Ubuntu Certified Professionals

Alan McKinnon alan at linuxholdings.co.za
Fri Apr 7 18:25:16 UTC 2006

On Friday 07 April 2006 10:15, email.listen at googlemail.com wrote:
> Am Wed, 5. April 2006 23:30 schrieb Alan McKinnon:
> > On Wednesday 05 April 2006 17:59, Kevin Cole wrote:

> > Paul, LPI has always been very clear in their statements about
> > where their cert fits in the linux spectrum. It's an indicator of
> > competence and nothing more, just one factor to look at when
> > evaluating a person. The cert isn't intended to impress you or
> > any other coder, it's intended to impress your boss and give him
> > a reliable metric. It's also a sysadmin cert, not a coding cert.
> But...
> Most emplyers and state authorities dont tend to accept this.
> Better most of them don't care about.
> So for example in germany the acceptance of braindump tests like
> mentioned above lead to a very desastrous situation for educational
> institutions.
> Due to the fact that most companies and state authorities, namely
> the state emplyment agency (Arbeitsamt / Argentur für Arbeit) only
> see those certificatates. May be that the long lasting german
> bureaucratic tradition beeing fixed on certificates may be an
> explanation, but it's not an excuse im my eyes.
> In the end we have a situation today where most well reputated
> educational institutions passed away or reduced their IT-education
> programms dramatically.
> So pointing to what lpi claims to be is useless if it is ignored by
> companies and state authotities.

I'm not sure what you mean here, and I know nothing about how things 
work in Germany. You also use the word 'most' a lot without saying 
who these 'mosts' are, could you be more specific please?

> For me this is close to those coders who insist in beeing called
> hackers, ignoring the meaning of hackers in public today. A total
> fade-out of reality.

OK, so how else would you build a rating system for system 

> > > Finally, Ubuntu's done an excellent job of building a community
> > > of non- technical users.  I'm not certain what sort of
> > > "certification" is appropriate, but something other than
> > > membership in the Community Council might be useful.  I don't
> > > know if there's a good objective way to measure who qualifies. 
> > > Whatever sort of recognition is available, it should be
> > > something that carries some weight outside of IRC meetings --
> > > an endorsement of the individual that says to an outsider, "We
> > > the great and powerful
> > > [Oz|CC|Canonical|sabdfl] do hereby stand behind so-and-so as
> > > someone who has the best interests of the community at heart,
> > > and has demonstrated that via x, y, and z.  Although perhaps
> > > not the most technically skilled person we've ever encountered,
> > > we encourage you to trust this individual in helping you build
> > > your community. (Pay no attention to that man behind the
> > > curtain.)"
> >
> > Good idea, as people like to be recognized for their work. I can
> > think of a few folk I'd like to nominate :-)
> What is disappointing to me is the fact that a man like the so
> called self believed dictator who stands for a very well reputated
> educational foundations /projects (shuttleworth foundation SA,
> schooltool project) and by this should be able to have a wider
> foresight of what in the long run may result in such a
> (<sarcasm>stupid</sarcasm>) decission.
> Seeing his background he should known better what this will be for
> educational institutions and educational infrastructure.
> What makes it very disappointing for me is to see that this
> dictator in his position as chaiman of canonical seems to act
> against the honestly principles and prosperous projects I see fron
> shuttleworth foundation SA.

Why is this Ubuntu cert possibly a stupid idea? I can see that 
something here has upset you, but I can't figure out what it is. You 
approve of TSF - are you aware that TSF is the South African LPI 

> The more such a project will be accepted by educational
> institutions (also by schools and universities) it will bring a lot
> of professional educators closer to ubuntu than we have now. The
> benefit having more professional teachers and university lecturers
> involved into the ubuntu project should be clear to everyone.
> - plus for ubuntu users
> A reinforcement of local user groups.
> An offer for self study materials.
> A better documentation not only of ubuntu but of GNU/Linux in
> general.
> - plus for Employers
> A framework which not only offers a braindump certificate.
> A certificate based on practical experience.
> A structure which allows companies to join the network, participate
> and place their own needs and materials.

Thomas, correct me if I'm wrong here, but did you research how LPI 
exams and study material (and hence the Ubuntu exams) work?

It's completely unlike every other IT cert out there. There is no 
prescribed curriculum, no lesson plan, no prescribed materials you 
must use - basically not much in the way of rules as to how anyone 
should perform the teaching step.

LPI candidates are free to get their knowledge anyway they want - old 
timers got it from man pages and mailing lists, newbies might want to 
attend a formal course. Both are OK. If you want to organize a 
LUG-style after hours class to teach stuff, you can go right ahead 
and do it - in fact you are encouraged to do so. You can deliver a 
course in a classroom, over the web or any other way you think would 
work for you and your students. You can teach it in any order you 
like and take as long as you want, you can offer any kind of 
preparation, assessment and practice tests you think are appropriate, 
and no-one can tell you otherwise.

The one thing you can't change is the list of objectives (areas to be 
tested). They are developed with community input and there was a wiki 
page about this, but once published they are fixed till the next 

There is a Channel Partner Program in the works, that is for the 
Corporate Training industry who demand a worked-out curriculum to 
deliver and don't want to go to the effort of designing one 
themselves. You don't have to agree with that and don't have to sign 
up for it.

Alan McKinnon
alan at linuxholdings dot co dot za
+27 82, double three seven, one nine three five

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