It’s a brave endeavour to dive into the source code for any project you didn’t program yourself, another entirely when that project happens to be the guts of Linux. Considering the impact the open source operating system has had on the IT world, having some familiarity with its internals is going to take you places — a sentiment Linux creator Linus Torvalds agrees with.
Network World’s Jon Gold talked with Torvalds on the recent “Who Writes Linux” report, published by the Linux Foundation. Gold noted that despite still representing the largest force in code contributions, the number of unpaid programmers working on the kernel had dropped 19 per cent from its 2012 numbers.
Torvalds contends that the drop doesn’t show a move away from the kernel, but rather, those who do add to the operating system are prime candidates for employment:
According to Linus Torvalds, the shift towards paid developers hasn’t changed much about kernel development on its own.
“I think one reason it hasn’t changed things all that much is that it’s not so much ‘unpaid volunteers are going away’ as ‘people who start writing kernel code get hired really quickly,'” he told Network World.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that contributing Linux will get you a job, but it’s definitely a way to improve both your skills and knowledge. Improving one of the most widely-used operating systems in the world doesn’t hurt, either… just make sure you don’t get on Torvalds’ bad side.