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Lorien Smyer is a former bookkeeper who decided she wanted to start a new career in computer science. She was one of 14 aspiring IT professionals to receive a 2016 Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) scholarship, announced in August.  

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Lorien Smyer

Lorien Smyer, LiFT Scholarship Winner

Lorien 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.

Linux.com: Why are you switching careers, and why did you choose technology?

Lorien Smyer: I was a bookkeeper for many years. Long ago, I had to hand-enter all data to a paper spreadsheet with a pencil.

When my clients started getting computers, I was fascinated by everything about these amazing tools: the hardware, the software, how customizable it all was. In my spare time, I started taking occasional computer-related classes at my local community college, and doing many IT-related tasks for my clients, in addition to the bookkeeping I was already doing for them.

In 1995, I met the man who became my husband. He got a personal computer that same year, and happily allowed me to become our home IT expert.

A few years ago, the company I had been working for as a bookkeeper and occasional IT tech informed me that my office would be moving to Santa Cruz. Since I didn’t want to move to Santa Cruz, I needed to find something else to do. They were kind enough to give me a year’s notice, so I increased the number of computer-related classes I was taking at my local community college, thinking I might be able to ease into a job in some tech-related field.

When the year was up, initially I continued working generally in bookkeeping/office managing, with some tech responsibilities; but I still hadn’t made a full career switch. My husband and I then agreed that I could start studying full time, in order to try and make my tech career switch possible. I still enjoyed bookkeeping, but really felt most engaged professionally when I was involved in tech-related tasks at work.

The first class I took after starting full-time studying was the Introduction to Linux class on edX, which had just become available. I finished the class in two weeks, with a score of 100, and got my verified certificate. Completing that course gave me confidence that I had made the correct decision to pursue a job in tech.

After that, I completed a full semester of computer science and web development classes at community college, then attended a six-month, 70-hour-per-week immersive web development program at Galvanize.

I am now in the process of trying to pick a field within tech to pursue professionally. I have studied many different areas, and I think they all have attractive aspects.

Linux.com: What is your ultimate dream job, and what are you doing to accomplish it?

Lorien: My ultimate dream job would have a great team of co-workers. I believe, with the right group of people, who all share the goals of working together to help the company succeed and genuinely care about each others’ well-being, I could be happy doing many things.

As previously mentioned, I enjoy pretty much all aspects of the tech field. My dream job, practically speaking, is one that is interested in hiring an older female career-switcher, so it would have to be a job that needs juniors, and has some mentoring and onboarding for new hires. Beyond that, I’m pretty open to what kind of company I work for.

What I’m doing to accomplish finding my dream job? Right now, I’m continuing to add to my skills, and looking at many job listings every day, to see what kind of skills are in demand in the SF Bay Area (where I live).

Linux.com How do you plan to use your LiFT Scholarship? How will it help you advance your career?

Lorien: I plan to use my LiFT Scholarship to take the Linux System Administration (LFS201) virtual course, and then take the LFCS exam. There are many Linux System Administrator jobs available in the SF Bay Area, and I will be very happy to be able to put that skill on my resume.

Interested in learning more about starting your IT career with Linux? Check out our free ebook “A Brief Guide To Starting Your IT Career In Linux.

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Yasin Sekabira is a graduate of the computer science program at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, where he taught himself Linux through the free Intro to Linux course on edX and other online resources. He was one of 14 aspiring IT professionals to receive a 2016 Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) scholarship, announced last month.  

He is in the process of bootstrapping a startup and a technology hub to introduce technology to local children who do not have access to computer science education.

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Yasin Sekabira

Yasin Sekabira is a 2016 LiFT scholarship winner in the Linux newbies category.

Linux.com: Can you tell me more about Kampala?

Yasin Sekabira: Kampala is Uganda’s national and commercial capital city, and it’s a hotbed for young tech entrepreneurs and independent business people. I was born and grew up in KATWE, one of Kampala’s finest suburbs and a center of many DIY technicians, craftsmen and artisans.

Linux.com: What kind of technology training is available?

Yasin: Kampala is surrounded by an increasing number of higher institutions of education offering technology-based degree courses, and short professional courses. Plus, there are also tech business incubators that have done a great job, helping university students to really work on interesting projects. Through these hubs, most students have turned their ideas into tech startups to fully funded tech businesses.

I’m currently working hard on my hub Katwe COLAB. In KATWE, many young men resort to minor theft and it grows from there. Many kids drop out from school mainly due to fees and bad urban tribes. And I just wish the Hub can change that through technology innovation.

