Originally Published: Wednesday, 22 March 2000 Author: Jobs Staff
Published to: interact_articles_jobs_ask_staff/Ask the Jobs Staff Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Ask the Jobs Staff: Where can I learn Linux?

Dear Jobs Staff: I am looking around for an internship within the linux community. Being fairly new to linux myself, this is my attempt to both learn from some hard-core users and begin the process of contributing myself. Could you help me out? Where can I look for these jobs? Are there any available with linux.com? Thanks.

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Dear Jobs Staff:

I am looking around for an internship within the linux community. Being fairly new to linux myself, this is my attempt to both learn from some hard-core users and begin the process of contributing myself. Could you help me out? Where can I look for these jobs? Are there any available with linux.com? Thanks.

Nkosi

Dear Nkosi:

Usually, one of the first places to look for internships would be in your own community. Check local colleges or universities, and see if they have anything of interest. You might also want to find local Internet Service Providers who are using Linux, and see if they want an intern, or even part-time help. If there are any Linux-based software companies, or other such things near you, check with them too. It usually doesn't hurt to ask, and the worst they can do is say, "No, there's nothing available."

Next, if learning Linux is your goal, you might see if there is a Linux User's Group (LUG) in your area. If so, you might want to join it, and if not, maybe you'll want to form one yourself. You might find others in your community who are interested in getting together to learn more about using Linux. To find out more about LUGs, head over to Linux.com's LUG section.

If you're very new to Linux, you will probably want to set it up at home, and learn as much as you can before you can really contribute to actual development. Set it up, set up some services like Apache and DNS, write some shell or Perl scripts or modify existing ones to do what you want, and in general, learn, learn, learn. Break stuff and fix it. Repeat. This is the way a lot of people begin.

In addition, there's a great need right now for documentation of existing packages as well. If you're interested in helping with this, you could contact the Linux Documentation Project and ask where the needs are. By writing documentation for packages, you'll also be learning more about how they work, and filling a need for the community at the same time.

If you can program in C or Perl or certain other languages, there are also packages with, say, Debian, which don't currently have a maintainer or which are looking for someone to start a new package. You can check out SourceForge for many Open-Source projects and try to find one you might be interested in. Join the mailing list, read the archives so you know what's already been going on, and see if you can contribute.

Many people get their start in Linux and open source by just finding a need and trying to fill it. For example, if you notice a problem in an open source program, and write a patch for it, you might consider joining the mailing list for that project and either posting your patch or asking if anyone is interested in seeing it. If you have managed to hack a nice feature into an existing package, you might notify the maintainer of that package and ask him or her if they are interested in using it.

As for Linux.com, since we are a website mainly run by volunteers all over the world, we cannot offer any internships. Of course, you could apply for a volunteer position yourself (http://linux.com/volunteer/) and thereby gain more knowledge about linux.

There are several ways to get involved, you just have to decide where your interests and skills are and go that way. There's a place for almost everyone to contribute to Linux and Open Source in some way, just pick the one that's right for you.

Good luck!





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