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1) The 2016 Open Source Jobs Report shows that open source is a great career direction for new IT graduates.

Is Open Source a Clear Path to Success for New Grads?– CIO

2) Sam Ramji, Cloud Foundry Foundation CEO, explains why the platform is continuing to gain traction. 

Cloud Foundry Stages a Comeback– InfoWorld

3) Canonical’s Snaps is now available for multiple Linux distros.

Ubuntu’s Container-Style Snap App Packages Now Work on Other Linux Distributions– TechCrunch

4) Dell’s new out-of-the-box Linux has a great screen and is worth the price to developers.

The XPS 13 DE: Dell Continues to Build a Reliable Linux Lineage– Ars Technica

5) Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announces it’s providing open access to developer tools and libraries to facilitate cross-collaboration between HPE and the open source community on The Machine.

HPE Looks to Open Sourcers for Help with The Machine– ADT Mag

 

Dice and The Linux Foundation recently released an updated Open Source Jobs Report that examines trends in open source recruiting and job seeking. The report clearly shows that open source professionals are in demand and that those with open source experience have a strong advantage when seeking jobs in the tech industry. Additionally, 87 percent of hiring managers say it’s hard to find open source talent.

The Linux Foundation offers many training courses to help you take advantage of these growing job opportunities. The courses range from basic to advanced and offer essential open source knowledge that you can learn at your own pace or through instructor-led classes.

This article looks at some of the available training courses and other resources that can provide the skills needed to stay competitive in this hot open source job market.  

Networking Courses            

The Open Source Jobs Report highlighted networking as a leading emergent technology — with 21 percent of hiring managers saying that networking has the biggest impact on open source hiring. To build these required networking skills, here are some courses to consider.

Essentials of System Administration

This introductory course will teach you how to administer, configure, and upgrade Linux systems. You’ll learn all the tools and concepts necessary to efficiently build and manage a production Linux infrastructure including networking, file system management, system monitoring, and performance tuning. This comprehensive, online, self-paced course also forms the basis for the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator skillset.

Advanced Linux System Administration and Networking

The need for sys admins with advanced administration and networking skills has never been greater. This course is designed for system administrators and IT professionals who need to gain a hands-on knowledge of Linux network configuration and services as well as related topics such as basic security and performance.

Software Defined Networking with OpenDaylight

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a rapidly emerging technology that abstracts networking infrastructure away from the actual physical equipment. This course is designed for experienced network administrators who are either migrating to or already using SDN and/or OpenDaylight, and it provides an overview of the principles and methods upon which this technology is built.

Cloud Courses

Cloud technology experience is even more sought after than networking skills — with 51 percent of hiring managers stating that knowledge of OpenStack and CloudStack has a big impact on open source hiring decisions.

Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies

As companies increasingly rely on cloud products and services, it can be overwhelming to keep up with all the technologies that are available. This free, self-paced course will give you a fundamental understanding of today’s top open source cloud technology options.

Essentials of OpenStack Administration

OpenStack adoption is expanding rapidly, and there is high demand for individuals with experience managing this cloud platform. This instructor-led course will teach you everything you need to know to create and manage private and public clouds with OpenStack.

OpenStack Administration Fundamentals

This online, self-paced course will teach you what you need to know to administer private and public clouds with OpenStack. This course is also excellent preparation for the Certified OpenStack Administrator exam from the OpenStack Foundation.

Open Source Licensing and Compliance

A good working knowledge of open source licensing and compliance is critical when contributing to open source projects or integrating open source software into other projects. The Compliance Basics for Developers course teaches software developers why copyrights and licenses are important and explains how to add this information appropriately. This course also provides an overview of the various types of licenses to consider.    

Along with these — and many other — training courses, the Linux Foundation also offers free webinars and ebooks on various topics. The free resources listed below can help you get started building your career in open source:

 

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The Linux Foundation has launched a new self-paced, online course to help senior Linux sysadmins prepare for the advanced Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE) exam.

The Linux Networking and Administration (LFS211) course gives students access to 40-50 hours of coursework, and more than 50 hands-on labs — practical experience that translates to real-world situations. Students who complete the course will come away with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed as a senior Linux sysadmin and pass the LFCE  exam, which is included in the cost of the course.