Linux.com: What kind of business is your new startup?

Yasin: We are iterating in search of that Facebook Million Dollar idea. But our business is focused at the moment on designing and developing Mobile/Web Apps and providing IT Consultancy to our clients.

Linux.com: How did you start it?

Yasin: It all started back in the hood, in Katwe where I grew up, many young men are independent business owners, I grew up really with these big dreams to follow the lead. Then we were lucky: our big brother bought us an IBM Pentium 3 Desktop PC. I loved it. It changed our thinking. I played a lot of games and really learned how to use a computer, then my other brother had just finished form six (high school), in his vacation he joined a small institution to learn computer networks, then luckily he taught me IP addressing. I was just 14 years old.

Then my brother figured out how to make money with computers and he started a Computer Repair Workshop. It was fun, it paid us, and we established ourselves. This helped me to start, in 2011 during my first year at college, an internet café and it helped shape my little admin skills. I didn’t focus on it very much. College was fun and I fell in love with programming and Linux. The splash screen during booting blew my mind, and I jumped on the OpenSuse wagon.

And then in 2012 me and my buddy won the Orange innovation awards from the French telecom, Orange, which sold their Ugandan stake to Africell in 2014. Orange Uganda organized innovation awards every year for the most impressive ideas in mobile app development. These awards allowed young developers in Uganda to suggest an innovative application that could be used in agriculture, health, or education. The award came with a stipend and an internship at the telecom giant. Plus, lessons on how to do a legal entrepreneurial business and ace your startup.

We started a business, but doing a startup is not romantic. It takes commitment. Long hours of work, money problems, all of these things force you to get employed and maybe do a startup part-time. Especially in UG where tech is still in its infancy. Many people are changing slowly, and change takes some time. You have to be patient and stay focused.

Linux.com: How do you plan to use your LiFT Scholarship?

Yasin: Being a LiFT Scholarship 2016 recipient on paper is like a dream come true. It’s an opportunity to work even harder, train harder, and stay competitive in what you really do best,

Today open source and Linux are absolutely up there in the top, it’s an opportunity to sharpen my open source skills from newbie to Ninja Pro. With The Linux Foundation and Linus Torvalds, you just feel like you’re learning and mastering Kung fu from Bruce-Lee.

The LiFT Scholarship will help me to prepare for my LFCE (Linux Foundation Certified Engineer), and hopefully pass it and add it to my belt. The LFCE badge really shows the world that you can play like Messi or Score like T.Henry of Arsenal.

Linux.com: How will it help you advance your start-up?

Yasin: I think I always wanted to work on an open source project, and down in my mind I always felt like I don’t have the skills. With the LiFT Scholarship, it has motivated me ever since I received the mail that I was a winner of the LiFT Scholarship 2016. Since then, I have been reading a lot and I think I’m leveling up. I just feel the energy, and hopefully I can tinker with any open source project at my start-up.

Secondly, I think LiFT Scholarship will help me to pimp my Katwe CoLAB that I’m recently working on and hopefully inspire the next generation in KATWE to think differently.

Interested in learning more about starting your IT career with Linux? Check out our free ebook “A Brief Guide To Starting Your IT Career In Linux.”

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Ksenija Stanojevic first became acquainted with the Linux kernel community after being accepted for an Outreachy internship. She was one of 14 aspiring IT professionals to receive a 2016 Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) scholarship, announced last month.   

After experimenting a bit with the kernel, Ksenija quickly began submitting patches, specifically working on splitting an existing input/output driver to better support a multi-function device (MFD). She is looking forward to learning more about device drivers, and eventually writing her own drivers.

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Ksenija Stanojevic, 2016 LiFT Scholarship winner

Ksenija Stanojevic, is a 2016 LiFT Scholarship winner in the Linux Kernel Guru category.

Linux.com: How did you learn Linux?

Ksenija Stanojevic: A few years ago I decided to try Linux and it was surprisingly easy to install and use. Since I started with Ubuntu there were already lots of tutorials online for beginners. Initially I was interested in learning about the Linux kernel but using Linux led me to discovery of new tools such as vim, git, and bash shell.

I started experimenting with the kernel over a year ago when I wrote a simple hello module and loaded it into the kernel. After that I started making simple fixes using scripts such as checkpatch.pl and submitting patches. My confidence grew and eventually I joined the Eudyptula challenge to deepen my knowledge and I started making even bigger changes to the kernel tree. After being accepted into the Outreachy program, I had the opportunity to learn more about driver development and also got to work on embedded ARM devices running the Linux operating system.

