Cloud Foundry Foundation launches developer certification

There’s a shortage of developers skilled in digital technologies. The Cloud Foundry Foundation plans to change that with its Certified Developer program.

Cloud Foundry Foundation launches developer certification

Many years ago I created and ran the CloudU program, a vendor-neutral cloud education initiative that, in its day, had many thousands of individuals participate and graduate from the program. The rationale for creating the program back then was what I saw occurring in the industry: much interest in cloud as a concept, but little understanding of what it actually is and how to use it. Bear in mind this was years ago, before cloud became the default position for everything.

The idea of providing education programs to help individuals transition into a new way of thinking and working is a good one. A similar situation exists today with the move away from server-based infrastructures (be they physical or virtual) and into container or serverless-based approaches. Essentially we’re seeing challenges around the understanding and implementation of new “cloud native” ways of building applications.

So, it is interesting to hear that the Cloud Foundry Foundation, the organization shepherding the Cloud Foundry open source platform as a service (PaaS) along its way, is introducing a cloud-native developer certification. The Cloud Foundry Certified Developer program will be delivered in partnership with the Linux Foundation, the organization that is responsible for training and certifying more developers on open-source software than any organization in the world.

Certified Developer program fills a need

The need for courses like this is obvious. While it is somewhat clichéd to say organizations are looking to transform through digital technologies, it is also an accurate cliché. There are currently an estimated quarter-million job openings for software developers in the U.S. alone, half a million unfilled jobs that have a requirement for tech skills, and a forecast 1 million skilled employee shortfall within the next decade. So, getting people up to speed is a critical need.

Like my CloudU program back in the day, the Cloud Foundry Developer Certification is performance- and community-based and independent of any distribution vendor. Companies committing to offer the training program include IBM, Pivotal and SAP. And the end-user demand would seem to be very real:

"The Cloud Foundry Certified Developer program will be a huge value to the community," said Brian Gregory, director of Cloud Strategy and Engineering for Express Scripts, a Fortune 100 healthcare company. "In our shift to Cloud Foundry, we've seen a massive uptick in productivity and business results. So much so that the business continues to demand more from us in the effort to make prescriptions safer and more affordable for our 3,000 clients and 85 million members. We can't hire developers fast enough—we currently have a goal of hiring 1,000-plus developers. Knowing a developer is Cloud Foundry Certified could streamline our hiring process and help ensure we're bringing on qualified candidates."

The certificate program suite includes:

  • A free introductory course offered via the edX platform
  • A self-paced eLearning Cloud Foundry Developer course
  • A training partner program that can include licensed materials for live, in-person Cloud Foundry developer classes, offered only by member companies, including Engineer Better, IBM, Pivotal, Resilient Scale, SAP, Stark and Wayne and Swisscom
  • Cloud Foundry Certified Developer Certification, awarded to individuals who pass a performance-based exam


A real need is being fulfilled in a pragmatic and appropriate way. This is precisely the role that foundations such as the Cloud Foundry should take on. I look forward to hearing how much easier hiring is after this certification is rolled out.

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