Spiria logo.

Linus Torvalds no longer a programmer

November 1, 2019.

Linus Torvalds.

Linus Torvalds. Krd, CC BY-SA 4.0.

What is the creator of Linux and Git, Linus Torvalds, doing these days? Well, he’s spending his life responding to email, and the major part of his role as “benevolent dictator for life” consists in saying “no”, he said to Dirk Hohndel, VP of VMware in charge of open source, during a chat at Open Source Summit Europe. “I don't know coding at all anymore. Most of the code I write is in my e-mails. So somebody sends me a patch ... I [reply with] pseudo code. I'm so used to editing patches now I sometimes edit patches and send out the patch without having ever tested it. I literally wrote it in the mail and say, 'I think this is how it should be done,' but this is what I do, I am not a programmer. […] I see one of my primary goals to be very responsive when people send me patches. I want to be like, I say yes or no within a day or two.” Torvalds also said that while he’s happy with what he’s doing for Linux now, he, like many of us, sometimes doubts his abilities. Even he has imposter syndrome! Could this be age-related humility?

ZDNet, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, “Linus Torvalds: 'I'm not a programmer anymore'.”