The Linux Foundation and edX are bringing another free training course to the open source community. This one focuses on open source cloud computing and is designed to grow expertise in open source cloud technology and containers, the Linux Foundation says.
The course, titled "Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies," is a MOOC class delivered through the Internet via the edX platform. It starts in June, but registration (which is free, although certified completion of the course costs $99) opened this week.
The cloud course is the second MOOC introduced by the Linux Foundation. The first, Intro to Linux, debuted in 2014. It has enrolled 500,000 students since that time, according to figures the Linux Foundation released this week.
The introductory open source cloud computing course is designed for "any developer, sysadmin or emerging DevOps professional" who needs "a primer on cloud computing and the use of open source software to maximize development and operations," the Linux Foundation said. Cloud software platforms like Docker, CoreOS, Kubernetes and OpenStack will be on the syllabus, along with an overview of software-defined networking and storage.
The course's creators are pitching the offering mainly as an opportunity for professionals to hone their open source skills and advance their careers. "With Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies anyone can begin learning the fundamentals of building and managing some of today’s most pervasive software, giving professionals a strong position in the IT talent market," Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation executive director, said.
Toward that end, the MOOC will be taught by practioners with a great deal of real-world experience in the open source cloud ecosystem. Chip Childers of Cloud Foundry and Neependra Khare, a container consultant, will co-teach the class. This approach suggests it will be heavy on applied knowledge and lighter on theory, which will suit the needs of developers and admins who want to jump into the open source cloud and container space quickly. (If you're looking for theory -- which is by no means a bad thing -- you might be happier in a more traditional computer-science class.)
The course is the latest example of how the Linux Foundation and other organizations with a big stake in open source are using training to drive the commercialization of the space. In addition to the Intro to Linux MOOC, the Linux Foundation already offers a variety of on-premise training courses, although they are not free. Similarly, Rackspace has offered training for several years through Cloud Academy, which covers OpenStack and other open source platforms.
But the newest Linux Foundation MOOC speaks to demands that are just now emerging in the open source space. In particular, few existing training programs do much to cover containers, which are a key topic in "Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies." For that reason above all others, the course stands poised to reach a broad audience.