27 Jan

Master Spotlight: Paul Sutton

Meet Paul Sutton

1) How did you first get started using Linux? What distros, software or
resources did you use while learning?

Sometime early / mid 90’s. PCW had Slackware with kernel 1.0.9 (yes very early) I guess the hacker in me, was why I wanted to try it out. Back then was before good cdrom support so it was a case of making a boot / root disk, then make floppy disks for each of the various sets of disks needed for install e.g b(base) a(applications) etc. Partition using fdisk, by modern standards we are spoilt now but there is a lot ot be said for knowing what is under the hood. There are lots of books, I had a slackware book with 2.0.30 kernel on the cd, so that helped me too. But have gone through Red Hat,  Debian, Mandrake (now Mandriva)

2) While you were learning Linux, was there anybody (or group of people)
who acted as a mentor to help you?

This was before a local linux user group formed, so there was the local cybercafe and IRC #linux from there, I think Chris Ham and Mike (both who worked there) really helped me get online. I eventually joined the Devon and Cornwall GNU / Linux user group, In fact I am on the first page of the archive, offering to produce a poster to promote the group, It is not much but shows how long I have been on there.

3) What made you want to join Linux Padawan as a master? What do you
hope to gain, personally or professionally, from your involvement?

I think I was invited in by Phillw, as I am involved in ToriOS, and hang out on IRC, I like helping people so this is a way to share knowledge without being judged on if you have qualifications on paper, instead you are judged on how you work within other projects, which is good when you have skills that are not easily quantifiable.

4) How many Padawan are you currently mentoring? What projects are you
helping them get involved with?

Just one, helping with python, he signed up to an online course I think and one task was to write a prime number calculator, I suggested some enhancements to the program, such as adding a routine to check user had entered a number,

5) Linux Padawan is still a relatively new project, but what has your
experience been so far?

Excellent, it is a really good concept, in fact I was reading a forum on LinkedIn where someone asked about learning bash, I suggested Linux padawan as one way of getting help. I am sure there are also resources for bash on the site. I just wish it was easier to convince people that peer learning is very powerful, and that with so much help out there that is to me just as effective as formal teaching.

6) What do you hope to help your Padawans achieve during your mentoring
of them?

If Padawans can learn something new then I have achieved something, even if this is through being signposted to a useful resource. Some times formal teaching can teach you xyz and experience teaches you everything else.

I am not going to aim really high as I don’t feel my knowledge is wide enough, however small things I have picked up from experience such as keeping small routines on hand so you build up a collection for use in bigger programs is useful. So more practical advice as to what helps me, is in fact also useful to others. Knowing where to find information or passing on where I have learnt somethng that has helped me is very useful and can hopefully save people a lot of wasted time.

7) Outside of Linux Padawan, what projects or community are you involved in?

I am documentation lead for ToriOS, I was briefly on the Lubuntu docs team, but Ali got me involved in ToriOS. I found that starting from scratch with ToriOS in the early stages much easier. I also organise and run the local Raspberry Pi jam (Torbay).

8) What advice do you have for new users who are just starting off and
want to learn more about Linux?

Have an open mind and persist, use IRC, and learn how to use pastebin (even if used as guest) and Github. Gooogle is also your friend, and google before asking as some irc channels won’t help you, if you ask in the right way you get help.

If there are local pi jams or other events go along and don’t be afraid to ask / give help. These events should be for all ages so if you’re 5 for 105 go along, The world seems to be moving away from traditional learning to online learning communities, take advantage of this. Hackers recognise the skills of others and judge accordingly.

Oh business cards are really good, they may seem old fashioned but they are great for networking and better than scraps of paper. Good way for people to get your information.


You can read the rest of the Master Spotlight interviews here

21 Jan

Master Spotlight: Svetlana Belkin

Meet Svetlana Belkin

1) How did you first get started using Linux? What distros, software or resources did you use while learning?

I started out with Ubuntu Linux in 2009 and most of the learning I done was on my own just clicking around and changing settings to the way I want it. If I was stuck, I Googled for my answer and sometimes I asked in #ubuntu on IRC, on the Ubuntu Forums, or AskUbuntu.