The LFCE exam builds on the domains and competencies tested in the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) exam. Sysadmins who pass the LFCE exam have a wider range and greater depth of skill than the LFCS. Linux Foundation Certified Engineers are responsible for the design and implementation of system architecture and serve as subject matter experts and mentors for the next generation of system administration professionals.

Advance your career

With the tremendous growth in open source adoption across technology sectors, it is more important than ever for IT professionals to be proficient in Linux. Every major cloud platform, including OpenStack and Microsoft Azure, is now based on or runs on Linux. The type of training provided in this new course confers the knowledge and skills necessary to manage these systems.

Certification also carries an opportunity for career advancement, as more recruiters and employers seek certified job candidates and often verify job candidates’ skills with certification exams.

The 2016 Open Source Jobs Report, produced by The Linux Foundation and Dice, finds that 51 percent of hiring managers say hiring certified professionals is a priority for them, and 47 percent of open source professionals plan to take at least once certification exam this year.

Certifications are increasingly becoming the best way for professionals to differentiate from other job candidates and to demonstrate their ability to perform critical technical functions.

“More individuals and more employers are seeing the tremendous value in certifications, but it can be time-consuming and cost-prohibitive to prepare for them,” said Clyde Seepersad, Linux Foundation General Manager for Training. “The Linux Foundation strives to increase accessibility to quality training and certification for anyone, and offering advanced system administration training and certification that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, for a lower price than the industry standard helps to achieve that.”

Register now for LFS211 at the introductory price of $349, includes one year of course access and a voucher to take the LFCE certification exam with one free re-take. For more information on Linux Foundation training and certification programs, visit http://training.linuxfoundation.org.

 

Starting an open source program office is a growing trend among companies that leverage open source software in their business strategies.

Led by an open source program officer, open source offices can range in size from one or two advocates on an engineering team to an entirely separate R&D division. But the goal is the same: to strategically address common challenges companies face when adopting open source software.

“An open source office whether centralized or by division can bring multiple best practices on how a company can manage consumption, compliance and contribution to open source” says Nithya Ruff, the head of SanDisk’s Open Source Strategy office, in the Q&A below. “It can create a proactive plan for driving more strategic involvement in projects important to the company’s roadmap and drive clear and common messages.”

The TODO group, which became a Linux Foundation project in March, is a cross-industry effort that brings together open source program managers to help establish open source best practices, tools and programs and support corporate open source engagement.

Open source program managers from Twitter, Box, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and SanDisk will be on hand at OSCON May 18-19, 2016, in Austin, Texas, to discuss why they started open source offices at their companies and the lessons they learned along the way.

We caught up with Nithya Ruff for a preview of their panel discussion, “Open source lessons from the TODO Group.”

Be sure to attend the TODO Group talk from 1:50 p.m.–2:30pm on Wednesday, May 18 in Meeting Room 9C.

And visit The Linux Foundation booth #109-2 to collect a wooden Linus Torvalds token for the OSCON open source history game for attendees.

Linux.com: What are some of the common challenges companies face when they start adopting open source?

Nithya Ruff: Companies that have not grown up with open source in their DNA face a number of challenges when they first adopt open source or look at adopting an open source strategy.

a.       They don’t completely understand the licenses and legal obligations and often see it as a single license which would force them to open their intellectual property or trade secrets.  Once they start understanding it more deeply they realize that one can consume without creating obligations and that there are a number of different licenses each with their own obligations.   So legal education is the first challenge.

b.      The second is to create awareness of the need to engage with open source and the need to have a strategy around how the company needs to work with open source communities. This is a strategy and a business discussion with executives and business leaders so that they support the need to have a plan and investment in this effort.  These are the top 2 areas of challenge.

Linux.com: How does creating an in-house open source office help companies maximize their open source involvement?

Ruff: One can continue to engage with open source in an ad hoc and distributed manner but this often creates issues and challenges with messaging, unintended consequences, multiple processes and confusion in the market on company intent.  It could also inadvertently expose a company to compliance risks.  An open source office whether centralized or by division can bring multiple best practices on how a company can manage consumption, compliance and contribution to open source. It can create a proactive plan for driving more strategic involvement in projects important to the company’s roadmap and drive clear and common messages.

