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August 09, 2007

Comments

First of all, I agree that we need a certification program for open sorce and OpenOffice.org. As I see it, there are tree levels:
1) End user certification
2) Expert certification
4) Programming certification

Btw, let me introduce my self. My name is Leif Lodahl, and I'm the Native Language Coordinator in Denmark (just a few miles south of Norway) and I'm also working as IBM Lotus Instructor.

About 'End user certification'
In Europe we have something called 'PC drivers license' (http://www.ecdl.com/publisher/index.jsp). There is also a 'Junior PC drivers license' and a 'Truck certification' for experts.

Unfortunately this has actually become 'Microsoft drivers license' over the last ten years. A few years ago I tried to find sponsors to establish an alternative open source certification, but I had no luck then. Times might have changed since, and I could try again.

Best regards,
Leif Lodahl
http://lodahl.blogspot.com

Hi Leif,

Those levels sound good -- I haven't looked yet in detail at what MS does but there should definitely be a regular user and an expert user. I wonder if it should be per app, like Writer User, Calc User, etc.

I'm not sure what the next step is -- I could certainly sponsor my own GetOpenOffice.org Certification Standard, with input from whoever else cares to work on it, but I'm not sure how much heft that carries. Who do you have to be, outside or inside the OOo organization, to establish a standard for certification that others will fall in line behind?

Solveig

A certification could prove useful, but to begin with I feel like the focus should definitely be for the people that implement OpenOffice solutions, deploy the software, etc.

OpenOffice is widely used, yet it still behaves (to me at least) like a small market, especially with "professionals". Because of this, it seems to me a starting with a very niche certification and growing over time from there makes the most sense.

--
Dustin Puryear
Author, Best Practices for Managing Linux and UNIX Servers
http://www.puryear-it.com

Hey, I am currently train people in the Microsoft Office suite, it's my day job. I would love to help out and develop some criteria and even other training materials for the OpenOffice suite, esp since the suite is a nice price for a small/start-up businesses.

I have even been toying with the idea of creating my own OpenOffice training materials . . . until i found you! I'd be enthusiastic to develop some system with you!

FYI, my company teaches three levels of Excel, Access and Word, and two levels of Outlook, Powerpoint and XP(!) using the materials from Thompson. Also, there are three levels of MS certification: specialist, master and expert which can be found at this link: (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/officespecialist/requirements.mspx)

Hi Amilcar,

Thanks for the MS link! I'll check them out. Thanks for your interest.

Solveig

Hi Dustin,

A certification like you mention would be very useful. I see primarily end users, myself. I guess some research into the number of people who get each cert each year from MS would be a starting point at least for what to consider first with OOo. But yes, that's a good idea -- start with one cert at a time, as they did with Java.

Solveig

There is no OpenOffice.org certification?

Funny, one of my relatives talked with someone who was spearheading getting people certified in Open Office (and they are almost done with the "certification part").

Anyone getting certified in this field would be able to make some serious cash, as I know many small businesses who would rather save a few hundred dollars per computer by skipping MS office.

That's interesting -- Darnell, could you check on who the person spearheading the certification was?

Thanks,
Solveig

Hi Solveig,
there are certifications we just lack the representation from OOo community and the infrastructure and network.

One example of this ceritifications are theINGOTS.org who have been working in the UK on building a global network as well as valid certification in the UK.

There have been other sites that have provide e-learning certifications like 123Aprende in SPAIN.
http://openoffice.123aprende.com

Finally we have in the spanish community a certification that at least is getting the backing of the Spanish community and will be delivered in Mexico, and at least 2 more countries in Latin America.

My question is.... how can we have the global network on lock to unify all these efforts.

I also agree with the need for certification for Open Office. It is important to recognize the value in the skills that people have and in the time and money that they have put towards honing those skills. Many people are driven by the need to quantify their value (I say this as an instructor at an adult education institute) and it is one thing to say you have some experience with any application, compared to the ability to demonstrate your level of skill with a Cert.
Not only do I think it important for Certifications, I also think that those certifications should be ratified by an important committee that has a history in credential. For example CompTIA. They already provide a Linux certification for those interested, and are widely recognized within the IT industry as having very valid certs.
The one issue I see with the certification process is that development of OpenOffice would have to work closely with certification developers and more structure and unification would be needed. Although I dont see this as a bad thing, I do see it as something that will inevitably take time and working out.
My job requires me to be knowledgeable in Microsoft Office Applications, and I have the option of becoming a MOS, but I think that I would much rather be certified in Open Office.

Hi Shanee,

Thanks for your comments! There is definitely a lot of time and coordination involved. I'm hoping to stir up enthusiasm and agreement to do certification, for the commitment that we'll need prior to that.

Solveig

Hi Shanee,

Thanks for your comments! There is definitely a lot of time and coordination involved. I'm hoping to stir up enthusiasm and agreement to do certification, for the commitment that we'll need prior to that.

Solveig

In San Diego, we are starting a non-profit computer recycling and training business. One of the goals is to train people to build computers, they get to keep a computer once they have built 6 of them, [or volunteered enough time]. Each computer would have OO included on them for typing up resumes and getting online. We also want to be able to have classes for certifications (and point people to where they can get them, if we weren't able to provide them ourselves). Definitely, an Open Office Certificate would do wonders for these people!!

hi

i need a certification in open office and user lavel linux.

please guide me.

thanks

Agreed, certification will help to raise the importance of OpenOffice.Org & will be a good step for competition with MS

hi, im razlina from malaysia. now im doing research to conduct an Openoffice.org certification for my country. i have to do the draf for OOo ceertification content.
and I have no idea about it.

Can you help me??

Tq for your help

I'm not sure what the next step is -- I could certainly sponsor my own GetOpenOffice.org Certification Standard, with input from whoever else cares to work on it, but I'm not sure how much heft that carries.

Who do you have to be, outside or inside the OOo organization, to establish a standard for certification that others will fall in line behind?

Sun is a big dysfunctional company, glad they got bought out by Oracle. Sun never took StarOffice seriously, it was a marketing stunt to push Microsoft buttons. Since the acquisition and after the hype, not much happened except for the code source release. They have basically abandoned any kind of marketing for StarOffice and OpenOffice since 2004 and were only hoping for free volunteers to fill out the gap. That strategy unfortunately hasn't worked well or as expected, and despite serious progress, OO and SO are still lagging far behind MS.

Rumors has it that Microsoft were going to buy them out and Sun board was seriously considering it. The first thing MS would have done if they had won would have been to can the whole project, including OO which is 100% financed by Sun with Sun developers. Louis, the great OO Community leader is directly paid by Sun full time.

I don't see much future in that project, Sun destroyed it by now giving it proper support, including marketing and strategic support. Probably why they gave away the source code so easily.

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