[OSGeo-Discuss] Certification commitee

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Tue Mar 14 11:38:16 PST 2006

Helton Uchoa wrote:
> Why is important to create a certification to OSGeo projects?
> - The certification is a technical way to define a initial prerequisites 
> to contract a professional. Sometimes It can't define a good 
> professional, but It can be a good "indicator" when the certification 
> process has quality. I have talked about this question with Daniel 
> Morissette and Arnulf in Brazil (MapServer User Meeting).
> - It can be a way to make money to OSGeo (maybe not a big, but one 
> additional source).
> - It will be a way to show a "more corporate" picture of FOSS GIS. So It 
> will help companies (that works with FOSS) in marketing of its 
> products/solutions: Open Source X "Well-known marks". One of questions 
> that the OpenGEO's customers have made in fisrt contact is: "... there 
> are many professionals to ESRI solutions, but how many professionals can 
> work with MapServer (or another FOSS) in Brazil?". With certification we 
> can have a precision answer.


I can see some reasons why certification would be desirable, but I'm not
very clear on details of what would be covered.  I can understand how we
might have a "MapServer Certified Professional" certification (for instance),
but could we really have an OSGeo Certified Professional?  That seems awfully

And I'm concerned if we had a certification that was narrow, for instance
to one or two projects, that it is showing a sort of "project favoritism"
that we must avoid.  I suppose one approach is that any project that is
willing to put in the work could have a certification designation.

My understanding is that it would also take quite a bit of work (ie. many man
months) to prepare a respectible certification program with testing mechanisms
and so forth.  Do you have any thoughts on who or how this might be
accomplished?  Is this something that OpenGEO might be able to take a leading
role on?

I wouldn't like to see the foundation pursue certification as a money making
activity, but I would like to see certification income cover at least the
hard costs of operating such a program.

Could you perhaps outline a certification program in the wiki?

I can see the value of certification in terms of giving companies and
governments a level of comfort with available expertese and in general
with raising the visible professionalism of our community.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGF, http://osgeo.org

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