Why COA exam is being retired?

Lauren Sell lauren at openstack.org
Fri Jan 25 18:34:09 UTC 2019

Thanks very much for the feedback. When we launched the COA, the commercial market for OpenStack was much more crowded (read: fragmented), and the availability of individuals with OpenStack experience was more scarce. That indicated a need for a vendor neutral certification to test baseline OpenStack proficiency, and to help provide a target for training curriculum being developed by companies in the ecosystem. 

Three years on, the commercial ecosystem has become easier to navigate, and there are a few thousand professionals who have taken the COA and had on-the-job experience. As those conditions have changed, we've been trying to evaluate the best ways to use the Foundation's resources and time to support the current needs for education and certification. The COA in its current form is pretty resource intensive, because it’s a hands-on exam that runs in a virtual OpenStack environment. To maintain the exam (including keeping it current to OpenStack releases) would require a pretty significant investment in terms of time and money this year. From the data and demand we’re seeing, the COA did not seem to be a top priority compared to our investments in programs that push knowledge and training into the ecosystem like Upstream Institute, supporting OpenStack training partners, mentoring, and sponsoring internship programs like Outreachy and Google Summer of Code. 

That said, we’ve honestly been surprised by the response from training partners and the community as plans have been trickling out these past few weeks, and are open to discussing it. If there are people and companies who are willing to invest time and resources into a neutral certification exam, we could investigate alternative paths. It's very helpful to hear which education activities you find most valuable, and if you'd like to have a deeper discussion or volunteer to help, let me know and we can schedule a community call next week.

Regardless of the future of the COA exam, we will of course continue to maintain the training marketplace at openstack.org to promote commercial training partners and certifications. There are also some great books and resources developed by community members listed alongside the community training.

> From: Jay Bryant jungleboyj at gmail.com
> Date: January 25, 2019 07:42:55
> Subject: Re: Why COA exam is being retired?
> To: openstack-discuss at lists.openstack.org
>> On 1/25/2019 9:27 AM, Jonathan Proulx wrote:
>>> On Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 10:09:04AM -0500, Jay Pipes wrote:
>>> :On 01/25/2019 09:09 AM, Erik McCormick wrote:
>>> :> On Fri, Jan 25, 2019, 8:58 AM Jay Bryant <jungleboyj at gmail.com
>>> :> That's sad. I really appreciated having a non-vendory, ubiased,
>>> :> community-driven option.
>>> :
>>> :+10
>>> :
>>> :> If a vendor folds or moves on from Openstack, your certification
>>> :> becomes worthless. Presumably, so long as there is Openstack, there
>>> :> will be the foundation at its core. I hope they might reconsider.
>>> :
>>> :+100
>>> So to clarify is the COA certifiaction going away or is the Foundation
>>> just no longer administerign the exam?
>>> It would be a shame to loose a standard unbiased certification, but if
>>> this is a transition away from directly providing the training and
>>> only providing the exam specification that may be reasonable.
>>> -Jon
>> When Allison e-mailed me last week they said they were having meetings
>> to figure out how to go forward with the COA.  The foundations partners
>> were going to be offering the exam through September and they were
>> working on communicating the status of things to the community.
>> So, probably best to not jump to conclusions and wait for the official
>> word from the community.
>> - Jay

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