Solveig Haugland (http://openoffice.blogs.com/openoffice/) is blogging from LinuxWorld about the lack of a certification program for OpenOffice.org.
First of all, I agree that we need a certification program for open source and OpenOffice.org. The question is, if there are customers for end-user certification ? Unfortunately I don't think so my self. I have some years of experience from Lotus Notes education. My experience is, that there is very little request for end user certification, but there is a marked for end-user education.
There is a tradition in the IT-department, that everybody should get as many certificates as possible, and I think that on the expert level and for programmers, it would be a good idea to make some kind of certification.
As I see it, there are tree levels of education:
- End user
- Expert (power users or what ever we choose to call it)
- Programming and integration
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 a '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.
For end users, I think the most important thing is to provide them with a qualified education program. Whether they get a test or not, I don't find important. It will be possible use approximately the 'syllabus' from the drivers license for that purpose.
Certification it is !
I would find it natural if Sun Microsystems could provide that. Most of the content is from StarBasic anyway. We most certainly need a certification program.