More than twenty years have passed since GNU/Linux was born, and more than twenty five since the GNU manifesto by Richard Stallman. Free Software has become widely used in the industry and has been successfully introduced in many Computer Science Department syllabi’s all over the globe. But the Bachelor degree achieved by studying Computer Science not the one of Linux Administrator or Free Software Programmer. While Free Software specific MSc programmes exist, scientific research with its focus on publication, study and review is rather different than the required skills of application of technical knowledge in the business world.
Meanwhile, Free Software communities, born from the ashes of late 80s hacker communities, had the character of social movement. They attracted people from various social, economic, science sectors. Many of them, realizing the potential of Linux and its momentum, created a new generation of university dropouts. But their skills, even if they had tremendous knowledge of computer systems and networks, were undocumented and hard to prove in a ‘HR department-compattible‘ way.
Introducing the Linux Professional Institute
These were the reasons creating the need of certification in GNU/Linux. In 1999, in the midst of dot com bubble and just eight years after the first Linux Kernel came out, the Linux Professional Institute was founded to fill this gap in Free Software and networking professionalism. The great adoption of the LAMP stack by web servers during the dot com run led to high demand for Linux technicians, no matter if they were graduated or not. But employers are always happy having someone with proven knowledge of her skills, if not for them, than to prove to their customers that they employ skilled workers.
Having the LPI as vendor-neutral GNU/Linux certification helped make this proof of knowledge widely available. No matter what distribution the corporate server room runs or what is available in on the desktops in the cubicles, the LPI Certified professional is always capable of offering a solution fitting to the requirements.