Behind the scenes at TDF: Certification Project, an update

Italo Vignoli is one of the founders of The Document Foundation, and has been a member of the first Steering Committee and then of the first Board of Directors until 2014. He has been active in marketing since the launch of the project, and has created the LibreOffice certification project from scratch. He is a member of the staff, in charge of certification and now also of marketing and public relations.

2015 is another year packed with exciting projects and ideas around LibreOffice and The Document Foundation, so we want to continue our behind-the-scenes series, to share achievements with our community and our generous donours, to whom we’d like to express our sincerest gratitude and thanks for their incredible and wonderful support and their invaluable contributions!

The LibreOffice Certification Project has seen a number of improvements since January, when we have had the first session at FOSDEM.

First, we have added Edmund Laugasson from Estonia and Carlos Rodriguez from Spain, who have gone through the peer-to-peer review process in early May, to the list of certified TDF members.

We have also leveraged the experience of the review sessions to improve the process, in order to make it more dependable for the future. Thanks to several contributions from Sophie Gautier, Lothar Becker and Thomas Krumbein, we have a hugely improved questions & answers document which will help reviewers to keep a high level of consistency between sessions.

In the future, we can easily keep track of the questions which have been asked to each candidate, to check – for instance – if weaknesses have been addressed since the previous review.

Also, we have introduced a face-to-face (via videoconferencing) meeting with Sophie and myself before the peer-to-peer review session, to meet the candidate in a more relaxed way and discuss informally about his certification related activities.

This meeting is not included in the existing review protocol (published online) but will be introduced in the new version released in June, which will become effective for the next peer-to-peer review session.

In June, most documents published on the certification website will be updated, based on the experience gained so far. In addition, other documents will be published, to improve the governance of the process.

Last, but not least, we are working at the first training session for third parties applying for certification.

The training has two objectives:

  • first, to teach candidates free software and related licenses, TDF governance, LibreOffice development and quality assurance,
  • second, meet the candidates face-to-face, and discuss their motivations to get LibreOffice certification.

LibreOffice certification is on its way to become a solid foundation for the ecosystem. The objective is to make it easier for certified professional to get rewarded for their competence, and for the value they can add to migration and training projects.