[BSDCert] Tried to mail this at bsdcertification.org - Help a potential educator
evan at telly.org
Sun Nov 6 12:57:34 EST 2005
> Being who I am, BSD still creeps into my training and is often the
> topic of discussion at break and lunch. Many of the sysadmins I teach
> have a BSD box at home or in their work testing lab and know of at
> least one BSD box being used at work as a firewall, mail server, etc.
> Many would sign up in a second for a BSD course, which the college
> currently offers. Yet we have yet to hold a BSD class. Why?
I must respectfully disagree with these reasons.
> For one, there's no certification (yet) to write.
IMO this is a serious misreading of the reason for certifications.
Certifications may increase existing demand, but they can't create
demand where no or negligible demand exists. That is, (if successful)
they're a momentum builder, but the initial push has to come from
outside the training world.
In many cases (and this is critically so in North America), people get
trained if they want the skill, but they only get certified if (they
believe that) the certification will advance their careers. The two
concepts are far from identical. There are many ways to get trained in
Microsoft or Linux, but only a specific subset of that training leads to
certification. And yet the non-certificate-path training companies are
doing well (ie, learning tree, learning annex). In many cases the
training center's own certificate of completion is sufficient (ie,
DeVry, ITT). In response, there is a whole industry built upon the
marketing of certifications, well represented by the mercenary
Certification Magazine (http://www.certmag.com), trying to help people
find out what piece of paper this month will earn them $2,000 per year
more than what they're doing now.
Vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, Novell, Cisco and Red Hat have a leg up
since they have a reseller channel that can be forced to have certified
staff in order to obtain status, perks, and/or reduced wholesale prices.
The BSD and non-vendor-driven Linux world have no such bases to build
upon, so demand must either be driven by community status or employer
I have yet to see on this list or elsewhere any indication of end-user
(that is, end-users big enough to employ BSD techs) demand for
certification. If existing large end-users of BSD have been successful
in hiring qualified techs so far without certification, what is to be
gained for them by demanding it?
Anyway, this is a long rationale for a short conclusion; it is a mistake
to believe that a lack of training demand is due in *any* part to a lack
> For two, the person who cuts the cheque for training has never heard
> of BSD.
Well, that makes sense that a company will not finance BSD training if
the it does not, and has no plans to use, BSD. Getting them to be aware
of what BSD is probably a necessary first step in changing that attitude
:-) but that's very far out of the scope of anything to do with
Lack of qualified training can be an obstacle to adoption, but companies
don't even get to that obstacle if they haven't made it past the feature
and technical evaluations.
> For three, BSD training isn't "hot".
"Hot" is an effect, not a cause. In the training field "hot" means
"these skills are in highest demand from employers today".
What's "hot" today? Read Certmag; it follows (and sometimes leads) such
trends just as Vogue is to clothing fashion. They can even qualify
what's hot, and guess what metric they use?
As for trends, here's an example. On the current website Certmag has an
opinion saying that the open source desktop is still far from
challenging Microsoft in either capability or implementation. The
implied message in this context? Don't waste your time or dollars
getting trained (let alone certified) on KDE or OpenOffice because not
enough are using it to drive demand for people with such skills.
In this world, is BSD has yet to get from "cold" to "cool". A cert
program may get BSD on the radar but won't make it hot. That endorsement
comes only from employers.
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