[OSGeo-Discuss] Training and certification

Stephen Woodbridge woodbri at swoodbridge.com
Fri Jun 10 06:27:12 PDT 2011

On 6/10/2011 3:08 AM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
> 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
> profit).
> 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.


These are good points, but I think they over look the fact that as a 
community we all pitch in to fill gaps in the ecosystem. Some do 
training, some do development, etc. Part of the maturing of OSGeo is 
that fact that there will have to be some structural changes to the 
ecosystem. Hopefully this is done in such a way the our partners can 
accommodate and grow with us so it is a win-win and not a zero sum game.

Nobody likes change, but change is how we grow and it is necessary, and 
I totally agree that it needs to be worked out with our business 
partners and supporter where ever it can be.


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