I met Alison Chaiken at LinuxCon 2010 in Boston, not long after she joined Nokia as a Meego technical consultant. A few months later, I interviewed her about her role at Nokia and her predictions about where open source technology was headed in 2011. She predicted an increasing role for cameras and microphones in mobile. "Cameras and microphones are used deliberately to take photos and record voice commands, but in the future they will be always on, gathering ambient data about the environment of users on the go," she said.
These days Alison works on automotive Linux systems programming at Mentor Graphics' Embedded Software Division, and she spends a lot of time working with, contributing to, and speaking about systemd. She'll be leading a training session, systemd, the Next-Generation Linux System Manager, at LISA15 in Washington D.C. on November 9. In this interview, she makes another prediction—that sys admins will enjoy using systemd.
I’m currently self-employed, with a focus on open source development and consulting for companies interacting with open source projects.
Besides OpenBSD, I have been contributing to Apache Subversion since 2007. One of my main jobs is to provide support, workshops, and consulting for Subversion, plus fixing bugs and working on new features. I am somewhat involved in the Apache Software Foundation as a whole, but at this point in time my contributions there are more symbolic in nature, mostly because of lack of time and focus.
I did my bachelor’s in Electronics Engineering, and embedded systems interested me a lot. Linux runs on millions of embedded devices and is a huge collaborative project -- thanks to Linus Torvalds and the Linux community. I started following Linux in my college days.
When I actually started working on the Linux kernel, I saw some memory leaks in kernel code and observed that every contributor has a voice in the open source community. Therefore, I started sending small patches on LKML. I got great support from maintainers and, because of that, my interest was boosted.
To be truly successful as an IT organization, you must bring new ideas to drive revenue or reduce cost for the business as a whole. If you don’t, they’ll do it without you where there is a critical need and they have a budget. Then, you’ll end up with a non-integrated set of solutions and potentially security exposures.
I always loved „playing” with different operating systems so it was just a matter of time that I run into OpenBSD…
I first came to it because of its security reputation. „Security” is a very challenging aspect of modern IT and I was glad to find an operating system that made it its priority. I trust these guys much more than I trust myself in that regard
The Linux Foundation regularly awards scholarships as part of its Linux Training Scholarship Program. In the five years that the Linux Foundation has hosted this program, it has awarded a total of 34 scholarships totaling more than $100,000 in free training to students and professionals who may not otherwise have access to these opportunities. In this continuing series, we share the stories of recent scholarship recipients with the hope of inspiring others.
Whiz Kid scholarship recipient Anthony Hooper (age 23, from Jamaica) has been interested in technology since junior high. He says learning more about Linux is important to his future so he will be able to do what he deems is meaningful work. What Anthony loves most about Linux is the “sheer magnitude of collaborative work poured into the kernel over the years by individuals all over the world and companies who are even rivals themselves.” He says that being able to learn about the system and make a contribution to it, even a small one, would be nothing short of amazing.
While virtualization is great in multiplexing resources among different applications with different operating system requirements, the overheads of virtualization are pretty high. One of the other recent patterns that is gaining tremendous momentum is container-based ecosystems, where the virtualization overheads are pretty low. As I understand, it is a great environment for Linux-based distributed applications but does not yet have as strong primitives as OpenStack for multi-tenancy aspects (especially isolation).
A friend introduced me to OpenBSD about 15 years ago. At first I was just fooling around with it, and dual booting as necessary, but once I started using it as a server, I didn’t want the embarrassment of downtime whenever I had to reboot. Then I figured out I could write papers using WordPerfect (via Linux emulation) and stuck with OpenBSD full time.