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O'Reilly Opens Online Tech School 106

bl8n8r writes "The popular book author has started the O'Reilly School of Technology which offers online training and certification. "The O'Reilly School of Technology and the University of Illinois have partnered to offer Certificates of Professional Development in information technology and related skills." Among classes offered are Linux/Unix administration, Open Source coding, Java coding, C Programming and others."
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O'Reilly Opens Online Tech School

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  • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @10:02AM (#18654909)
    What does a class with a title that generic entail?
    • by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @10:15AM (#18654959) Journal
      Personally I think this could be the most interesting course if done correctly. Rather than "Here's how you code, do this, do that" it could be a mix of coding standards, how to deal with people and how to deal with the bullshit drama in some areas. This would be a useful course for geeks lacking social skills and while they may not learn a huge heap about coding, they could learn a lot of more useful stuff to them in the long run.
    • good times for the OS community btw, nice footer, I'm one of these strange people that worship the matrix
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kuom ( 253900 )
      This is what's listed under "Open Source Programming" on the O'reilly site (all of these are $398):

      - Learn Perl for CGI Programming
      - Linux/Unix 1: The Unix file system
      - Learn Object-Oriented Programming using Java
      - PHP/SQL 1: Introduction to Database Programming
      - Introduction to PHP

      I would hardly consider any of these specifically "Open Source Programming". There are plenty of closed-source perl/PHP/Java programs out there. This curriculum sounds more like a mix of web and database programming, mixed in wi
    • by JPriest ( 547211 )
      Coding involves much more than language syntax. Also, I can't imagine it could be any less useful than some of the fluff classes that were required for the Computer Science curriculum at the school I attended.
  • Hmmmm... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2007 @10:04AM (#18654921)
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      YA RLY.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        NO WAI!!!
  • by jddj ( 1085169 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @10:04AM (#18654925) Journal
    Damn. More offshoring...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by garcia ( 6573 )
      Yes, because there's not a good sized community of Hmong people in America (especially in Minnesota)...

      Why do you immediately have to assume that those that are not "American" are off-shore?
      • by jddj ( 1085169 )
        Bill, remind me to explain to you the concept of "a joke". Oh yeah: "you insensitive clod". The story actually did say "Hmong" first thing this morning, unless I was just that sleepy and out of it.
        • by garcia ( 6573 )

          I realize that you are a 1 million+ user ID and don't understand my own brand of humor. If you had been around since 1997 and had known what I have posted like for the last 10 years, you'd know I was kidding.

          Let me explain to you what a "garcia joke" is...
          • The fact that you can still make a "garcia joke" means you did not substantially and effectively participate in "the garcia experience". I feel sorry for you.
      • by smithmc ( 451373 ) *

          Why do you immediately have to assume that those that are not "American" are off-shore?

        Because I prefer to think of those people who are "on-shore" in America, as Americans.

    • by nih ( 411096 )
      People like the free market idea until they are the ones who are losing due to competition.
  • Education has always been (and will always be) one the best businesses.

    It's good that they FOSS is highlighted though :)
    • Thus the outrageous cost, apparently. I know there's been a lot invested in these programs -- and apparently they intend to recoup it all the first year. The cost seems pretty high considering the salaries that are paid in these positions now -- unless you live in India.

      I'd be interested in knowing just how many people have been priced out of the market.
      • Thus the outrageous cost, apparently.
        Yup. And people are ready to pay. :)

        unless you live in India.
        Yup again. I am from India, :)
        but couldn't get your price comparison with respect to India. You are not of the notion that Indian's are paid a pretty hefty salary. Are you?
        • Absolutely not. But I am of the notion that the cost of living is a lot lower. :-)
          • hehe. That's a pretty debatable topic.
            Once my uncle said, "whenever an engineer goes abroad for the first time, she/he tells everyone... but then he never mentions any of her/his other trips".
            The reason being almost everyone she/he knows will ask her/him to get some stuff when he gets back, as it'd be a lot cheaper.
            This again is subjected to the place of visit.
            I guess one thing may be cheaper here, but then the other one would be costlier.
            Is there any (stupid) study/comparison out there.;)
        • > Yup again. I am from India, :) >but couldn't get your price comparison with respect to India. You are not of the notion that Indian's are paid a >pretty hefty salary. Are you?

