[OSGeo-Discuss] Training and certification

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Fri Jun 10 00:08:23 PDT 2011

On 10/06/2011 4:07 PM, Paolo Cavallini wrote:
> Il 09/06/2011 21:38, Tyler Mitchell ha scritto:
>> Anyone else thinking about this or want to weigh-in on what their thoughts were?
> If this competes with the activities the professionals and enterprises are currently
> offering, -1. We want OSGeo to support our work, not to compete with it. This would
> have a number of negative consequences, IMHO.
> All the best.

Like Paolo, I'm very nervous about OSGeo taking on a training role for 
the same reasons.
Providing good training is a difficult business, which is provided by 
many of the OSGeo businesses who back OSGeo. If OSGeo starts to act as a 
business by providing such training, then OSGeo will start competing 
against its' core supporters. This has the potential to fracture the 
very strong OSGeo community, which is a bad thing.

And while in principle, the idea of OSGeo providing a trusted, unbiased 
training certification program, I think a very quick review of the 
business case behind it will make it unfavourable. Either the training 
program will be of low quality and low credibility, or it will attach 
such high cost to courses that the courses will be harder to sell.

Creating certification takes a lot of work, which needs to be resourced. 
I might be wrong, but I can't see volunteers stepping forward to build a 
certification program, at least not in the immediate future. Maybe some 
Governments might step up (as has been done for certifying OGC 
standards), but I expect governments will have better things to spend 
money on. The other group who could write a certification program are 
training organisations themselves. But I don't think these training 
organisations are likely to make much extra money with a certification 
in place. And I don't think trainees are likely prepared to pay an extra 
30% for their course in order to see a "certification" stamp. (And that 
30% is just to pay for certification development, before OSGeo makes a 

I'd like to be proven wrong, but I don't think we are ready for OSGeo 
certification, and I think it is bad business for OSGeo to compete with 
OSGeo companies by providing training directly.

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Solutions Manager
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
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