As the demand for IT professionals with Linux experience soars, training programs are moving to front and center for the non-profit organization charged with promoting the open-source platform.
The market for developers with Linux experience has been increasing during the past year, and, with the advent of cloud technology, there is also a growing need for Linux system architects.
The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit consortium founded in 2007, is charged with helping to promote and further the adoption of the Linux operating system. It provides a vendor-neutral forum for collaboration and education. It hosts Linux conferences, including LinuxCon (August 29–31, 2012, San Diego), and sponsors original research, messaging, and training to help advance a broader understanding of the Linux platform.
The Foundation currently is sponsoring a new enterprise Linux training program, as well as its annual scholarship in which it awards deserving individuals the equivalent of $2,500 each worth of course credits. The Foundation will award five scholarships this year (a combined value of $12,500) to computer science students, Linux developers, and architects who show outstanding promise in shaping the future of Linux.
"Part of the work of advancing the platform is investing in the talent needed to support it," says Amanda McPherson, vice president of marketing and developer programs at the Linux Foundation. "We're happy to be able to…offer Linux training opportunities to developers who might not otherwise be able to take advantage of them," McPherson says.
The deadline for scholarship applications is 12:00 midnight PT July 10, 2012. Notification to the lucky recipients will be sent out by early August. Those interested can apply online through the form here. Winners will be chosen based on demonstrated need, a proven interest in working on Linux, and their vision for the future of the operating system, according to the organization.
Scholarship winners will be able to select from among the offerings in the Foundation's expanded Linux training syllabus, including new courses in cloud architecture and deployment, advanced performance tuning, and Linux security. Other courses from which scholarship recipients will be able to choose include the following:
- Embedded Linux Development
- Embedded Linux Development: A Crash Course
- Embedded Linux Development with Yocto Project/OpenEmbedded
- Developing Device Drivers
- Linux Kernel Internals and Debugging
- Developing Applications for Linux
- Developing with Git
- Introduction to Linux for Developers
- How to Participate in the Linux Community
"Our Linux training program has seen a surge in demand since its inception," says McPherson, "and we're happy to be able to provide this valuable service."
Apparently, expansion of the training programs that the Foundation offers couldn't be coming at a better time. Dice.com reports that Linux job postings on its site have reached an all-time high, reflecting what the Foundation is calling a "soaring demand" for Linux-related talent. The 2012 Linux Jobs Report released last February also points to a boom year in 2012 for those IT professionals with Linux experience. Among recruiters surveyed for the report, 81 percent reportedly indicated that hiring Linux is a priority in 2012. Some 85 percent said that finding Linux talent is a challenge, and when they do find individuals with a background in Linux, companies are offering "above normal" pay increases and more perks.
The Foundation clearly is gearing up to help meet the needs of businesses that want to fill the employment pipeline with the next generation of enterprise architects. While there is vendor-specific training available within certain commercial niches, the Foundation sees a need for a vendor-neutral environment in order to present a selection of subject matter with a broader perspective.
The Foundation notes that until recently, most training has focused on trying to meet the needs of developers. However, as Linux has grown to support cloud computing, not to mention high-availability and high-performance enterprise computing, the need for a neutral forum for collaboration and education has only increased, according to the Foundation. To that end, the Linux Foundation hosts a series of Linux conferences, generates original research, and offers an ever-expanding list of Linux-based courses and online videos besides its formal fee-based Linux training. News and broad-based articles also can be found at Linux.com.
"The Linux Foundation exists to protect, promote, and advance Linux," says McPherson. However, it would seem that today the Foundation's goal is closely in harmony with most developers' needs to protect, promote, and advance their careers. Needless to say, building up one's expertise in open source through Linux training could well serve one's entire organization as well.