Here are 4 things you need to do the next time you go to a Linux event:
1. Lose all expectations.
2. Get uncomfortable.
3. Party like Tux.
4. Think about how you can help, then get involved.
The broader developer community may be generally characterized as a young person's game, but the Linux community is about longevity. The free and open source software community represents a lifetime of work for some. At this point, Linux Torvalds – the namesake of Linux – has only written about 2% of the Linux kernel, many other people have pitched in. If you expand the sample size to include all the various flavors, desktop environments and programs you begin to realize how much work has been done by others, for your benefit.
My head is spinning. The only reason this post is even being written is through the power of caffeine. Let me give you an easy action item for the day: find your local Linux User Group. You can find several lists of LUGs and here is a link to a list of LUG lists at The Linux Documentation Project.