In 2016, Ahmed Alkabary had just graduated from the University of Regina, where he earned degrees in computer science and mathematics. He began using Linux in the second year of his studies and quickly developed such a passion for it that he began extra studies outside of university to advance his skills. Ahmed’s enthusiasm for Linux even led him to develop a free course on Udemy to teach it to others; nearly 50,000 students have enrolled to date. Following the completion of his studies, Ahmed hoped to secure a job as a Linux system administrator.
Ahmed applied for and was selected as the recipient of a LiFT scholarship in the category of Academic Aces, which enabled him to enroll in the Linux Kernel Internals and Development (LFD420) training course and the Linux Foundation Certified SysAdmin exam.
We followed up with Ahmed recently to hear what he’s been up to since completing his Linux Foundation training.
Linux Foundation: What have you been up to since receiving your scholarship?
Ahmed: The LiFT award was a monumental shift in my life. Ever since I received the scholarship, my life has been nothing but a blessing!
I am now in my 3rd year working at ISM Canada (an IBM Company) as a Linux system administrator. In my interview back in 2017 I mentioned that I had received the 2016 LiFT award and the interviewer was very impressed; it was one of the key points that made them hire me!
LF: What was the most useful thing you learned through this training?
AA: This course gave me more insights and knowledge into Linux. I learned more than administration tasks; I learned how system calls work and how the Linux kernel is built and how all Linux subsystems work and interact with each other. It made me a better and a more confident system administrator for sure.
I was also very lucky that in 2016 LinuxCon North America was held in Toronto and The Linux Foundation gave me a free ticket to the conference. The foundation was also extra kind to grant a free ticket to a friend of mine who was so inspired by the conference that he made a career shift and he is now working full time as a Full Stack Web Developer!
LF: How have you given back following this experience?
AA: I have always been an open source enthusiast! I have been pitching Linux and open source to all my friends, family and colleagues. A friend of mine was looking to get into an industry job after graduation and I helped get him into Linux and he is currently doing multiple interviews for sysadmin jobs. I also told my friend about the 2020 LiFT scholarship program so he could apply to it!
It’s a domino effect! You guys have helped me and in turn am helping everyone I know! I am also now playing a key role in IBM to shift our client to Azure Cloud.
LF: What’s next for you?
AA: Spoiler alert! I recently published my first Linux book!
I am also currently developing a Unity game that teaches Linux! I am a big believer of gamification. I believe the game idea will change how learning is perceived around the world.
Words can’t express the appreciation that I have towards the Linux Foundation.
2020 LiFT scholarship applications have closed, and winners will be announced in late June.