2) While you were learning Linux, was there anybody (or group of people) who acted as a mentor to help you?

No, I did not have a mentor while learning Linux.

3) What made you want to join Linux Padawan as a master? What do you hope to gain, personally or professionally, from your involvement?

I joined because I enjoy helping others to understand what is the Ubuntu Community and what a non-developer/programmer can do within it. Also, the founder, Phil Whiteside is a good friend my mine.

I honestly don not know what I hope to gain from my involvement! Perhaps, mentoring in technical fields from the other masters, but nothing else (yet).

4) How many Padawan are you currently mentoring? What projects are you helping them get involved with?

I am mentoring one who wants to learn the ways of the Ubuntu Community and about the Ubuntu Leadership team.

5) Linux Padawan is still a relatively new project, but what has your experience been so far?

A good one so far and I enjoyed watching it grow.

6) What do you hope to help your Padawans achieve during your mentoring of them?

I hope that my Padawans use the skills that they have learn where they need to use them. Also to gain friendships between the masters and the Padawans.

7) Outside of Linux Padawan, what projects or community are you involved in?

I focus mostly on community building in the Ubuntu Community. My projects deal with training new leaders and creating tools to help people to get involved in teams.

8) What advice do you have for new users who are just starting off and want to learn more about Linux?

If you are stuck and need help, please ask around the forums and IRC channels of the distro that you are using rather than Googling for your answer, you will get a up-to-date answer that way!


You can read the rest of the Master Spotlight interviews here

16 Jan

Master Spotlight: Bodhi Zazen

Linux Padawan is a place where new Linux users can learn from those who came before them, to gain the knowledge and experience they need to become contributing memners of the open source community. This is the first in a series of interviews with these Masters of Linux Padawan who are volunteering their time to raise up the next generation of community members.


Today we interview Bodhi Zazen

1) How did you first get started using Linux? What distros, software or
resources did you use while learning?

I started learning Linux when I became disatisifed with the service I was getting from Microsoft. I started with gentoo in 2002 and migrated to ubuntu with the release of 4.10. Actually I installed ubuntu by starting with Debian, changing to the ubuntu repositories, and upgrading.

Over the years I have used RHEL, Centos, Scientific, SUSE, Slackware, Wolvix, Puppy, Fedora, and Arch linux as well.

I learned by reading the online documentation, user forums, and IRC.

2) While you were learning Linux, was there anybody (or group of people)
who acted as a mentor to help you?

The ubuntu forums was very helpful to me as was my local LUG.

3) What made you want to join Linux Padawan as a master? What do you
hope to gain, personally or professionally, from your involvement?

In the past, I was very active in the Ubuntu community. I made a number of life long friends within the community , including phillw.

I joined as an extension of my friendship with phillw.

I do not seek to gain anything professionally, but personally I enjoy mentoring people as they start using Linux and guide them to contribute to the community.

4) How many Padawan are you currently mentoring? What projects are you
helping them get involved with?

All of them , any way I can.

5) Linux Padawan is still a relatively new project, but what has your
experience been so far?

So far I have watched them grow, and nudged them in a friendly way when they need. I have given advice on IRC and made new friends.

6) What do you hope to help your Padawans achieve during your mentoring
of them?

I hope as they become competent members of the community they will contribute back to the community. There are many ways to contribute from (quality) bug reports, to testing, to packaging, to writing code.

7) Outside of Linux Padawan, what projects or community are you involved in?

I am less active with the linux community in general, but I maintain one package, display-dhammapada and am somewhat active on IRC with Fedora and some online support forums.

I spend most of my time with my family and spend a fair amount of time with music. I play mandolin and piano, drums reluctantly, and occasional guitar.

I recently became active in musescore

http://musescore.org/en

Nice application, cross platform. I beta test , but report, and nudge them to package properly

8) What advice do you have for new users who are just starting off and
want to learn more about Linux?

Don’t be afraid of the command line =)

Start with a major distro, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, or SUSE and read the initial documentation.

Use google and put a little thought into questions when asking for assistance. You do not need to be an expert to ask a question, but a well thought out question with background information is more likely to get a positive result.