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KernelTrap.org: interview: William Lee Irwin III

Mar 13, 2002, 19:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Randy Hron)

[ Thanks to Joe Black for this link. ]

"rwh: Any tips for the aspiring kernel hacker?

"wli: Well, I believe I am still aspiring myself. =)

"Everyone says persistence is key, but it's not enough. One thing I've noticed is that because the kernel is responsible for maintaining the integrity of both data and the running system image, the cost of a failure (i.e. bugs, and as with any programming, they are numerous) is that data is lost and systems go down. A big fear to overcome is that of disrupting the proper operation of a system or losing data. When a kernel crashes it destroys data and the machine goes down, and you can't be afraid to see this happen if you're going to get anywhere. Programming is error-prone, and one must be prepared to commit errors. A stumbling block for me early on was that I was too careful and obsessed on repeatedly reviewing code to be sure the system wouldn't crash when I tried to run with it."

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