How do I get the Best Open Source Education?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 February 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are four ways to get an open source education: online resources, training classes, seminars, and self instruction. Open source is a term used to describe computer software products that provide developers with access to the source code or programming logic. This type of software product has grown in both quality and acceptance over the past ten years. As a result, the learning resources that support this type of software have also expanded.

The primary reason for selecting an open source program or application is the reduced cost. Commercial software pricing is typically structured with an initial licensing fee, based on the number of users. An annual maintenance fee is usually charged based on the number of users or level of activity. The difference with an open source program is that these programs usually have a lower initial price point and lower annual maintenance fees.

The best way to obtain open source education is through online resources. Typically, the resources available include podcasts, written documentation, video tutorials, and online tools. Open source products are developed through a collaborative effort, often from a variety of programmers and developers from around the world. The resource and supporting materials are typically developed the same way.


A growing number of businesses take the additional step of hiring professional software training firms to provide dedicated classes to deliver quality open source education on the software program being used. This is often the most cost-effective way to train staff to use a new system. Look for training firms with experience in providing this type of training.

Seminars are often hosted by consulting firms that provide assistance with the implementation and support of open source projects. These seminars can be much more focused than a training course. The cost of these seminars is often quite high, so it is important to use this type of open source education only as required.

Take care to review the scope of any training in detail to ensure it is an effective use of resources. One of the benefits of open source tools is the ability for users, programmers, and analysts to access the source code. The software can usually be downloaded for a trial period. This expanded access allows users to learn how to use the program, analyze the software, and determine if it is a good fit to current needs. Self instruction can include working with the software interface, developing new code, or building enhancements to the existing code.



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