June 3, 2013

30 Linux Kernel Developer Workspaces in 30 Weeks: Steve Rostedt

We're back this Monday with our second profile (see the first one with Greg KH here) in the latest edition of 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks. This series focuses on the workspaces used by Linux kernel developers and aims to take us a little closer into the ways that some of the world's best software developers do their work.

This week we talked to Steve Rostedt, who works for Red Hat and maintains the stable Linux kernel releases of the real-time patch. A huge thanks to Steve for taking us deep inside his office with this video and giving us a sense of how he approaches the magic and the madness of Linux kernel development.

What do you like most about your work space?

My chair. Well, I've had lots of chairs over the years, and I loved every one of them. They require arm rests, because I like to do arm chair push ups where I lift my legs straight out and then use the arm rests to push my body upward. This probably explains why I need to constantly replace my chairs, as they don't last very long.

As I also spend too much time in my office, a comfortable chair is very important. I don't like the fluffy lazy boy type. I like a firm back rest but also a switch that lets the chair rock.

What do you like least?

The mess.  I'm horrible at keeping a clean office. I work on different things all the time and take things out and never put them back. I eventually get overwhelmed and break down and straighten everything up. But that just lasts a couple of days before things are all over the floor again.

My wife is a neat freak and told me that as long as my mess does not extend out into the rest of the house (I have a home office, if that wasn't obvious), she doesn't care how my office looks.

What's the oddest workspace you've ever used?

When I worked for TimeSys, I had to go down to its Pittsburgh office and had to work on one of its machines that was kept in a small room. As it did not have a remote terminal, I had to be at the machine. Since there were no chairs in the room, we had to make use of the machines around us for chairs and tables. I sat on one machine with my laptop on another (taller) machine as a desk.

Is there a particular item in your workspace that we should know about?

Hmm, I guess the strangest thing in my office is the remains of my beloved dog Angel (a bull terrier). When we had to put her down (she had cancer) I had her cremated. I was given her remains and never buried her. She's sat on top of my cabinet for as long as I've worked in my current office.



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