Last week I played the role of CertMag's Man-About-Town by attending the 2016 Red Hat North American Training Partner and Instructor Conference in Las Vegas, Nev. at the beautiful Mirage Resort and Casino.
As always, Sin City was hopping with activity and nowhere more so than inside the Mirage. The conference was held Sept. 7-8, and it was a grand time with authorized training partners and instructors gathered to hear the latest details on Red Hat curriculum, training industry business trends, learning subscriptions, certification and tons more.
As usual there was more to do than time in which to do it. I was grippin'-n-grinnin' with many of my Red Hat compadres and even managed to attend a few great presentations from Red Hat's upper management. One noteworthy speaker was Randy Russell, Director of Certification. He brought up some interesting points about certification renewal and how Red Hat is improving the process.
One big step they are taking is to improve notification of pending renewal dates. Certified individuals will now receive a reminder that they need to renew 90 days before the due date, a second reminder 60 days before, and finally a third reminder with 30 days before their credential expires. Procrastinators will also receive notice when their certification expires, and another 60 days after expiration reminding them to hurry and renew.
(It's just like they teach in sales training: If at first you don't close the deal, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try again. What's the worst that could happen? You alienate a potential lead so badly that they break into the NSA database, track you down, and show up on your doorstep with a glassy, frenzied stare and a sledgehammer with a 15-pound head. Wow, did that go off the rails in a hurry. Where was I? Ah, yes, Las Vegas.)
I really liked how Russell stressed that Red Hat is committed to the success of their practitioners and that recertification shouldn't be an exclusionary process, but "rather a way to help keep the doors open and bring people in."
The points Russell made may seem obvious, but we can't overlook the solid advice contained therein — people are always excited to earn a certification, but don't always pay attention to the value of maintaining it and recertifying. The industry is constantly changing, and it's important for IT professionals to stay abreast of new developments and technologies.
I did enjoy myself at the conference and it's obvious why Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source solutions. Unfortunately, like all good things, my time in Glitter Gulch came to an end and I had to head home — I accidently splashed barbeque sauce on my Elvis jumpsuit and, try as I might, the nickel-slots just wouldn't pay out.