[lpi-discuss] the cost of certification
evan at telly.org
Mon Sep 19 22:55:18 EDT 2005
> I have been interested in studying for Linux examinations for some
> years but cost is a major factor in in holding me back. Not the cost
> of the LPI exams but the cost of the study, in time and in the total
> lack of choice of study kits available.
That isn't totally fair. By my count there are five different _free_
courseware projects out there.
1) The IBM online tutorials:
2) The British GPL'd LPI study guides (developed with help from the UN):
3) The South African "Learn Linux" project:
4) A set of Spanish-language resources:
5) In (Brazilian) Portuguese, the Foca Linux project:
(There may be more...)
Of these, all are free-as-in-beer and all but the first are
free-as-in-speech. They are community projects that, like open source
software projects, are no better and no worse than the input and
contributions they receive.
One of the reasons I co-founded LPI is because I'm a lousy programmer
(just ask anyone who has seen my code :-) ), yet I wanted to give
something to the community. People who are not software developers who
want to help advance the growth of FOSS, can do so by building upon the
body of documentation and training that must support all that good
software. LPI, at least as I see it, is a lightning rod. It provides the
necessary standardized frames of reference for such documentation
regardless of origin, along with a respected validation program so
people can prove the material sank in :-) .
Anyone here who doesn't believe that the above projects are good enough
has the _direct_ ability to make them better rather than just complain
about the lack of quality. All of the projects -- even the commercial
one from IBM, I'm sure -- will gladly accept any input designed to
improve their materials. If you don't want to contribute, then buy the
commercial stuff. In the world of open source, you have the free option,
both in the code and the courseware.
> I think that the first Linux Certification scheme to come up with a
> self-study kit of the quality of the CLP kit for under $50 will have
> the widest adoption. Quite frankly thats my price point and if the LPI
> was to make that happen then I would buy it.
As I stated above, there is already a variety of projects selling for
infinitely less than the CLP kit (or any other commercial product). What
is left is to bridge the gap between these projects' current state and
what you would consider "the quality of the CLP". Would you be willing
to help, either by writing new material or helping to find others who
would? Could you bring to free courseware those characteristics that you
like about the CLP materials (without breaking copyright, of course)?
There is no reason that free courseware could not be as commercial grade
as the best open source software.
PS: I'd be remiss If I didn't mention some high-quality material that's
nonfree but selling for well under christiaan's price point, at least at
current exchange rates ;-). I've heard very good things about the LATM
materials from Linup Front (http://www.linupfront.de) which are less
than $30 commercially, and free of charge to academia. Not completely
free but not bad either. So much for "total lack of choice"...
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