as she wants to live in a world where individuals collaborate to improve technology. Since completing Intro to Linux, she has wanted to become a Linux systems administrator, and hopes this scholarship will help her accomplish that goal.

Sara Santos, 46, Portugal

Sara recently completed a specialized course in managing computer systems and networks, but has been unable to secure a job. She is passionate about open source, and would like to work in systems administration, especially with web servers, so expects this scholarship to help achieve that.

Sokunrotanak Srey, 28, Cambodia

Sokunrotanak didn’t study computers, but decided after school to go into the field anyway. He currently works as an IT technician at non-profit Asian Hope, where he first encountered open source in the form of Ubuntu. He hopes this scholarship will help him improve his skills to better serve Asian Hope and the people it helps.

George Udosen, 42, Nigeria

George originally studied biochemistry, but now has a passion for open source. He would like to learn more and become certified in Linux so he can pursue a career teaching it and encouraging more people to join the open source community.

Glenda Walter, 28, Dominica

Glenda studied building and civil engineering in college, but now wants to become a Linux systems administrator. She has starting running CentOS 7 but knows she needs more training before she can make a big career change into open source.

SysAdmin Super Star

Omar Aaziz, 39, United States

Originally from Iraq, Omar now administers the computer science clusters at New Mexico State University. He manages the Linux firewall to prevent and detect cyber attacks and transfer data safely. He also administers a 180TB supercomputer storage system and perform backups. He is also pursuing a Ph.D and hopes to become a high performance computing engineer, helping to develop the next generation of supercomputers.

Leonardo Silva, 41, Brazil

Leonardo has worked with Linux for 20 years, and recently shifted his career towards cloud development based on Linux and Kubernetes framework. He currently contributes to several open source projects, and plans to begin contributing to Hyperledger soon. He plans to use the scholarship to take the Kubernetes Fundamentals course to provide better service to his clients.


Vinícius Almeida, 15, Brazil

Vinícius is in his first year of high school but is already taking computer science courses at the Federal University of Bahia. He has written several articles on robotics and open source technologies, and is active in his local hackerspace, the Raul Hacker Club. He also volunteers his time to write browser extensions for the GNU Project. Vinícius hopes the knowledge he gains from this scholarship will help him convince more individuals in Brazil to adopt open source.

Sydney Dykstra, 18, United States

Sydney recently graduated high school, and has been contributing to several open source projects, including the game The Secret Chronicles of Dr. M. and Supertux. His goal is to become a Linux systems administrator, and hopes this scholarship will jumpstart that.

More than 850 entries were received in 2015 year across seven categories. The most popular submission category was the SysAdmin Super Star, demonstrating the lucrative career opportunities available in this area to those with proper training and certifications. This category was followed in popularity by Linux Newbies and Whiz Kids. Submissions were received from six continents, and applicants averaged 29 years of age, showing the prevalence of interest in Linux from across generations and geographies. The scholarship award winners were:

Developer Do-Gooder

Luis Camacho Caballero, 42, Peru – Luis has been using Linux since 1998, and appreciates that it is built and maintained by a large number of individuals working together to increase knowledge. He has started a project to preserve endangered South American languages by porting them to computational systems through automatic speech recognition using Linux-based systems. He hopes to have the first language, Quechua, the language of his grandparents, completed by the end of 2017, and then plans to expand to other Amazonian languages.

Kurt Kremitzki, 28, United States – Kurt is in his final year of studying biological and agricultural engineering at Texas A&M. When visiting a Mayan community in the Yucatan this spring to help design irrigation systems, Kurt was inspired to take the project a step further: he realized that a system of Raspberry Pis with cell phone connectivity and open source software could create an automated irrigation system based on weather reports and sensor readings. He is now working with a local university in Mexico to develop such a system, which is just the first step in his dream of using technology to find new ways to meet the world’s growing food needs.

Kernel Guru

Alexander Popov, 28, Russia – Alexander is a Linux kernel developer who has had 14 patches accepted into the mainline kernel to date. With his employer, Positive Technologies, he has helped develop a bare metal hypervisor that they hope to open source soon. Alexander anticipates the training provided by this scholarship will help him to be an even more effective open source contributor in the future.

Ksenija Stanojevic, 29, Serbia – Ksenija first became acquainted with the kernel community after being accepted for an Outreachy internship. She quickly began submitting patches, specifically working on splitting an existing input/output driver to better support a multi-function device. She is looking forward to learning more about device drivers, and eventually writing her own drivers.