Linux.com: How did you get involved in the kernel development community and how are you contributing?

Ksenija: My first interaction with the Linux kernel development community was over a year ago, when I decided to apply for an Outreachy internship. In a short period of time I became familiar with sending patches and using vim and git, tools that were previously foreign to me.

During the internship I worked on splitting the existing I/O driver into MFD with adc and touchscreen parts (patchwork: https://patchwork.kernel.org/project/linux-input/list/?submitter=130571). This was very exciting because I got to work on embedded hardware and test my patches. Also I contributed to the y2038 project led by Arnd Bergmann, preventing the crash in year 2038 on certain 32-bit systems.

I learned a lot by working with the community, especially from comments made by other developers, which are usually very detailed. Every time a patch got accepted I felt happy and driven to continue contributing. I want to learn more about device drivers and make more valuable contributions, and maybe eventually write my own driver. You can see my accepted patches.

Linux.com: Why do you want to be a kernel developer?

Ksenija: I love the idea of making code that will make certain functionality of hardware work and that gives me a sense of accomplishment. That also pushes me to have a deeper understanding of the underlying hardware and I like the challenge of using a wide variety of skills and components.

Linux.com: What is your dream job and how will the LiFT scholarship help you achieve that?

Ksenija: I am currently seeking a full-time position as a linux kernel developer, preferably in open source. This scholarship will directly help me achieve my goals. Apart from giving more job opportunities it will allow me to work in a field that I love and am passionate about.

I want to be a more valuable contributor to the Linux kernel open source community and eventually a reviewer. I believe that hands-on contributing is one of the most effective ways to learn, because it allows interaction with more knowledgeable developers while giving back to the community. This Training Scholarship could help me get closer to that goal. I’m very hard-working, passionate and curious and also make the most of opportunities presented to me.

 

Interested in learning more about starting your IT career with Linux? Check out our free ebook “A Brief Guide To Starting Your IT Career In Linux.”

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Kurt Kremitzki, who is in his final year of studying biological and agricultural engineering at Texas A&M, visited a Mayan community in the Yucatan this spring to help design irrigation systems. He was one of 14 aspiring IT professionals to receive a 2016 Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) scholarship, announced last month.  

Kurt was inspired to take the project a step further when 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.

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Kurt Kremitzki

LiFT scholarship recipient Kurt Kremitzki

Linux.com: How did you learn Linux?

Kurt Kremitzki: I was introduced to Linux in the era of Red Hat Linux 9, but I thought it *was* Linux, and when “Enterprise” was added I stopped using it. Several years ago, I picked up Ubuntu and started using it full time. More recently, besides use at home, I applied what knowledge I have of Linux to a robotics competition, using the Raspberry Pi, hosted by the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers in New Orleans last year. When a similar competition was assigned to an introductory Control Theory class I took last semester, the professor opted to have me assist the TA and all my classmates in teaching basic Linux skills and Python programming to do a simple maze following project.

Linux.com: Why did you become a developer?

Kurt: Originally graduating high school at 16, I chose to explore my talent working with computers by studying Computer Science, but found that studying it for its own sake was uninspiring. I didn’t finish but ended up with a job as a developer anyway, until several years ago. I decided to go back to school for Biological & Agricultural Engineering, where I could use my computer skills to solve pressing challenges, like the need to feed almost 10 billion people by 2050.

Linux.com: How do you use Linux now?

Kurt: This spring, I visited an impoverished Mayan community in the Yucatan to assist in design and repair of backyard irrigation systems. I was inspired to work further with them, and one particular way I want to use Linux to make a difference involves my (hopeful) senior design project plans.

When I visited that community, the potential benefit of Linux, and in particular something like the Raspberry Pi, was obvious. Although water was abundant, knowledge about agriculture has largely been lost as a result of the near-slavery conditions of the hacienda system, and so a simple base of a Raspberry Pi and cell phone network connectivity could serve both as an educational platform and the heart of an irrigation automation system. However, since technical knowledge in the village is limited, my team and I would have to work with the local university to (a) prepare open sourced teaching tools on how to use and repair our (also open source) irrigation automation system and (b) come up with an extremely resilient system that is easy to repair (e.g., create a simple, dedicated SD card flasher from another Raspberry Pi and a button.)

