Thank your teachers: Linux, programming, and more

Thank your teachers: Linux, programming, and more

Five special thank yous, plus three book recommendations for students.

Raspberry Pi instructors in front of a whiteboard
Image credits : 
Raspberry Pi Foundation. CC BY-SA 4.0

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Where would be without our teachers?

Today, on National Teacher Day, take a few minutes to send a special note to one of your favorite teachers. Five of our writers did. Read their heartfelt notes below, but first, take note of these three awesome book recommendations for students looking to learn more about coding, open source, and Linux.

Book recommendations

Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms by Hannah Fry

Hannah Fry’s Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms explores what it means to live in a world powered by algorithms. Fry’s book can help readers learn that there is more to software development than just writing good code; there are deep questions about the consequences of having decisions made by algorithms. By learning from Fry’s examples, readers can develop an understanding of the social consequences of code, which will help future programmers form a better understanding of why they are coding and what that code will mean for society. (Recommended by Joshua Allen Holm)

Forge Your Future with Open Source by VM Brasseur

Students who want to contribute to open source projects but don't know where to start can read this book to find out how to find a project and make their first contribution. (Recommended by Ben Cotton)

Linux for Makers by Aaron Newcomb

One of the hurdles in learning how to set up and use a Raspberry Pi computer is becoming familiar with the Raspbian Linux operating system that powers the computer. For those makers who are not familiar with Linux, this can add one more hurdle when learning how to use the single board computer. Aaron Newcomb has authored a great book that makes that transition much easier. The book helps its readers overcome their initial fears of a new operating system and provides a foundation for further learning and success. (Recommendation by Don Watkins)

Thanking a teacher

Sachin Patel says thank you:

My GIMP teacher Rolf Steinort is very special to me because he dedicated his time to create more than 200+ videos on how to use GIMP. And I managed to watch all of them. I was never so passionate about photo editing until I watched his tutorials. The knowledge I learned will stay with me for life!

Josh Kho says thank you:

My Linux teacher Philip Sweany taught me everything I know about RHEL from a sysadmin standpoint so far. He's the face and voice of RH124, RH134, and RH199 for me; his eloquence, concision, and style in the videos of those courses helped me learn commands and syntax with gusto. I've not met him or worked with him before but I hope we get to collaborate and contribute one day.

Katelyn Formy-Duval says thank you:

My Scratch teacher is special because she is nice and generous. She helps me with my coding, and if I don't understand what I am coding she will tell me why I am not doing it right. Then she explains the correct code and helps me as best as she can. She is a pro at Scratch, and she has helped me become good at Scratch. Right now, she says I am ready for JavaScript. Without her, I would not have been able to join a special social group called the "Scratchers"—instead of being a guest, she has made me member, and now I'm in the special social group.

Chris Hermansen says thank you:

My first fateful brush with computing occurred in the fall of 1974 at the University of British Columbia, in Computer Science 210, taught by Prof. Jim Kennedy. Prof. Kennedy was an animated teacher who explained those introductory concepts clearly. He challenged us to think, in the way that university is meant to challenge undergrads to think, by posing tough questions and offering as reward the famous "blue ticket," a token that permitted one compile-and-go run of a FORTRAN program at the Student Terminal. By explaining fundamental concepts such as the Halting Problem using, sometimes wildly, humorous examples, he made sure we retained those basic ideas necessary to ground the thinking of computer scientists and software developers. He was somehow larger than life, down there at the front of a 200 seat classroom, holding us all in the palm of his hand while explaining the introductory arcana of computing, making jokes about FORTRAN and AI and decidability. He made us feel educated and sophisticated. I'm pretty sure we all saw him as a minor deity of computing. And in my case, at least, he ignited a life-long interest in the possibilities of these wonderful machines and the software that runs on them. Thank you, James Kennedy. Requiescat in pace.

Don Watkins says thank you:

I would like to thank Ross Brunson who was the best teacher I ever had in any Linux course I have taken. He was my teacher at the 'Linux Boot Camp' in 2004 and thanks to his expert tutelage I became very comfortable with the command line in Linux. We started with 'bare metal' and installed Red Hat 7.1 (That was prior to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. He would not allow us to install a GUI for three days and taught us how to completely install and provision a Linux desktop/server from the command line. He was also the first person I interviewed for a story on in 2015: "Get a paycheck in open source, be a social activist"

Who do you want to thank today and why? We'd love to hear in the comments below or on social media using #thankateacher.


About the author

Jen Wike Huger - Jen is the managing editor for On any given day, you'll find her running the website's publication schedule and editorial workflow (on kanban boards), as well as brainstorming the next big article. Learn more about her at