Do you have to be brain damaged to care about Desktop Linux?

Do you have to be brain damaged to care about Desktop Linux?

Inspired by James Piercy who does the What's Going on in His Head talk I gave one of my own. It's a mix of personal review of having head trauma and geeky (nerdy?) talk about my work with desktop Linux and open source software to the Linux User Group in Glasgow.

If you have an opportunity to talk about head injury I recommend it, the more people who know about it the better.

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  • Speaking as a wannabe geek (I'm studying software engineering), I'm reluctant to talk about my head injury as I don't want people thinking I'm not up to the job technologically speaking. Up until recently this was particularly relevant as I was applying for industrial placement positions in my sandwich year. Luckily I've found a placement now but even in a meeting with HR once I'd been offered the position, mentioning that I didn't drive because I'd been run over when I was 11 I felt like I was leaving myself open to this paranoia?

  • It's partly a question of attitude. Some are (rightly) very proud to have recovered their former abilities and would challenge anyone who questions them. However, 'outsiders' (people who have no understanding/experience of head injury and might hold some prejudiced views) might like to see hard & fast proof of a person's capabilities in the workplace. So I would do whatever it takes to achieve my goal and put some accomplishments 'under my belt' before confiding this part of my history. But I think I would do eventually, if only to serve as a sort of ambassador for the brain injured community.

    Well done fuzzyhead & keep up the good work. :-)

  • Working in the open source world it's pretty much impossible to have anonymity on the internet so I don't bother. I just have to hope my achievement stand on their own merits should I ever need to go for a real job.

  • Yeah, maybe getting involved in open source and getting a few contributions behind me is the way to go before I start mentioning it to people I don't're established already, so it's a different situation I guess...not that I intend to deceive, I would just rather not risk prejudicing people against me, certainly at this point.

  • Getting involved in open source is the only way to learn software development in my experience. Otherwise you're just stuck with some example in textbooks but if you want to learn how a real programme works then open source is the only way to get stuck into it. I recommend helping Kubuntu, join us in #kubuntu-devel on freenode :)

  • Glad to have inspired someone! I chose to talk about my injury because i have spent a long time talking about things to people and it kind of made sense to do this too. I can understand why some might be reluctant and i've met people who have faced a real stigma about brain injury. My message is 'look what i can do not what i can't' since i very nearly lost the chance to do anything at all. James

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