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Open Cloud Academy: Bridging The Cloud Computing Skills Gap


Organizations are struggling to hire talent with the cloud computing skills necessary for the new world of IT. We see it ourselves. In a recent survey of 1,300 companies, we found that more than half of the organizations we polled suffer from a shortage of cloud computing talent.

This shortage comes as two-thirds of the companies we polled are seeking to boost their IT skills to levels required to manage cloud computing environments.

Cloud computing is and will continue to be a critical skill set in the IT space. Cloud adoption will continue to increase as companies turn to the cloud to spark agility and innovation while reducing costs.

The demand is there, but right now the supply is not. We hope to change that.

This week Rackspace opened the doors to the Open Cloud Academy, an educational program designed to arm students with affordable IT certifications, specifically around open cloud technologies. We want to offer an innovative, hands-on learning experience that helps jumpstart careers in open cloud technologies, including but not limited to sharpening Linux expertise, cyber and network security and software development.

Here at Rackspace, we understand the importance of cloud skills in the workforce. The Open Cloud Academy is one way we’re looking to bridge the IT skills gap in the market today. We’re taking the same principles of our internal training for Rackers and offering them externally.

We hope the Open Cloud Academy can bring more people up to speed on cutting edge cloud and open cloud technologies and fill the skills gap that the cloud has created. And it can do it in months as opposed to years.

The Open Cloud Academy is in San Antonio’s Weston Centre, and offers classrooms, a lounge area, a kitchen, instructor offices and a private testing space.

Learn more about the Open Cloud Academy in these videos:

Be one of the first to know when applications for the Open Cloud Academy open by taking a brief survey.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Duane LaBom.

Duane La Bom is the Director of Learning and Development at Rackspace based in San Antonio, Texas. Rackspace is a global Cloud Computing provider with annual revenues in excess of $1B and over 5000 employees globally.

An experienced leader with passion for leveraging human resources to continually improve business performance, Duane has enjoyed success at developing talent globally for emerging-high-growth as well as established fortune 100 companies. Additionally, Duane has guided employee development programs for one of the world’s premier manufacturing organization.

Early in his career, Duane successfully completed the Leadership Development Program at Willamette Industries. Soon after, he was promoted to Regional Manager of Training where he was responsible for supporting all talent development needs for a business segment with over 15K employees located in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Alabama. Based on his success he was asked to lead the North American training function.

After over seven years with Willamette Industries, Duane joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing, the world’s leading automotive manufacturer with revenues in excess of $230B at the time. Duane held multiple HR Leadership roles before being named Manager of Training and Development. In this role Duane played the lead role in developing the programs needed to develop the 2200 new employees hired for Toyota’s new plant in San Antonio, Texas. The training delivered to these new employees were instrumental in helping Toyota receive the JD Powers award the first year of production. This had never been done in the automotive industry.

Currently at Rackspace, Duane is responsible for all technical learning and development programs. Focus in this role includes the building of cloud computing skills for global employees and also for future employees through the delivery of technical training through the Rackspace Open Cloud Academy.

Educated at Northwestern State University in Louisiana, Mr. La Bom currently resides in San Antonio with his wife Danielle and their three children.

  • VMendez

    There are quite a few problems with your survey. First, we have 10-digit phone numbers, not 9. Second, the sequencing of your questions is incorrect. Ex. If yes, go to question #_, if no, go to question #_. This is true for all questions of that nature. Just FYI. Hope it helps!

    • Andrew Hickey

      Thank you for the heads up. We’re looking into it now.

  • David

    Will the training be offered on line?

  • Gerard Braad

    Certainly interested in this offering. We are in the process of providing this in China and would really like to know what your plans are and maybe if we can work together. We are a local group of very skilled full-stack engineers, meaning we deal with OpenStack for virtualization, but provide skills for the whole vertical stack, like nginx, PHP development skills, how-to scale MySQL, etc.

  • lincoln miller

    Let me know when you do netsec.

  • Katherine

    I am very interested. I teach introductory Computer Science and have taught Information Technology, but I need a crash course that will reintroduce me to cloud computing and new technologies.

  • George Gallegos

    Are you guys looking at getting approved for military members to use their GI Bill to attend this course?

  • Michelle Swisher

    How do I apply to the Academy?

  • Patrick Verardi

    I would like to attend the July info and enollment seminar how do I make that happen???? I am extremely interested and motivated to moving into the IT world!

  • Sean Carter

    The cloud is becoming more and more important and cloud development is just now starting do some really interested things. This is a really great area for growth

  • Nancy Fox

    I would like to find out more about upcoming classes. Who/where do I need to contact to find out more?

  • Andrew Hickey

    You can contact the Open Cloud Academy folks here: for more information.

  • Susan

    Will the Rackspace Academy offer classes at the Walzem Road location?

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