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Open Cloud Academy Update: New Network Operations Class, 17 Graduates, Internships

It’s been almost five months since we launched the Open Cloud Academy, an educational organization designed to arm students with affordable IT training and industry standard certifications, specifically around open cloud technologies.

In this short time, we’ve seen the inaugural cohort of students graduate; we’ve created a new internship program; and we’ve launched our new Network Operations program.

The Open Cloud Academy allows us to provide an innovative, hands-on learning experience that prepares students for entry level IT roles after several weeks of intense training. This is helping us bridge the IT skills gap here in South Texas. We’re incredibly proud of the impact the Academy is having on the San Antonio and the cloud communities since the doors opened in March. And we’re just getting started.

Here’s some of the awesome stuff we’ve been up to lately:

New Network Operations Track

Network Operations is a hot topic in the tech industry. As the need for network ops grows, so too does the demand for Network Administrators, Network Operators and Network Engineers. To help fill the skills gap that exists today in the IT industry, we’ve launched a Network Operations training program at the Open Cloud Academy.

To learn more about the Network Operations learning track, check out the Open Cloud Academy website ( If you are interested in enrolling or you have specific questions about our programs, please attend one of our monthly information sessions. The sessions are held on the first Tuesday of each month. To register, please join our community by giving us your email address on our website or like our Facebook page. These are the channels we use to share information with future students.

Congratulations Graduates

The Open Cloud Academy’s inaugural cohort of students graduated in June. Our students not only learned the basics of Linux and systems administration, most of them walked away with with their A+, Network+ and Linux+ certifications. A few students also received their RHCSA certifications – pretty impressive after eight weeks of training. Congrats to all our graduates.

Eleven of the 17 graduating students have been hired at Rackspace as Linux systems administrators, one has been hired by Alliance & Bernstein, one has been hired by the Alamo Colleges and the remaining four are being considered for other positions at Rackspace. Pretty good results!

Internships For High School Students

In June, we selected 18 tech-savvy high school students for a paid internship program at the Open Cloud Academy. The interns are learning basic Linux and software development skills, specifically we are teaching them how to code using Python. The interns have been placed on four-person teams and are working on end of session projects. On August 9, they will present their projects to a panel of Rackspace subject matter experts.

If you are interested in learning more about the Open Cloud Academy internship program contact the Information Technology & Security Academy (ITSA) or the local National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) chapter.

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.

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