The Linux Foundation regularly awards scholarships as part of its Linux Training Scholarship Program. In the five years that the Linux Foundation has hosted this program, it has awarded 34 scholarships totaling more than $100,000 in free training. In conjunction with this program, we are featuring recent scholarship recipients in the hope that their stories will inspire others. In this installment of the series, we talk with Erich Noriega, a recipient in the Sys Admin Superstar category.
Apply by June 30 for a 2016 Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) Scholarship. Learn more.
Erich lives in Canada, where he works as a consultant and a Software and Integration Architect. He has worked with Linux in web servers, databases, application servers, and virtualization. Additionally, he worked on an e-government initiative using Linux as the operating system for running load balancers, DNS round robins, databases, and content management applications to deliver very demanding service level agreements in terms of concurrency and availability. For that work, he and his team were recognized by the United Nations in the 2005 Public Service Award.
How did you become interested in Linux and open source?
By exposure and curiosity at the Tec de Monterrey Campus Hidalgo university back in 1993. There, we had some *NIX-like computers, some AIX and one NeXT, so my first exposure must have been with Unix, we had fast Internet access (a DS-0!) at the time, browsing newsgroups using Lynx and then Mosaic. It all began after realizing I could download, compile, and install software to have a page similar to the ones I visited, my own webpage… So, I got an early version of Linux kernel — somewhere in the range of 0.5 to 0.9 kernel version — read a lot, learned a lot, and then after many, many trials succeeded in compiling the operating system, and set up an HTTP server and started to serve the seventh webpage in Mexico.
What Linux Foundation course are you planning to take with your scholarship?
How do you expect to use the knowledge you gain from the course?
I continue to learn new things on a daily basis, I am always eager to understand different perspectives to the same problem, find multiple solutions, and how can they mix and match, or act together in an orchestrated symphony. I am naturally curious, and I ended up in the information technology domain without really thinking about it. I just love to solve problems; sometimes solutions come naturally from previous experiences, but more frequently solutions impose a challenge. To learn and then to solve, those are my expectations from this formal training.
What are your career goals? How do you see a Linux Foundation course helping you achieve those goals?
I am 37, I have been doing this since I was 17. I have been lucky enough to have witnessed and undergo deep transformations in the organizations I have collaborated with in both private and public sectors. I believe it is in my interest to keep learning, keep maturing, and keep sharing the experience gained from practical real life. Fortunately, I am in a domain where I will never stop learning and playing with new things, and I will continue to task myself as an agent of change — not only to influence technology supported and informed decisions but to steer the organization’s internal debate in asking the right questions.
What other hobbies or projects are you involved in? Do you participate in any open source projects at this time?
I am not participating in open source projects as a contributor; however, I use open source software every day. I work as a consultant and a Software and Integration Architect in the Québec city region, and I use different technology stacks all the time (open source and closed), I also have been exploring open source technologies and working on a prototype for embedded Pi hardware, along with some pressure and temperature sensors, to solve some problems on the maple syrup plantation of my partner’s family.