“We need more OpenStack talent”

Last week, at the OpenStack Summit in Tokyo, Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director of OpenStack Foundation said, “We need more OpenStack talent, more OpenStack expertise.” There is already an official initiative that was created two years ago: the Openstack Training Marketplace,  which provides listings from training providers and their courses to help create more OpenStack experts. Foundation members have delivered hundred of courses from dozens of countries in the two years since the project was launched.

But more needs to be done, Bryce said, because the community still has this talent gap. So the Foundation has announced the first Foundation-based certification program for individuals: Certified OpenStack Administrator. Other certifications such as Mirantis’ Mirantis Administrator Certification for intermediate level specialists have existed for some time, and existing training providers will help to both create and support the initiative. The test will likely be similar to the MCA100 theory exam, in which candidates are evaluated on their knowledge of fundamental OpenStack topics, such as how things work in an OpenStack environment, how to describe OpenStack architecture, or how to troubleshoot common OpenStack failures. (You can check out the MCA100 Study Guide online.)

Any time you launch a new technology finding talent is a challenge. Today we see the proliferation of MacBooks and iPads in schools, but if you’re over 40 you remember how Apple flooded the education market, bringing the Apple II series to schools: The “two Steves” understood that by getting schools to teach their students to use a computer, they were enlarging Apple’s potential market, but more than that, those kids came out of school thinking that Apples were the only way to go; an “IBM PC” was a non-starter.

The OpenStack Foundation is launching this professional certification to help establish the standard baseline of skills that can be made available worldwide, so this certification test will be delivered virtually to make it truly global. The exam is expected to launch in 2016.  Pricing hasn’t yet been determined, but the Foundation says the aim is to make it “affordable” for individuals.  You can watch Bryce’s full presentation as part of the OpenStack Summit day 1 keynote.       

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