2 teen programmers talk about why they love Linux, love Google and don't hate Windows 10

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Linus Torvalds

If you want to understand the future of any given technology, look to teens. If they love it, chances are it has a long and healthy future.

So it is with teen techies and developers. Apple has become a huge focus for teens of late, so much so that Apple came up with a whole teen program for them at its annual World Wide Developer conference.

But the open source operating system Linux, with its kumbaya open-source development cycle – where anyone can use it for free, make changes and submit those changes to the group to be included in the main project – has also always attracted teens.

Business Insider recently interviewed two teens who were doing such cool work on the open source operating system that they came to the attention of the Linux Foundation, who told us about them. (The Linux Foundation is the official keeper of Linux and employer of its famous creator, Linux Torvalds.)

One interesting note: both of these teens have also used Windows and don't hate Windows 10. And they both really like Google's apps and Android.

16-year-old Sean Webber from Michigan

Sean Webber is a sysadmin at his own organization called yAzZiE:Labs, which hosts game servers and websites. Webber runs it with his friend and fellow system admin Andrew Gottschling. And they've working on offering even more services.

Sean Webber"We are in the planning stages of launching a VPN service based on the OpenVPN protocol," he tells us. A VPN, or virtual private network, allows computers to connect securely and send data or access apps over the internet.

Plus, Webber is a sysadmin and team leader at a startup called TechOats, which is working on an online magazine geared toward admins, enthusiasts, and technicians.

He says that other kids have told him they find his tech hobbies "boring" but he's gotten over being offended by that.

"Technology was created to solve problems and the industry pushes the bar a little higher every day. I take pride in being a young member of the industry that makes the impossible possible," he tells us.

Business Insider: What do you use Linux for?

Sean Webber: I started using it as a hobby because I like to tinker with things, but now I use it for practically everything. Automated backups, coding, VPNs, routing, web browsing, web hosting; you name it, I probably use Linux to do it.

BI: How did you learn it?

SW: I learned how to use Ubuntu (a Debian Linux distribution) via the AskUbuntu forum, Reddit's /r/Linux4Noobs, and the microblogs of experienced system administrators via Google Search.

BI: Why did you choose Linux instead of any other options?

SW: It can do almost anything, gives me the freedom to do practically anything, and protects my rights and security better than practically anything. I like to think of Linux as the Legos of the software world: you can build anything out of it as long as you have enough hardware.

BI: Do you work with/ or develop apps for any other platforms?

SW: I currently do not develop any "native" applications for any one platform. All of my projects are written in the HTML5, CSS, and PHP programming languages which are universally compatible across all platforms.

BI: What do you think of Microsoft Windows 10?

SW: I hope Microsoft repairs the inconsistencies that arose in Windows 8's move to the "Metro" user interface. They made a lot of consistency and stability improvements in Windows 7 that were lost in the transition to Windows 8. I am a huge fan of Windows 10's new "peer to peer update" feature but am apprehensive of its biometric security measures (e.g. iris scanning via webcam).

What about anything Google (apps, etc.)?

Google is one of my favorite companies. Android, Chrome, Gmail, Hangouts, Photos, and Play Music All Access are all things I use on a daily basis. I love Google's company philosophy, contributions to open source, and ability to raise the bar in any industry they enter.

BI: What advice do you have for other teens who want to learn about Linux about how to start?

SW: Keep an open mind and do not allow the Terminal to provoke fear in you. Many newcomers to Linux are quickly scared off because it doesn't work the same way Windows does. Once you push through the first hour of working with the Terminal instead of Control Panel, you'll be on your way to being a Linux pro. The Terminal is your friend!

18-year-old Ryan Walmsley from the UK

Ryan Walmsley is running his own business, RyanTeck, using Linux, where he sells boards and electronics for the techno "maker" crowd.

Ryan WalmsleyBusiness Insider: What do you use Linux for?

Ryan Walmsley: I use Linux for day-to- day for work and personal use.

For work: I use Chrome and Google Apps for a majority of office tasks along with web shop applications to process orders. I also use Glabels as my program to print labels out for shipping. For personal use, I use Chrome for social networking and Steam for gaming.

What I find is that my Linux computer is best for programming. I'm mainly using Python for quick applications and PHP for websites. I also have Linux setup on VPS's (a virtual private server, which is a cloud server) in the cloud for some websites I host.

I mostly use Ubuntu Linux. I quite like the Unity interface.

BI: How did you learn it?

RW: Really it's not much harder than Windows.

I've been using Linux on and off since 2007 and have been using Linux as my main OS for around a year and a half now. It's easier for me to code under Linux than windows. Windows also suffers greatly of slowing down after a year and usually requires a re-install. Another big reason I switched is Steam's big push to get games onto Linux.

BI: Do you work with/ or develop apps for any other platforms?

RW: I currently don't develop applications for any platform. I do some Python programming for Raspberry Pi projects and for my work and also website programming. I have done a little experimenting with Android app design but not published any big applications.

BI: What do you think of Microsoft Windows 10?

RW: I still use Windows 7 as a second OS on my computer as I've not been able to find any decent Video editing software for Linux along with a couple of legacy applications and games which require a Windows base. If I buy it, it will be from where my Windows 7 key has finally expired. It seems that it fixes most things I've not liked about Windows 8, but Windows 10 isn't wowing me any more than Windows 7.

BI: What about anything Google?

RW: Google Apps, I absolutely love. I use it for both my personal and company's email systems and use Google Plus, Youtube, Gmail, Drive / Docs and much more. I use Android for my phones.

It just works. I host my own websites but have always had issues with emails, with Google Apps it takes a lot of pain out of it.

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