Update on BSD Certification


Dru Lavigne
Chair, BSD Certification Group Inc.

MeetBSD Poland, 2010
Nice to be back in Kraków :-)


Very first presentation on BSD Certification was at
MeetBSD 2005 (3 months after BSDCG was...
Outline
Certification 101

Our Goals

BSD Certification Group (BSDCG)

BSDA (BSD Associate)

BSDP (BSD Professional)

Work...
Certification 101


Popularized in mid-90s by Novell, Microsoft, Cisco

Associated with braindumps, paper MCSEs

Very expe...
Why so Expensive?

Really, how hard is it to create an exam?


SMEs, psychometricians, accreditation,
curriculum developer...
Certification 101
Traditional exam delivery costs: $75,000 USD
annually to participate, extra fees for changing
exam

Mono...
Certification 101
Are there other "open source" certifications?

LPI started out as commercial/community based,
current fo...
Our Goals
                  Community Based

Involve those who understand the value and can
benefit from the assessment:

...
Our Goals
                        Practical

●   assess real world, on the job skills

●assess experience, not the capabil...
Goals
       Use Open Source Software/Principles

●   for infrastructure

●   for exam delivery solutions

●planning/work ...
Goals

                         Accessible

●   available globally

●   where practical, available in local language

●   ...
Goals
              Psychometrically Valid

●exam assesses skills, not ability to understand
what is being asked

● exam i...
BSDCG
Registered non-profit incorporated in the state of
New Jersey in 2005

Mission is to create and maintain certificati...
BSDCG
Internal Structure:

5 Board of Directors (voted in for a term)

18 BSDCG members with voting rights (volunteer
to j...
BSDCG
Community Structure:

~700 subscribers to 2 mailing lists

229 members of 2 Linkedin groups

~90 translators for 22 ...
BSDCG
Community Based:

Remains separate from, but supports the other
BSD projects and Foundations

Works closely with emp...
BSDCG
Psychometrically Valid:

Ensures exam is fair, unbiased, and
understandable, even if English is not your first
langu...
BSDCG

Exam goals:
Globally affordable ($75 USD)        √
Available in local community, and where
warranted, in local lang...
BSDA
Process:

Job Task Analysis (JTA): April - July 2005

Exam Requirements published: October 2005

Beta Period: May - A...
BSDA
Exam:

Target audience is junior sysadmin with 6 months
experience

Covers 7 knowledge domains

Scored for 100 questi...
BSDA


Venue:

Community based: exam events hosted by
conferences, user groups, employers, and
schools

Slowly building a ...
BSDA

BSDA Candidates:

>1700 BSDCG IDs issued (residing in 107
countries)

195 have taken exam (residing in 21 countries)...
BSDP
                     Process

JTA Report published March 2010:
http://www.bsdcertification.org/downloads/BSDP_JTA_
Re...
BSDP
                         Process

Exam Requirements should be finished and published in
late July or early August

Be...
BSDP


                   Delivery

Exam delivery will have 2 components: a paper
based exam and a virtualized lab-based
e...
BSDP
Audience: senior admins with 3-5 yrs experience

# of Study Domains: 11

Format: both paper- and lab-based

BSDP JTA ...
Works in Progress

Complete BSDP:

Finish and publish the exam objectives

Write and review exam questions

Offer beta exa...
Works in Progress


Improve Availability:

Build network of trusted testing centers

Work towards an open source online so...
Works in Progress
Study Materials:

We need help creating study materials!!!

Wiki is available for user generated content...
Works in Progress


Accreditation:

ISO/IEC 17024 is globally recognized

Required for some governments and military

Vali...
Works in Progress

Possible Future Exams:

PF

Desktop Administration

Embedded BSD

Global Enterprise
How You Can Help
Help us review the BSDP Exam Requirements
http://bsdwiki.reedmedia.net/wiki/BSDP.html

Spread the word—te...
2008 Revenue/Expenses

Exam Sales:       4,459.16
DVD Sales:        4,941.00
Donations:           25.00
Total Revenue:    ...
How You Can Help
Host or proctor an exam event

