Open source company Red Hat is to extend its skills training programme into academic institutions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, partly in response to criticism from proprietary software vendors.
One claim made by some in the proprietary software lobby is that there is a lack of training opportunities and skills provision for open source software developers. Red Hat has countered this by building on its existing training programme and turning it into a set of accredited courses that can be offered in secondary schools, universities and technical colleges.
The move is a bid to satisfy existing customer demand and also to get Linux adopted more widely, according to Red Hat sales and marketing director Paul Salazar. Schools and universities will be able to subscribe to Red Hat Academy, and make it part of their curriculum.
It won’t be dry academia though, according to Salazar, who explained that Red Hat have "scaled up to a traditional [academic] course, but it’s hands on," so more effective learning can take place. There is no written exam; all tests are practical.
The training courses will also be offered in the developing world. A Red Hat spokesperson was unable to comment on whether the course subscription rates would be means tested according to the economic status of the institution or individual.
Red Hat's existing Global Learning Services training programme has been available for some years, but has not previously been offered on such a wide scale.
Five academic institutions in the UK are already offering the courses, and fifteen more will consider implementing them in the near future.