Rachael Nelson has a love for sharing, freedom and technology. While her goal was to major in computer science or electrical engineering, Rachael decided to study Management Information Systems at Texas Tech as it was a less demanding major enabling her to stay home and take care of her sick mother. Over the course of her career, Rachael worked her way up from QA to network analyst. In 2018, she applied for and was awarded a Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) scholarship in the category of Developer Do-Gooders. At the time, Rachael expressed her desire to leverage open source technologies to help people in her community by making it more affordable and adding protection to their freedoms and interests.
We followed up with Rachael recently to hear what she’s been up to since completing her Linux Foundation training.
Linux Foundation: What training did you take with your scholarship?
Rachael Nelson: I took the Linux Certified System Administrator (LFCS) training and exam.
LF: What was the best/most useful thing you learned through this training?
RN: The most useful part for me about the training and exam was learning how to administer the system from a holistic perspective. The exam was practical, hands-on, and challenging.
LF: Have you shared the knowledge you gained with others? How so?
RN: Yes, I work for the state government and document useful tips in our wiki for newcomers to learn. My co-workers are mostly Windows or network based. The knowledge I have learned has allowed me to transition multiple commercial and custom applications to a Linux based solution.
My original application included helping rural citizens obtain jobs. My county has 40k people with a geographical size of Connecticut. I know an increasing amount of people working remotely in the area and that is encouraging.
LF: Has your job changed since receiving the scholarship? What did you do before, and what are you doing now?
RN: My job is about the same though we are slowly moving more and more to free and open source solutions. Last week we moved to a Debian based Ubiquiti Uniti solution instead of a Windows solution. We are slowly replacing out Windows servers (when feasible) with a Linux variant.
LF: Are you contributing to any open source projects? Which ones?
RN: Currently I am not participating in existing projects but I have a few networking applications (working on one right now) I plan on releasing this year on github.
2020 LiFT scholarship applications have closed, and winners will be announced in late June.