Checking in with Quint Van Deman, 2011 RHCP of the Year

It has been a little over a year since Quint Van Deman was named 2011’s worldwide Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year. Out of 600 submissions, Van Deman, an RHCA and director of open source consulting at Emergent, stood out with his experience helping clients move from last-generation, proprietary IT infrastructures to next-generation architecture that embraces the synergy of open source, open standards and cloud-based solutions. With the next winner set to be awarded on June 28 at Red Hat Summit in Boston, we wanted to catch up with Quint to hear the story that won the title, what he’s working on now and how his past year has been.

So, what story did you submit to win the award?

What I really wrote about was my journey to becoming an RHCA and how that really benefitted my professional endeavors. The journey to becoming an RHCA really exposes one to the breadth of solutions that are out there in the Red Hat stack, and how those solve organizational challenges. I was very clearly able to take some of those direct lessons and apply them out into my work. Also, how the RHCA really provides what I call the ‘instant badge of credibility’ when I walk in somewhere. A lot of time when you go into an organization as a consultant, there’s a lot of what I call ‘technical chest-bumping,’ where there will be someone in the room whose only objective of the meeting is to prove that they are smarter than you. Having that RHCA up there really defers a lot of that, especially with folks in the room that may have taken a Red Hat exam.

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Transforming Organizational DNA

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

Transforming Organizational DNA – sounds like a lofty goal brought down from the ivory towers of an MBA or marketing program, doesn’t it?

While it is a lofty goal, the way companies utilize technology is fundamentally shifting, and savvy organizations realize this transformation is now well under way.  In a recent keynote at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC), Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst gave a talk that highlights this trend. He touched on the explosion of computing power, plummeting costs, and the near ubiquity of technology that was simply not available even a few years ago.

In 2012, most IT executives have already seen aspects of what Jim was talking about. There’s no longer any question that Linux and open source provide real enterprise options — these are not only robust and secure, but are viable alternatives to proprietary solutions. Despite this recognition, a recent Sonatype survey found that over half the respondents didn’t have a corporate open source strategy/policy.  Even this far into the ‘Age of Open Source,’ policies to help corporations effectively and strategically consume open source are not the norm.

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Prepare the ground for the cloud

by Malcolm Herbert (Red Hat)

This post originally appeared here on May 30, 2012, in the Guardian.

To make sure your organisation benefits from cloud computing, lay a solid foundation before making grand plans

Cloud computing is ubiquitous in technology conversations. It’s not just a buzzword, but a catalyst to a new wave of thinking. Cloud is still yet to show its full capabilities as the demands on the world’s datacentres continue to rise – open source and virtualisation are spear-heading this movement.

There are many opportunities for organisations to benefit from cloud computing and slot it into their overall IT strategy. However, instead of getting overwhelmed and “eating too many elephants” it’s important to prepare the groundwork for cloud and pace the business by laying a solid foundation.

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Big Data. Big Noise.

by Justin Hayes (Red Hat)

There is a lot of buzz these days around Big Data, and rightfully so. The volume of data produced and the number of sources producing it are growing faster and faster. Similarly, the potential for organizations large and small to harness these data cannot be understated, and should not be overlooked.

There is also a lot of noise when you look closer at the Big Data question, or to get right to the point, when you decide what your organization’s Big Data strategy should be. Here are some things to think about as you navigate the Big Data waters.

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Top 10 Signs Your Enterprise Doesn’t ‘Get’ Open Source

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

Open Source is not only a business model for Red Hat; it’s ingrained into the DNA of the company. Because of this, Red Hatters can generally count on their co-workers understanding both the fundamentals of open source, as well as the ethos and methodologies that go with it. However, within Red Hat Services, the consulting teams often get customer questions around these topics, or hear from employees of our customers who relay things they’ve heard regarding adoption of open source within their enterprise.

So, with apologies to David Letterman, I’d like to share the Top 10 Signs Your Enterprise Doesn’t ‘Get’ Open Source. While this is meant to be a somewhat humorous look at the topic, I also think it’s an informative way to talk about improving an enterprise’s effective use of open source technologies and methodologies. I’ll break down the list not by rank order, but by three areas that customers typically encounter when dealing with open source: Consumption, Collaboration, and Creation. I’ll also put in a few thoughts about how to address each of these from an improvement perspective.

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An interview with Red Hat Training’s partner of the quarter

Based outside of Washington, DC, Spectrum Training Brokers is a centralized agent offering a single channel for purchasing computer and business skills training from hundreds of vendors nationwide. As an authorized training supplier of Red Hat, Spectrum has been offering Red Hat Training for over 6 years. Named Red Hat’s Training Partner of the Quarter for Red Hat’s fiscal fourth quarter of 2012 (December 2011 through February 2012), Spectrum had the highest sales and training bookings of any other North American Ready training partner. We recently chatted with Spectrum’s Nat Emery to get his thoughts about today’s training landscape today and where it may be headed tomorrow.

NOTE: The opinions, statements and other information included in this interview/blog are those of the author, and she/he is solely responsible for its content.

Who is getting trained these days?

The majority of my (personal) sector is government related. With the government mandating certifications for a lot of their contractors, that sector – federal contractors, federal government – is really making the investment and spending money on training. That’s not to say private industry is not doing it. To me, the federal sector are the ones driving the need where professionals must have to maintain those levels of certifications to stay in those contracts, and are putting a lot more emphasis on training.

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What’s new with Red Hat Training courses

by Pete Hnath (Red Hat)

Innovate or die. It’s the essence of what successful companies do, especially in the tech space. At Red Hat, there is ongoing innovation in every dimension of the business, with new products like CloudForms, new infrastructure like the Customer Portal and new metrics like Net Promoter.

The Curriculum team is similarly pushing to innovate with our course offerings and course delivery. In the last year we’ve completely changed the way Red Hat courses are taught to ensure the most hands-on experience possible. Gone are hour long, death-by-slide lectures. Students are actively engaged through multiple teaching approaches and near-continuous labs focused on solving problems rather than tools and technologies. Instructors are now armed with comprehensive guides with best practices on how to teach topics, resulting in across-the-board consistency and a more optimal student learning environment.

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Case Study: Inside Rackspace’s ‘Fanatical Support’

by Gordon Tillmore (Red Hat)

Often times we are excited to see our certifications ranked highly by analysts or in salary surveys. While this is certainly nice validation, nothing is more exciting than hearing positive feedback directly from our customers. Especially when a customer is running tens of thousands of Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers, and relies on thousands of Red Hat Certified Professionals to both optimize their own environment while also ensuring that their customers maximize their success.

Rackspace, a leading provider of enterprise-class IT hosting, is the perfect example. With more than 150,000 customers—large and small—and nearly 4,000 Linux professionals, Rackspace prides itself on providing “Fanatical Support” to its customer base. And from the start, Rackspace recognized that a business model built upon unparalleled support needed the skills and accreditation to back their “fanatical” claims.

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