Linux Newbies

Yasin Sekabira, 27, Uganda – Yasin is a graduate of the computer science program at Makerere University, where he had a chance to do some work with Linux distributions, but taught himself the basics through the free Intro to Linux course on edX and other online resources. He is in the process of bootstrapping a startup to introduce technology to local children who do not have access to computer science education.

Lorien Smyer, 52, United States – Lorien is a former bookkeeper who decided she wanted to start a new career in computer science. She completed a six-month web development bootcamp, followed by Intro to Linux through edX, where she achieved a 100% grade. She hopes that the additional training provided by this scholarship will increase her chances of finding a job that will allow her to exercise her love of coding.

SysAdmin Superstar

Jacob Neyer, 20, United States (deployed with USAF in Europe) – Jacob is a cyberspace operations technician with the United States Air Force, where he administers Linux servers. He has encouraged his superiors to consider open source when looking to implement new applications, and hopes that receiving more advanced training through the LiFT scholarship will allow him to further develop his recommendations.

Sumilang Plucena, 33, Philippines – Sumilang is a systems analyst at the largest hospital in the Philippines, which runs Linux on all its servers. He is self-taught in open source and has helped deploy applications such as OpenMRS to track medical records. He hopes that with additional training provided by this scholarship, he will be able to make the hospital’s IT systems even more efficient, ultimately improving the care patients receive.


Sarah Burney, 13, United States – Sarah is only in eighth grade at her middle school in Maryland, but has already completed a data science course at Johns Hopkins, as well as several coding programs. She is interested in use of Linux to support data science applications. Sarah believes this scholarship is an investment in her learning that she can return over time through contributions to Linux and open source.

Florian Vamosi, 15, Hungary – Florian is a grammar school student who has been using Linux since age 10. Along with a team from his school, he won the innovation competition in his town of Kaposvár for a modular agricultural automation system that monitors weather conditions and automatically compensates to suit the needs of a given plant using Raspberry Pis. He continues to innovate and is working on a color recognition system to categorize stars in astronomical research.

Academic Aces

Ahmed Alkabary, 23, Canada – Ahmed is a recent graduate of the University of Regina, where he earned degrees in computer science and mathematics. He began using Linux in the second year of his studies and quickly developed such a passion for it that he began extra studies outside of university to advance his skills. Ahmed’s enthusiasm for Linux even led him to develop a free course on Udemy to teach it to others; nearly 50,000 students have enrolled to date. Now that he has finished his studies, Ahmed hopes to secure a job as a Linux system administrator.

Tetevi Placide Ekon, 24, Burkina Faso – Tetevi is a graduate student studying civil engineering at the 2iE Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering in Burkina Faso. Since receiving his bachelor’s degree in water and environmental engineering and moving onto graduate school, he has nurtured a passion for computer science, and especially open source. Tetevi has completed free courses covering Linux, Apache Big Data systems and more, and plans to use this scholarship to pursue more advanced training.

Women in Linux

Shivani Bhardwaj, 22, India – Shivani is a recent computer science graduate who has already had more than 75 patches accepted to the staging driver of the Linux kernel. She completed an Outreachy internship, which impressed upon her the importance of guidance and mentorship as she pursues a career in open source. She hopes to use the knowledge gained from this scholarship to obtain a development job, and eventually to pass that knowledge along to other women who need mentors.

Farlonn Mutasa, 21, South Africa – Farlonn was introduced to Linux by an uncle and immediately became intrigued. She taught herself enough to pass the CompTIA Linux+ certification exam, which opened the door to an internship in South Africa. To pursue the internship, Farlonn left her family in her native Zimbabwe, but since the internship’s completion, she has found it difficult to find ongoing work in the local IT community. Farlonn hopes the training received from this scholarship will give her the skills to secure a stable career in open source.

More than 850 entries were received in 2015 year across seven categories. The most popular submission category was the SysAdmin Super Star, demonstrating the lucrative career opportunities available in this area to those with proper training and certifications. This category was followed in popularity by Linux Newbies and Whiz Kids. Submissions were received from six continents, and applicants averaged 29 years of age, showing the prevalence of interest in Linux from across generations and geographies.

The scholarship award winners were:

Developer Do-Gooder

Yashdeep Saini, 21, India – A graduate of NMIMS University Mumbai, Yashdeep has a particular interest in cybersecurity. He has recently started playing with ELF headers to understand the working of loaders and memory organization needed for Linux. His goal is to become a kernel developer, targeting the possible exploitation vectors and trying to find solutions to fight them.

