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Creating A Linux Certification Program, Part 4

By Dan York

As the community effort to develop a Linux certification effort matures, we need your help to move the process to the next level. It seems hard to believe that it's only been four months since the October LG article that launched this particular initiative. In that time, we have gathered together over 120 people interested in developing the certification program, joined together with another group that was working on certification since the spring of 1998 and have moved the whole process along quite far. (See my November and December articles for a history of the process.)  This month's article will address:

New Web Sites

This month we are pleased to announce a new web site describing our proposed certification program:


Please visit the web pages, read about the program we are proposing, and jump on board to help us out!

Credit for the site (and thanks!) is due to Evan Leibovitch who set up the site, established the domain name, and is serving as our webmaster.

I also have updated a web site I established a few months ago to provide a central listing of Linux training resources at:


If you are a training provider, courseware vendor, or independant instructor, please visit that site and submit a listing so that I may include you on the list.

Revised Mission Statement

After much discussion, we have arrived at a mission statement that defines the goal of our certification effort:

We believe in the need for a standardized, multi-national, and respected program to certify levels of individual expertise in Linux. This program must be able to satisfy the requirements of Linux professionals, as well as organizations which would employ or contract them.
Our goal is to design and deliver such a program from within the Linux community, using both volunteer and hired resources as necessary. We resolve to undertake a well-considered, open, disciplined development process, leading directly to the establishment of a recognized and widely-endorsed Linux certification body.

Thanks are due to Evan, Chuck Mead, Tom Peters and a number of other individuals who hashed this out on the linux-cert mailing list.

Logo Contest

As part of our effort to build this new web site, we are sponsoring a contest for a logo for our project. Several entries have already been received. Please visit http://www.linuxinstitute.org/tli/logos.html if you have an interest in creating a graphic for the site.

How You Can Help

We need you!  If we are to pull off a program of this size and scale as a community effort, we need the help of everyone who may be interested in having a professional certification program for Linux.  Whether you have a large or small amount of time to help... whether you are a Linux "guru" or a "newbie"... you can help make this program a reality!

To help out, you need to join one or more of our mailing lists.  Before you decide how you can help, please read about our proposed program (which has been arrived at over the past four months of discussions) and the structure we are building to move the whole process forward.  I would suggest you also browse the archive of our linux-cert mailing list to understand the discussions we've had to date.

After reading our information, please plunge on in, join a list (or lists) and help us out!

Final Thoughts

It's been an exciting time for us all. We've had some great debates and argued many philosophical and practical points. We have a lot more to do - and will doubtless have many more debates ahead of us.  But above all, it's been a very professional group of people focused on getting a program accomplished!  The market has changed, too. There is no longer a question of should a Linux certification exist (which our group never debated - we have only asked for people to be involved if they want to see a certification program happen), but rather who will define that certification program.  Will it evolve out of the community?  Or will it be specified by a vendor or distributor?   We believe it should come from the community and we hope you will join us in that effort!

Please join us on the list(s) and let's make this happen!

Previous ``Linux Certification'' Columns

Linux Certification Part #1, October 1998
Linux Certification Part #2, November 1998
Linux Certification Part #3, December 1998
Copyright © 1999, Dan York
Published in Issue 37 of Linux Gazette, February 1999