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Back-to-School Season for Linux Programmers

To stay on top in the programming world, it's essential to stay up-to-date especially in the new world of open-source. Linux powerhouse Red Hat Inc. is aiming to help busy programmers do just that with Monday's roll-out of a suite of eLearning courses.

The courses, all ranging in price from $325 to $450, run the gamut from C and C++ programming to Java programming to courses in networking, object programming, Linux/UNIX courses and Perl programming.

"We have specifically started with some programming courses which are very foundational," said Peter Childers, vice president of Red Hat Global Learning Services. "It's going to build up to the launch of the Red Hat Certified Engineer eLearning series in the fall."

Childers said Red Hat will make a complete eLearning course library for the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) program available in the fall. The RHCE program offers performance-based certification to test competency in managing Linux servers for enterprise roles. Childers said the eLearning curriculum will provide the same objectives and coverage as the hands-on instructor-led track.

Live online tutors are available for each of the eLearning courses and classmates have the ability to communicate with each other through e-mail, discussions and chat rooms. Also, the courses allow users to move at their own speeds. Childers explained that users have access to the course for six months from the time of enrollment. To make the courses more interactive, they utilize command-line simulations, not just static text. Still, Red Hat was careful to design the courses so that users don't spend a lot of time waiting for graphics to download.

"It's taking the best advantage of the Web interface with a minimum of Web overhead," Childers said.

Enrollment for the courses is automated via credit card and the courses themselves are offered worldwide, though only in English. Childers said that if the program takes off, Red Hat will look at translating the courses into other languages.

Red Hat is offering the courses through a partnership with DigitalThink, a company specializing in eLearning for IT professionals.

"We looked very thoroughly for the highest quality in eLearning today," Childers said. "We chose DigitalThink, which is the quality leader in eLearning today hands down."



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