Linux.com: What is one of the key lessons SanDisk has learned about corporate open source participation since starting its open source office two years ago?

Ruff: The biggest lesson has been learning about how much open source activity there already was in the company and how we would not have any knowledge of this and support it without starting this initiative.  Knowing consumption and dependencies has allowed us to shape our compliance and community engagement plan.

Linux.com: How have you benefited from your involvement in the TODO Group?

Ruff: Just this week, I needed to know a simple and best practice way to manage contribution license agreements or CLAs.    I contacted my fellow open source officers in other companies via the TOoDOo group and within hours I had two very usable solutions.  This is huge, to be able to consult each other on the best way to do things.  I am a big believer in reuse and to not recreate.  And this was a great example of how we can share practices..   TOoDOo members have been generous in sharing their time and coming to SanDisk to share their practices like Guy Martin (Autodesk) and Cedric Williams (PayPal) did recently. It is impactful to hear from other companies and to learn from their initiatives in open source.  This is one area, where we don’t compete and are happy to share.

Linux.com: What will TODO Group members discuss in your panel at OSCON?

Ruff: Open Source officers in companies are still rare. There are less than 30 of us and we know there is a lot of pent-up need for information on how to set it up.  We will discuss what TOoDOo does, what each of us do at our companies and shed light on helping companies manage their open source efforts successfully.

Linux.com: What else are you looking forward to at OSCON this year? What do you hope to accomplish by attending?

Ruff: I always enjoy attending OSCON as it covers culture and community very well side by side with technical topics.  I look forward to connecting with friends in the community. I am also doing a talk on why it is important to market in open source.  We all need people on the project who can write clearly, tell stories and create awareness.   The business side of open source is a passion and I look forward to sharing this at OSCON this year.

Individuals start open source projects because it matters to them. Whether motivated by passion, interest, necessity, curiosity or fame, projects are often started by individuals who want to build better software. Do better work. Have an impact. See their code in the world’s best technology and products.

Because open source today makes up an ever increasing footprint in technology infrastructure and products, we have a responsibility to these individuals and the community and industry at large to support this work and build practices and processes that sustain the world’s greatest shared technologies for the long term.

Part of this work is a shift in thinking, moving away from old world open source questions to new world open source questions. From questions like: Is everything really free and what is an OSS license? To how does my employer integrate OSS into the product development process? Are adequate resources committed to maintaining this project? Open source projects today must meet the level of sophistication companies expect and on which they’re investing their futures.

We can together help ensure this through focusing on new world open source questions and creating a bigger tent — a bigger tent that includes everyone: business managers, users and developers across gender, race and economic class. One that brings open source strategy, tools, training, compliance and more to everyone. We must invest in the open source professional and focus on open source readiness that supports innovative research and development.

This focus is already resulting in big tent outcomes. Outcomes that together we are making possible. Here are just a few.

You can learn more about how The Linux Foundation is working to support open source for decades to come in Jim Zemlin’s complete keynote from The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit video, below.

And view all 13 keynote videos from Collaboration Summit, held March 29-31 in Lake Tahoe, California.

Well, that’s a blog title I never expected to use here.

Back in 2003, over 800 blog posts ago, I decided to launch something I called the Standards Blog. Not surprisingly, it focused mostly on the development, implementation and importance of open standards. But I also wrote about other areas of open collaboration, such as open data, open research, and of course, open source software. Over time, there were more and more stories about open source worth writing, as well as pieces on the sometimes tricky intersection of open standards and open source.

I also launched a daily-updated news aggregation service around the same time. That news feed also focused on stories relating to open standards. You can find 8,352 news items in that archive now, sorted by topic and technology area. I still update that feed every week day. For most of the last twelve years, the problem wasn’t finding important and interesting open standards stories, but deciding which four or five I should select every day for posting. Here, too, the number of open source stories relating to the achievement of the same business goals began to increase.

