Not Just Nerds

Two years ago I was one of three Linux users in a semester group of 60, and wondered why so many of us relied on Windows in spite of its obvious unsuitability for running even the most basic programming-related software. Yesterday in the first IT security lecture the professor did an online poll. 12 students out of 24 present said now Linux was their primary OS! (11 said Windows and one said Mac OS.) I know for a fact that number includes most that are left of us.

No big surprise, come to think of it. Because Linux simply is the obvious platform for most anything even remotely connected with programming, software engineering, data science and so on. From Git (source control) to editors to programming languages to IDEs to almost any kind of useful tool, particularly open source: as a rule it runs flawlessly on Linux because it’s been designed for Linux, or at least with Linux in mind, and installing it on Linux is usually a one-liner, from which point onwards the package manager takes care of its entire lifecycle. Not to mention that as soon as you touch a server, you’re in Unix country anyway, and Unix == Linux, more or less.

Yet the funny thing is that the professor claimed that half of us using Linux was a quite unusually large percentage. Which made me wonder. Because it’s true, nobody at UAS ever told us to prefer Linux. To the contrary. As I said two years ago, all installation guides and tutorials are usually aimed at Windows users. So why did we, and only we it seems, produce such a high percentage of people using Linux? Granted, we’ve often been told that we are, generally, a quite unusual semester group in many ways. More active, more cohesive, maybe all in all more interested. But still. Could it be that it was the other two guys and me who started a trend two years ago? I’d like that.

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