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Re: Can we do something now?

On Wed, Feb 24, 1999 at 11:35:39PM -0300, Lalo Martins wrote:
> > Do you want to provide testing, grading, pass/fail etc, or just
> > information and educational curricula?
> I didn't think of training consultants/teachers. Perhaps it's
> not a good idea to do it as it's usually done... perhaps
> something along the lines of debian-mentors is better.
> The details of certification... well, the idea is that the group
> certifies an individual or company. There are different
> certificates, each for a group of services - thus one for
> education, one for technical support, one for installation,
> whatever. I didn't think of how the certification is granted;
> I'd like to have opinions of the prospective members on that.

First off, the *most* important certification, and the one that will mean
the most to prospective customers, is the one that members must pass to
join. The DCE (or whatever it ends up being called) needs to start off on
the right foot, with a good reputation from the start.
	The group would also need to be not only sure of each member's
level of understanding, but also of everybody's ability to condust business.
Technical understanding does not make one a proficient consultant.

Hence, official collective followups must be made after every major
assignment. This is unnerving but necessary for reputation.

Perhaps, as a way of distributing this workload, every agent who is assigned
a local project must followup one other member's project (in a one/one
ratio). Guidelines should be set in advance as far as how this is to be
conducted; of course it should be minimal, and just be sufficient to compare
agents' performance relatively.

As a side-note, I *do* believe this organization should have a curriculum
for training; customers must oftem be taught how to deal with their new
system, and it should be aimed at this.

> list/IRC/wherever). These documents would have a keywords field,
> so we put up a search engine based on this and presto. If anyone
> has a better idea, I'm listening :-)

This support database is important. No large consulting firm lives without

> The idea here is developing curricula that members would use to
> teach non-members (customers). Probably just using the curricula
> would be almost enought to certificate this member as Debian
> educator... apart from checking some knowledge, of course.

I agree. but different levels need to be set; specialized areas, et al, and
perhaps minimal tests in important areas should be available as a
*guideline* for the educator. Instead of a bunch of text, a class outline
would be sufficient, and associated difficulties with each subsection. This
way a class can be optimized at-a-glance for windoze users and/or
technicians with HP-UX experience.

> This is the idea. But, what do you think about membership vs.
> certification? If they are different, do we list all members or
> the certificated ones?

group admission criteria needs to be much more stringent than established
education guidelines. IMO. If there's a reason for it to be otherwise, I
would go along.

> > The Educational framework, and Knowledge base needs to be public and
> > predominant.
> I agree about the educational curricula, but not the KB. I think
> the KB would be to big and detailed for general consumption,
> that's why I suggested that portions of it are periodically
> "distilled" into a public version of the KB or even into the
> Debian FAQ.
> > Advertising banner rotation of member banners (and others?) needs to be
> > established.
> I'm not sure on this. What do others think?
> > Then, If there is enough "good" to progress to some type of "Certification"
> > program, this could be a revenue stream for those giving the classes,
> > not to mention supporting the organization.
> >
> > There are a LOT of FAQ's and HOW-TO's, there are no training
> > curriculum material that I know of. This is a good idea, but
> > we need to put together quality material BEFORE we make the
> > light-speed-jump to seminars and Certification classes.
> Classes? I didn't think of certification in this way. Surely I
> don't want to require someone to attend to a $1000+ course to be
> a "certified Debian consultant", this would oppose the spirit of
> Debian and undermine the international nature of the Collective.
> IMO. :-)

entirely wrong IMO. There is a difference between 'hey look, here's three
CD's of free software you can try to figure out' and 'I know everything
about XXX area. I can train XXX of your <plug-in experience level> personnel
to have a firm grasp of it in XXX days'. The former is hobby, the latter is
professional and warrants a pricetag in the corporate world.

But again, as far as 'classes' go, a detailed curriculum with
tests/quizzes/etc is not the way to go. a breakdown of sub-subjects for each
topic needs to be presented to the agent, with a brief description of what
it is to cover, and what needs to be learned.
	Then a few different levels of certification should be named. One,
say, for a person with a fundamental understanding of useage. Another, say,
for an in-depth understanding of administration. You get the picture.
different levels of points are to be categorized to the agent, so he can
tailor the difficulty on-the-fly.

And this is why members need to be compred with stricter standards; to be
able to effectively train in an area, one must have complete understanding
of its inner workings.

sorry about the brevity.

..Aaron Van Couwenberghe... ..vanco@sonic.net.. ..aaronv@debian.org....
	Berlin:			http://www.berlin-consortium.org
	Debian GNU/Linux:	http://www.debian.org

"...Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing..."
	-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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