GUADEC 2014 is almost upon us, and we are talking to the three keynote speakers who are lined up for this year’s conference. Nathan Wills – LWN editor, typeface designer and author – is one of these keynote speakers. His talk, titled Should We Teach The Robot To Kill, addresses issues relating to Free Software and the automative industry. We caught up with him to find out a bit more about this fascinating subject, as well as his views on Free Software conferences.
Karen Sandler is a veteran of the free and open source software world. Having completed an engineering degree, she has worked as a lawyer for the Software Freedom Law Center, was Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, and recently accepted a position as Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. I interviewed Karen via email to ask her about her background and insight into various issues in the free and open source world.
I was working at McGill University InfoSec at the time, and was also active with Fedora Project -- which is how my name showed up on the list of candidates. The Linux Foundation was looking for a systems administrator with a strong background in IT security -- who would also be a good fit for a decentralized team of passionate open-source advocates. I'm extremely glad I was a good fit for the position, as I can't imagine receiving as much satisfaction from any other job.
“In the last five to six years I began working with 3D printers and CNC machines. I started to build stuff, such as furniture and gadgets, and my first Raspberry Pi project was the Pi Snap Box. It’s the size of a mini-PC and is a box you put on the wall with one button on it. If you press the button, it takes three photos. It posts the first photo to a Facebook account for whoever the box belongs to. So for example, if you hang it up in a hairdresser’s salon and get your hair done all nicely, people could then see the good results on the hairdresser’s Facebook page.
Spencer Hunley is an autistic professional, former Vice Chair of the Kansas City Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities, and current board member of the Autism Society of the Heartland & ASAN's Kansas City chapter. In August, Spencer will be giving a talk, Universal Tux: Accessibility For Our Future Selves, at LinuxCon in Chicago. He also gave a talk, Maximizing Accessibility: Engaging People with Disabilities In The Linux Community, at LinuxCon North America 2013.
In this interview, Spencer provides an update on the state of accessibility in Linux and open source software.
Experience with Linux is an important thing – a track record of tinkering and involvement in the open source world. Working in drivers, embedded Linux, etc. At this point companies are desperate for Linux talent. The most important thing to show is you've gotten hands-on with bits of the kernel, whichever ones are interesting to you personally. Time spent as a site reliability engineer or working in a DevOps environment is particularly attractive to employers these days, as are well rounded sys admin skills. Even if you just run Linux as your primary operating system and know how to tinker with your machine, you’re ahead of many candidates.
Michael Halstead maintains all of the public facing infrastructure for the Yocto Project, a Linux Foundation collaborative project that provides the tools and methods for building custom embedded Linux distributions. In this Q&A he describes his typical day at work, the best part of his job, how he spends his free time, and more.