The end of the internship

Last week the official days of the internship ended. It was a challenging and very interesting experience for me.

A short overview of the internship:

The beginning was the hardest part of the internship. I had to accommodate with both RCU notions, Coccinelle syntax and on top of this I had to take my exams at the university. The first weeks I struggled to figure out the Coccinelle syntax and try to use it for my tasks. Also, I was reading and talking with my mentor about RCU in order to know its API and the way it works so I can apply this understanding in solving problems.

Once I began being friends with Coccinelle everything became a little easier.

The main steps I followed in solving the tasks were:
– think about the task and discuss about it with my mentor
– write a simple Coccinelle script and step-by-step make it more efficient (where the task permitted;
some of the scripts made the changes right when the script was applied on the files, others only highlighted cases and after that, I would analyze the output and decide if I should make a change or not)
– discuss with my mentor my observations and possible fixes for the bugs

Unfortunately (for me), for some tasks I didn’t find many bugs as I wanted (a chance to send more patches and contribute more to Linux kernel 🙂 ). Anyway I learned a lot by analyzing all those cases even though only a few of them transformed into patches. Many of those cases were tricky ones and I think that was a good learning experience for me, trying to see if there really was a problem or not.

I still have work in progress and patches to send. Also, I wait for answers at many patches already sent. I will come up with a post with summaries for every task after I have all the answers.

Some lessons learned:
– good understanding of RCU
– intermediate user of Coccinelle
– analyze code written by other people
– you don’t have to automatize something if there is nothing to automatize
For sure, there are more, but these are in my mind right now.

Many thanks to my mentor, Paul E. McKenney, for all the advice for the project and in general, the quick answers and for all the help that he offered me. Thanks to Julia Lawall because every time when I had a Coccinelle problem she made time and helped me. Also, I want to thank the people from OPW. All of them are very nice and eager to help anybody!

In the end, I can say that my work for Linux kernel will continue for sure.

I can’t wait for LinuxCon Europe in October where I will talk about my project and meet people from OPW.
See you around!

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