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OSU Open Source Lab

On Leaving the Open Source Lab, Jonathan Frederick

by Jonathan Frederick on Wed, Sep 25 2019

My first Linux operating system was Ubuntu 10.04, when I was still young. It was my first experience with open-source software, which I didn't fully appreciate at the time. I just wanted an operating system to work on my Dell hand-me-down computer and didn't want to pay for windows. So, Linux was the first thing I found. Over the next few years I started to really appreciate open-source software. I realized its importance for the internet and myself since it was one of the only things that allowed me to have full control over my devices.

Around this time I learned about the Open Source Lab since it provided hosting for many open-source projects that I used. I preferred to use the OSL mirrors for downloading files from open-source projects because they were the closest and fastest. I was very happy with the service they provided to those projects, allowing people like me to get into open source software.

A little while later, I got accepted as a student at OSU. I started to look for jobs on the OSU website, and found that the OSL was hiring! I jumped on that opportunity after remembering how it provided a fast and close mirror for various open-source software projects, and it led me to work at the OSL as a student systems engineer.

While working at the OSL, I gained more experience than the classes could teach me. I was working on real projects and with real people. I felt like I was making a real impact and improving the open-source projects I had used and even some projects I never heard of before, but soon came to know rather well.

I had never experienced running a truly production Linux system before. Learning about how different things were from how I ran Linux taught me a mountain of information that I am grateful to have learned. I also was able to give a few talks about Linux at our DevOps Bootcamp program and the OSU Linux User Group. These opportunities have improved my public speaking skills significantly, gained me a few friends, and let me teach others about how I use Linux and other open-source software.

After much consideration, I have decided to not continue in my education at Oregon State University and will move on to User Research International in a full-time position.

My time at the Open Source Lab has been fun, exciting, fulfilling, and engaging. I wouldn't trade it for anything, and I will cherish it for many years to come. I hope that the Open Source Lab continues to grow and flourish, and to keep giving people the experience I had.