Become an SME

Help us develop an open source exam delivery
solution

Help...
Resources

http://www.bsdcertification.org

https://register.bsdcertification.org//register/events

http://www.facebook.co...
Resources
Video about BSD Certification:
  http://www.archive.org/details/BsdCertification
  GroupACaseStudyInOpenSourceCe...
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Meetbsd Poland 2010

  1. 1. Update on BSD Certification Dru Lavigne Chair, BSD Certification Group Inc. MeetBSD Poland, 2010
  2. 2. Nice to be back in Kraków :-) Very first presentation on BSD Certification was at MeetBSD 2005 (3 months after BSDCG was announced) This talk will provide an overview of what has happened since then
  3. 3. Outline Certification 101 Our Goals BSD Certification Group (BSDCG) BSDA (BSD Associate) BSDP (BSD Professional) Works in Progress How You Can Help
  4. 4. Certification 101 Popularized in mid-90s by Novell, Microsoft, Cisco Associated with braindumps, paper MCSEs Very expensive to launch—domain of large, established companies with alternate revenue streams who can afford to wait ~2 yrs before certification program starts making money
  5. 5. Why so Expensive? Really, how hard is it to create an exam? SMEs, psychometricians, accreditation, curriculum developers, creators of training materials... Then you have to provide a way to deliver the exam to the exam candidate (software, proctors)
  6. 6. Certification 101 Traditional exam delivery costs: $75,000 USD annually to participate, extra fees for changing exam Monopoly on exam delivery (VUE/Prometric) --this is just starting to change Exam delivery software is proprietary, currently no open source delivery solutions exist To go beyond multiple choice, exam organization must create their own lab-based software (usually flash based) or provide their own testing lab
  7. 7. Certification 101 Are there other "open source" certifications? LPI started out as commercial/community based, current focus is commercial Other certification bodies: Zend for PHP, EnterpriseDB for PostgreSQL, Canonical for Ubuntu, Novell for SUSE Other open source communities (Apache, Gnome, Drupal) have expressed interest Cost, time, and expertise are huge barriers
  8. 8. Our Goals Community Based Involve those who understand the value and can benefit from the assessment: ●working sysadmins or those looking for employment ● those who hire/manage them ● trainers/professors ● those who advocate use of BSD
  9. 9. Our Goals Practical ● assess real world, on the job skills ●assess experience, not the capability to learn or memorize exam questions--this is why we do not provide sample test questions and instead provide a comprehensive Command Reference for the Exam Objectives ●quality over quantity: we prefer providing a quality assessment to selling a large amount of exams
  10. 10. Goals Use Open Source Software/Principles ● for infrastructure ● for exam delivery solutions ●planning/work is transparent and occurs over mailing lists, IRC, and social media sites ● anyone is welcome to comment and get involved
  11. 11. Goals Accessible ● available globally ● where practical, available in local language ● affordable globally
  12. 12. Goals Psychometrically Valid ●exam assesses skills, not ability to understand what is being asked ● exam is understandable even if English not first language ● exam matches exam objectives ●exam is delivered in trusted, proctored environment
  13. 13. BSDCG Registered non-profit incorporated in the state of New Jersey in 2005 Mission is to create and maintain certifications to assess skills of BSD system administrators Community based with a legal governance infrastructure Relies on open source methodologies and volunteer contributions of time and money
  14. 14. BSDCG Internal Structure: 5 Board of Directors (voted in for a term) 18 BSDCG members with voting rights (volunteer to join) 5 Advisory Board members (invited) 9 SMEs (subject matter experts) 1 (paid) psychometrician Network of trusted exam proctors
  15. 15. BSDCG Community Structure: ~700 subscribers to 2 mailing lists 229 members of 2 Linkedin groups ~90 translators for 22 languages Donated hardware, bandwidth, system administration, and web development Ongoing relationships with other certification bodies and educational institutions
  16. 16. BSDCG Community Based: Remains separate from, but supports the other BSD projects and Foundations Works closely with employers and sysadmins to keep exam current and “real” Advocates the integration of exam objectives into existing diploma programs (rather than bootcamp style learning)
