In this article, I will tell you about my participation in the Teknofest Pardus Debugging and Suggestion Contest and my experiences during the contest. Actually, before I touch on this subject, I need to state how my Linux adventure started.

About 2,5-3 years ago, when we were in the pandemic period, as you know, schools switched to distance education. Thus, an unused old, small laptop at home, which has almost nothing to do with technology, came into my hands. This laptop had 1GB of RAM and Atom N64 processor, which doesn't even support 270bit. Although I tried to use this laptop as it first came to my hands, I was having a very bad experience with the contribution of the certain operating system running on it.

Then I learned to format and started to switch from operating system to operating system. But I was always trying different versions of the same system. And none of them satisfied me. After a while, I came across a Linux distribution named “Lubuntu” as a result of my research. I wasn't aware of Linux's ecosystem and distribution diversity back then, and Linux was just Lubuntu to me. Later, I learned that there were other distributions, even one of the first distributions I was aware of was Pardus, but I did not change the distribution in any way and continued to use Lubuntu.

That is, until you experience Pardus yourself. Maybe you remember, about 2,5 years ago, the pandemic eased a little and we returned to schools, albeit for a short time. During this time, I had the opportunity to examine the system on smart boards at school and saw that it was a specialized version of Pardus for boards. After that, my interest and curiosity for Linux increased. I wanted to try Pardus on my own computer, but as I mentioned above, my computer did not support 64bit architecture. For this reason, I tried to satisfy this enthusiasm with a smart board.

A visual from the Pardus ETAP version. Source:

I tinkered with the blackboard whenever schools were open and learned quite a bit. Frankly, I learned most of the information that I could not learn due to the limited possibilities of my computer. This process continued for approximately 1 year.

Later, I learned about this competition thanks to an older brother at my school. But I thought I was more of a newbie and I didn't have the courage to participate in the competition. That's how I missed the competition in 2022. But after a while I got a new computer and had the opportunity to learn a lot more things much faster.

Then Teknofest 2023 started to approach and I decided to participate in this competition this year. As you may know, with the Pardus Debugging and Suggestion Contest, a few contests start later than usual. Even though I was aware that the competition would start late, I could not help being uneasy. I'm starting to wonder if it won't be held this year.

Fortunately, the competition calendar has been updated and it has been determined that it will be held. I applied as soon as the applications opened.

Time passed and about a month remained until the deadline for the competition. Since I was still in high school, I couldn't think much about the competition, be it lessons or other responsibilities. However, the thing that saved me was the Linux systems that I had been dealing with for about 1,5 years and the software area that I was more interested in. In this way, I was able to complete the things I needed to do on time.

I'm mainly interested in the internals of Linux and things that end users won't interact with much. Therefore, an important part of my suggestions were related to these. Optimizing the system or adding support for a file system to the installer…

Finally, I got an e-mail stating that I had achieved a degree in the competition. I immediately informed my family and started to wait for Teknofest with excitement.

We were told that we had rank, but we were not told exactly where we were. That got me even more excited. Fortunately, the day of the festival finally came and I was under the age of 18, so I set out with my mentor teacher. The day after we arrived in Istanbul, the festival was starting.

It was the next day and we left our dormitory to go to the competition area, but it was raining. We somehow came to the area, but it was not very crowded due to both the rain and the first day. We spent the first day in the field in general.

On other days, the area was quite crowded. Especially on Sunday and Monday…

Finally, the awards ceremony came. When I went to the festival area, I learned that I was the 1st and received my award. In the following days, I came to the area and visited other stands. In this process, I had the opportunity to meet many people from both the Pardus team and other teams. The last festival was over and I returned home. Frankly, I think that this competition and Teknofest gave me a lot. Moreover, it is a pleasure to contribute to a system used by thousands of people. I would definitely recommend you to participate in the competition. Good luck to everyone who will participate in the future. Also, don't forget to listen to the podcast we made with other fellows! Thank you for reading.