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Valdis.Kletnieks at Valdis.Kletnieks at
Sun Jan 25 13:31:55 EST 2015

On Sun, 25 Jan 2015 10:07:44 -0800, Satwantjit Kaur said:
>     I am a final year B.Tech (CSE) student from NIT Jalandhar. I like
> programming and I know C and C++ programming languages. I have worked
> on IPC and socket programming in C/C++. I wish to take up a project in
> Linux Kernel development and contribute to it. Can somebody guide me
> further?

I'll be blunt. Unless you *already* have an interest or desire in a particular
part of the kernel (for instance, filesystems, or networking, or memory
management, etc), you probably aren't a good fit for actually contributing to
the Linux kernel.  You might be able to hack up some code that will satisfy a
professor for a project, but actual contributions are usually held to a higher

Consider the difference between "I'd like to write a book, but have no idea
what to write about, can somebody suggest whether to write fantasy, or a
romance, or non-fiction about sports, or something", and "I'm thinking about a
story about the adventures of a Roman centurion fighting the Gauls, but need
help making it historically accurate".

Pretty much everybody will agree that the first book is doomed, because
the author obviously isn't connected that much to their project.  The second?
That has a *much* higher chance of producing a good story, simply because
the author has a vision for the project that they can stick to.

And that affects mentoring - nobody who knows anything about writing fantasy
novels will be interested in helping somebody who hasn't even decided if
they want to write about fantasy or scuba diving. Somebody who knows they
want to write about a Roman centurion fighting the Gauls? At that point,
it's worth the 5 minutes for a Roman history expert to give suggestions
and references to the way things were then....

And the Linux kernel is the same way.

Now, if you have a professor that's *insisting* on a Linux kernel project,
that's an entirely different problem. ;)

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