[BSDcert] Initial thoughts
george at sddi.net
Sun Dec 19 02:12:55 EST 2004
On Dec 18, 2004, at 10:20 PM, Brown, James (Jim) wrote:
> Hi All,
> Just some quick initial thoughts:
> "Infrastructure" -
> To be useful, the cert has to be 'officialized'. This will require
> an examination. Examinations require test materials, proctors,
> and distrubution of a credential (the actual 'certificate', or other
> Membership lists and official contact information will need to be
> Fortunately there are many precedents in all of these activities-
> - Examinations can be 'online' (available through Sylvan, or other
> test centers)
> or they can be booklet form (as in the CISSP examination)
> - Online tests can be easily graded, though security must be high.
> Booklet tests are harder to grade, and harder to administer in an
> official setting,
> though conferences are sometimes used for this purpose.
> - Membership lists and official contact information are a must. A
> key goal
> is to be able to verify current, valid certification though phone
> or web-based lookup.
Of course some method of testing would be included. SANS, eg, has 2
three hour online exams open book at home, plus a written practical. I
personally like the practical as it would allow us to have the cert
provide more BSD documentation. I'm thinking topics like "installing
netbsd on a mips pda", "using squid as an anonymous proxy", etc.
If we were to look at live, closed book exams, we could work with a
handful of private institutes, like Dru's firm, in selected cities. If
we hit major cities such as NYC, LA, Chicago, Toronto, etc., it could
work for the initial stage.
> Dedicated resources will be required, and those resources should be
> 'long lived'.
> We want this certification program to last for many years, not just
> one or two.
Of course. That's why we'd probably look to formally bring together
various firms, orgs and associations into some committee.
> Sounds like a solid business plan for this effort (and sponsoring
> organization) is
more like organizations. . . into a committee, IMO.
> This topic will undoubtedly receive the most scrutiny. What is unique
> to BSD? What
> are the key differences from other Unix or Unix-like certs, such as
> Sun or Linux?
> What topics are common to them? And the big question - How do we
> define a BSD
> certification that covers all well-known flavors?
Right. . . that's what I was thinking about also. Some will obviously
be general Unix, some will be BSD general, some parts will be project
specific, some application specific.
> Any BSD certification will require extensive marketing from/with the
> organization. "More is better" in this area. BSD is not as well
> known which
> presents a both an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity is
> news organizations and publications will initially give press to it,
> simply because
> it is new. The challenge will be to maintain momentum over the long
> and years after the initial blush fades.
Absolutely. . . the question is how. There could be a well-maintained
www site, with changes, and maybe some kind of newsletter. Some of
advertising would obviously be done by participating educational
> Then, there is the annoyance factor - the 'BSD is dying' trolls and
> their FUD.
Why? That's completely irrelevant.
> In summary-
> This effort will require a COMMITMENT, not just a passing effort.
> Seed money
> will be needed. A business plan will be needed. Infrastructure will
> be needed.
> A thick skin will be needed. Much discussion is needed- but we must
> learn from
> past Unix battles and reach compromise or the efforts will all be
That's the idea of this list and a wiki. . . but don't forget Jim,
we're at the initial planning stages. . . not even that, more like
brain-storming. Dru, Ike, etc., and I have had various discussions
about this before over the past several months. I do have a good bit
of notes, but we need more input from more people on the various
aspects, such as sponsoring entities, involvement of all the projects,
exam contents and format, etc.
> Jim B.
> There is talk of a wiki. Has one been set up?
I'll keep you updated on this. . ..
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