Closing the Skills Gap for Distributed Technology

Presented by Florian Haas
Tuesday 2:35 p.m.–3:20 p.m. in Collaborative Lecture Theatre CB11.00.405
Target audience: Business


The pace of technology in our industry continues to accelerate, particularly in the infrastructure space. In recent years, every new technology worth mentioning in infrastructure has been complex, distributed, and built for scale: OpenStack, Ceph, Kubernetes, Cumulus Linux, OVN... the list goes on. As customers demand that infrastructure providers make these technologies available, and as those providers themselves identify the need to deploy them, you would think that the primary challenges they face are scalability, time-to-market, or cost. That is not the case. The primary challenge is finding people who know and understand these systems: we're dealing with a skills gap, not a technology gap. This means that we need novel ways to educate professionals on these technologies. One excellent way of doing this is to use the capabilities of the Open edX platform to integrate it with hands-on, on-demand lab environments that can be just as complex, and just as distributed, as production systems. This allows anyone interested to develop a professional skill set on technologies like OpenStack, Ceph, or Kubernetes at minimal cost, from anywhere, and without the need for costly hardware platforms for evaluation. My team and I have operated several such platforms, including our own hastexo Academy and SUSE's SUSE Academy, for a couple of years, and we have made several contributions to the AGPL Open edX stack in the process. In this talk, I'll give an overview over the Open edX stack, the hastexo XBlock (the component that enables on-demand labs hosted in public clouds), and educational considerations for self-paced, on-line learning as they apply to professional training.

Presented by

Florian Haas

Florian is an expert in open source cloud, distributed storage, and high availability platforms. He is an active member of the OpenStack and Ceph communities, and is the founder and CEO of hastexo, a professional services company with a strong OpenStack and Ceph focus. In addition, Florian and the team at hastexo build self-paced, hands-on training platforms based on Open edX.