Liz Kline, Certification Manager for the Linux Foundation, shares her background in this month’s ‘Meet The Community’ post. Liz discusses life as the daughter of a US Air Force general and how a career in the film industry led her to the Linux Foundation!
This October I celebrate six years with the Linux Foundation. Turns out, the collaborative creativity of open source is a good fit for my work methodologies and experience. The path here was not direct, but then, whose is?
Taking the journey from the top, my dad was a general in the US Air Force and our family moved on average every two years (kudos to my sociology-skilled mom for managing). We lived in Nebraska (twice), Florida, Alabama, Massachusetts (twice), Georgia, California, Maine, Guam, and Louisiana. By the end of high school, I experienced eight schools, as many different houses, partly with a horse and a pet parakeet who moved along with us. When it was time for college, I made my way to the University of Texas in Austin, loved it, and put down roots for the first time! Been in Austin ever since.
It never occurred to me to major in something other than art. I found my tribe, and with them practiced ceramics and photography. After college my interests migrated to film and video art which landed me a job editing local, daily TV news video (talk about deadline-driven!) and then a stint as Asst. Director at the Texas Film Commission, scouting locations for feature films all over Texas (a blast). Somewhere between editing and scouting, I pursued apprenticeship with a traditional (Oxberry stand) film animator, but he pushed me to project manage for him instead. I begged otherwise, we went back and forth, but I caved (needed a job) and so my PM experience began. I went on to manage projects in publishing, putting text books online first with a media start-up (where I art directed as well) and then for a publisher creating online courses and assessments. That led to PMing for an online course and certification group which resulted in a referral to interview for the LF and, lucky me, here I am.
My LF role has been to help stand up and generally project manage the Certification Program. Now with eight live exams and three in the pipeline, the Certification team keeps super busy. Here is a high level look at our exam development process. First we facilitate a succinct, four day, in-person job task analysis and task writing workshop with invited subject matter experts from around the globe during which the content for the certification is defined. Then follows project managing several months of exam development that includes setting up the exam environment (Kubernetes, Hyperledger Fabric, etc.); creating grading scripts so the tasks are machine-gradable in the online, performance-based exam; alpha and beta testing by more subject matter experts; customized documentation development of a candidate handbook, confidentiality agreement, and FAQs; and finally, general availability deployment of the exam. All of this requires regular team meetings across global time zones to facilitate, development, troubleshoot issues and maintain operations. Our successes can be directly attributed to my innovative, whip-smart colleagues who bring the necessary balance of platform engineering, operations administration and customer support. I love working with this team. Please check out our growing LF certification catalog here: https://training.linuxfoundation.org/certification/
I am strongly attracted to technology projects and find creative satisfaction in guiding what needs to happen next in workflows, with resources, tool development, etc. At the LF it is my privilege to work with numerous creative individuals from whom I learn every day.