Two years ago something new and different began to happen: the number of open standards stories pulled in by the Google Alerts I use to source them began to plummet. Even more tellingly, the number of open source stories mentioning open standards began to markedly increase. And also this: the number of launch announcements of new standards consortia dropped in rough proportion to the increasing number of stories reporting on the launch of new, significantly funded open source foundations.

Do you sense a pattern here?

Of course you do. And here’s what it means: The top IT companies are increasingly opting to use open source software to solve problems that they used to address with open standards. And where standards must still play a role, the same companies are deciding to develop the open source software first and the related standards later, rather than the traditional practice of doing it the other way around. The reasons are many and obvious: time to market is faster, interoperability is often more easily obtainable, development economies are dramatic, and the number of standards ultimately needed is far less.

The shift in the focus from open standard to open source should therefore not surprise, nor should the fact that the cash and personnel resources dedicated to these new collaborative organizations is dramatically greater than those historically dedicated to new standards consortia.

Interestingly, when standards have been needed to support new platforms also being enabled by open source software, such as the Cloud, Internet of Things, networking and virtualization, IT companies have almost always opted to develop them in pre-existing consortia and traditional standards development bodies, instead of new consortia launched for that purpose.

This is a major change from practices prevailing over the last twenty years, when the advent of any new technology was accompanied by a veritable algal bloom of new, often competing standards consortia. Each of these new organizations was created as much to give credibility to, and promote, the new technology as the inevitable next big thing. Now this sort of full-court press is being carried out through new, dedicated open source foundations and projects instead. That’s where the strategic battles are being won or lost, so any related standards development needs can be satisfied in any competent organization.

This change, too, has been dramatic. In the past, any diagram of standards developers supporting a new technology or platform was dominated by new consortia launched for the purpose of developing those standards. But a diagram of IoT or Cloud standards today almost exclusively includes only old, familiar names.

Further transformations are occurring behind the scenes. Directors of standards development within major IT companies are not being replaced when they retire. At the same time, budgets funding participation in open source projects are exploding. And where young engineers automatically incorporate open source code into their work, they may be only dimly aware at best of the role of standards in achieving their objectives, or how those standards are developed.

The change in the press is even more dramatic. Without anyone ever reporting on the change, or perhaps even noticing it, the word “standards” has been repurposed to describe code bases rather than specifications. And perhaps advisedly so, because these code bases solve the problems that standards used to address. Whenever the phrase “open source and open standards is used,” much more often than not it’s in a story focusing on open source software rather than open standards. Usually, the inclusion of the words open standards is more of a rote afterthought than a conscious reference to any specific standards. Perhaps this is because the change in methodologies has been so natural and inevitable. But these changes are profound.

It may be that we are living in one of those times when the significance of change is recognized only by the historians who identify and analyze it in retrospect. When they do, I hope they conclude that this transformation was managed wisely, and that the competencies and best practices that have been carefully developed over the last 130 years of standards setting are not forgotten. After all, while the need for open IT standards may be diminishing, it will not disappear. And there is much to be learned from that long, hard road that open source developers would do well to study and repurpose to their own cause, something they have rarely done to date.

This blog originally appeared on ConsortiumInfo.org.

 

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Guy Martin, Director, Open Source Strategy at Autodesk

Guy Martin, Director of Open Source Strategy at Autodesk.

Autodesk, a design and fabrication software company best known for AutoCAD, has more than 150 specialized programs for visual effects, BIM (Building Information Modeling), simulation, 3D printing and subtractive manufacturing. The company is also active in the maker community with its Dynamo project (open source graphical programming for design) and Ember 3D printer.

As the desktop software industry moves to the cloud, Autodesk is in a unique position to bridge the gap between traditional design customers and the growing Maker Movement. 

“Autodesk has been working to democratize access to design and fabrication software as part of our effort to support the newly emerging future of making things,” said Guy Martin, Director, Open Source Strategy at Autodesk. “Open source is an important component of this effort, and we’re excited to join the Linux Foundation to accelerate our participation in this critical ecosystem.”

Autodesk recently joined The Linux Foundation as a new corporate member along with Concurrent Computer Corporation and DataKinetics. Here, Martin tells us more about Autodesk; how and why they use Linux and open source; why they joined The Linux Foundation; and how they are innovating with Linux and open source.

