2016 LiFT Scholarship Winner Alexander Popov: Linux Kernel Contributor

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Alexander Popov is a Linux system administrator and Linux kernel contributor whose dream is to become a full-time kernel developer. He was one of 14 IT professionals to receive a 2016 Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) scholarship, announced last week.   

Alexander Popov, LiFT scholarship recipient
Since 2012, Alex has had 14 patches accepted into the mainline Linux kernel. With his employer, Positive Technologies, he has helped develop a bare metal hypervisor that they hope to open source soon. And this year he spoke at LinuxCon Japan about his work porting Kernel Address Sanitizer (KASan) to his company’s bare-metal hypervisor.

He is using the free training and certification provided by the LiFT scholarship to take the Linux Kernel Internals and Development (LFD420) course from The Linux Foundation.

Linux.com: What is your dream job and why?

Alexander Popov: I would like to become an excellent system software developer and develop the Linux kernel full time.

There are 5 reasons behind my goal:

1. I feel happy when I’m programming;

2. I like system software development and being able to concentrate on details;

3. I don’t like proprietary technologies and really praise the idea of free

software;

4. I want to collaborate with the world’s best professionals;

5. Developing the Linux Kernel fits all the aforementioned aspects perfectly.

Linux.com: How do you plan to use your LiFT scholarship?

Alex: I’m going to attend Linux Kernel Internals and Development (LFD420). The course outline inspires me a lot. This course provides “a detailed look at the theory and philosophy behind the Linux kernel” which will convert my fragmentary knowledge and skills into a whole picture. That will be a great step forward for me.

Linux.com: How did you learn Linux?

Alex: Just before writing the diploma at university I fell in love with Linux and at March 2010

I became a system administrator to have more experience with open source software.

I worked as a system administrator for two years. My duties were:

  • Deployment and administration of network infrastructures based on free software

  • 24×7 system administration of high-loaded production Linux servers.

Linux.com: How did you get involved in the Linux kernel community?

Alex: I decided to go deeper into Linux internals and since May 2012 I work as a system software developer.

Currently, 14 of my patches are applied to the Linux Kernel mainline. You can see my most important commits on kernel.org or from my open source developer profile on Open Hub.

Linux.com: What are you doing now?

Alex: Now I work as a system software developer at Positive Technologies. We develop a bare-metal hypervisor and plan to publish it as open source. I’ve ported Kernel Address Sanitizer (KASan) to our hypervisor and shared my experience with the community at LinuxCon Japan 2016. (See his presentation slides.)

Linux.com: Why did you apply for the LiFT Scholarship?

Alex: I’m an Individual Supporter of The Linux Foundation since 2014. I’ve contributed to the Linux Kernel since 2013, and I can be more effective. LiFT is a great chance to upgrade my Linux Kernel development skills and become a more valuable contributor.

 

Learn more about the Linux Kernel Internals and Development course from Linux Foundation Training.