Speaker Interview: Levente Kurusa


Levente Kurusa comes all the way from Hungary to speak at SCALE 13x on "Linux Desktop: When Is Our Year?" Levente's talk will be on SCALE 13x Saturday at 6. The SCALE Team caught up with him to talk to him about his presentation.

Q: Can you please introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about your background?

A: My name is Levente Kurusa, I'm an 18 year old computer enthusiast. I'm mostly into low-level development, like kernels and virtualization. Sometimes I crawl out of kernelspace and look around in userspace, then I get bad feelings and jump straight back to the kernel. Last summer, I was interning at Red Hat on their Virtualization Team, now I work for a startup on the Android Open Source Project. I've been using Linux for a looooooong time, and I'm quite ashamed that Linux isn't really popular here in Hungary, so I joined the Fedora Project as an Ambassador, and now I represent Fedora and Open
Source at conferences.

Q: I saw you are giving a talk on Linux Desktop: When is our year? Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: Reasons. A few reasons why Linux isn't (and not going to be soon) successful on the desktop. As a Fedora Ambassador, I talked with a lot people who wanted to try Linux on their PC, but were concerned about this and that. This talk will mostly address what I heard from them, and how we could fix them.

Q: What can the open source community do to encourage more girls and youth to get involved in tech?

A: I believe outreach programs like Google's Code-In and Summer of Code as well as OPW are great ways to get people interested in contributing. I also like what KDE does with tagging some bugs as Junior Jobs. I think these junior jobs are a great way to get a kickstart into the code (and the community!). Unfortunately, more critical projects like the kernel have no such tagging, since when an absence (if it is a missing feature) or a presence (if it's a bug) is noticed, they are implemented or fixed pretty soon.

Q: Is this your first visit to SCALE? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: Yes! I personally can't wait to be there. I've looked at the schedules of the past years and some of the talks, and all of them were great. I'm really looking forward to learn a lot about new things and meet new people as well as my friends from the open source community.

Q: IT is an ever changing industry, every year there is another new specialty to focus one's career. For someone like yourself who specializes in a particular field, could you give some advice for aspiring Junior Admins who are interest into getting into your line of work?

A: If you are aspiring to get into the kernel, I'd suggest you to find a bug. I know it might sound impossible, but trust me, the kernel is very big, unless you have a passion for a subsystem, there is no way you are ever going to understand the way it works. Once you know a subsystem by heart, you can grow your knowledge from there and possibly implement new features. You can also take a look at the
Eudyptula Challenge, people say it's good, I personally haven't found the time to take it yet, but it sounds promising.

Q: What are your favorite distributions and open source projects?

A: I use Fedora. I just love it. I love how it's stable most of the time and is “First” at the same time. Other open source projects, hm, I like the shell I use, which isn't dash or bash, but fish! It's a really cool shell that saves a lot of time, it's worth checking out.

[SCALE Team interview by Sean McCabe]