Treat you and your company to low-cost professional training.

Jon

Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Aug 15, 2012 GMT
Jon maddog Hall

Years ago a certain Redmond-based company told people that their software had a lower Total Cost of Ownership than Free Software. After a few years they commissioned a third party to study the situation, and the third party published a report that said the TCO over a five-year period was the same for Free Software as it was for their closed-source proprietary software, the reason given was that good software support people for Free Software were harder to find and received more money than software support people for their products.

Let me say that again: Good Free Software Support people were harder to find and received more money than people that supported closed-source software.

The problem with the report is that it focused on TCO instead of Return on Investment (ROI), and ended the study at a five year window, typically when people might upgrade their machines and software to new versions (and therefore need new licenses while retaining their users and support people).

Fast forward three years, and the situation is the same. More and more companies are switching to Free Software because they perceive a better Return on Investment in the long term, but they still have the same problems of getting well-trained and certified systems administrators. Or there are System Administrators whose skill levels are a few years old.

Hey folks, it is computer science. This is the field where “Introduction to Computer Science” books are obsolete before they are published.

So now combine this with a poor economy, where companies really do not want to pay 5000 USD for a week-long course, ship their employees far away from the office for a week, and spend a lot of money on hotel rooms in major capital cities, and you end up with less training and fewer support people.

Now comes a great program offered once a year by the same people that put on the Ohio Linux Fest in Columbus, Ohio, USA, the Ohio LinuxFest Institute (OLFI) on Friday, September 28th.

This program combines high-quality training from top professionals with a bargain price you cannot match in most training opportunities.

The OLFI classes are presented by subject matter experts who are also professional trainers;

The trainers include employees of industry leaders like Shadow-Soft, Vertical SysAdmin, Red Hat and Cloudera, as well as Linux Foundation and the Linux Professional Institute (LPI).

OLFI classes individually would cost several times more than their asking price of $350. This fee is for a full day of training, which can be made up of half-day classes with a one-hour break for lunch. This is tremendous bargain for professional training . Attendees are requested to bring their laptops, for these are hands-on courses. You can find the course listing online.

The courses are held on one day, a Friday, ending at 4 P.M., so people can still make it home to their families on the weekend, or by staying one night you can enjoy the other talks and events at the Ohio Linux Fest (OLF) on Saturday, and still spend Sunday with the family. There are also parties on Friday and Saturday nights, late-night “Birds of a Feather” sessions on Friday, and even a “sleep-over”.

Or if you live close enough, you can bring you whole family to OLF, a “family friendly event” on Saturday and spend that day with you learning all about Free Software. OLF itself is free of charge...now THAT is family friendly! Note that there is a five dollar registration fee for people that do not pre-register, but just show up at the door.

If you are new to Free Software, there is also a full-day Linux Basics class on Friday, September 28th, that can get you all set up for enjoying the OLF sessions the next day, and explaining to your family how they too will love Free Software. The fee for this all-day training is $250.

On Sunday there are certification tests for LPI and BSDA, as well as a “Diversity in Open Source Workshop.”

Finally, on Saturday is also the Expo, with many FOSS vendors attending. This is your chance to get “up close and personal” with the vendor sponsors.

OLFI on Friday the 28th is not “enthusiasts sharing their experiences”, but paid professionals leading students through formalized instruction on technologies of the day. OLF on Saturday the 29th is the family-oriented (but still educational) FOSS sessions we have come to expect from OLF.

For those who wish to know more about OLFI and OLF, the place to start learning about it is on their web site,

I am going, and I hope to see you there too.

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