Mixed response to LPI exam drive

By   |  July 25, 2006

The Geek Freedom League (GFL) is well into its winter Linux Professional Institute (LPI) exam drive, and the word from the frontlines is one of mixed success.

“Cape Town was amazing,” says league manager, Eric Andrews. “28 people turned out, of which four people wrote the Ubuntu exam.”

But Johannesburg was less successful, with only 15 people writing — the bare minimum required for a GFL-organised exam to take place. A disappointed Andrews says he’s “not too sure” why the message hasn’t reached the Linux masses.

“Johannesburg was quite dismal,” he says. “I’d love to give you an answer about why they are not coming.”

It could be a confidence issue. Andrews says the ability level of the average LPI exam entrant is changing, with more geeks who are newer to the Linux arena now writing.

“The people who are coming in now want to write the exam, but they are not as confident as they were in the beginning,” says Andrews. “There is no more 30 minute writings of the exam.”

Many people who sign-up, also fail to pitch. “These guys are mailing me two days before the exam and they are telling me about what crisis is happening at work. A lot of the guys are extremely busy with work. That is why we are trying to make as many opportunities for them to write as possible.”

Andrews was at pains to emphasise that LPI exam prices are set to rise next year. Tectonic reported in May that next year’s Linuxworld LPI exams will cost R450 per exam, up from R300 this year, and that prices at other exam events could be much higher if the LPI institutes its global “benchmark” exam price of $150 US in South Africa. “People have been told about the LPI price increase. I don’t think they realise what a great opportunity these LPI exams are,” says Andrews.

The GFL will conduct LPI exams in Pietermartizburg and Durban this weekend, and in Mokopane (Potgietersrus), Limpopo, on August 24. In October, the GFL will conduct a second examination drive across South Africa.

“We’ve done a whole country-wide swoop, to show the guys we are coming out, to show our faces, and then we’re going to do one more swoop before the end of the year,” says Andrews. “There will be registration details on the LPI website.”

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