Open source news this week: August 30 - September 5, 2014

Linux certification, governments on open design principles, and more

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August 30 - September 5, 2014

In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at the UK government and its design principles, open source for job interviews, Saudi Arabia and MOOCs, and more!

Why doesn't your government run like this?

Matt Asay writes about how the UK government puts citizens first according to new design principles in an article on ReadWriteThe tenth item listed in the design principles is interesting: make things open because it makes things better. In other words, open source what we work on and share our data. It's also by these same principles that the site of the UK government was built. Recently, the New Zealand government released a new website, applying the same design principles.

Saudi Arabia gets MOOC’d up

In an article on the Al Jazeera news site, Saudi Arabia's new MOOC platform gets some attention. On July 15, edX and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor launched a pilot open platform MOOC portal designed to minimize the gap between educational and employment levels in the kingdom and across the Arab world. MOOCs are not new to the Arab world. "In November, in partnership with the Queen Rania Foundation, edX created Edraak, an Arab-language MOOC portal. This latest initiative is edX's largest country partnership to date."

The secret to hiring great developers is hiding in plain sight

In another of Asay's articles at ReadWrite, we learn the secret of hiring developers. In his article, Asay discusses open source recruitment and how to open source job interviews. He writes, "The best place to see how engineers solve problems in the real world is in the open-source projects to which they contribute." This is exactly where and how to find your future developer, through his or her contributions in open source projects. "A colleague at a former company told me that the best engineers were all on GitHub, not LinkedIn."

Linux Foundation's certification sets new benchmark for admins

Simon Phipps, author at InfoWorld and president of the Open Source Initiative, writes about the Linux Foundation's certification and how it sets a new benchmark for admins. This new certification scheme for Linux professionals was announced last week at LinuxCon. In his article, Phipps describes the new certification scheme and the remote testing process, which enables anyone to obtain certification at any location that has an Internet connection. Phipps also raises the question of whether such certifications are relevant in open source communities. Referring to the Linux Foundation and the Document Foundation, he says, "These two certification programs make the community recognition of individuals tangible outside the community and offer a concrete parameter for hiring decisions."

In other news

A big thanks, as always, to staff members Jen Wike and Michael Harrison, and moderators Scott Nesbitt and Joshua Holm for their help this week.

About the author

Robin Muilwijk - Robin Muilwijk is Advisor Internet and e-Government. He also serves as a community moderator for, an online publication by Red Hat, and as ambassador for The Open Organization. Robin is also Chair of the eZ Community Board, and Community Manager at eZ Systems. Robin writes and is active on social media to promote and advocate for open source in our businesses and lives.Follow him on Twitter... more about Robin Muilwijk