What does Autodesk do?

Guy Martin: Autodesk’s mission is to help people imagine, design and create a better world. Our customer base of designers, engineers, architects, visual artists, makers and students use our software to unlock their creativity and solve important challenges. We’re probably best known for AutoCAD, which has been a key tool of in all sorts of design professions for 30+ years.

But we now have more than 150 specialized software offerings for visual effects, BIM (Building Information Modeling), simulation, 3D printing and subtractive manufacturing. We also have consumer mobile apps like Sketchbook and Tinkercad. Increasingly, our tools are available as subscription-based cloud and mobile services, and all of our software is free to students, schools and educators worldwide.

How and why do you use Linux and open source?

Martin: We’re at an interesting point in our corporate history – a majority of our core products were conceived in the desktop software era for designers, architects and other creative professionals. However, as the entire industry is seeing, the shift to Cloud changes a lot of fundamental assumptions, including those of a traditional desktop software company like Autodesk.

We are seeing the potential for new (and existing) customers to adopt Cloud-based systems to enable new levels of collaboration across the imagine, design, and create/fabricate cycle, as well as solve problems (such as city-scale simulations) that traditional desktop software simply can’t handle. We use Linux in our Cloud infrastructure, but also
rely on (and create) a lot of open source. You can see our projects from across the company at http://autodesk.github.io.

Why did you join the Linux Foundation?

Martin: With the shift to Cloud comes a fundamental dependency on open source. This affects everything from how our software is constructed to the talent pool we need to recruit from. Our domain expertise in architecture, BIM, 3D design/printing, and other product areas needs to be focused on building value, not reinventing infrastructure or other common components. Because of this, there is a renewed interest at Autodesk in being a better open source consumer, collaborator, and creator. We think the Linux Foundation is an excellent avenue for us not only to be part of this critical ecosystem, but also a place for us to share and learn from other member companies.

What interesting or innovative trends in your industry are you witnessing and what role do Linux and open source play in them?

Martin: The whole ‘Maker Culture’ is a disruptive force in the design and fabrication industry. Open source certainly plays a role here, but the larger collaborative nature of this movement, in everything from hardware to democratization of and access to design tools, is huge! Clearly, the collaborative development model of Linux and open source has sown seeds in these areas, and we are seeing a ton of innovation happening as a result of things like easy access to affordable 3D printing and design tools.

How is your company participating in that innovation?

Martin: Fostering the Maker Community is one of the major ways we participate in the innovation in our industry. We’re active participants in this community, and are trying to help stimulate it by open sourcing important pieces of technology such as our Dynamo project (open source graphical programming for design), as well as the mechanical designs, resin formulas and firmware for our Ember 3D printer. We also partner with hardware incubators and have a $100 million Spark Investment Fund to support start-ups that are helping advance the overall 3D printing ecosystem.

That being said, there are still a lot of corporate customers who use our tools, and helping them take advantage of this innovation and collaborative energy is also a priority. We are uniquely positioned to help bridge the gap between traditional design customers and this growing Maker Movement.

What other future technologies or industries do you think Linux and open source will increasingly become important in and why?

Martin: Is there an industry that Linux (or open source for that matter) hasn’t already touched? I think that synthetic biology and nano-scale design is probably the next frontier in terms of where the ‘open ethos’ will become critical. We’re already seeing this with the intersection of open source and 3D printing of human tissues, not to mention creating affordable prosthesis for patients in developing nations. Building and designing sustainable products is also another important area where the notions of open and collaborative development need to take off.

The reason why this is important is pretty clear – to quote Kenneth Blanchard: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” These are big and important problems, and tackling them will require the kind of collaborative energy that only the open ethos brings to the table.

Anything else important or upcoming that you’d like to share?

Martin: My role at Autodesk is very new (< 6 months) and represents a fundamental shift by the company towards doing a better job of both open and inner source. So, I'd just like to ask folks for some patience and understanding as we become a better open and collaborative citizen of this community. I'm more than happy to discuss our efforts or answer questions, so please feel free to reach out to me directly. Thanks!

Interested in becoming a corporate member of the Linux Foundation? Join now!