Using wirelessly gathered sensor data and local weather readings, the irrigation system could efficiently use water, and also serve as a guide for planting and harvesting, making the best use of two of our most precious resources: time, and the free energy of the sun. The local university has  been working on backyard irrigation systems with small Mayan villages for the last 6 years, and there is tremendous potential to expand this program, both for the Mayan villagers and the students at the university.

Linux.com: How can Linux help solve the problem of food scarcity?

Kurt: Closely related to Linux and the notion of open source software is the idea of empowerment. One of the most pressing issues in my field is the need to feed 9-10 billion people by the year 2050, and because of inefficiencies in our global food system, that means an increase in production of 70 to 100 percent. We may need to double our global production with no new cropland being discovered (in fact it’s being eaten up by cities) and less water being available.

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LiFT scholarship

Solving food scarcity with Linux and open source.

One of the only ways I foresee this being done is with the help of Linux and open source tools, since no one person can possibly tackle a problem that large, and even when solutions will be found, they will not be like the “cathedrals” seen in agriculture today, with large, “black box” tractors where farmers have neither the right to repair nor the ability to understand what’s going on in the system that’s essential to their livelihood.

Instead, new developments in Linux, like nascent drone/UAV technology, things like Automotive Grade Linux, and the general ethos of collaboration will be essential. Linux and its associated tools and ecosystem will be pivotal in tackling the challenges of tomorrow, and in empowering people across the world to unlock the full potential of their computer resources to advance mankind, whether it’s in the agricultural sector or otherwise.

Linux.com: How do you plan to use your LiFT scholarship?

Kurt: Although I have quite a bit of experience using Linux as a programmer, there are gaps in my knowledge, as it’s mostly the result of searching for the solution to problems as I come across them. As a developer-turned-biosystems engineering student, I’ve realized this isn’t enough. The problems in my field, while vast and staggering in scope, are about 95 percent human and 5 percent technical. By seeking out formal training, I can cover the gaps in my knowledge, make myself more employable once I graduate, and most importantly, I can spend less time worrying about how technology works, and more time worrying about how technology can help solve human problems.

Linux.com: How will the scholarship help you achieve your dream of helping to solve the world’s looming food scarcity crisis?

Kurt: The estimated doubling of food production that will be needed to feed the world in 2050 is likely not going to come from the corn and soybean fields of Illinois or Iowa. Trying to get more productivity from that style of farming is a little like getting blood from a stone. Instead, some of the places most likely to contribute will be mountainous regions and small villages of China, Latin America, and Africa, where huge tractors and industrial farming practices don’t make physical or economic sense.

Advances in things like agricultural drones have huge potential to empower subsistence farmers; Linux and The Linux Foundation are already forging ahead in that field with work like the Dronecode Project, an open source UAV platform. Besides drones, bringing the wealth of the world’s knowledge in the form of Internet connectivity will have a huge impact for rural farmers’ productivity and for the happiness of rural people in general. Large strides are being made in this domain as well with projects like Rhizomatica in Mexico and Guifi.net in Spain where Linux is once again front and center.

There’s no shortage of work to be done to make the world a better place; Linux and the open source philosophy behind it is one of the best force multipliers to making things happen. With Linux, I can have complete control of computing resources from the physical layer to the presentation layer; I can choose to make and use technology that will help the most people.

 

Interested in learning more about starting your IT career with Linux? Check out our free ebook “A Brief Guide To Starting Your IT Career In Linux.” [Download Now]

 

Luis Camacho Caballero is working on a project to preserve endangered South American languages by porting them to computational systems through automatic speech recognition using Linux-based systems. He was one of 14 aspiring IT professionals to receive a 2016 Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) scholarship, announced last month.  

Luis, who is from Peru, 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. Through his language preservation project, 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.

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Luis Camacho Caballero

Luis Camacho Caballero has started a project to preserve endangered South American languages through automatic speech recognition using Linux-based systems.

Linux.com: Can you tell me more about Quechua, the language of your parents and grandparents?

Luis Camacho Caballero: Quechua was the lingua franca used in South American Andean between V and XVI centuries. It’s strongly associated to Inca culture (1300 BC – 1550 BC) but is clearly older than that. It is still alive and used by about 8 million people distributed among Ecuador, Perú and Bolivia. However, it’s under risk of extinction because, put in practice, the only language supported by government is Spanish. Don’t misunderstand, of course, there is a national agency for heritage preservation but it hasn’t gotten momentum yet. The process of substitution is running faster and stronger than initiatives of preservation.

