Getting the Linux badge
Red Hat India is ramping up its training services to cater
to the demand for Linux professionals
The market is mature and ready for the introduction of specialised high-level
programs, as more people are looking to leverage the true potential of
Linux in large enterprise deployments.
Head, Global Learning Services
Red Hat India
The hobbyist days where Linux was taught in back rooms populated with geeks
only is history, with Linux making a headway into the deepest, most critical
areas of the enterprise. Today, we see a different classroom culture with people
belonging to diverse backgrounds filling up seats for learning Linux.
People are being drawn to Linux primarily because of its rapid rate of evolution.
Today, every device under the sun is either running or has the potential to
run on Linuxfrom embedded devices to the fastest supercomputers in the
Why train on Linux?
Learning Linux has crossed the chasm from being an added advantage
to an inherent necessity for anyone looking to survive in the fast changing
technology market. To put it simply, technology professionals today understand
that Linux is no longer in a good to know mode but is moving towards
the need to know level the way the industry is headed.
With the Linux market now entering the mainstream, HR managers are increasingly
demanding certifications, or proof-of-knowledge documents from potential
recruits. We have been tracking this demand over the years and have found that
Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) is the undisputed market leader when it comes
to proving Linux credentials to any organisation. An RHCE certification can
give a strong definition to an individuals career, as every HR manager
out there knows that the RHCE course involves a tough certification process
which only the genuinely skilled can clear. There is absolutely no room for
error, and organisations can trust RHCEs on face value, as we carry out the
evaluation process for them. Not everyone who opts for an RHCE exam walks out
successful. Our examination success rates have averaged around 50 percent and
the difficulty only adds to its value.
A new direction
The changing dynamics of the Linux market has affected the
very format in which Linux skills are imparted. The courseware itself has seen
a dramatic shift over the years. Its no longer basic Linux skills that
corporates and students are interested in. We are seeing a tremendous response
for newly introduced high end programsRed Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)
in particular. The market is mature and ready for the introduction of such specialised
high-level programs, as more and more people are looking to leverage the true
potential of Linux in large enterprise deployments.
With RHCA, we have raised the knowledge bar by introducing five advanced courses.
The new enterprise architect curriculum will allow trainees to develop skills
on data centre systems. Students will be able to learn in-depth systems and
software management skills designed to enable organisations to scale the deployment
of Linux across the enterprise. With hands-on training using multiple servers
plus storage arrays or SANs, trainees will be able to get a valuable insight
into the practical use of power tools available in open source technologies.
With RHCA we are looking to provide in-depth, hands-on training for senior Linux
system administrators responsible for the deployment and management of multiple
systems in large enterprise environments. It is a capstone certification to
Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) and Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT), which
are among the most sought after certifications available in the Linux space
today. The full RHCA curriculum consists of four advanced Enterprise Architect
courses and an upper-level security course.
Desktop and open source
Another strong area of focus is desktop training. We are witnessing a growing
need to channel Red Hat programs to the grassroots level. Today the curriculum
used in Indian academia basically revolves around teaching students the features
and functionality of certain proprietary desktop applications available in the
market. With brand specific training, educational institutions are endorsing
a particular product and not concepts. This is quite a contrary to the academic
mission of exposing students to a technology and not a specific product.
With open source software, students can get up close and personal with technology
rather than learning proprietary product rulebooks. More and more academic institutions
are understanding this principle of keeping their curriculum as vendor agnostic
as possible. Red Hats Desktop Utility Program is designed to expose students
to the power of software applications like word processors, spreadsheets and
presentations in everyday applications. The idea is to train students using
a simple three-day format on non-proprietary software applications. We also
offer a five-day learning programme for people who are migrating from Windows
to Linux. Its a course tailor made for users familiar with the Windows environment
and allows them to seamlessly adapt to Linux.
Localisation is another factor which is slowly finding its way into our training
radar. The growing demand for desktop training is an indicator of things to
come. With only 10 percent of the population familiar with English, our localisation
efforts at bridging the digital divide are being well appreciated. With e-governance,
academia, SMBs and the overall spread of the local language, Red Hat desktop
in B&C class cities and the rural sector, a huge demand for Linux training
With the Linux market growing at a fast clip over the years, we have seen a
100 percent rise in demand for our certifications year on year. The passing
percentage has drastically improved, with students now having increased awareness
and exposure to Linux. The industry demand for certified Linux professionals
was satisfactorily met last year and we are churning out more Red Hat Certified
The year ahead
Our goal for 2005-2006 is to train 50,000 students and produce 5,000 certified
people for the industry to absorb. To reach out to the length and breadth of
the country, we are assisting engineering colleges and technical institutions
in building a Red Hat Academy within their premises. The resources
that we provide include everything from grooming teachers and building specialised
curriculum, to supporting projects and assisting in recruitment. For individual
schools, we provide software, training materials and assist them in developing
The new partners that we have added to our learning services ecosystem last
year include some of the biggest players in the Indian education marketCMS,
IIHT and SSI to name a few. Students demand courses that are specialised to
become system administrators, network administrators and security administrators.
Among the three, security programmes are of great importance to corporates,
as the role that Linux plays in building a protected environment is quickly
becoming an undisputed fact.
We have established two corporate learning centers in Mumbai and Pune with a
total seating capacity of 45 to address the needs of corporates in providing
courses on clustering, performance tuning, directory services, GFS and our new
Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases. These centres will also function as nodal
certification centres and development hubs to churn out corporate instructors
certified to impart Red Hat Linux skills.
Today Red Hat India has established 70 partners spread over 300 locations across
the country, with 12 large partners, who have signed up last year. Learning
services is a part of the end-to-end solution that we offer to corporates, which
fits in perfectly into the whole Red Hat ecosystem. With Red Hat Enterprise
Linux subscription revenues growing faster than ever, training is all set to
become the cornerstone of this ecosystem. The spread of Linux in the enterprise
is primarily dependent on the skill levels of the professionals that can run
or support this technology.
Today, the open source nature of Linux appeals to those who really want to get
into the core of technology. Linux has therefore become the number one choice
from a learning perspective for students across the globe.
To conclude, we at Red Hat Learning Services believe that the future of Linux
tomorrow is in the hands of the students of today, and we shall continue to
ensure the fulfilment of that vision.