At KubeCon + CloudNativeCon in Copenhagen, Denmark recently, I met many users, technologists, and business leaders — all aware of the dramatic pace of innovation and eager to learn about the new technologies that are coming out of open source space. With these rapid changes, many companies are now also worried about finding skilled developers who are well versed in the latest technologies.
As the adoption of these cloud native technologies increases, there will be an even greater demand for skilled developers, and I wondered where all those new developers would come from. Who will train and certify them?
The answer lies in various training programs and courses, including those from The Linux Foundation, which, in partnership with edX, has been steadily working to close skills gaps by offering online courses — many of which are free — on open source platforms, tools, and practices. The Foundation recently passed the one million mark for people enrolled in courses on edX and just announced a new Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Exam and corresponding Kubernetes for Developers course through the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
Many other organizations can also help developers and sysadmins achieve the skills they need. At KubeCon, I talked with Amy Marrich, a course author at the Linux Academy, which offers courses for all major technologies — including Kubernetes, Docker, DevOps, BigData, and OpenStack — to help developers hone the skills needed to master exams and become certified developers.
In addition to being a course author, Marrich is a core reviewer of the OpenStack Ansible project and also one of leaders of the Women of OpenStack. She is extremely active in the OpenStack community and also worked on the latest user survey and user committee elections.
Marrich said this connection with the community brings credibility and validity. “Since we are experts in OpenStack and part of the community, if a student has an issue, we know people in the community who could help that student,” said Marrich, “Even if it’s not my project, I am able to find the right person and get help for our students.”
Often students come up with questions that are not part of the course because some of these technologies are so large and their use-cases go beyond what any course can cover. “Being an active member of the community provides us with the ability to answer the questions they have or at least help them track them down – if it’s a bug, that adds to their learning experience,” Marrich.
Instructors also come from different technological backgrounds, so there is a lot of cross-pollination. There are experts who work on AWS, specifically OpenStack distributions, Kubernetes, Docker, and Linux. As a result, they are able to solve a huge gamut of problems that students may come across. They also keep an eye on trends and hot topics, such as serverless and cloud native, so they can add courses for these new technologies.
However, teaching is as much about how you teach as it is about the technology. One of the main goals is to make it easy for students to access course material. The videos are accompanied by study guides, which follow the videos closely.
“While the wording may not be same, the exercise is the same. We want to make sure that anything in the study guide is the same in the video,” she said. “If I type in a command, you are going to see the exact same output in the study guide as in the videos.” Additionally, the iOS and Android apps of Linux Academy allow users to download those videos for offline usage, so they can study even when they have no connectivity.
Learn more about the Kubernetes for Developers training course and certification.