  17. 17. BSDCG Psychometrically Valid: Ensures exam is fair, unbiased, and understandable, even if English is not your first language SMEs who are working sysadmins keep the exam practical Use of ongoing metrics keeps questions current and spots anomalies
  18. 18. BSDCG Exam goals: Globally affordable ($75 USD) √ Available in local community, and where warranted, in local language Encourage local study groups and creation of training materials (both open and commercial)
  19. 19. BSDA Process: Job Task Analysis (JTA): April - July 2005 Exam Requirements published: October 2005 Beta Period: May - August 2007 Angoff Session: January 2008 Available Since: February 2008
  20. 20. BSDA Exam: Target audience is junior sysadmin with 6 months experience Covers 7 knowledge domains Scored for 100 questions Passing score is 500 of scale between 200 and 700
  21. 21. BSDA Venue: Community based: exam events hosted by conferences, user groups, employers, and schools Slowly building a network of trusted testing centers who promote BSD (FreeBSD Brasil)
  22. 22. BSDA BSDA Candidates: >1700 BSDCG IDs issued (residing in 107 countries) 195 have taken exam (residing in 21 countries) 124 have passed exam (some not scored yet) average score: 67%
  23. 23. BSDP Process JTA Report published March 2010: http://www.bsdcertification.org/downloads/BSDP_JTA_ Report.pdf Exam Requirements document currently a work in progress: http://bsdwiki.reedmedia.net/wiki/BSDP.html Need reviewers for Exam Requirements and SMEs to help write the BSDP exam and lab questions
  24. 24. BSDP Process Exam Requirements should be finished and published in late July or early August Beta Period to Angoff Session to exam release is another 3-6 months Interesting part will be finishing the development and testing of the virtual lab and providing the lab globally
  25. 25. BSDP Delivery Exam delivery will have 2 components: a paper based exam and a virtualized lab-based environment Consideration for the BSD Professional Exam: http://www.bsdcertification.org/downloads/ bsdp_thoughts.pdf
  26. 26. BSDP Audience: senior admins with 3-5 yrs experience # of Study Domains: 11 Format: both paper- and lab-based BSDP JTA Survey Report: http://www.bsdcertification.org/downloads/BSDP_ JTA_Report.pdf BSDP Exam Objectives: to be published late July or early August
  27. 27. Works in Progress Complete BSDP: Finish and publish the exam objectives Write and review exam questions Offer beta exam Angoff session to set passing score Offer the exam
  28. 28. Works in Progress Improve Availability: Build network of trusted testing centers Work towards an open source online solution in a proctored environment
  29. 29. Works in Progress Study Materials: We need help creating study materials!!! Wiki is available for user generated content Exam objectives translated to more languages (currently English, Russian, Spanish) Creation of study labs Formation of study groups
  30. 30. Works in Progress Accreditation: ISO/IEC 17024 is globally recognized Required for some governments and military Validates validity of exam and processes of certification body
  31. 31. Works in Progress Possible Future Exams: PF Desktop Administration Embedded BSD Global Enterprise
  32. 32. How You Can Help Help us review the BSDP Exam Requirements http://bsdwiki.reedmedia.net/wiki/BSDP.html Spread the word—tell your school, employer, user group, write an article, blog, twitter, etc. Read our publications Take the exam! Donate $ (e.g. purchase study DVD)
  33. 33. 2008 Revenue/Expenses Exam Sales: 4,459.16 DVD Sales: 4,941.00 Donations: 25.00 Total Revenue: 9,425.16 Shipping: 1,033.60 Paypal Fees: 771.04 Psychometrics: 8,592.92 Supplies/fees: 1,970.12 Total Expenses: 12,267.68
  34. 34. How You Can Help Host or proctor an exam event Become an SME Help us develop an open source exam delivery solution Help us create training materials or donate existing materials Incorporate exam objectives into training programs
  35. 35. Resources http://www.bsdcertification.org https://register.bsdcertification.org//register/events http://www.facebook.com/group.php? gid=55432547309 http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1600767
  36. 36. Resources Video about BSD Certification: http://www.archive.org/details/BsdCertification GroupACaseStudyInOpenSourceCertification Contact: chair@ bsdcertification.org URL to slides online: http://www.slideshare.net/dlavigne/meetbsd- poland-2010
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