Back in 2000, while studying CS in college, I was not happy with the Micro$oft attitude. So I took a year off and discovered Linux that gave me an interest to return studying CS. So I did search the University that was the most Linux oriented.
In my first week, at Sherbrooke University, I was hired to maintain Linux in the Lab. Later I applied for an internship with Karim Yaghmour, the author of Building Embedded Linux Systems, that got me involved in Kernel Development.
I used a few distros, my own (LFS) among others, but actually feel happy with using Ubuntu as my main OS, since about 2006.