Toby Jee, 37, Australia – Toby is a software developer at Innovit in Sydney, who currently contributes to Linux development with his own projects on GitHub and Bitbucket. He hopes that formal Linux training will enable him to contribute to Linux documentation, especially around Fedora One – his preferred distribution. He is also passionate about education and would like to teach children about open source by showing them how to use Raspberry Pi’s with Pidora.

Kernel Guru

Kiran Padwal, 27, India – Kiran is a software engineer at Smartplay Technologies in Pune. He has submitted basic patches to stabilize the kernel to check error for memory managed resource APIs to allocate memory, checkpatch warnings and device tree support for i2c devices and was part of da9055 codec device driver development. He hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the kernel through training so he can submit more and higher quality patches.

Vaishali Thakkar, 20, India – Vaishali is a Linux Kernel Intern through Outreachy, whose first contribution to the Linux kernel was running Coccinelle semantic patch over staging directory files. These days she is working on removing module init/exit boilerplate code with standard helper macros and has introduced some new helper macros herself. She hopes to eventually rise to the level of kernel maintainer.

Linux Newbies

Kevin Barry, 32, Ireland – Kevin holds a PhD in music and taught himself programming in his spare time. Inspired by a lecture given by Linux Foundation Fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman, he submitted his first patch for LilyPond. He has since completed the free Intro to Linux course with edX and put that knowledge to use by automating some of his work with shell scripts. He hopes to become a Linux SysAdmin to move his music department to open source.

Junko Ueda, 43, Japan – Junko completed the free Intro to Linux course with edX but also has some experience managing customer databases on Linux. She left the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom and now wants to become certified as a Linux SysAdmin as a way to break back in. She loves that there’s so many things to discover about Linux, that you can never be bored with it.

SysAdmin Superstar

Erich Noriega, 37, Canada – Born in Mexico, Erich recently moved to Canada with his partner. He previously worked on an electronic government initiative in Mexico, using Linux for running load balancers and DNS Roundrobbins. Since moving, he has been working on a prototype for an embedded PI hardware and pressure and temperature sensors for his partner’s family’s maple syrup plantation. He hopes formal training will enable him to build a career in his adopted country.

Enrique Sevillano, 42, United States – Enrique is the IT manager at White River Electric Association, where he has worked on everything from storage to filesystems to virtualization from Microsoft to Linux. He hopes that formal training through this scholarship will enable him to move onto more complex topics, such as penetration testing and cloud solutions.


Eduardo Mayorga Téllez, 17, Nicaragua – Eduardo has been using Linux since he was 9 years old. He is starting an electronic engineering degree at the Nicaraguan National University of Engineering and hopes to use that to become a kernel developer focused on driver development. He has heard the argument that people don’t want to use Linux due to hardware compatibility and plans to be the person to change that.

RJ Murdok, 15, United States – RJ is getting ready to start his freshman year of high school. Despite being legally blind, he’s been learning Linux for three years and submits bug reports in his spare time. He recently built a computer for the first time and plans to install openSUSE on it. His goal is to work with Linux in robotics and perhaps also teach Linux at the university level one day.

Whiz Kids

Anthony Hooper, 23, Jamaica – Anthony originally took the safe route in Jamaica, studying hospitality management at university but his true passion is technology. He taught himself to use the command line and has never looked back. He hopes the knowledge he gains from this scholarship will enable him to get a job as a Linux SysAdmin, and then plans to share that knowledge by teaching Linux to children in his local community.

Kyri’ay Vanderpoel, 22, United States – Kyri’ay works as a helpdesk technician at Systeem Medical while studying computer science at the University of North Texas. His father introduced him to Arch Linux when he was 17, and he’s been learning more about it ever since. His goal is to work in secure development, penetration testing, cloud security, or database designs after graduation and thinks a formal Linux training course will help him achieve that.

Women in Linux

Nancy Iris Quiroga, 33, Argentina – Nancy is a biologist who taught herself Linux to use with statistical analysis, GIS and graphic design. She hopes to design open source applications for analyzing biological data, as most programs currently available are proprietary.

Eva Tanaskoska, 22, Macedonia – Eva is an information security researcher at Zero Science Lab in Skopje, which studying computer science and engineering at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University. She is in the process of forming a CERT team at her university, where she mentors students on using Linux to perform penetration tests, forensic investigations and incident response. Eva hopes to one day focus full time on kernel development and Linux security research.

