Python Certification and O’Reilly

Today I saw this great conference about the Python certifications that O’Reilly (the company that does IT books) is offering through their school of technology.

A few month’s back there was a rather interesting discussion bout the value of a certification, and how many people disagree about the nature and the goals should be. However is good to know that there are some certifications available and even better that they are connected some how with an authoritative figure.

In this case The Python Foundation chairman is one of the designer of these Python Certified Class. This O’Reilly Webcast show the whole process and thought put into this program and how it can help many people that want to get into programming as we all develop core knowledge.

The video is here:

Some notes on the video are the following interactive Q&A and some key minutes in the presentation:

Min: 15 Biggest difference between Python and PHP? The use of namespaces to create larger systems.

Min: 17 Which toolkit (or UI) will the course include? Several frameworks like TKinter, PyQt y WxPython were reviewed. In the search for pragmatism we choose Tkinter, but in a way that is easily portable to Qt, GTK, etc.

Min: 19 The courses are credited by the University of Illinois.

Min: 23 How will these course help more experienced programmers? You can skip the entry-level classes although if you want the certificate you most take them at some point.

Min: 28 Explain the story on why¬†The Python Foundation don’t offer the certifications directly and how data is not equal to knowledge and experience.

Min: 31 who do the grading? Is a combination of members of the University of Illinois and O’Reilly School of Technology.

Min: 32 Why does the Python course looks more involved than the PHP course? The approach to the PHP course is different and Object oriented is been reviewed further  in the course.

Min: 34 Sneak peaks on the second class? Second class would deal with testing and development. Things like unit testing.

Min: 36 deals with packaging and how to generate packages in Zip, tar, etc.

Min: 42 what kind of jobs can I obtain from these classes and certifications? Right now programming skills are very well marketable although usually is focused on programming jobs. However, we see these programming courses to extend to other disciplines like journalism, technicians, educators. Also the curriculum and portfolio of real code that can get you a Jr Developer position.

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Welcome to 2012

Newyear2012

So we reach 2012, and there are many things happening personally and also business wise. The biggest theme on the personal arena is about “being stable”.

What does being stable means and how my friends have achieve that stableness? For a while I have been interested on learning how my friends achieve what they have had and what things they haven’t achieved. During a meeting with a fellow friend with the same first name came to review. Only 2 stories within our 60+ friends have been able to make a future of their own. That means achieving a way of living without the help of their family.

However one of those stories, I have been one of those. I most say I am kind of proud.

On the business side, I got a call from a entrepreneur from a content company for certifications on Linux and soon OpenOffice.org. Which is a great news to start the year, this might be the break that would give me a business direction for 2012.

Promoting their material and having an agreement that will allow me to grow business wise, will be great for everyone.

I hope when I get back to Cancun I would be able to find new ideas and will be able to have a win.

Trip to Quito

Trip to Ecuador was quite intereting with most of the time being available to have a walk and meet new people, the thing thtat got me about Quito is how similar it looks to Mexico city — without all the smog that is. With similar street marts and warnings we spent some good chatting and meals regarding the local free software community and how it’s needed to deliver the services on top of OpenOffice.org. Likewise we also need some kind of refocus on the way software is created and improved.

A revelation that I had was explaining how the communities had been missconstructed. Which, instead of focusing on the product they actually went on to focus on other things such as the marketing, licenses and location. So a name such as “Local community of free software” it will be around a locality and also a name. I suggested a different approach to it and instead of girating around name or locality to girate around a product.

So having a product, it will actually encourage most of the community to girate around a body of work. This gives communities a better structure such as maintenance tasks, documentation, quality assurance, testing, and of course improvements.

How does improvements come around? Well this is a different dynamcis on community, usually there is so much work than is really difficult space to complain and to provoke flamewars. At least these will be more technical and provide a more product driven testing. So you will have a different branch with one solution and another with another. The best will be integrated into the code tree. 
So the goal of the trip was to do a training and I think we did a good job. The client was please with the performance althought negotiations in the end went a bit rocky. I would have liked to provide a good framework of flexibility. One thing that I think we could have improved is definitly better preparation. Set up the system and also comply with the way that the tasks would be handled in the future.

Right now we discussed about new opportunities for doing business in the current situation. We would be able to offer extra training focused in OpenOffice.org itself. Here is where I think we could generate some revenue as soon as possible, this of course have some dependancies such as if the way the trainning will be focused as a third party or as maybe a fourth party to the end client. 
I still got some thoughts on how we can position ourselves to be the most valuable to our client while at the same time building a cash flow to funnel it back to OpenOffice.org.

Certification revolution

So lately I have engage mostly on the certification aspect of the OpenOffice.org space civilization, or should I say cloud civilization? These past two weeks a lot of things have come through mainly on the OpenOffice.org end toward the stabilization of a certification and many meetings have been addressed on skype calls, IRC and other mediums. The work we have been doing has suddenly got attention from some of the OOo leads and their will to contribute has been sometimes more than needed. However this post is more about what open questions are still out there and how can the alternatives address such challenges.

  1. Quality of the syllabus and qualification standards
  2. Documentation such as study guides and trainer guides, and who should bare the responsibility for such.
  3. Testing skills vs. knowledge of the application
  4. Relationship with testing centres and entrepreneurial centres

The list could go on and on but these have been some of the topics that have been debated (once more) and some of the ideas have been solidify under better light. One of the biggest conclusion would be that we can finally decide on approving a ground level material for OpenOffice.org Certification so we can start doing the implementation from Core. Another is that we need to start extrapolating on the syllabus even if this doesn’t go as far as student guide, make it in a sense of action items so the contributors and publishers understand the points we need to achieve.Evan points out to the reference that LPI holds and notice some great ideas to adopt it into the syllabus. Other goals can be see on the Red Hat camp and this could add us into going to a different place. Solveig wrote about certification a while back and explains an interest model but don’t really touch these questions however she post new questions regarding the cicles which the certification should be produced and how indepth we could get it.Another dimension is going into where people are already implementing a large training program for their population in OpenOffice.org. These program includes OpenOffice.org training and a certification could pose a great tool for further developing their training and support. So the Spanish population into and trainers that fuel these deployments could be great resources to make the certification listen to their needs. Andalucia and Valencia each have programs to train their teachers that go into the regional schools to train them in OpenOffice.org and their view could be very valuable to qualify them as trainer. Getting all these points together and checking all the point of views would make it very hard to come to a consensus. But as opposed that in the past, this time there will be deadlines and timelines and will close upon a certain point of the discussion also modifications would be expected as any other certification and we hope tha we can get also a great certification revolution for OpenOffice.org finalize by the end of 2008.

OpenOffice.org and education paradigm

I havent blog in a pretty long time and today might just be the kind of days that I am inspired and just want to put some of my thoughts on paper…err.. blog. So this week I have had some conferences on skype about the future of the education project and the certification development. I can’t comment enough but I think this is going to be something that might just work. So far I have make some decisions about the way we can push OpenOffice.org on the universities. From a migration to a simple course is a big cutback and I think we shouldnt stop pushing the migration option but .. we should enforce other vehiecles that are easier to deploy. So far the conferences look promising and I hope we can get to a good outcome. We also have a good closed market to get us going so the incentive to get the certification done is unpaired. however we still need to do a lot of politics to get this done.The impact a certification could have in Mexico and Spain if properly adviced can reach a great entry for the rest of the project.