Professional Open Source Software Development Certificate on edXLinux


The Linux Foundation offers three new courses focused on developing open source software with Linux and Git on the edX platform. Take all three to earn a professional certificate.

The Linux Foundation has been running courses on edX since 2014 and in 2020 we reported that Introduction to Linux taught by Jerry Cooperstein had over a million signups on the edX platform. Now Cooperstein is the instructor for three other Linux Foundation courses on edX that provide a solid foundation for working comfortably and productively in open source development communities using Linux methods and tools and Git as a control system. source.
These courses are timely as the importance of open source software is increasingly recognized and developers with the appropriate skills are increasingly in demand.

According to the Linux Foundation’s 2021 Open Source Jobs Report, 92% of hiring managers report difficulty finding potential employees with open source skills. The survey also found that in 2021, 88% of hiring managers prioritize candidates with certifications, a big increase from 57% in 2020. A similar proportion of hiring managers said they were willing to pay for certifications, compared to 74% previously. The report commented:

Certifications help for recruitment purposes, but they are also a retention mechanism. In many cases, they can also make a business more competitive if it can boast a large number of certified IT professionals to its customers.

It is in this context, and with an ever-increasing demand for developers with free software skills, that the Linux Foundation has introduced the Professional certificate in open source software development, Linux and Git on the edX platform. This includes three skill building courses and it is estimated that the entire program can be completed in 11 months with 1-2 hours per week. As it is self-paced, you can progress at your own pace and possibly complete in a much shorter time. You can audit the course for free, but for the full experience of the program and to obtain the professional certificate, you must register. There is a 10% discount for registering for the Professional Certificate upfront – while each course costs $149, it costs $399 to register for the whole program.


The program was designed for experienced developers who want to understand the basics of open source software development. Possession of the certificate shows that you are familiar with important Linux methods and required tools, that you can use Git to create new repositories or clone existing repositories, commit new changes, examine revision histories, examine differences with old versions, working with different branches, merging repositories and working with a distributed development team.

The three courses are each 14 weeks long and their lab exercises are designed to run either on native hardware or using a virtual machine (VM), under a hypervisor, such as those in the KVM, VMWare or Virtual Box families.

In the first lesson, Open Source Software Development: Linux for Developers, students acquire the ability to:

  • Discuss the key concepts involved in developing open source software (OSS).

  • Know best practices for the long-term sustainability of projects, including how to respect and encourage diversity.

  • Review open source software license issues, such as types (restrictive or permissive) and explain how to choose the right one.

  • Have a good understanding of Linux systems and utilities.

  • Work comfortably from the command line.

Then in Linux tools for software development they learn to:

  • Use essential command-line tools for everyday tasks.

  • Create scripts and perform complex tasks in an automated way.

  • Explain how Linux works with various types of file systems through the use of a virtual file system.

  • Compile programs on Linux using gcc and other compilers.

  • Use different types of shared and static libraries.

  • Create packages from software on Linux in RPM and Debian systems, for easy distribution to other Linux distribution developers.

Finally, the third lesson Git for distributed software development provides an in-depth introduction to Git, the Linux kernel community’s source control system that keeps widely distributed software development running efficiently. It shows how:

  • Use Git to create new repositories or clone existing ones
  • Commit new changes, review revision histories, and examine differences with older versions.
  • Work with different branches, merge repositories and work with a distributed development team.

Coursera also offers the Open Source software development, Linux and Git specialization again taught by Jerry Cooperstein with the same material spread over four self-paced lessons. Coursera has a monthly subscription after a 7-day free trial and this specialization is included in Coursera Plus which gives unlimited access to the majority of content on the platform. linuxbackground

More information

Professional certificate in open source software development, Linux and Git

Open source software development, Linux and Git specialization on Coursera

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