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[News] Education and Skills in Free Software Look Encouraging

  • Subject: [News] Education and Skills in Free Software Look Encouraging
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 11:14:58 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

A Teachable Moment: Open Source Platforms for Online Testing

,----[ Quote ]
| The Educational Testing Service contracted 
| with Grunwald Associates LLC to conduct a 
| study of educators around the nation, "An 
| Open Source Platform for Internet-based 
| Assessment: A Report on Education Leadersâ 
| Perceptions of Online Testing in an Open 
| Source Environment," which was released 
| today.


Update: Report: School Leaders Interested in Learning About Open Source Platform for Internet-Based Testing 

,----[ Quote ]
| An Open Source Platform for Internet-based 
| Assessment: A Report on Education Leaders' 
| Perceptions of Online Testing in an Open 
| Source Environment synthesizes the findings 
| from over 80 interviews with state 
| assessment and technology leaders 
| (representing 27 states) and national 
| education opinion leaders (representing 
| both public and private organizations). The 
| study found that more and more states are 
| rapidly moving toward Internet-based high-
| stakes testing, and that there was interest 
| in understanding how an open source 
| platform might work in an online assessment 
| environment.
| "Open source software is being used in both 
| higher education and K-12 today, though not 
| for high-stakes assessments. Given the 
| right circumstances, as revealed in this 
| study, we believe it is an option for the 
| future and could be used in the K-12 
| education community to a great advantage," 
| ETS Senior Vice President and General 
| Manager, K-12 Assessment Programs, John 
| Oswald, explains. "Not just for assessment, 
| although this research is specifically 
| around that idea, but as an innovative way 
| of using technology -- we are aware of open 
| source technology and naturally wanted to 
| explore its benefits."


Need for Open Source Developers Continues to Increase

,----[ Quote ]
| And while open source jobs declined 
| slightly in the nearly 40,000 jobs posted 
| on U.S-based online workteam builder oDesk 
| (PDF link) that was mainly due to a surge 
| in job requests for folks with social media 
| skills. MySQL, Joomla, Linux, PHP and other 
| open-source skills were comfortably in the 
| top 50 skills requested by job posters.


Demand grows for SQL and Linux skills

,----[ Quote ]
| Demand for nearly all skills fell in the 
| period compared with Q4 2008. Only demand 
| for PHP and AJAX skills grew in Q4 2009 
| compared with the same period in 2008, 17 
| percent and six percent, respectively. 



Is Open Source a Good Career Bet for Developers?

,----[ Quote ]
| With any article whose premise is ensuring the safety of your programming
| career, it's tempting to try to hook your attention with fear, uncertainty,
| and doubt about the state of the economy. I could point at all those layoff
| statistics. Or I could frighten you by bringing up the spectre of your job
| going overseas.
| But that's not the point, really. Our career choices affect us personally no
| matter what the economy looks like. We all have to find a balance between
| what we love to do and work that someone else will pay for. (This is why I
| cannot brag about my remarkable career from consuming chocolate; I've never
| found someone to pay the bills for it, alas.) To make the best career
| choices, you must become aware of where the market is going. And then you
| have to fine-tune your expertise so that your skills stay in-demand... or so
| that you can develop new skills that shortly will be in demand.
| [...]
| And the good news for open source developers is that
| comparing "programmer," "programmer open source," "programmer .net"
| and "programmer java" yields a happy chart for open source developers. The
| overall programmer salary averages $73,000 per year, and the Java and .NET
| developers earn just over that ($76,000). (Or, to be more rigorous, more jobs
| are advertised with those salaries.) In contrast, open source developers are
| offered $83,000--a nice raise.


Linux Courses Increase Job Options for Techs

,----[ Quote ]
| For software programmers and developers worried about layoffs and job
| security in these tough economic times, the answer may be as clear as the
| screen on your cell phone. That's because manufacturers of small consumer
| equipment like cell phones and PDAs need programmers trained in embedded
| Linux to hand-tune the product's software code.


Where the Tech Jobs Are, Part 1

,----[ Quote ]
| "In a recession, headcount looks like a cost center, but open source can turn
| employees into profit centers -- or, at worst, into less costly cost
| centers," he said.
| "For example, let's say an enterprise needs [an enterprise content
| management] system, perhaps for outsourcing documentation or to build a new
| catalog system -- or perhaps for a workflow system around approval of
| executive documents. Traditional IT would invite vendors to do a dog-and-pony
| show," Asay explained, "ultimately culminating in a purchase of software
| licenses and services to make the licenses useful to the enterprise." The IT
| staffer is then mostly responsible for coordinating others' efforts, and the
| associated expenses.
| An open source savvy IT person, by contrast, would download an open source
| ECM solution and tweak it to save the company license and services
| fees -- "and the risk that the software wouldn't work as advertised," said
| Asay.


Training program to create 100,000 jobs

,----[ Quote ]
| LUPA (Leadership of Open Source University Promotion Alliance), a Chinese
| open source software community, plans to initiate a training project for the
| country's computer and software graduates as low-cost open source software
| development is gaining popularity in the current financial crisis.

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