If your background is in computer science and mathematics; I tip my hat to you.
If you have or you are working on you associates or bachelors degree in engineering I wish you the best.
My Os is Debian 6.0.5 code name: Squeeze. It's performance is sound, clear and very stable.
I am not sure how the developers assembled or even built it but I can tell you that they are exceptional people with degrees in the specialties as mentioned above.
This is a basic video on "How To Build Your Own OS"