EOF - Faster Training for Smarter Customers
More is involved in information transparency than mere software. In Mountain View, California, we are working on new methods of training using open course materials. The Freedom Technology Center (FTC) is an educational organization founded to provide high-level technical training to local and on-line communities. The curriculum is based on freely available technical courseware and software courses derived from free software or open-source software projects. What follows is an introduction to FTC and a brief report on what we are doing.
Doc Searls points out that IT is being driven more and more from the demand side, and that's the direction from which we approach training. We understand the trend of empowerment that open-source software is a part of, and we are designing training programs to fit into that paradigm. These days, virtually any IT task can be tackled by a smart self-learner who receives a good introduction from a professional. According to the MIT OCW Program Evaluation Findings Report (March 2004), self-learners are far and away the largest group using freely available training materials. FTC is here to give self-learners a solid introduction and, in many cases, a working sandbox. We kickstart self-learners on the road to competence with freely available tools, training and courseware.
For public benefit, we host free training events to boost awareness and competence on open technical courseware. This is the fun part. We have hosted free training events on spam filtering, trusted computing and open hardware. We ran a book donation drive for the Linux Users Group of Iraq and fund-raisers for FTC and the Free Software Foundation (FSF). As a rule, we try to support Linux users groups and organizations, such as the FSF and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) wherever we can. In short, we support the generation, dissemination, preservation and protection of technical knowledge whenever possible.
We also kickstart corporate self-learners, providing high-quality, hands-on, modular courses. This is the hard work that keeps our lights on. The only way for us to compete is our quality. FTC offers the highest quality training experience available on the topics that we instruct. Our method is first to identify and recruit the single best trainer for each training class we offer. Our instructors all have written the book on their given topic. With the best possible instructor on a topic, and an all-inclusive, hands-on, practical offering, we keep quality at a maximum. We're not the cheapest for corporate training, but in general, if we can't be the best, we don't offer the course. Lucky for us, high-quality trainers seem to like our style.
Geographically, we serve the local technical community in Northern California and a larger on-line community that can access our course notes over the Internet. Our trainers take paid training courses on the road, matching free seminars for users groups and tradeshows on open courseware with paid events for professional users. If we administer it right, we can offer a self-funding free training event or two in any metropolitan area.
Content-wise, we're focusing on open-source applications that people are using in business right now, and that means Samba and OpenLDAP. We have Linux certification and spam-filtering courses, and we are adding modules covering mail and Web serving. Courses on Linux telephony and security issues will be available soon.
Without profit as our prime motive, we're not bound to train using traditional methods or business models. We can explore new technologies and teaching methods. Right now we're working on a model for training whole IT departments called Immersion Training. We have a lot of experience training in corporate environments, and we think the most efficient way to do that is to drop a training team into a company to merge with an IT team and lead it through the design and implementation of new infrastructure, hands-on. When we get there, the team has no infrastructure or training, but when we leave, it has a basic infrastructure and a completely trained and supported staff, with complete documentation of an entire modular, testable process.
Another thing we've been thinking about is how to get corporate trainers to develop and use open courseware. We think corporate trainers should be hired to customize and teach open courseware for their corporate clients. Open courseware is a great marketing tool for trainers, and more trainers should do it. There really is no financial downside for technical trainers if they know how to market their courseware. But we're not simply discussing the economics of new training models that use open courseware, we're proving them viable.
LJ Editor in Chief Don Marti is a board member of the Freedom Technology Center.
Rich Bodo is a parallel entrepreneur and the Managing Director of the Freedom Technology Center. When he is not discussing or implementing a new business, he likes to read and write business software, science fiction and telephony software. He welcomes your comments sent to email@example.com.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide