Students looking to lands jobs in fields like information technology or computer science can receive a serious leg up on the competition next week, in the form of a $2,500 training session that Rackspace is offering to Tech students — for free.
Rackspace, the San Antonio-based IT hosting company with offices in Blacksburg, will have a series of free seminars for registered students. The training sessions will immerse students in the environment of OpenStack, an open source cloud computing project that started in 2010 as a collaboration between Rackspace Hosting and NASA.
Since its creation, over 200 companies have joined the project, including Cisco, Dell and Intel.
Students participating in the training seminars will receive the “same training that we deliver commercially, but they’re getting it at a faster pace, and they’re getting it for free,” said Tony Campbell, Director of Training for Rackspace. The same instructors that usually teach the commercial seminars will conduct the student training.
According to Cassandra Burnias, the Training Program Manager for Rackspace, the normal training program usually lasts 32 hours that lasted across four days for roughly seven hours. The training for students will be consolidated to only three hours across four days. With the shortened time frame, the fundamentals will be taught more quickly, allowing more hands-on time with the software and less lecturing.
They were hoping to cap the class size at 40, Burnias said, but as they already have 40 registered students, they plan to open up a few more spots as a buffer for cancellations.
Campbell noted that if the training sessions are successful, Rackspace “will definitely come back, as they have close ties with Tech, in case some students don’t get in (to this training session)."
Many students signed up through advertising by the Association for Computing Machinery at Tech, though the club itself makes up close to 50 percent of the students in attendance, said Chip Senkbeil, senior computer engineering major and president of the ACM. The group chose to advertise for Rackspace because of the opportunity it posed for students.
“Having an understanding of what it is, how to get it up and running and use it in your infrastructure is very important to employers nowadays,” Senkbeil said.
According to Campbell, the free open source software is “one of the fastest growing open source projects in history,” and the opportunity to learn it first-hand from Rackspace instructors for free poses a plethora of benefits.