Valve Picks Up Another All-Star Linux Developer
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 14 July 2012. Page 2 of 2. 24 Comments

- With the Valve Source / Steam Linux confirmation and visit, the first person I ended up recruiting for Valve to join their growing Linux team was Forest Hale. Forest is the creator of the open-source DarkPlaces game engine (an original id Tech 2 engine fork), which is the visually-impressive game engine that powers games like Nexuiz and Xonotic. He was also responsible for the Quake Live ports to Mac OS X and Linux, plus other Linux contract work for different companies.

- Another referral I sent over to Valve was David White. David White is the founder of the open-source Battle for Wesnoth open-source turn-based strategy game and former Google engineer.

- And now beginning next week, Sam Lantinga will be joining the Valve Linux team and bringing his experience from Loki Software, his leading of SDL, and years of development work from Blizzard.

Valve has quite the Linux team going! And these are just the names that I'm aware of... I don't have a Valve Linux roster but just comes down to those that I have met on the team at Valve, worked on recruiting for Valve, or exchanged emails with at Valve. So for the missing Valve Linux developers from this list, sorry! I know there's at least one or two names missing from this list.

While they already have a lot of talent for their Linux work, they still need more developers to make their Linux dreams a reality, beyond just the native client ports of the Source Engine and Steam client. As recently as this week I was communicating with them about more potential hiring opportunities for Linux. They don't just need game engine developers but are also after graphics driver developers, kernel developers, etc.

If you're an extremely talented Linux developer and are looking for an exciting job (and don't mind relocating to the Washington area), contact Valve! I would recommend contacting Mike Sartain (you can find his email from this kernel bug report) or you can also email me. If your experience is very notable, I'm happy to refer you to them. Again, you don't have to be focused on game engines but if low-level Linux development excites you, Valve still would like to chat. The main issue from the other Linux developers I've talked with for potential recruiting, however, is that you must be willing to relocate to the Seattle/Bellevue area.

As said in an earlier article, "For those that may be mad that this (closed-source) game company has poached the lead of one of the most impressive open-source game engines out there and continue to go after more all-star Linux developers, it shouldn't be too concerning. I wouldn't be referring these important open-source contributors if I thought Valve was just using it as a crude way to kill open-source software or in the secret pocket of Microsoft. I'm very confident in Valve and their Linux intentions; the impact of their work can greatly benefit the entire Linux ecosystem in huge ways. Whether you're a Linux gamer or not, it's to everyone's benefit that Valve's striking Linux work is steaming with greatness. Without the very best developers the Valve Linux cabal could be left for dead or ricocheting through a portal that has a half-life that is too short to make everything a reality."

At the rate their Linux team is expanding, the next time I'm out there and bringing German beer to the Valve Linux developers, it will need to be barrels of Bavarian beer instead of bottles (possibly some Augustiner from the wiesn if they are in beta by Oktoberfest; or some openSUSE beer might be more fitting from XDS2012). Gabe has publicly said yes to releasing Steam on Linux this year.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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