Windows Embedded Expert Jumps Into Open Source

Sean Liming, Owner of Annabooks, has been heavily involved with Windows embedded for years, dating all the way back to 1995.  With the growth of Linux and open source, Sean decided that he’d like to beef up his Linux knowledge in-order to create a new book to help people transition from Windows to an open software solution.  He decided to attend a Linux Foundation event in 2012 and has taken two Linux Foundation courses, which he says helped with the development of his new book: Open Software Stack for the Intel Atom Processor.

Sean began by attending the Yocto Project developer day in 2012 and combined that with the Linux Foundation’s two day Building Embedded Linux with Yocto Crash Course (LF404).  This year, he came back and took the Embedded Linux Development Crash Course (LF410) that was offered in conjunction with the Embedded Linux Conference (ELC).

The approach of taking both a training course and attending an event is one that we highly recommend. We feel that attending both events and training is a great opportunity to double down on your education, while getting valuable exposure to the community and building new relationships.  

We caught up with Sean to ask him a few questions about Linux Foundation events & training and his experience in being exposed to the Linux / open source community.

1.  What was your experience like of attending both a Linux Foundation event and taking a training course?
“I got to see the embedded Linux world up-close and get a feel for it and really experience it.  The training was great because it’s very intensive and there is a lot of information.  But, the great thing about the event is that you have a lot of experts right there and you can make great contacts. It’s about community, it’s about getting that information and education as you’re building your system.

2.  Since you’re a longtime Windows guy, can you talk about your exposure to the Linux community?
“The experience at the event was eye-opening. Everyone was very friendly.  There was a very strong community feel, which was refreshing from my Windows embedded experience.”

3.  Would you recommend the Linux Foundation’s training courses and events?
“I definitely would recommend the training classes to people looking to get into embedded Linux.  There is a lot detail in the different classes.  Understanding the different build systems for example, I’d heard about Buildroot, but I didn’t really know the different options. All the little pieces of information just clarified things and it was like, ‘oh, this is what you need to do to build and run Linux.’ The course was fantastic with that.
I think the events are a big benefit.  And my business partner and I are talking about attending Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) next year.”  

4.  How will attending the training course help you moving forward?
“The class was great.  There was a lot of information and I’m hoping to follow up and continue building on what I learned.  For me, I’m going to continue to go down the Yocto Project route and this class really helped in filling in those gaps on building things from scratch.  It was confusing on how to build from scratch. And the courses clarified it.”

5. What can you tell us about the book?
“The book is an aid to help those getting started with open source software. I have had a few Linux developers attend my Windows embedded classes, but I had no context for their descriptions of Linux. With Windows embedded focusing on more vertical devices and Linux becoming a dominant operating system in the embedded space, I thought it would be interesting to see what it would be like to go from Windows embedded to embedded Linux, and the effort has been eye opening. I can now address Windows / Linux comparisons moving forward.”

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