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13-Year Software Veteran Learns New Tricks with Embedded Linux Course

Derald Woods is a 13-year engineering veteran who today works in software development, designing and supporting electronic vehicle controls for heavy equipment and trucks. Lately, his time is being used to work on an ARM9-based embedded Linux solution that involves NTSC/PAL video CSI input, V4L2 overlay, and graphics provided by an SDL implementation.

Derald WoodsThis work lead him to The Linux Foundation's "Embedded Linux: A Crash Course" to dig in deeper and build upon his existing knowledge in this area.

"I have had embedded Linux training from other sources, but this was an opportunity to ask questions and discuss some approaches that I have taken in the process of maintaining my own embedded Linux environment. It was good that the other class participants were also experienced Linux developers. We were able to pinpoint our specific needs and pull from the instructor's background. The instructor was a seasoned and experienced professional who actually has helped to deliver real solutions. He was able to sense the needs of the class and tailor the time spent toward those needs."

Vendor-neutral Training Offers Intimate Level of Expertise

In addition to the instructor's depth of knowledge, Derald said that the Linux training offered an opportunity to learn from other developers and engineers who deal with problems similar to his own. He says the biggest reason he chose this course from The Linux Foundation is because of the organization's neutral position and alignment with the Linux development community.

"I wanted to be sure that the information received was from a group that has some exposure to Linux at an intimate level."
Derald at LinuxCon 20th Anniversary Gala
Combining Training with Event Attendance Has Its Benefits

Derald was able to maximize his Linux training investment by taking "Embedded Linux: A Crash Course" while attending LinuxCon North America in Vancouver, B.C.

"The combination of the Embedded Linux training and the LinuxCon event provided a unique opportunity to get a full open source experience. I am usually the only person in the room who has gone beyond the high-level interactions with Linux code. At LinuxCon North America, everyone was like me to some degree. That was very refreshing."

As for the learning experiences in the LinuxCon sessions, Derald says that the sessions were very good. "They gave me some perspective on how open source projects are managed," he added. "Being in the same room with kernel maintainers was an interesting experience. Once you realize that they are actually 'human' beings and not 'mystical' beings, the big picture starts to unfold. They need our help with testing, validation, and occasionally a good idea."

Linux Foundation Training Translates into On-the-Job Expertise, Career Maturity
Derald is already using his new knowledge on the job.

"I have started using 'crosstool-ng' to generate the embedded Linux toolchain. This should allow me to have more fine-grained control of the compilation artifacts of the entire software stack. It forces me to consider more factors that impact overall software performance. I am learning more about how things really work."

He added, "If you are delivering an embedded Linux solution, you really need to continue learning. Even if you already perceive that you are good at what you do with Linux, training keeps you honest and engaged."

The Linux training Derald received from The Linux Foundation will add to his ongoing evolution as a software engineer and Linux enthusiast. He says that his career as as software engineer and Linux will always be completely intertwined. His technical interest in the Linux operating system started as a hobby but he soon found his knowledge helpful at work. That knowledge grew into an area of core competence for Derald in his job, and today it's his primary career focus. "Embedded Linux: A Crash Course" adds another level of understanding for his journey forward.

For more information, please visit The Linux Foundation's Linux Training website.


How Can We Help You? LinkedIn Linux Poll.

We are always considering different ways to serve the Linux community. We use a variety of social networks to share information about Linux that we hope is useful. We would like to learn from you how we can be even more useful to our followers on LinkedIn in 2012 and are running an informal poll on the site today and tomorrow to understand what types of information (Linux training, Linux jobs, etc.,) you would like to see from us on that network. Please take one minute to click your preferences: Linux Foundation LinkedIn poll.

It has been a pleasure celebrating 20 years of Linux with you throughout the year. We're looking forward to even deeper collaboration with you in 2012. Have a safe and Happy New Year!


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Best Linux Devices of 2011

Android this year surpassed both iOS and Blackberry as the most popular smartphone OS, further catapulting Linux into the spotlight in the mobile device industry. Just a couple months ago, Amazon announced what analysts say is the first real threat to the iPad, the Amazon Kindle Fire. This introduction once again put Linux in the spotlight by allowing a major comapny like Amazon to build a self-branded device that is, as BusinessWeek reporter Brad Stone described, "cheap, pretty, and puts Amazon in perfect position to take a bite out of Apple - and every online transaction you make."

Linux is making it possible for organizations to innovate in every device category. Because of its flexibility and cost, we expect to see a variety of new services-based business models take shape around Linux-based devices in 2012.

Before we embark on the New Year, though, let's take a look at some of the most interesting Linux-based devices of 2011. You can view the full gallery here, at Best Linux Devices of 2011.


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