          Really? I was pricing out flats in Madras and the cost was not cheap, in Lahk(-?sp) or US $$. It was like buying a flat in SanFran.
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @10:16AM (#18654961)
    I'd rather find a community college offering similar courses for credit rather than CEU. At least then I would have less of a chance of it not transferring. Too many poorly accredited institutions are out there today offering CEU courses which probably wouldn't transfer anywhere else anyway because they weren't taken for actual credit.
    • Well it is a pretty accredited college... University of Illinois Urbana. Not a shabby school.
    • by nomadic ( 141991 ) *
      I suspect the University of Illinois is a properly accredited university.
      • by garcia ( 6573 )
        I was talking in general when I talked about accreditation but CEU is generally not directly transferable. They would either need to do "Life Experience" credit or ask you to do a test out in order to bring these credits into a program.
    • by scott_mills_gray ( 1085687 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @02:05PM (#18656507)
      Hi, I'm the director of this thing. Our goal is to eventually become accredited, but to do so we'll have to get some rules changed. There are a lot of rules that exist either because of the legacy of the classroom, or because of the limitations of the first generation of Learning Management Systems (LMS companies like Blackboard lobbied to get implemented.
      • How eventual is eventual? Useractive's courses have been around since 1998 - and under the O'Reilly banner since 2005. It was CEU then, it's still CEU now. CEU certificates are great for covering unsightly wall blemishes, but not much else. Seems like the money might be better spent on courses that have actual influence over employability.
      • I saw the O'Reilly name on the programs and thought this could be really good. When I saw the actual course offerings, though, I was rather disappointed. A course on Unix file systems? Come on. Most of the people reading this are already quite familiar with Unix file systems.

        Next, the web programming and open source programming certs are so similar that I can't see why you have them both. When I looked at the open source programming cert, I was expecting to see perl and/or shell scripting, possibly python,
        • Great suggestions and if you look into the courses further you may see some of what you have suggested is there already!

          'Linux/Unix 4: Scripting for Administrators Sed, Awk, and Perl'

          This is the 4th part of the Linux/Unix Admin courses.

          FWIW I started the Linux/Unix Admin courses Tuesday and Ive finished the first 3 already and I will start part 4 sometime today.

          I've been working with linux on and off as a hobby mostly for the past 10 years and found the courses to be interesting and I did actually
          learn many
  • by WED Fan ( 911325 ) <akahige@trash m a i l . net> on Sunday April 08, 2007 @10:19AM (#18654983) Homepage Journal

    As a mid-level manager, I have yet to hire anyone with a certificate. We do hire people with proven skills. Prospective developers are given a few problems to solve to see how they solve it.

    I did work for a company that hired only those with certificates. Not too many skilled there.

    The problem with certificate schools is that state and federal job training agencies send out-of-work truck drivers, ex-cons, the chronically under-employeed to get trained in networking, programming, or project management. Then, there are the certificate schools that are just scams.

    • Very well stated.

      Thank you.
    • Well, I'm really bad about just getting a book and learning what I'm wanting to learn. And then when it comes to a job application, I have very little education to put on it. If I could read an O'Reilly book, which I was going to read anyway, and then take a test over it and get proof that I knew the material, I would go this route, even though it is just another worthless piece of paper.

      What would stop me from doing O'Reilly is what they are charging. There are much cheaper ways to get pieces of paper that
    • You may know this, and I may know this, but the vast majority of people in management that do the actual hiring are easily impressed by certificates.
      By having another well known entity like O'Reilly step into Linux and Open Source certification, they are helping foster their growth in small to medium businesses.
    • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @12:32PM (#18655825) Homepage
      How does a person who wants to get into IT but has no experience get into IT?
      • By gaining some experience in IT ! :-)
      • Do what most of us do and pick up a book. I've got my own library, a Safari membership and several people around me to pull knowledge from. There are enough people on the hundreds of Forums asking weird question to say that they're learning too.

