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Unix Dweeb

Red Hat underpins the growing importance of Linux and open source

Oct 22, 20183 mins

Red Hat's new vice president and general manager of its RHEL Business Unit, Stefanie Chiras, enthusiastically embraces the growing importance of Linux.

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Credit: Stephen Lawson/IDG

While you may not spend a lot of time thinking about this, the role Linux plays in the technology that we all use everyday is growing quite significantly. In an effort to more fully appreciate this, I had an opportunity to speak with the new vice resident and general manager of Red Hat’s RHEL Business Unit — Dr. Stefanie Chiras — and ask about her vision for RHEL and Linux in general. She was very enthusiastic — not just for Red Hat, but for the open source movement overall and the rising importance of Linux.

Chiras started with Red Hat in July — not quite four months ago — and already describes herself as a “true Red Hatter.” She explained that she has had a serious focus on Linux for the last six years or more. As she points out, we all do development differently these days because of the open source movement. The changes in just the last five years have moved us to very different ways of doing things whether we’re working on public or private clouds, containers, or bare metal.

During the interview, I learned to properly pronounce “RHEL,” which I’d in the past always expanded to its full name (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Chiras — and probably everyone else at Red Hat — simply says “rel” as in the beginning of “relevant.”

Chiras was most excited about joining Red Hat at what she sees as a pivotal point with Linux providing greater stability and security and the rapid current of innovation. Developers are increasingly turning to Linux for rapid deployment, using tools such as OpenShift for rapid delivery.

Linux is everywhere

Linux is playing an increasingly important role in all of our lives. In fact, it has become one of the most important pieces of computer software in the world. Even those of us who don’t own or manage Linux systems probably use it every day — on our phones and tablets, through the web pages that we frequent, when we check our friends’ Facebook pages, when we find our way to websites using Google, or when we research topics on Wikipedia. Those of us who manage Linux systems have probably noticed that we’re not so much the oddballs on the tech staff that we were five or 10 years ago. The systems we set up and manage are moving to the mainstream and providing more important services than they ever did in the past.

What the increase in Linux means to us

Linux skills are increasingly valuable. Regardless of the technology in use, the OS is just as important as ever — on every platform and not at all diminished.

How everything comes together is vital and exciting. Open source and Linux in particular have dramatically changed the computing world and brought us to an increasingly flexible, powerful, and fast moving technological landing pad. Developers and Linux professionals are as important as ever. Put on your seat belts, and try to keep up. We’re all going places, and the technology that’s moving us forward is very exciting.

Unix Dweeb

Sandra Henry-Stocker has been administering Unix systems for more than 30 years. She describes herself as "USL" (Unix as a second language) but remembers enough English to write books and buy groceries. She lives in the mountains in Virginia where, when not working with or writing about Unix, she's chasing the bears away from her bird feeders.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Sandra Henry-Stocker and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications, Inc., its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

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