Training company Computeach has launched what it claims is the first distance learning course in Lamp, the open source web server platform.
The course is aimed at newcomers to IT or people who have some experience of commercial platforms, said Alan Sweeney, learning solutions manager with Computeach.
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Lamp has become a de facto development standard. Short for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, Lamp is an open source web development platform that uses Linux as the operating system, Apache as the web server, MySQL as the database and PHP as the object oriented scripting language. Perl or Python is often substituted for PHP.
The course is based on certification and offers recognised qualifications in each of the Lamp software systems. However, it also has a practical element, with each student completing a Linux-based project before they are certified.
With continuing growth in the use of open source web server technology, and starting salaries of about £28,000 after certification, Sweeney said qualification offers good prospects for students.
"The open source community is mutually supportive and growing. Major IT companies such as Oracle, Novell and IBM have all started backing open source in recent years. With people like that behind it, the future for the technology will be good," he said.
Although Computeach is offering the first distance learning course in these technologies, a few companies already provide classroom-based training. For example, Well House Consultants, based in Wiltshire, also offers courses in Lamp.
By providing the course in a technology growing in popularity, combined with supported distance learning, Computeach is aiming to attract between 500 and 600 students in the first year.