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[ale] Where to Start?

On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 12:44 PM, Brian Pitts <brian at polibyte.com> wrote:

> On 06/17/2010 05:50 PM, Lenaud Hughes wrote:
> > I'm completely new to Linux and open source software in general. Where
> > should a novice, like myself, start in learning about the Linux OS and
> > participating in open source projects.
> What are your goals? The answer to your question will vary radically
> depending on them. It might help to talk a little about your background
> and and what you currently do with your computer(s).
> --
> All the best,
> Brian Pitts

> I want to thank everyone for their willingness to share information. With
> all the options available through Linux; it was becoming overwhelming trying
> to pick which distro to focus on. So, the responses really helped me narrow
> my scope.

   Some members brought up the concept of professional vs. personal
aspirations. So as Brian suggested, I'm including a little background to
clarify my interest. I'm a college student. Prior to entering college  I had
no experience ( or interest) in coding or anything related to it. In my
first semester I took an entry level course that used Java to explain
different concepts and techniques within the computer science field. I fell
in love with it; the problem solving, the ability to create something out of
nothing, the entire process of going from problem to algorithm to code to
I immediately changed my major to computer science and began delving into
the world of software. I came across an article by Joel Spolsky spelling out
the deficiencies of what he referred to as  the "Java school" student. That
article led me to a Paul Graham article  which led me to a "How to be a
Hacker" article which led me to Linux.
So at this point in my "career"; I'm not too worried about whether my focus
will be on a commercially-viable distro or otherwise. I more concerned with
just "digging in" and learning as much as I can. I'm sure once I start
learning I'll be able to determine whether I need to stick with my first
choice or change course.
Thanks again for everyone's assistance.
                       - Lenaud

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