The Linux Foundation works through our projects, training and certification programs, events and more to bring people of all backgrounds into open source. We meet a lot of people, but find the drive and enthusiasm of some of our youngest community members to be especially infectious. In the past couple of months, we’ve invited 13-year-old algorithmist and cognitive developer Tanmay Bakshi, 11-year-old hacker and cybersecurity ambassador Reuben Paul, and 15-year-old programmer Keila Banks to speak at Linux Foundation conferences.
In 2014 when he was 12, Zachary Dupont wrote a letter to his hero Linus Torvalds. We arranged for Zach to meet Linus–a visit that helped clinch his love for Linux. This year, Zach came to Open Source Summit in Los Angeles to catch up with Linus and let us know what he’s been up to. He’s kept busy with an internship at SAP and early acceptance to the Computer Networking and Digital Forensics program at the Delaware County Technical School.
The open source community encouraged Zach to pursue his passions. They’ve inspired him, and he plans to give back in the future.
We encourage everyone to find ways to bring more people of all ages into open source. Volunteer your time to teach students or people making mid-career changes how to code, spend time on writing documentation for your open source project so others can get to know it better, or simply take the time to answer beginner questions on message boards. The more people we bring into the community, the stronger we will be in the years ahead.