        Personally, I'm considering some of the online training, but it's only because I get reimbursed for it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          How do you get a year's experience from a book?
          • Find a need and fill it.

            Translation: Use the skills you learn from the books (you'll need more than one), and start making projects that solve a problem. Start simple: things you wish you could do, like right-click on a file name and accomplish a task related to that file. Then move to paid projects or find employment in a company that would be willing to let you tinker with some programming. If you learn fast, the experience grows exponentially as people realize, "Hey, this guy's good" and start asking
      • Take a position with a small company which uses computers extensively; but has no formal in house IT support. There are thousands of small companies like this. Then, start small: patch your box and configure it with Open Source software and show your stuff. The guy next to you will notice how much better your system runs; and ask you to fix his system. Repeat as necessary.

        Find a section of the computing infrastructure which is badly in need of maintenance, buy a book, and present a plan of action to your

        • It's called paying your dues. The best techs go through the b.s. first, get their feet wet, and then move up the ladder.

          I took my first job in IT, traveling the country installing tiny computer networks of about 4 computers and a server. Pulling cable, imaging the systems, plugging them in. When I got back to the office, I was on a telephone helpdesk. Did it suck? Kinda. Did I learn a ton? Yep. Would I do it again if I was starting over? Yep. Would I do it now? Hell no.
      • My first tech gig was on a help desk for H&R Block. At the time, they used a computer-driven test rather than a technical interview. Basically, showing that you could perform simple Windows troubleshooting via a Powerpoint-ish interface that mimicked Windows.

        So having basic technical skills and a customer service background landed me that gig. If "no experience in IT" means no formal experience, but plenty of time fixing your own or relatives' computers, finding that sort of entry-level position migh
    • ...out-of-work truck drivers, ex-cons, the chronically under-employeed...

      Well gosh, you wouldn't want to hire any of those people.

      • by WED Fan ( 911325 )

        ...out-of-work truck drivers, ex-cons, the chronically under-employeed...
        Well gosh, you wouldn't want to hire any of those people.

        You are dead right, I don't want to hire them, and, I do not. I am not running a social service. I manage people in a very intense, clearance required business. I will training someone who has some experience and aptitude in IT and development. But, I will not hire unknowns. That includes those fresh out of school.

        Only a fifth of my crew are degreed. But, the average experien

    • Hey, I'm the director of OST. I agree. Certifications are bunk. We're trying something different. U of I certification for passing courses that help you get some experience. For instance we're currently building plugins for Eclipse that will turn it into a learning management system so that ppl we can teach more languages and skills. We think the only way to learn is by doing it. We're simply helping ppl to do it.
      • by WED Fan ( 911325 )

        In my industry, one of the companies we do business with, hires young, under-educated developers. They train them through actual work projects that are funded through the government. A local congressman is very apt at getting money and projects for them.

        Now, while we don't hire cert school grads, and never those fresh out of college, we do hire these guys from them. Why? Proven experience, verifiable skills, and they know the industry we work in, and have been able to deliver on tight, sensitive deadlines.

        • nice. Whatever it takes. What we're seeing in the industry is that a lot of programmers are just people who are not only self starters and not educated in the art of programming but they're also lucky.

          They were lucky enough to have a friend or two who could get them started by supplying them with help building whatever environment they needed to learn and some advice along they way.

          That's what we'd like OST to be. A friend for people who aren't so fortunate to have access to the kind of resources they need
        • where is that company located? Do you know of any similar companies in the Tampa area. I'd love to have the chance to "get my feet wet" programming something that is actually needed.
          • by WED Fan ( 911325 )

            Contact your local congressman. There is so much military presence in Tampa/St. Pete. that they must have a program there. You can start by asking his/her advice, kind of the same way you start mining local managers for job leads. But, if you have a congressman that is not so good at getting money like that for programs, you may have to see what you can find from the private sector.

            Warning, you'll be working well under $20/hour.

