1. What do you do at Linux Academy?
I’m a Course Author in the DevOps/Linux area. Predominantly, I focus on Salt – at least for now!
2. What did you do before this?
I was a technical writer at, well, Linux Academy for two years, before being given the opportunity to create courses. And prior to that, I worked as a technical writer at an infrastructure as a service company. As a technical writer, I specialized in Linux-based documentation and also worked on training and distro-rolling teams. I enjoyed my previous job, but Linux Academy offered me an opportunity I couldn’t say no to – I was one of the first few full-time employees, and it’s rare to find a company that you really believe in and get to be part of when it’s still small. It’s been a joy to watch LA grow.
3. What do you like most about what you do?
I love being able to delve into topics and figure out how best to present them to our students. Learning is one thing, but finding the best language to use to make others learn easier is something I find both challenging and fun.
4. What’s your favorite part of working at Linux Academy?
We have a great team here. Everyone supports each other, and no one will ever make you feel bad for asking a question or looking for a second opinion. Our higher-ups also genuinely work to do the best they can for the people who work under them, and we’re always encouraged to learn more or try different things if we think of something that we think will help our students.
5. What are you currently learning?
I’m trying to take my Python to a more advanced level (PS: Check out our Python course).
6. You recently became a Course Author, can you tell us a little bit about that transition?
I was just a little bit terrified at first! I’ve always worked primarily in written mediums, so recording and editing videos was pretty intimidating. I could be confident about my subject-matter, confident about my ability to write a study guide, but that was new to me. However, once I got used to things, a lot of them nervousness melted away.
7. You launched your first course last month, congrats! How was that process?
Thank you! It was really good. I’m lucky, I’ve watched our Course Authors work for years and had some sense of how they worked. The head of my content area, Terry, also always made sure I knew the best order to work in to not get overwhelmed and not get stuck making hundreds of quiz questions in a row on a Friday night. Remember how I said you don’t have to be afraid to ask questions here? I asked a lot of questions. And now, as I work on my second course, I really feel like I have the process down well enough, I can really focus on trying some new things.
8. What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a huge book nerd. I love all books – I’ll read anything. My last three books were Atonement, Leah on the Offbeat, and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. I also write fiction – mostly horror and fantasy – and play video games.
9. Favorite food.
10. Favorite quote and why?
I’m bad at remembering quotes! But I’ve always loved this description of programming languages in a fiction book (Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan). I feel like it gives a good peek into programming without relying on anything other than what an average person would understand, so later when characters discuss programming concepts, it’s understandable.
“Programming is not all the same. Normal written languages have different rhythms and idioms, right? Well, so do programming languages. The language called C is all harsh imperatives, almost raw computer-speak. The language called Lisp is like one long, looping sentence, full of subclauses, so long in fact that you usually forget what it was even about in the first place. The language called Erlang is just like it sounds: eccentric and Scandinavian.”
11. What’s something you’re really excited about right now?
Summer! It will be nice to open my blinds again and see more than grey.
12. What do you like to collect?
Let’s be honest; the answer is books.
13. If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why?
Telekinesis; being able to manipulate the world around you with your mind just sounds really fun. Also, potentially good for emergency situations.
14. You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?
A dark teal, something in the #24747b color hex range. I find green-blues relaxing, and I favor dark colors.
15. Teach us something we may not know in 10 sentences or less.
To save a file in Vim that you’ve already edited, yet need escalated privileges to save, use :w !sudo tee %.
:w writes the file; specifically, it writes it to sudo tee %, wherein tee directs the output of our file write to %. % stands for the current file. Of course, the sudo provides the privilege escalation we need.
16. If you could interview one person (dead or alive), who would it be?
Grace Hopper! She died when I was still young, but seeing some of her interviews enamored me with her. The way she explains technical concepts to non-technical people is amazing.
Well, either her or Stephen King. I do love Stephen King.
17. What’s one thing on your bucket list?
I’ve always wanted to visit Finland and stay at the SnowCastle of Kemi.