One year ago, in the October 1998 Linux Gazette, there appeared a brief article laying out the reasons why I felt a professional certification program would benefit Linux. It concluded with several questions and asked how I could join in the discussion:
If you agree that a certification program can be beneficial for the growth of Linux, how do we as a community go about addressing the points I made above about creating a certification program? Do we create another mailing-list or newsgroup? (Does such a group or list already exist? If so, I have so far failed to find it.) Do we meet at a conference? ...
...I don't necessarily have the answers - but I would like to participate in the discussion. If someone can suggest the appropriate forum in which this discussion should take place (or is currently taking place!), please let me know.
I had absolutely no idea that this article would lead down the paths that it did! Looking back, I think my reasons still stand, but certainly my own thinking has evolved on how a program is structured as we all have discussed and strategized. It's been an interesting journey! And one I never would have anticipated...
And at this moment, I think it is important to pause and say a word of thanks to all who have joined in. The effort that became the Linux Professional Institute could not have happened without the incredible support we have received from the Linux community.
Now, less than one year after discussion began (the mailing list started in November), we stand nearing completion of the first LPI exam... and it could not have happened without those of you reading this article.
What all has happened? Let's take a short look:
Beyond all that, we sent an awful lot of e-mail! We've discussed things, argued, praised, fought, even had a flame-war or two... and in the end worked professionally to develop a whole series of Consensus Points outlining our ideas and decisions. We've spoken at conferences, issued news releases, written articles, held meetings and done a hundred other things. We've spent a lot of long hours and sometimes stressed our relations with our spouses. We've worked hard but have also had some fun along the way. Many of us have become friends through the process. Many of us have had new professional opportunities presented to us through our involvement. We've learned an amazing amount... and truly demonstrated the power of a group of people working together to accomplish a common goal!
And none of this could have happened at the speed and scale that it did without all the people who chose to join in. The subscribers to our mailing lists... the participants in BOF sessions at conferences... the financial sponsors - both corporate (especially Caldera Systems, IBM, Linuxcare and SuSE, along with Wave Technologies and SGI) and individual - who have backed up their belief in the LPI program through solid financial contributions... the Board members... the people who have visited our web site... those helping with publicity... and all the many others throughout the globe helping our effort move forward in some small way.
And now today, as we continue to accept and review questions that will enable us to release our first exam within the next few weeks, all that we can say is THANK YOU for helping to make this dream a reality!
We do, of course, have a lot more to do! This is just the beginning... and we will need the help of all of those who have helping in the past and many, many more to continue to move the program along. Please join with us! Visit our web site at http://www.lpi.org/ or read my July 1999 Linux Gazette article for tips about how you can help.
It's been a long and amazing journey since that first small article a year ago! Thank you all for your support!