  • I have the computer in this photo:

    http://www.oreillyschool.com/images/photo5.jpg [oreillyschool.com]

    It is the hottest laptop I have owned, this would really hurt.
  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @10:38AM (#18655089)

    "The O'Reilly School of Technology and the University of Illinois have partnered to offer Certificates of Professional Development in information technology and related skills."

    students will earn 4 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) and a CEU letter from the University of Illinois Office of Continuing Education.

    $1600 (let's see- that's 2-3 weeks pay) for a new school, completely unproven? I'm eligible for tuition reimbursement and such, but my HR department would laugh me right out the door.

    This CEU/"certificate of professional development" and a ham sandwich at an interview would get me something to eat.

    • $1600 (let's see- that's 2-3 weeks pay) for a new school, completely unproven? I'm eligible for tuition reimbursement and such, but my HR department would laugh me right out the door.

      Actually they've been doing this since 1998. From their site:

      Since 1998, the University of Illinois Office of Continuing Education and the Department of Computer Science has been offering online, experiential Information Technology courses and Certificates through Useractive, a company founded by U of I instructors and alumni. A partnership was formed with O'Reilly Media in 2002, and now in 2007 UserActive's course offerings became The O'Reilly School of Technology.

    • Sorry, we don't supply the ham sandwich.
      • Right - you just provide the $1600 CEU napkin for when he's DONE with the sandwich.
      • From what I've read of the other posts, it seems CEUs have no credibility, so little that people aren't willing to even look at the curriculum before judging. Maybe it's from being lumped in with the "special summer courses" on handwriting analysis and speed reading. Or because votech makes people think more of engine repair than rocket science. Regardless, it's a step in the right direction.

        If you have O'Reilly in your foundation, you're well equipped as far as source material; the quality of instructio
    • "Unproven" ? The University of Illinois is one of the top tech schools in the country, and has one of the longest traditions of strong distance learning programs. The university is hardly new to this, and accreditation from this school is definitely worth the price tad.
    • This CEU/"certificate of professional development" and a ham sandwich at an interview would get me something to eat.

      That's really not true!! If I was interviewing you, I would take your ham sandwich just for wasting my time.
  • They seem to have several pictures that can come up on their front page.

    This one [oreillyschool.com] makes me think that whoever wrote the Photoshop class has some work to do on the horizontal flip slides. =)

  • by writermike ( 57327 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @11:12AM (#18655263)
    Some of the drawbacks aside, I am very jazzed about this.

    1. I trust O'Reilly.
    2. I definitely learn more by reading-and-doing than simply reading.
    3. When I try to self-learn, I have trouble dreaming up interesting/challenging projects to complete.
    4. I don't necessarily have the time to devote to on-campus learning.
    5. I am not interested in attaining a "degree" or a "certificate." I just want to get my hands in technologies that will help me in my job.
    6. I don't find the course prices out of line.

    I sincerely hope it's successful and they start offering a larger range of the courses.

  • Uh oh.. (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by eebra82 ( 907996 )
    This one is not published by FOX, is it?
  • "The popular book author has started the O'Reilly School of Technology... and all students will receive an iPod containing a full library of recent audiobooks, also published by O'Rielly."
  • This "school" has been around for at least two or three years. Same partnership between O'Reilly and the University of Illinois, same courses, same cost, same certificates.

    They just rebranded it "O'Reilly School of Technology."
    • Big disappointment (Score:5, Interesting)

      by matria ( 157464 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @02:51PM (#18656897)
      I got the "web developer" certificate over two years ago; it was a sad waste of $1,700. I found numerous errors in every course, and had to patiently explain the error several times to my "mentor" before he finally realized what was wrong. I wonder if they've ever corrected the errors.

      And then the certificate itself is just a drab printout. I would have done better to fire up GIMP and make my own. Very disappointing.
  • Is this the Bill O'Reilly school, where one can major in douche-baggery?
  • I thought they were a book publisher.
  • we are setting out to foster and grow the next wave of innovators -- you
    I have never read about someone doing innovative things based off of certificates. I don't think Perl, PHP, Java, VBscript or the Unix file system are considered innovative anymore. It is good that they emphasize actually doing things instead of just learning out of a book, but I doubt it goes far enough.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"