5 Cloud, Big Data, and Networking Platforms to Kickstart Your Open Source Career


A decade ago, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst predicted that open source tools and platforms would become pervasive in IT. Fast-forward to today, and that prediction has come true, with profound implications for the employment market.

“Today, it is almost impossible to name a major player in IT that has not embraced open source,” Whitehurst noted in a LinkedIn post. “Open source was initially adopted for low cost and lack of vendor lock-in, but customers have found that it also results in better innovation and more flexibility. Now it is pervasive, and it is challenging proprietary incumbents across technology categories.”

In particular, open source cloud, Big Data and networking platforms have flourished and the job market now places a premium on workers skilled in these areas. According to The Linux Foundation’s 2016 Open Source Jobs Report, 51 percent of surveyed hiring managers say knowledge of OpenStack and CloudStack has a big impact on open source hiring decisions, followed by networking (21 percent), security experience (14 percent), and container skills (8 percent).

The good news is that when it comes to five of the most in-demand open source platforms and tools — Hadoop, OpenStack, Apache Spark, OpenDaylight and Docker — there are fast tracks available for becoming skilled with them. In so doing, you can kickstart your open source career.

Here is a sampling of avenues you can take to gain skills with these tools:


When talk turns to job market opportunities these days, hardly any technology trend is drawing more attention than Big Data. In fact, Cloudera reports that 65 percent of the current Fortune 100 is using big data to drive their business. Hadoop is one of the most storied platforms in the Big Data space, allowing organizations to draw insights from huge datasets.

So how can you get up to speed with Hadoop? When it comes to this platform, the good news is that free training options are flourishing. With its sights set on making Hadoop training for developers and administrators easy to complete, Hadoop distribution provider MapR Technologies has unveiled several free on-demand training offerings. You can visit here to see the full list of courses and certifications and to sign up for free classes. MapR also offers free training for Apache Drill and other tools that exist within the Hadoop ecosystem. More details are available here.

You can also look into Hadoop training options from Cloudera University. It offers a certification option that can make you a valuable commodity in the Big Data job market.

Apache Spark 

Folks are becoming increasingly interested in Apache Spark, an open source data analytics cluster computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at UC Berkeley. Spark is not only central to how many organizations are working with their data stores, but it is poised to play a big role in processing the data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT). Meanwhile, IBM has announced a major commitment to Apache Spark, billing it as “potentially the most important new open source project in a decade that is being defined by data.”

In addition to the Hadoop training options that they offer, MapR and Cloudera are great places to start if you want to pick up Spark skills. MapR offers some free training options, and you can scan options here. Cloudera also has an expanded Apache Spark training curriculum. For more information about the courses on Spark and to register for a class, visit university.cloudera.com.

“The Big Data market continues to be one that allows people to command the highest average salaries,” MapR Vice President Dave Jespersen said.


Are you looking to pick up valuable OpenStack certification? If so, you have several good options, and costs are minimal. At the recent OpenStack Summit in Austin, TX, The OpenStack Foundation announced the availability of a Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA) exam. Developed in partnership with The Linux Foundation, the exam is performance-based and available anytime, anywhere. The Linux Foundation offers an OpenStack Administration Fundamentals course, which serves as preparation for the certification. The course is available bundled with the COA exam, enabling students to learn the skills they need to work as an OpenStack administrator and get the certification to prove it.

Red Hat continues to be very focused on OpenStack and has a certification option that is also worth considering. The company has announced a new cloud management certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform as part of the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network.

Mirantis has built a name for keeping its certification training vendor-agnostic, and the company teaches OpenStack across the most popular distributions, hypervisors, storage back ends, and network topologies. Earlier this year, Mirantis also launched Virtual Training, a synchronized, instructor-led online OpenStack professional training option. You can find more of Mirantis’ OpenStack courses here.


Networking has also emerged as a technology category rich with open source opportunities, and the OpenDaylight Platform is definitely worth a look here. It’s a collaborative, open source project hosted by The Linux Foundation, focused on Software Defined Networking (SDN).

The expansion of data centers and rise of cloud computing, coupled with changing demands on service provider networks, are driving companies to look to software-defined solutions to help improve network performance and management, lower costs, and increase efficiencies. OpenDaylight has reached broad industry acceptance, and you can get involved with the project itself and get access to training materials, or check out the Software Defined Networking with OpenDaylight course offered by The Linux Foundation.


We all know that container technology is hot, and Docker is the hottest star in this galaxy. Docker has issued a report (called the “Evolution of the Modern Software Supply Chain”), based on a survey of more than 500 people currently using and deploying container technology in various stages.

Among the findings, the report noted that Docker is central to many hybrid cloud/multi-cloud strategies. In fact 80 percent of respondents using Docker describe it as part of their cloud strategy for a variety of reasons including migration, hybrid cloud portability and avoiding lock-in to a single cloud vendor. Docker is also changing how organizations think about delivering and maintaining applications.

Docker is a tool that you can quickly come up to speed with, and Docker Inc. offers both instructor-led training options and self-paced options. There are introductory and advanced courses available. As just one example of how fast you can become skilled with Docker, you can complete the comprehensive Docker Administration and Operations course in four consecutive days.

The Linux Foundation has also announced that a massive open online course (MOOC) is available for registration, and it includes coverage of Docker. The course is an Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies and is offered through edX. You can register now for this free cloud training course, and it begins in June — coming right up.