November 8th & 9th, 2024
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SeaGL speaker Q&A: Jesse Walling and Matt Kelsey

Jesse and Matt give their talk titled, “i3-wm: Tiling never felt so good” on Saturday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourselves and tell us a little about your background?

A (Jesse): Hi! My name is Jesse and I am currently a junior in high school. My passions and hobbies include computers, design, Aikido (a non-violent martial art), robotics, running, and drawing. I frequently ask myself how I can make things better, and this is how I discovered GNU/Linux. In middle school, I would frequently find pages on GitHub for fascinating projects but get stuck on the ‘Installation’ section because I was using Windows command prompt. I did not realize this immediately, but I eventually discovered that there was a strange and foreign alternative to both Windows and MacOS. From that point on I found the freedom of the system very empowering. The freedom of the code. The freedom to do whatever I wanted to my computer that fit myself. Every person has their reasons for using GNU/Linux and mine is that I want to get the most out of what I have while making it suit my needs perfectly. My background is mainly in markup languages such as HTML/CSS and LaTeX/TeX since I am so passionate about design. In addition to this I know a moderate amount of JavaScript and increasingly smaller amounts of Java, C++, and Python. I use GNU/Linux multiple times each day and might consider myself an aspiring sysadmin as well.

A (Matt): I’m Matt. I am a programming enthusiast and workflow fanatic. I am a junior in high school and spend most of my free time developing code, rock climbing, and racing drones. I was first introduced to GNU/Linux through Ubuntu trying to avoid buying Windows for a spare computer. Initially I was skeptical but soon grew to love both the operating and what it stood for. I later gave up Ubuntu for Arch and decided to ditch Windows across all my computers. I have been running various distros of GNU/Linux as my daily OS for about 4 years now and have never looked back.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: Good question! Expect to see two high school students (Matt and me) having a fun time presenting on a topic that we are very passionate about. There will be a tasteful amount of humor interspersed with the serious topic of i3-wm as well. Finally, we hope that afterwards people will leave with a large amount of useful information on the program and be able to look back over our presentation, which will be hosted on one of our servers, to go over things that may have been glossed over or unclear. Basically, two high schoolers having a fun time, some humor, and a surplus of information.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: For both of us this is our first visit to SeaGL. Last year we attended Linux Fest Northwest and loved every second of it, which initially inspired us to give this talk! If anything, we would expect a smaller-scale but similar format to LFNW.

Q: What is your most embarrassing mistake ever made with GNU/Linux?

A (Jesse): I was planning on testing a new GNU/Linux distribution on a flash drive and was using dd to move over the disk image. Instead of specifying ‘/dev/sdc’ I specified ‘/dev/sdb’ and accidentally wrote over my Arch Linux install. I spent the rest of my winter break reinstalling everything.

A (Matt): No comment.