Jared Blouse likes to think of Linux as his “software playground.” And he’s been having fun with the trusty OS for more than a decade. “I get so much natural enjoyment from technology,” he says. “And experimenting in Linux is my favorite way to play and learn.”
Like a wide-open soccer field, Linux offers the clean solution space Jared needs to kick around new algorithms and computer science ideas. “Right now, I’m working on ideas related to a security solution,” he says, “and I’m using Linux to think through the specific details.”
Better patient outcomes, powered by Linux
As a Lead Software Designer at Philips Healthcare, Jared and his team of engineers use Linux as their main OS for developing innovative CAT scan products that can more accurately detect health issues—and ultimately save patient lives. His team chooses to power this important work with Linux because, he says, “in the Linux environment, the true computer scientist can innovate without barriers.”
He credits advances in Linux development tools to “the awesome open source community” and the complex development efforts of software engineers around the globe. “I have a great deal of respect for anyone trying to promote good software practices and disciplines with new tools,” he says, citing the Git version control tool as a great example of Linux innovation. “Everyone who works on an open source project like this is helping to advance computer science.”
Embracing the open source community
As a new member of the Linux Foundation, Jared plans to take advantage of as many Foundation resources as possible, including networking at Linux conferences and sharpening his skills with Linux training courses. He’s even using the @linux.com alias as his primary email address. “It’s just another way I can show support for my favorite OS.”
But he’s not just getting involved to prove his love for Linux. Jared firmly believes that Linux users should take the time to “learn everything Linux” and become good stewards for the OS. “Read all the man pages. Look at the source. Check out the online articles. And always seek out new ways to increase your learning and understanding.”
Looking back—and moving forward
Jared possesses the same passion for knowledge, collaboration, and continual improvement that sparked the Linux revolution two decades ago—and that keeps it moving forward today. “I have the greatest admiration for Linus Torvalds and the team of skilled engineers that continue to evolve the Linux kernel,” he says.
“When I first started using Linux, installation was difficult, and it wasn’t easy to find drivers for the hardware. But times have really changed! Now, Linux is as easy to install as Windows, and it does everything that the average computer user needs to do.” Of course, it also does much, much more. And for ambitious developers like Jared, it’s the foundation upon which a whole world of innovation is built.