In 2017, Jules Bashizi Irenge was a graduate of the Masters of Computer Science program at the University of Liverpool in the UK. A longtime Linux user, Jules dreamed of pursuing a Ph.D. program where he could use Linux for computer science research projects. While awaiting the results of his application for asylum in the UK, he heard about the Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) Scholarship program and decided to submit an application.
Thanks to his passion for Linux, Jules was selected as the recipient of a Linux Newbies scholarship, which he used to enroll in the Essentials of System Administration training course and to take the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator exam.
We followed up with Jules recently to see how he has been and the impact the scholarship has had.
Linux Foundation: What was the most useful thing you learned through this training?
Jules: I liked every technical aspect of it, but I most enjoyed learning about command line; powerful commands like grep, awk, kill, lvmcreate, pvs, lvs, to mention but a few. The system calls and how to kill processes were interesting too. Overall the course was fun.
LF: Have you shared the knowledge you gained with others? How so?
JI: Yes, after I completed the course, I became more competitive for Linux administration roles. I remember receiving a lot of calls for Linux roles once I put my CV online, however my asylum seeker status did not permit me to work so I did a lot of volunteering instead. I volunteered at a charity called Sovereign House GH, where I taught teenagers Python programming on the Linux operating system. I installed Linux on their laptops and showed them some cool features that makes the OS stand out from the crowd. I told them about the Linux Foundation scholarship too.
LF: Has your job changed since receiving the scholarship? What did you do before, and what are you doing now?
JI: When I took the training I was hoping to get into a PhD project involving working with Linux which I could not because of my immigration status at the time. Instead, I committed myself to improving my knowledge of Linux further.
When I was eventually granted permission to work, I applied for and was thrilled to receive a Linux Kernel Internship with the Outreachy program. Being a certified Linux administrator made me again a strong applicant and I easily understood the internship tasks.
The internship was challenging and exciting. I successfully completed the internship last month and wrote a blog about my experience. Now I am pursuing my dream of being a phD applicant at the University of Manchester for a project that involves working a lot with Linux internals, system calls.
LF: Are you contributing to any open source projects? Which ones?
JI: Yes, I do contribute once a week to the Linux Kernel community. I just pick issues on a Linux Kernel subsystem or sometimes a Linux driver and propose solutions. I have had more than 200 patches already accepted to date.
2020 LiFT scholarship applications have closed, and winners will be announced in late June.