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Real World Linux 2004: Bigger and Better - page 5

The True Linux Turnout

  • May 3, 2004
  • By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

Another project going gangbusters these days is the Linux Professional Institute, the Canadian non-profit group behind the LPI Linux certification. With about 40,000 exams taken and around 12,000 graduates, the enthusiasm for this community-driven certification continues to grow.

A great side effect of this is, as Wilma Silbermann, Vice President of Operations, points out, is that in the beginning she mostly received blank looks when mentioning LPI at Linux conventions, these days everyone seems to immediately know who they are.

But LPI isn't content with riding on its laurels. Soon, the exams will expand from being available only in English and Japanese--LPI has a massive foothold in Japan's Linux community--to also allowing people to take the tests in French, Spanish, German, Chinese, and Portuguese. When released, these exams will be in beta for three months as LPI makes sure that the translations work well, and then the "final" versions will be rolled out.

Final is in quotes above because, like any certification, LPI is heavily concerned with two major issues: keeping their tests up to date, and exam security. To both of these ends, LPI has put out a call for more questions for their database. A wider selection would allow for heavier exam randomization, preventing "brain dump" sites from being able to ruin the certification's value. Their lofty goal is to have over one-thousand psychometrically evaluated questions available to choose from at any time.

As far as the future goes, aside from refreshing exams and adding questions, LPI is considering expanding their exam offerings. Their level 1 and 2 certifications are already available, and level 3 is under development--they're seeking people to help with this now. In addition, they may add a lower level certification if there appears to be much interest, something they're referring to as "core Linux." Another idea is to add a desktop certification.

Along with all of this, LPI will continue to offer its traveling show of "paper exam labs," in which exam candidates can meet LPI on site and take the exam without the expense overhead of paying the computerized testing companies. In fact, Wilma Silberman was running an exam for LPI at Real World Linux (a common sight at many Linux conferences), while Evan Leibovitch, President of LPI, was currently in China doing the same.

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