Linux Foundation: Certification More Popular But Tough to Get

The Linux Foundation's "Introduction to Linux" MOOC on edX has enjoyed impressive popularity since launching in the summer.

Christopher Tozzi, Contributing Editor

October 7, 2014

2 Min Read
Linux Foundation: Certification More Popular But Tough to Get

The Linux Foundation‘s “Introduction to Linux” MOOC on edX has enjoyed impressive popularity since launching in the summer. And the organization’s Certification Program for open source engineers, which went live in August, is also rising in stature, according to data the Foundation has made available.

The Linux Foundation and edX never publicly set any specific targets for the Introduction to Linux MOOC, but it’s a pretty safe bet they’re happy with the response so far. As of this week, 270,000 users, representing more than 100 countries, have registered in the course, according to the Linux Foundation. That’s solid evidence of the demand for free, Internet-based instruction in using Linux.

And while taking the MOOC may impress some employers, the Linux Foundation is hoping its Certification Program will prove more persuasive as a measure of expertise in open source systems administration and programming. One figure that may help convince employers and the channel that the certification means something is the sub-60 percent rate at which applicants have successfully completed the exams to date, according to the Linux Foundation. That statistic may reflect, in part, a low level of preparation among students in the course, but it also speaks to the certification’s seriousness, and bodes well for candidates who are hoping a certificate will mean something to employers.

Also notable is the breakdown between Linux distributions that students are choosing to use to take the certification exams, which require reponses from the command line. 50 percent of applicants are using Ubuntu Linux for their exams, 45 percent CentOS and 5 percent openSUSE, the Linux Foundation says. That means the organization’s efforts to promote the exam as distribution-agnostic appear to be paying off.

By the way, test-takers who have fared poorly thus far in the certification program need not worry. The Linux Foundation has also just released a review guide for the certifications.

The Linux Foundation Certification Program is still pretty young, and it is only one of several opportunities for gaining third-party attestation of skills in open source development and administration—although the Linux Foundation’s program is probably the only one that certifies a broad, distribution-agnostic set of skills. Still, the initiative is by all indications off to a good start, in large part because demand for open source expertise remains in vogue.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Contributing Editor

Christopher Tozzi started covering the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis in 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” is forthcoming with MIT Press.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like