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New Linux Certification Exam To Meet Skills Demand

The Linux Foundation wants to expand global talent pool of Linux professionals with new certification and exam

On by Tom Jowitt 0

The Linux Foundation is hoping to address global demand for Linux and open source professionals with a new new certification programme. It is accompanied by what it calls “a virtual, performance-based, distribution-flexible certification exam.”

The new ‘Foundation Certification Programme’ is geared towards Linux enthusiasts, as well as seasoned engineer-level systems administrators. It offers two pathways – Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) and Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE).

Skills Boost

In an effort to kickstart the programme, the Linux Foundation is giving away nearly 1,000 free exams to people attending the LinuxCon and CloudOpen conferences. It is also offering exams to the next 500 people for an introductory price of $50 (£30), compared to the regular exam cost of $300 (£181).

The new scheme is designed to tackle the demand for experienced Linux professionals, as the OS continues enjoying success among large businesses and corporations. The Linux Jobs Report revealed this year that managers are prioritising Linux hires at the moment, but are finding it difficult to source people with the appropriate skills.

Tux in a suit

So what do the new Linux Foundation Certificates actually offer? The examination can be undertaken virtually (via a web browser, microphone, web cam) from anywhere in the world.

It is performance-based, and students will have to resolve real problems in the command line, rather than answer multiple choice questions or be tested on theories. This is a direct result of industry feedback, with managers seeking people who can solve problems, rather than simply appear qualified.

And students can opt to be tested on a number of Linux distributions, including CentOS, openSUSE or Ubuntu.

“Our mission is to address the demand for Linux that the industry is currently experiencing,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “We are making our training program and Linux certification more accessible to users worldwide, since talent isn’t confined to one geography or one distribution.”

Welcomed Move

“Our new Certification Program will enable employers to easily identify Linux talent when hiring and uncover the best of the best,” said Zemlin. “We think Linux professionals worldwide will want to proudly showcase their skills through these certifications and that these certificates will become a hallmark of quality throughout our industry.”

The arrival of the new exam has been welcomed by the open source community. “The Linux Foundation’s certification program will open new doors for Linux professionals who need a way to demonstrate their know-how and put them ahead of the rest,” commented Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu. “The timing is perfect for this, as demand for Linux talent is on the rise and we need ways to expand the pool of qualified candidates to support Linux.”

“Linux certification that is based on performance and is easily accessible will be key to increasing the number of qualified Linux professionals,” said Mark Cathcart, senior distinguished engineer at Dell. “The Linux Foundation’s approach to this market need is smart and thoughtful and they have the proven ability to deliver.”

It was revealed this week that three of the world’s largest storage device manufacturers have joined the Linux Foundation, namely SanDisk, Seagate and Western Digital.

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Tom Jowitt
Author: Tom Jowitt
Freelance TechWeek Reporter
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