The recent Linux Kernel Development Report released by The Linux Foundation, included information about several featured Linux kernel developers. According to the report, roughly 15,600 developers from more than 1,400 companies have contributed to the Linux kernel since 2005, when the adoption of Git made detailed tracking possible. Over the next several weeks, we will be highlighting some specific Linux kernel developers who agreed to answer a few questions about what they do and why they contribute to the kernel.
In this article, we feature Laura Abbott, a Fedora Kernel Engineer at Red Hat.
The Linux Foundation: What role do you play in the community and what subsystem(s) do you work on?
Laura Abbott: My full-time job is working as one of two maintainers for the Fedora kernels. This means I push out kernel releases and fix/shepherd bugs. Outside of that role, I maintain the Ion memory management framework and do occasional work on arm/arm64 and KSPP (kernel hardening).
The Linux Foundation: What have you been working on this year?
Abbott: I did some major reworking on Ion this year and ripped out a lot of code (everyone’s favorite type of patch!). Hopefully, I’ll be able to report that Ion is out of staging in the next kernel report. Apart from that, I’ve spent a lot of time testing and reviewing patches for kernel hardening.
The Linux Foundation: What do you think the kernel community needs to work on in the upcoming year?
Abbott: As a general theme, there needs to be a focus on scaling the community. There’s always an ongoing discussion about how to attract new developers and there’s been a recent focus on how to grow contributors into maintainers. There’s still a lot of ‘tribal knowledge’ in pretty much every area which makes things difficult for everyone. I’d like to see the kernel community continue to make processes easier for new and existing developers. I’d also like to see the discussions about building an inclusive community continue.
The Linux Foundation: Why do you contribute to the Linux kernel?
Abbott: I’ve always found low-level systems fascinating and enjoy seeing how all the pieces work together. There’s always something new to learn about in the kernel, and I find the work challenging.
You can learn more about the Linux kernel development process and read more developer profiles in the full report. Download the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report now.