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Hands-on Workshop OSI Open Source (e.g. Free Software)
Starting in July, since I'm on the road most of June, I'll be mentoring a workshop on Office and Infrastructure IT entirely based on Free Software and Open Source technology. As you can see in other blog-posts the emphasis will be on Free Software and Open Source software as defined by the Open Source Initiative, more so then on non-Free "Enterprise Editions" of what might be perceived as Open Source but actually is not. So, no non-Free Enterprise editions, just Free Software in dear Mr. Stallman's definition of the term (and here's why). And for the right reasons even from a customer perspective (as I've argued before, will argue again and continue arguing for as long as it takes). I'll explain this during the workshop as well, if need be -and the audience is interested. I feel very strongly and care very passionately about this, but despite my personal feelings, what I'm really after, first and foremost, whether resulting in customer adoption of Free Software or not, is that it be a conscious choice, not a matter of convenience or influenced by marketing.

For now, this workshop has been scheduled just once, Juli 2nd, in Delft. I'm certain though it'll be rescheduled a few times if it turns out to be succesfull and if people are sufficiently interested. This workshop is organized by my employer, Operator Groep Delft (OGD), in order to pro-actively market and promote OSI Open Source and Open Standards within business and government.

About Operator Groep Delft

OGD is a medium to large sized consultancy company, and we've been around for over 22 years now. Since then, Operator Groep Delft has grown into a company with 700 employees servicing even more customers continiously and efficiently given the amount of knowledge available within the company and the very open culture. The very unique concept of OGD attracts ambitious, passionate and intelligent young people, and allows them to rapidly learn and experience Information and Communication Technology in all it's aspects, whether it be on the deeply technical side, or in ICT (project-)management, or anything in between, over the complete spectrum of technologies including, amongst others, Networking & Security, Programming and Web-technology, Service and Project Management, Novell, Microsoft, Virtualisation and Linux & UNIX.

Just to show how powerful the OGD formula is, let me tell you that as a result of what OGD does and how it does so, the person we regard to as our Microsoft guru internally, Sander Berkouwer, has been awarded the title of Microsoft Most Valued Professional, Directory Services. Then, to top that off with a little bit of sweet cream, look at Joep Piscaer, the man to go to and ask about all the dirty little secrets of Virtualization, now a VMWare vExpert no less. Putting one of those figuratively speaking cherries on top of this icecream is me, having been awarded Red Hat Certified Engineer of the Year (Europe, 2008), at the Red Hat Summit in Boston.

This, and purely this, defines Operator Groep Delft as the company employing the largest number of employees being awarded the most significant type of endorsements by Microsoft, VMWare and last but most certainly not least, Red Hat, in at least the Netherlands, as far as I know. This should tell you something, and I've not even started describing the rest of the field of awesome Senior Engineers or the OGD Alumni -of which there are many- and the great positions that they now occupy within the ICT industry, having been given the opportunity by OGD.

It's in the Linux & UNIX area of OGD's operations where I kick in as the coordinator of our Linux & UNIX focus group, a community type of group including all of our Linux helpdesk agents or new recruits all the way up to our most Senior System Engineers, and deal with our internal Linux Infrastructure, internal and external courses and workshops, marketing, research and development, customer assistence and consultancy, and other general stuff as it comes along.

This all sounds like I'd like to keep my job and suck up to my management, but rest assured that's not what I'm after, I'm not kissing ass. Note that it is also OGD that enables me to participate in Free Software, and as such let's me do what I do within the Fedora Project, on my own software projects, and be in foreign countries whenever I need to or want to, for a large part in the time that I am actually on their payroll. 'nuff said.

The Workshop

Now, about the workshop; It'll be a show-case, live demo of a complete IT Infrastructure based entirely on Free Software. See the next little paragraph on which technologies I'm thinking will be included right now. For those that want to experience an IT Infrastructure based on OSI Open Source, I'll set one up and tell you more about it. For those interested and a little more tech-savvy, I'll let you work on the boxes that run these services. Under the hood, there'll be a few of those awesome new technologies improving efficiency for both systems as well as system administration. I'll tell you more about those as well. On the surface, you'll be astonished by the amount of option value included. I presume it'll be a continuous dialogue on the how, where, what and when applicable to the specific environments of each attendees' organisation.

Like I've said the workshop will be hands-on, to just create an impression of what Free Software could do, and what the implications could be for your organization.

This will include Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, Red Hat Directory Server, Zarafa, Alfresco, Cobbler, Puppet, Drupal, SugarCRM, KVM

A Dutch version of the workshop is at: http://tinyurl.com/nejg66

A Google Translated version in English, to your convenience, is at: http://tinyurl.com/njeyut