Linus Torvalds: “I don’t know coding at all anymore”


Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux kernel remains a revered figure amongst coders and app developers. Speaking at the Open Source Summit in Europe, Torvalds says that he is not a programmer anymore. He shared the stage with Dirk Hohndel, the Chief Open Source Officer of VMWare.

When Dirk Hohndel asked Torvalds about his “job,” Torvalds said,

I read and write a lot of email. My job really is, in the end, is to say ‘no.’ Somebody has to say ‘no’ to [this patch or that pull request]. And because developers know that if they do something that I’ll say ‘no’ to, they do a better job of writing the code.

Torvalds says that he’s more of a code manager and maintainer instead of a developer.

On top of that, he’s not a programmer anymore, Torvalds says:

I don’t know coding at all anymore. Most of the code I write is in my e-mails. So somebody sends me a patch … I [reply with] pseudo code. I’m so used to editing patches now I sometimes edit patches and send out the patch without having ever tested it. I literally wrote it in the mail and say, ‘I think this is how it should be done,’ but this is what I do, I am not a programmer.

He said that one of the main things he does is reply to people who send him code either as patches or requests because it is important to provide feedback.

Torvalds also says that it has now become easy for a developer to code. There are better tools, better documentation, and an active community who is eager to help the newcomers in this field.

Despite the fact that he doesn’t code anymore, Torvalds says that he is pleased with what he is doing now. While on the stage,  Torvalds also shared that he was once suffering from the Imposter Syndrome: a psychological temporary illness where one starts to doubt his/her abilities.

Also Read: First Windows ‘BlueKeep’ Attacks Spotted Installing Cryptocurrency Miners
Anmol Sachdeva

Anmol Sachdeva

Anmol is a tech journalist who handles reportage of cybersecurity and Apple and OnePlus devices at Fossbytes. He's an ambivert who is striving hard to appease existential crisis by eating, writing, and scrolling through memes.
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