It’s a shame, I speak just a bit. You can taste a piece of Quechua in these funny clips: 1, 2 and 3 and even hear some famous songs here: Heaven, The way you make feel (below), and bonus track.

Linux.com: What is your process for recording and digitizing the language?

Luis: It’s a hard process. Basically, it is composed of two parts: building a text/voice Corpus and the language processing itself.

In regard to the first part, the challenges are 1) linking both Corpora, get a exact matching of voice and text and 2) In order to make the corpora more useful, doing part-of-speech tagging, or POS-tagging, in which information about each word’s part of speech (verb, noun, adjective, etc.) is added to the corpus in the form of tags.

In the part of the automatic speech recognition (ASR) itself, we are testing Artificial Intelligence algorithms looking for the one that matches better with features of the Quechua language.

Linux.com: How did you get involved in this work?

Luis: Since that first time I was exposed to English ASR, maybe six years ago, I knew that I had to do ASR for Quechua, it’s my contribution to preserve my heritage.

Linux.com: Is this a hobby, or a job for you?

Luis: Nowadays I am with PUCP, I wrote a proposal and fortunately it was granted by the Peruvian Science Foundation, so, I have resources for developing this project until Christmas 2017. Part of my job is networking with all the stakeholders and looking for more funds until we reach a complete ASR system, one at the same level of well-supported languages like English.

Linux.com: How do you plan to use your LiFT scholarship?

Luis: Linux is a wonderful platform, almost all language computational portability technology is developed over Linux. I’ve not decided yet which course fits my current needs of Linux support.

Linux.com: How will the scholarship help you?

Luis: I think the scholarship help me at least in two ways: 1) getting in touch with the more renowned expert Linux trainers and 2) getting a valuable knowledge that would otherwise would be expensive or inaccessible.

 

Interested in learning more about starting your IT career with Linux? Check out our free ebook “A Brief Guide To Starting Your IT Career In Linux.”

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Alexander Popov is a Linux system administrator and Linux kernel contributor whose dream is to become a full-time kernel developer. He was one of 14 IT professionals to receive a 2016 Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) scholarship, announced last week.   

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Alexander Popov

Alexander Popov, LiFT scholarship recipient

Since 2012, Alex has had 14 patches accepted into the mainline Linux kernel. With his employer, Positive Technologies, he has helped develop a bare metal hypervisor that they hope to open source soon. And this year he spoke at LinuxCon Japan about his work porting Kernel Address Sanitizer (KASan) to his company’s bare-metal hypervisor.

He is using the free training and certification provided by the LiFT scholarship to take the Linux Kernel Internals and Development (LFD420) course from The Linux Foundation.

Linux.com: What is your dream job and why?

Alexander Popov: I would like to become an excellent system software developer and develop the Linux kernel full time.

There are 5 reasons behind my goal:

1. I feel happy when I’m programming;

2. I like system software development and being able to concentrate on details;

3. I don’t like proprietary technologies and really praise the idea of free

software;

4. I want to collaborate with the world’s best professionals;

5. Developing the Linux Kernel fits all the aforementioned aspects perfectly.

Linux.com: How do you plan to use your LiFT scholarship?

Alex: I’m going to attend Linux Kernel Internals and Development (LFD420). The course outline inspires me a lot. This course provides “a detailed look at the theory and philosophy behind the Linux kernel” which will convert my fragmentary knowledge and skills into a whole picture. That will be a great step forward for me.

Linux.com: How did you learn Linux?

Alex: Just before writing the diploma at university I fell in love with Linux and at March 2010

I became a system administrator to have more experience with open source software.

I worked as a system administrator for two years. My duties were:

  • Deployment and administration of network infrastructures based on free software

  • 24×7 system administration of high-loaded production Linux servers.

Linux.com: How did you get involved in the Linux kernel community?

Alex: I decided to go deeper into Linux internals and since May 2012 I work as a system software developer.

Currently, 14 of my patches are applied to the Linux Kernel mainline. You can see my most important commits on kernel.org or from my open source developer profile on Open Hub.

Linux.com: What are you doing now?

Alex: Now I work as a system software developer at Positive Technologies. We develop a bare-metal hypervisor and plan to publish it as open source. I’ve ported Kernel Address Sanitizer (KASan) to our hypervisor and shared my experience with the community at LinuxCon Japan 2016. (See his presentation slides.)

Linux.com: Why did you apply for the LiFT Scholarship?

Alex: I’m an Individual Supporter of The Linux Foundation since 2014. I’ve contributed to the Linux Kernel since 2013, and I can be more effective. LiFT is a great chance to upgrade my Linux Kernel development skills and become a more valuable contributor.

