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From "Kevin A. McGrail" <>
Subject Re: Establishing an ASF project for training
Date Mon, 17 Dec 2018 18:41:41 GMT
Hi Lars,

Just a note that this might tie in nicely to the proposal I sent to a
number of online companies: Coursera, Pluralsight, Udemy, & Udacity re:
setting up a PMC for Training.  I got only one response which so far
hasn't materialized with much.  However, I think the idea has a lot of
merit and thought I would share what I wrote back in October.


Invitation to a Discussion Panel re: the Apache Way and a PMC Proposal
for Online Training

Kevin A. McGrail <>
Tue, Oct 16, 12:46 PM

Hello All,

Over the past few years, the ASF has been approached a number of times
regarding online training/certification and working with several players
in the industry.  To date, we haven't had much luck finding a way that
works but just recently, we had another firm reach out to us.

With this additional firm and combining it with recent ASF discussions
about "central service" projects at the ASF to embrace things that are
non-code related like graphics and documentation, we might have a way

In broad strokes, the idea of creating training material presents itself
as an interesting idea for a project in the Apache Incubator.  The
Incubator is where we grow and cultivate interesting ideas towards being
top level projects.

The plan at this stage is to get interested parties to discuss the
idea.  What is needed is for a team of people to create a proposal for a
project management committee to produce this training material just like
how we produce OSS software in a vendor neutral, collaborative manner
using the Apache Way.

It's important to note that the ASF wouldn't drive this ship.  We'd help
steer it with tugboats but we have a lot of experience with successful
projects involving lots of different vendors that create value through
open source.

If the companies you represent might be able to help in doing that, I'd
like to see if it's feasible and guide you.  The first step is to setup
a meeting with interested parties to discuss things further.  Please let
me know if you would be interested and if you recommend anyone else is
invited for the meeting.

Thanks for your time.


On 12/17/2018 8:22 AM, Lars Francke wrote:
> Hi,
> I'd like to start a discussion around establishing a project (or Central
> Service) at the ASF to host and develop training and related materials for
> ASF (and possibly others, where it makes sense) projects.
> I'm a committer and contributor to a few projects and make money doing
> consulting work. Naturally people do contact us for training, and we have
> developed our own slideware etc. but we find it incredibly hard work to
> keep those up-to-date.
> We also work with lots of other companies and they all face the same
> challenges. At the same time, we do not believe that a slide-deck is worth
> that much on its own (others disagree, as we used to). We believe the
> instructor is the real selling-point and especially when that person is
> deeply embedded in the projects itself as a committer or PMC.
> So, we as a company[0] would like to donate our slide decks and other
> resources we have and establish an ASF wide training project in the hopes
> that we as a community can collaborate on those resources. We are currently
> talking to partners to assess whether they are interested in joining us in
> open sourcing their material.
> I'm not sure if this is a "Central Services" kind of thing or if it should
> be an Incubator project to begin with. I'm posting this here because I
> think there are good arguments for it being a project (e.g. it appears as a
> “project” in all lists that others can contribute to, it follows a familiar
> structure etc.). It might be a bit different than other projects though
> (e.g. maybe there are no real releases?).
> This is also not limited to just slides obviously but also accompanying
> code and potentially other media forms.
> One concern I have is that the material should be as objective as possible,
> but our clients especially value our (often subjective) input on the
> matureness of tools (third-party as well as ASF), processes and
> communities. So, we usually include that in our slides. I guess anyone
> using this material would need to customize it.
> This is how I see it but I'm happy to change based on feedback.
> In scope:
> * Develop shared material that can be used for trainings
> * Develop “labs” or “hands-on” exercises
> * Develop or document an infrastructure that can be used for those labs
> * Potentially develop tools to manage the material (e.g. ideally a slide
> repository that contains “modules” that can be easily reused and combined)
> Out of scope (for now at least)
> * Something like what the CNCF has with their “Kubernetes Training
> Program”[1] with certified training partners
> * Project documentation
> I wasn’t sure whether to start this discussion in members@ and/or here or
> somewhere else entirely. But as we believe it should be a “project” I think
> this is the best place for it. I’m happy to cross-post if you think it
> worthwhile.
> I'm looking forward to any and all feedback you might have on this. I would
> be happy to draw up a formal Incubator Proposal once we agree on a result
> and shape.
> Anticipated FAQs:
> Q: Shouldn’t each project take care of its own training?
> A: Yes and no. Ideally a project should be well documented but developing
> material for professional “training” is quite different from writing
> documentation in my experience. I think it's better to have a single
> central project doing this than having this as part of every project
> itself. One reason being that it makes sense to have cross-project
> trainings (e.g. no one is interested in an “Apache Hadoop” training. They
> all want to learn about the ecosystem).
> Q: Isn't the ASF all about code, now you want to do PPT!
> A: We’ve had committers for documentation for a long time and I’d actually
> like to see much more of that in the future. I think it’s not about the
> code but about merit. We have a lot of Apache Way presentations now (which
> could be part of this project) that go into depth on this one.
> Q: We have the Community project[2], should this not be part of that
> project?
> A: I honestly don’t know. There is definitely some overlap or alignment but
> from all I’ve seen and read I think these could very well be two distinct
> projects but “we” could follow a very similar structure and probably reuse
> some content and tools.
> Q: I don't like PPT/keynote/Apache OpenOffice/HTML slides/... everyone
> should do PechaKucha at all times.
> A: We are not set on any format for the content, finding a suitable format
> will be part of this project’s mission. To me this is a technical
> discussion like it happens a hundred times a day on the Apache Jira and
> Mailing Lists. There will be disagreement and some people will be
> disappointed by some of the choices made but that’s no different than any
> other project.
> Q: How can I integrate slides from this project to match my corporate
> design? I'm not allowed to not use CD.
> A: Another technical question (plus probably one that involves legal@) to
> which I do not yet have an answer.
> Thank you Bernd Fondermann, Sönke Liebau and Tim Robertson for the review
> of this mail.
> Cheers,
> Lars
> [0] <>
> [1] <>
> [2] <>

Kevin A. McGrail
VP Fundraising, Apache Software Foundation
Chair Emeritus Apache SpamAssassin Project - 703.798.0171

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