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Cloud Foundry Foundation Looks to Fill Enterprise Skills Gap

The Cloud Foundry Foundation is offering its first ever certification program to get more developers trained and familiar with the organization's open source platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technologies, as well as cloud-native architecture.

The "Cloud Foundry Certified Developer" program is being rolled out in a beta form today, March 29, and the organization will make it generally available when it hosts its Cloud Foundry Summit on June 13.

The certification program, which is being offered in partnership with the Linux Foundation, will cost $500 to enroll for the online course, and the four-hour exam costs an additional $300, according to the Cloud Foundry. The training course itself takes about four days to complete and will be offered online.

The goal of the certification program is to overcome the "skills gap" that many companies are facing as more and more applications are developed and deployed in the cloud, said Abby Kearns, the executive director of the Cloud Foundry Foundation. In 2016, the organization surveyed about 900 IT executives, who reported that a lack of skills was keeping their enterprises from fully embracing a digital transformation. (See Digital Transformation: Why IT Culture Matters.)

However, the survey also showed that these executives were interested in, and willing to support, training programs for developers rather than merely outsourcing the work.

"What we found was a skills gap that continued to accelerate as more and more organizations become software companies," Kearns told Enterprise Cloud News. She also quoted a New York Times article that found companies will need nearly 1 million highly skilled developers over the next decade.

Knowledge is good (Source: Hitesh0141 via Pixabay)
Knowledge is good (Source: Hitesh0141 via Pixabay)

With that as the backdrop, the Cloud Foundry's certification program began to take shape and build on previous work done by the Linux Foundation for different developer courses.

Once a developer takes the course and passes the exam, Kearns said he or she will be able to translate these skills across different distributions of the company's PaaS technology, which include Huawei FusionStage, IBM Bluemix Cloud Foundry, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, SAP Cloud Platform and Swisscom Application Cloud.

"The point of the training and certification is to give those developers the skills to understand how to use Cloud Foundry, what are cloud-native best practices, how to really develop and deploy applications on a platform, and then to provide them with that certification," Kearn said.

By the end of the year, Kearns hopes to have "a few thousand" developers certified worldwide.

The course will cover several aspects of the Cloud Foundry platform and cloud-native architecture, including:

  • Cloud Foundry basics and the organization lexicon
  • Cloud-native architectural principles
  • Troubleshooting applications on Cloud Foundry
  • Cloud-native application security
  • Working with services in Cloud Foundry
  • Application management on Cloud Foundry
  • Container management within Cloud Foundry
  • Aptitude in modifying simple Java, Node.js and Ruby applications

The Cloud Foundry will offer more details about the program and offer the first exam for the certification at the Cloud Foundry Summit Silicon Valley, which runs from June 13-15.

Companies that are members of the foundation, including Dell EMC, IBM, Pivotal and SAP, will also offer the course to developers.

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— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

JohnMason 3/30/2017 | 10:09:06 PM
thank you cloud foundry I'm glad Cloud Foundry is providing a certification path for enterprise skills. It sounds like a fair way for employees to improve skills and for employers to improve their talent pool.
Joe Stanganelli 3/30/2017 | 7:38:56 PM
ehhh... Personally, I still maintain that the "skills gap" is more of a "cheap yet highly skilled labor gap" used to justify hiring H1B and L1 visa employees en masse with far lower salaries and few to zero benefits.  Studies and data seem to support this theory -- as do all of those unemployed and underemployed yet highly skilled coders, engineers, and InfoSec specialists out there (especially those who are on the wrong side of 40).

Naturally, this is an easy exploit for the certification market (which still is, at the end of the day, a business -- non-profit or not).
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