Below you can view a nice video explaining the mechanics of how Linux is actually built from a real world software application development perspective.
The video explains that 10,000 patches go into each new release of Linux, but that after each submission has been checked over by a senior level Linux developer or "maintainer", when the maintainer finishes his or her review they will pass it on to Linus Torvalds himself how holds "ultimate authority" on Linux before each new kernel can be released.
Torvalds himself will be talking about the latest developments to the kernel in person at the LinuxCon Europe and Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE) taking place in Barcelona Nov. 5-7, 2012.
It's an illustrious line up also featuring Intel's Linux chief Dirk Hohndel, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth (talking about how Ubuntu is advancing the user experience both on the desktop and in the cloud), Eucalyptus Systems' CEO Marten Mickos, SUSE's VP of engineering Ralf Flaxa and Evernote's CTO Dave Engberg.
According to the Linux Foundation's official communications arm, speakers will also include Open Materials co-founder Catarina Mota who will discuss her research as it relates to open hardware. Mota is a TED Fellow, co-chair of the 2012 Open Hardware Summit and a member of NYC Resistor and OSHWA.