Andreas Ericsson (from op5.com) is coming to FSCONS to talk about Nagios.
Andreas started using free software when he was about 14. By then he had been trying to teach himself programming for almost 7 years. Getting access to source-code that actually did something rather than the pretty lame examples of cash-register programs found in library books was a real novelty, so he dug in and started trying out various modifications of his own. Some of them got accepted upstream, but most of them were dropped on the floor, although with helpful comments which slowly made him a better programmer.