- How did you first get started using Linux? What distros, software or resources did you use while learning?
I first started dabbling with Linux in 1993, but did not convert to using it full-time until 2006. I currently use Fedora 23. I have used Arch, Debian, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu in the past. All of those distros are excellent choices; though some are better for beginners than others.
- While you were learning Linux, was there anybody (or group of people) who acted as a mentor to help you?
I learned a great deal from bodhi.zazen, dhzo, Dave123, and hal14450. The Ubuntu Beginners team is the first team I started contributing with and I learned a great deal about the intricacies of working in a volunteer organization. I learned a great deal about large open source communities working with Mark Shuttleworth, Daniel Holbach, Elizabeth K. Joseph, Michael Hall, and Laura Czajkowski on the Ubuntu Community Council. I also have to give a big shout out to Remy DeCausemaker as a person who continues to inspire me in the FOSS world. Remy and Elizabeth are both people who have successfully made careers in open source.
- What made you want to join Linux Padawan as a master? What do you hope to gain, personally or professionally, from your involvement?
Linux Padawan is non-denominational and has a mission very similar to the Ubuntu Beginners Team. I want to promote open source software without being tied to a specific distribution. I have always enjoyed helping people explore technology from hardware to programming. Open Source makes that exploration both enjoyable and rewarding in a way closed source options do not allow.
- What did you learn most about being a padawan?
When I was first entering the world of Linux and open source I learned that it helps to find a community that is friendly and willing to help. Some groups relied too much on the RTFM response to questions. The Ubuntu Beginners Team was an exemplary example of this and I believe that Linux Padawan mirrors that style. With my current involvement in Fedora I have also discovered that you do not have to write code to contribute. Fedora teams like CommOps and Fedora Magazine make it easy for people to have a positive impact without having to have deep technical skills or the ability to write code.
- How are you going to pass on mentoring? What projects will you help them get involved with?
Due to my day job being systems administration my core focus in mentoring is usually related to that. I am able to code a little, but use what I know to automate repetitive tasks. I like to work with people on how to make use of SSH, GPG, NMAP and other tools.
- Linux Padawan is still a relatively new project, but what has your experience been so far?
I do not have direct experience with Linux Padawan, but the structure is similar to what the ubuntu Beginners Team used. There are also many friendly faces that I remember from the Ubuntu Beginners Team so my on-boarding has been pleasant.
- What do you hope to help your Padawans achieve during your mentoring of them?
I would want to help each Padawan grow their experience with FOSS so that they do not have to rely on closed source software to be productive with their computing resources. Eventually, I want each Padawan to grow comfortable to mentor others.
- Outside of Linux Padawan, what projects or community are you involved in?
- What advice do you have for new users who are just starting off and want to learn more about Linux?
The first item would be to let Linux Padawan help you. The second would be to try lots of distributions so you find the one that meets your style. The third would be to make sure that the community surrounding that distribution is active, welcoming and helpful.