 

Learn more about the Linux Kernel Internals and Development course from Linux Foundation Training.

 

Ahmed Alkabary is a recent graduate of the University of Regina in Canada, where he earned degrees in computer science and mathematics as an international student from Egypt. He was one of 14 aspiring IT professionals to receive a 2016 Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) scholarship, announced this week.   

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Ahmed Alkabary

LiFT Scholarship winner Ahmed Alkabary

Ahmed 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. His 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. The scholarship will help him achieve his career goals by providing him with the additional training and certification he needs to land a position, he says.

Linux.com: Why do you want to be a Linux sysadmin?

Ahmed Alkabary: For me, I don’t just appreciate the Linux operating system but I also feel like it has become my life. Whenever I’m on a Linux based computer I feel like I’m at home. You can say it is a passion that has taken many years of cultivating to become integrated in my life the way it is today.

In 2011 I was eager to purchase a brand new computer, but to my dismay the shop had only one computer that met my requirements. Although unbeknownst to me the computer had a specific operating system that I was unfamiliar with. The operating system was pre-installed with Linux,  specifically openSuse. I was so hesitant to purchase the computer but proceeded anyway. I hoped to change the operating system once I got home, but I was unsure of what came over me to keep Linux. But to this day I feel I have yet to make a decision that would have a greater impact on my life then the day I decided to keep Linux.

Right away I started to notice the efficiency of Linux and how all my needs were met in an instant. I started to teach myself the command line and I became very proficient at it. Then I began to understand why it was developed and how it was created. This sparked a flame inside me to learn more and to research more. I was engulfed in Linux so that it started to become something that I just wanted to do for the rest of my life. This passion that I have for Linux gave me the idea to pursue a career as a Linux sysadmin.

Linux.com: What have you done so far to achieve that goal? How will the LiFT scholarship help?

Ahmed: I took many online Linux courses. I took Introduction to Linux on EdX made by The Linux Foundation. I also took Essentials of Linux System Administration on EdX. I also read many different books on Linux. I am preparing to take my LFCS certification exam next month and after that I would like to learn about the Linux kernel and how to contribute to the kernel project.

The LiFT scholarship will help cover the cost of the LFD420 Linux Kernel Internals and Development course. I want to be a Linux system administrator who has a full understanding of every aspect of Linux. Learning the Linux kernel would guarantee me that. I would also like to be a part of the open source community knowing very well about all the contributions they make to Linux. The kernel community is very supportive and knowledgeable and to become a part of that community would be an honor. In the long run, I even want to be able to write my own operating system!

Linux.com: How did you develop the Linux course on Udemy?

Ahmed: After a few years of using and learning about Linux, I began to notice that there are not so many online courses or resources presented in an approachable manner to newbies. People who want to migrate towards Linux but are afraid to make the move. That’s when it came to my mind to construct a course on Udemy explaining the basics of the Linux command line. I wanted to break the fear that newbies have towards Linux. Most users don’t understand the value and usefulness of the command line interface.

I wanted to explain everything in a simpler manner. I even added animations and graphics so users don’t get discouraged while learning. I decide to make the course completely free because Linux is free to begin with and it would go against my beliefs to charge for something that was free. My aim was never to deter people from Linux but to attract a massive audience all over the world to learn Linux and appreciate its versatility. I also realized that a majority of my students could not afford to pay for an online course.

Linux.com: What have you learned in teaching the course?

Ahmed: Making a course on Udemy and seeing all the messages that I get from the students thanking me for making the course and how I changed their lives motivates me on a daily basis. Whenever I feel like giving up and I get a positive review or a message from a student, It simply makes my day! One thing I learned also is that I am not a bad teacher after all!

Linux.com: You’re a recent graduate, what are you doing now?

Ahmed: Currently I am working as a part-time online instructor at Robertson College in Canada. I teach several computer science courses including introduction to Linux. I basically got this job because of my course on Udemy. Also I am preparing for my LFCS as I mentioned and also working on getting few other certifications (RHCSA , CCNA) to be able to get my dream job as a Linux system administrator. I have gotten numerous interviews for other jobs but I want to keep hunting for my dream to become a Linux sysadmin. I also believe that the LiFT scholarship would enormously help on achieving my dream on becoming a Linux sysadmin.

 

Interested in learning more about starting your IT career with Linux? Check out our free ebook “A Brief Guide To Starting Your IT Career In Linux.”

[Download Now]