More than 850 entries were received in 2015 year across seven categories. The most popular submission category was the SysAdmin Super Star, demonstrating the lucrative career opportunities available in this area to those with proper training and certifications. This category was followed in popularity by Linux Newbies and Whiz Kids. Submissions were received from six continents, and applicants averaged 29 years of age, showing the prevalence of interest in Linux from across generations and geographies. The scholarship award winners were:

Sandeep Aryal, Nepal, SysAdmin Super Star

Sandeep is a systems administrator for the Nepalese government and has a baseline level of knowledge so far about Linux. Sandeep hopes to use the knowledge he gains through a Linux Foundation training course to encourage government offices in Nepal to move to open source software.

Eudris Cabrera, Dominican Republic, Developer Do-Gooder

Eudris is a software developer for the Dominican Ministry of Finance and teaches Linux at Open University. Eudris is also creating a small data center in a rural area to increase Internet access to 300 local students. He plans to share the information he learns from a Linux Foundation training course with his students to help open source adoption to expand in the Dominican Republic.

Alyson Calhoun, United States, Women in Linux

Alyson started her IT career as a Windows systems administrator but quickly transitioned to working on Linux. She was recently promoted to Linux engineer at her company and plans to use the knowledge from a Linux Foundation training course to encourage more women to pursue careers in IT.

Christoph Jaeger, Germany, Linux Kernel Guru

Christoph has been using Linux since college and as his knowledge and experience have grown, he has worked towards becoming an active member of the Linux community. He submitted his first patch one year ago, and the thrill of having it accepted has lead to several dozen more patches. He hopes a Linux Foundation training course will help him to contribute at an even higher level.

John Mwenda, Kenya, Whiz Kids

John is a fourth-year Computer Information Systems student at Kenya Methodist University. In his spare time he volunteers to teach Linux to children and has started a project to digitize the Kenyan constitution so it can be accessed easily and freely by everyone. He also runs a small startup offering Linux solutions and services to businesses and hopes by learning more in a Linux Foundation training course he will be able to help advance open source software adoption through his country.

New this year was the introduction of five categories to help solicit submissions from a diverse group of applicants. Nearly 700 submissions were received, and the average age of applicant was 25-years old. The most popular categories were SysAdmin Super Star, Whiz Kid and Developer Do-Gooder. The 2013 winners and their respective categories are:

Andrew Dahl, United States, Linux Kernel Guru

A native of Minnesota, Dahl has already submitted bug fixes to the Linux kernel, including a small bug fix for the XFS_IOC_ZERO_RANGE IOCTL from which lines of code were used during the refactoring and removal of a larger set of wrapper functions in XFS. He will use the Linux training scholarship in his day job as a File System Engineer to work on NFS and XFS in the community. “I think what gets me most excited (about Linux) is the footprint my contributions to the Linux kernel can have,” said Dahl. “The code I contribute will run on millions of computers around the world.”

Sarah Kiden, Uganda, Women in Linux

Kiden has been a Linux user since 2010. She learned Linux on the job when she was assigned a new role with the Systems team of her department and was asked to maintain systems running on Linux. Kiden will use the Linux training scholarship to improve her performance at work and be a role model for other women in her local community and the global Linux and open source communities. “I’m sure many more women will be encouraged to participate in Linux forums and use open soft software if they meet someone else who has been successful in the field,” said Kiden

Abdelghani Ouchabane, Germany, SysAdmin Superstar

Ouchabane has extensive experience in Linux system administration and development and is a Linux Foundation member. He has more than 10 years of experience working on Linux systems at the Center for the Advanced Technology in Algeria, the Technical University of Berlin and today at eZono AG. Ouchabane says the Linux training scholarship will take his skills to an even more advanced level. “I believe that Linux training (from The Linux Foundation) will let me learn from the right experts, so I will get the latest techniques and knowledge in Linux,” said Ouchabane.

Nam Pho, United States, Developer Do-Gooder

Inspired by the accomplishments of the human genome project, Pho pursued a science track in genomics in college, and Linux was a consistent presence. Today Pho works as a research and computing scientist on the Linux High Performance Computing (HPC) team at a medical research university where he uses and develops open source code for the Linux HPC environment. In recent years, budget for training opportunities in his workplace has been cut. Pho seeks the Linux training scholarship so that he may have an impact on the quality and stability of new and innovative scientific tools for Linux. “I’ve been using Linux for a long time, and I’m both inspired and amazed at how much it has grown and matured over the years,” said Pho.

Nandaja Varma, India, Whiz Kid

A regular contributor to the Debian community, Varma’s primary area of interest is application development for Linux system administration. She says she will use her Linux training scholarship to build her career as a Linux systems administrator and to conduct mini-workshops to increase interest in Linux, especially among girls and women. “I believe girls can be better programmers. Inspiring at least one human being is my dream,” said Varma.

