Tamalin

About Me

Hello, my name is Quytelda Kahja. I am an open-source developer living in the bay area of California. I am also a student at the University of Illinois College of Engineering (UIUC), where I will graduate in May of 2018. I am involved in several open-source software projects including The Linux Kernel, FOCS, and Babel.

In my free time I enjoy programming, archery, exploring, creative writing, and artificial language construction.

My Skills

Unix & Linux

I have been using Unix-like operating systems (mainly GNU/Linux) in my primary computing environment since 2007. I have extensive experience with managing common Unix system services such as Apache, CUPS, Samba, SSH, and Xen, and I am also very familiar with the POSIX API. I understand Linux Kernel internals and configuration well enough to maintain my own custom kernel tree (optimized for my computer) and to submit frequent patches to the Linux Kernel project.

Programming

I have been programming since I was in middle school. The first programming language I learned was PHP, because I was curious about websites beyond what static HTML/CSS could offer. However, I quickly took a liking to writing applications, so I taught myself languages used outside of the web sphere; first was C, then C#, followed by Java, Python, Bash, Mathematica, and Ruby. In college I decided to learn Haskell for fun, and quickly fell in love with the language and its mathematical bent. This combined with the strongly typed nature of the language plus its ability to be interpreted or compiled makes Haskell my favorite programming language. However, I do most of my development in C, the lingua franca of Unix. I appreciate C for its minimalism and low level access, which taught me a lot about how computers function.

The more programming I did, the more curious I became about how computers work at a low level. I did a lot of research on my own time, but there wasn’t many quality resources available to me that could satisfy my burning curiosity. I learned x86 assembly, and tried to write my own kernel from scratch; I got a simple “Hello, World!” kernel running but I still had lots of questions. I finally found the answer to most of those questions in the Linux Kernel.

A masterpiece of digital collaboration and open source development, the Linux Kernel is the core of all GNU/Linux operating systems and powers countless devices world-wide, including all Android phones, the vast majority of the Internet’s infrastructure, and 94% of the world’s top supercomputers. To me, the open source code was a treasure mine of information for anything I want to know about how computers operate. I became enamored of the project, and realized that Unix systems programming (with focus on the Linux Kernel & Drivers) was the career path I wanted.

Projects I Have Contributed to

My Hobbies

Computers

I’ve been fascinated with computers my whole life. I first picked up on HTML when I was in sixth grade, and I was quickly hooked. I read books on PHP, CSS, then C, Java, Haskell, Python, Ruby, etc. I’ve continued my computer science studies at the University of Illinois, where I have found I most enjoy systems programming on Linux systems; I have since become involved with Linux kernel development, where I have contributed code to multiple drivers.

I view programming as an art as well as a science. In my mind, beauty is an expression of balance; beautiful code balances verbosity and precision with succinct expression and efficiency. I strive to produce this type of code in my work, and though I may write slower than other programmers, my code is always very readable, extensible, and robust. My philosophy is to do things the right way the first time to the greatest extent possible, and always refactor when the scope of the problem changes or becomes clearer.

Archery

Archery I’ve had a passion for archery since middle school, when I started taking lessons at our local range. Despite the fact our range eventually closed, I held on to my interest and picked it up again at university. Now I’m a regular at the bay area archery ranges. The bow I shoot is a 60lbs Hoyt Powermax and I generally shoot ranges anywhere from 10 to 80 yards.

Language Construction

For as long as I can remember I have been inventing scripts and language. Originally my interest derived from a fascination with cryptography, but it quickly took on a life of it’s own when I started creating fantasy worlds where my languages could grow and be spoken. Now I build complete languages, cultures, mythologies, and art in the world called “Quin”.