Backfilling Learning Opportunities in Light of Cancelled Events

By May 1, 2020Announcements

Conferences, summits, forums, and other events have been canceled worldwide in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. These events are one of the most common ways technology professionals keep their skills and knowledge up to date, so these cancellations have a huge impact on the community. We’ve compiled some alternative ways of meeting this need below.

Make events virtual

The Linux Foundation is not canceling our events, but in some cases, we are moving them from in-person to virtual formats. If you organize an event that has to be canceled or postponed, you may want to consider doing the same to keep the community engaged. The Linux Foundation events team evaluated over 85 different virtual events platforms and has outlined their recommendations in a blog post. 

Virtual events have pros and cons compared to in person. For instance, some people may be less engaged watching sessions online as opposed to sitting in a room with the speaker. But on the flip side, by not requiring travel, virtual events have a lower barrier to entry which means more people can participate. 

Turn to online communication tools

Some events are less about learning and more about communicating. They may be focused on providing networking opportunities, or they may exist in order to bring people together who work on the same project but are spread out in different locations. These types of events can be at least partly replaced with online collaboration tools, like Slack, Zoom, Git, or IRC. Try creating a Slack channel where your community can collaborate, or a Zoom networking event where folks can interact with each other. 

Utilize online learning

Many options exist for high-quality training programs online. If you are missing out on events where you take advantage of educational sessions to keep up to date on the latest technology skills, online learning is a great alternative.

The Linux Foundation offers dozens of training courses, including many that are completely free, remotely. Topics include Linux, Kubernetes, cloud, networking, blockchain, embedded systems, DevOps practices, open source management and compliance, and much more. We partner with edX, the online learning platform developed by MIT and Harvard, for many of these courses. 

We also were a pioneer in the use of remote proctoring to allow candidates to take certification exams online. All of our open source certifications, including Linux, Kubernetes, Hyperledger, Node.js, and more, can be taken online using a webcam for proctoring. 

Just because we can’t get together in person at events right now doesn’t mean we can’t keep learning. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all Linux Foundation training courses and certification exams are discounted 30% through May 31 using code ANYWHERE30. We hope this makes it possible for more individuals to use this time to learn a new skill or improve their existing knowledge.