More than 500 submissions were received during the second year of this program, which is more than double the number of submissions reviewed in 2011. The Linux Training Scholarship Program awarded five scholarships to computer science students and Linux developers or systems administrators.

Adnan Akbar (Pakistan)

Akbar is a doctoral student in the School of Engineering and Technology, Lahore. His Linux development work has largely been focused on embedded Linux, having worked on the Angstrom embedded Linux kernel and associated drivers. He says that to do this he studied different books on embedded Linux and listened to several online lectures but could not attend proper training because of a lack of such opportunities available in Pakistan.

Julio Guillen (El Salvador)

Guillen is a 15-year Linux user who has worked as a Linux systems administrator. He says his country lacks trained people to develop applications for mobile devices and to implement and maintain cloud computing technologies. He hopes his Linux training can help provide the knowledge for him to start his own company to provide Linux-based services in El Salvador.

Julita Inca Chiroque (Peru)

Inca served as an intern for the GNOME Outreach Program for Women in 2011 and today is a both a member of the GNOME Foundation as well as a Fedora Ambassador to Peru. She recently finished a Master’s in Computer Science and is working as a Linux Server Administrator using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0.  She says Linux training can help her prepare for a successful career as a Linux professional and to enable her to pass along knowledge to others.

George Mhlanga (Africa)

Mhlanga is a computer programmer at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security at Lilongwe Agricultural Development Division in Malawi, Africa. Today he is managing web-based systems on Windows servers in 300 offices but says the servers are prone to viruses and that he wants to switch to Linux. He has requested Linux training from his management but management does not have the funds. He says he will use the Linux training scholarship to become “the next Linux expert” and to strengthen the role of Linux in his organization.

Alexander Samide (United States)

Alexander Samide is studying computer science at Regis University but uses Linux in his day job as the base for building telecom equipment. He says he will use the Linux training scholarship to better implement embedded systems with increased security. He says he would like to reach a level of knowledge and experience to be able to provide more support to existing projects and to create new projects.

2011 was the first year of the LiFT scholarships which awards five scholarships to computer science students and Linux developers who show incredible promise for helping to shape the future of Linux but do not otherwise have the ability to attend Linux Foundation training courses.

Karim Allah Ahmed (Egypt)
A recent graduate of Mansoura University in Egypt, Ahmed has been using Linux as a development platform for three years and is currently writing a hypervisor for ARM. “I believe that by taking Linux Foundation training classes, I can greatly increase my opportunities for securing a job as a Linux kernel software engineer,” said Karim Allah Ahmed.

Frank Maker (United States)
A former embedded software intern at Broadcom and Google, Maker is a fourth-year PhD student at UC Davis in electrical and computer engineering/embedded software. “I want to contribute to the community,” said Frank Maker. “Linux is going mobile in a big way, and I want to collaborate on making Linux the best OS in the mobile market. The embedded development training courses offered by The Linux Foundation will help me get there.”

Kenneth O’Brien (Ireland)
After having his first Linux kernel patch accepted earlier this summer, O’Brien is hoping to learn more about Linux kernel internals and debugging. He will begin a PhD program at CASL, a research lab at University College Dublin, this fall in Simulation Science that focuses on high performance computing on *nix and energy optimization.

“The Linux Foundation’s Linux kernel internals courses will help further my work on energy optimization while allowing me to contribute towards Linux’s ongoing rise in popularity,” said Kenneth O’Brien.

Arpit Toshniwal (India)
After spending his summers during college working on the Linux kernel (debugging, compiling), Toshniwal is about to finish his computer science and engineering degree at Indian Institute of Technology, Rajasthan. “The knowledge I will gain from The Linux Foundation training courses will boost my interest on working on the kernel and help me improve my efficiency in the Linux kernel development process,” said Arpit Toshniwal.

Clarissa Womack (Australia)
Womack is a first-year software engineering student at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia and is an active member of her local Linux User Group: HUMBUG (Home Unix Machine Brisbane Users Group). Womack’s development experience is in Python and Eclipse and she plans to use her scholarship to develop applications and to advocate for Linux and open source software. “I want there to be a wider acknowledgement of Linux as a viable, free, open source operating system to rival Windows and Mac OS X,” said Clarissa Womack. “This is particularly special for me to be awarded this scholarship in the 20th year of Linux, as I turned 21 this year at the end of May.”