In 2014, Sandeep Aryal was a system administrator for the Nepalese government who was urging his colleagues to migrate to Linux and open source systems. He was awarded a Linux Foundation Training SysAdmin Superstar scholarship, which he hoped would teach him relevant skills that he could use to push for this transition.
We followed up with Sandeep recently to hear what he’s been up to since completing his Linux Foundation training.
Linux Foundation: What training did you take with your scholarship?
Sandeep Aryal: As a scholarship recipient, I successfully completed the course “LFS220 Linux System Administration” (editor’s note: this course is now titled LFS201: Essentials of Linux System Administration) provided by The Linux Foundation. It has been years now. And, for Linux enthusiasts, I hope my note of thanks for this opportunity might stir good positive vibes in these weird times.
LF: Tell us about the course. How has it helped you?
SA: For me, the scholarship has been one of my most prominent achievements. The training I received bolstered my career as a System Administrator in Linux by laying a solid foundation for Linux System Administration. To begin with, I would like to recall that in 2014, I had promised that I would automate regular office functions in the government offices I was responsible for, and to do so, I would deploy everything on Linux-based machines. During the years that have followed, I have had some web applications hosted, some system software built in virtual environments, and developed some useful tools for regular office record keeping.
Linux and System Administration in Linux has been the base for all of my work.
LF: Tell us more about these projects.
SA: One of my early projects for the Ministry of Urban Development in Nepal was a Django-based web application that kept the records of almost 3,000 employees. These records had to be updated from all the approximately 140 divisional offices and maintained employees’ personal details, the time they started their job at their respective offices, and the time they were transferred. Apart from these personnel records, the system had to be hosted on official virtual machines provided specifically for government offices. I configured the machines deploying Linux Servers — Ubuntu Servers at that time.
Next, came a project at the National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission where budgetary data available at each of 761 local bodies had to be collected. This was a very interesting project as it involved assimilating all the data from these government bodies, verifying their integrity, and analyzing all the data to generate useful reports. The work was even more interesting because the data was used in federal systems in Nepal for the first time. The web application, developed for the work, was also hosted in a Linux virtual machine. System security features, database security, firewalls, selinux, port filtering, port forwarding, routing, ssh, and other features had to be perfect in them. There are many other projects I could also discuss.
LF: Have you shared your knowledge of Linux and open source with others?
SA: Yes, I have also been a Computer Science lecturer. Ever since undertaking my own Bachelors in Computer Science, I have always used Linux as an essential tool. In subjects like Operating Systems, System and Network Administration, Digital Logic, Programming in C, and others, I have always imparted Linux concepts to my students. Students find it great using the Linux terminal and get inspired when they see everything that is possible using Linux. System Administration provides them with pragmatic ways to learn Computer Science. For over 7 years of teaching now, it still feels good to see the Linux community grow through both pupils and enthusiasts. And, yes, students still are awestruck when they see servers in the cloud controlled using ssh from their classrooms!
LF: Are you contributing to any open source projects? Which ones?
SA: The only thing that I have not had time to work on is any visible and direct contributions to open source projects available online. I have, however, made all of my own projects open on Github.
2020 LiFT scholarship winners were announced in late June. 2021 applications will be available in the Spring.