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Q&A: Cloud Foundry Foundation Unveils Impressive Cloud-native Developer Training and Certification Initiative

Interview 

As most VMblog readers well know, there is a growing shortage of software engineers with hands-on cloud experience. The Cloud Foundry Foundation, a non-profit global consortium of large technology vendors, big enterprises and community developers, is unveiling what looks to be the largest cloud-native developer training and certification initiative in the world.

Cloud Foundry Foundation CTO Chip Childers, a key driver of this new initiative, has spent more than 18 years in large-scale computing and open source software. A co-founder of the Cloud Foundry Foundation in 2015, he previously was the first VP of Apache Cloudstack while working at SunGard and served as VP Product Strategy at Cumulogic. Earlier he led the rebuild of mission-critical applications for organizations including IRS.gov, USMint.gov, Merrill Lynch and SEI Investments.

I asked Chip to tell me more about the cloud developer initiative.

VMblog:  Why the cloud developer initiative now?

Chip Childers:  Last year we surveyed 900 IT executives worldwide about the state of cloud skills. We identified a huge problem. Most of the executives, 64 percent, said there already is, or will soon be, a serious shortage of skilled cloud developers. It's already affecting their hiring. What really surprised us, though, was how they were coping with this shortfall. Unlike a decade or two ago, when all the management rage was to outsource non-essential business units to focus on core competency, today executives increasingly want to train existing staff.

Our research is bolstered by similar studies from other groups that found more than a quarter million job openings are unfilled for software developers today in the U.S. alone on top of half a million other jobs that require tech skills of some kind. It's only going to get worse. We wanted to do something about it.

VMblog:  So what's the plan with the new cloud developer initiative?

Childers:  We're affiliated with the Linux Foundation and they have more than a decade of experience training professionals on Linux engineering and sys admin skills as well as OpenStack. They've trained or certified more than 800,000 professionals to date in more than 200 countries. We're experts in cloud skills and we have created world-class education and certification content. We're fortunate to have a partner to help us deliver that content.

This is also a community program, so our members will offer training too, including IBM, Pivotal and SAP, among others. We expect demand to be huge. We're confident that an industry-recognized Cloud Foundry Developer Certification will make it easier for organizations to hire desperately-needed cloud talent. Express Scripts, a Fortune 100 healthcare company with more than $140 billion in annual revenues, is looking to add more than 1,000 Cloud Foundry developers this year. They'll participate. So will Ford. It's exciting.

VMblog:  And what will you be offering and how does someone sign up?

Childers:  The program has four components: A free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) via edx.org available in May; a self-paced eLearning "Cloud Foundry for Developers" course (available here on June 13); an in-person training class available from licensed Cloud Foundry member companies; and the Cloud Foundry Certified Developer performance-based certification via online exam (available here on June 13).

There will also be the opportunity to take the certification exam in-person at the Cloud Foundry Summit Silicon Valley on June 13-15. Register here and get a discount on your ticket when you sign up for the certification exam. It takes about four hours.

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Published Wednesday, March 29, 2017 10:20 AM by David Marshall
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