Software Development
Sep 19, 2023

5 High-ROI Certifications for Software Developers and Engineers in the Open Source Domain

Open source software developers and engineers are in high demand. By focusing on training for the right certifications and specialty skill sets, individuals can take their careers in a range of directions.
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Organizations have massively adopted OSS technologies in recent years, and finding open source talent is still a challenge for hiring managers according to the latest 2022 Open Source Jobs Report issued by the Linux Foundation and edX. 

The vast majority of surveyed employers (93%) report difficulty in identifying competent developers with open source skills. It has now become imperative for developers to identify the right career path and take advantage of a vendor-neutral approach to learn skills that can be applied in any software environment.

In order to tap into the opportunities provided by open source software technologies, it is essential for software developers to identify the right career path. If you are strategic about it, certification is not a magical ticket that will guarantee you success in your developer career. However, if you want to be proficient in using open source technologies such as Kubernetes, Node.js, or the Linux Kernel in a practical role, then these programs can help you build a strong career in this space.

Learn how these respected credentials and high-return specialty certifications can lead to better jobs in the open-source domain.

5 Software Developers Certifications in the Open Source Domain

These specialty programs promise to equip software developers with the training, technical skills, and credentials indispensable to beat a developer/engineer gig.

Kubernetes Application Developer

Turbocharge your developer career by taking the highly in-demand, open-source Kubernetes Certification (CKAD) with the Linux Foundation training you need to break into the well-paid field of cloud-native computing.

As companies increasingly move to containerized environments, the demand for Kubernetes software developers is skyrocketing. Organizations with CKAD professionals can speed up the cloud-native application development process while implementing best security practices to define application resources. This certification is a means for organizations to identify and develop open source talent with Kubernetes skills to implement cloud-native initiatives.

Career paths—Kubernetes Developer, Open-Source Developer, Application Developer and more.

K8s certification for Software Developers

Is it right for you?

To establish your cloud career, the Kubernetes Certification (CKAD) validates that you can design, build, and configure native applications. The official Kubernetes developer training will walk you through designing, building, configuring, and containerizing applications.

CKAD is a respected certification for cloud native jobs and it can take your career to a whole new level. Bookmark this new CKAD Exam Guide to learn effectively, with hands-on practice resources, how to build, monitor, and troubleshoot scalable applications and tools in Kubernetes.

CKAD — Kubernetes Application Developer

Cloud Native Developer Bootcamp + CKAD

Give yourself an edge to advance in cloud-native technologies with open-source software development training, including Kubernetes, GitOps, and DevOps.

Cloud Native Developer Bootcamp starts with an introduction to open-source software development, Git, and Linux, then moves into specific DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering fundamentals, followed by Kubernetes and containers for developers. This program is top-notch for learning open-source skills, such as GitOps Continuous Delivery on Kubernetes with Flux.

Career paths—Cloud Architect, Application Developer, DevOps Engineer and more.

Cloud Native path for Software Engineers

Is it right for you?

The program provides core skills for effectively utilizing a wide range of open source capabilities in depth, equipping you with functional knowledge in cloud-native development. Once you have acquired the essential skills, you will be well-prepared to develop cloud native applications that can run on any system.

The program includes live support through interactive forums and video chat with mentors who guide and equip you for the Kubernetes certification — CKAD. It is highly beneficial and worth the time you will spend on it.

Cloud Native Developer BootCamp

OpenJS — Node.js Application Developer Certification

Open source is the new norm. If you're a developer looking to sharpen your skill set, a certification in a popular platform such as Node.js is a necessary addition to your arsenal.

An application developer job is still good, but even better in these open-source powered days is a Node.js job. Therefore, The Linux Foundation and the OpenJS Foundation have joined forces to release a new Node.js Certification and open-source training course. This program is designed to help developers establish credibility and demonstrate competence with Node.js to design and build applications, with a focus on knowledge of Node.js core APIs and selected ecosystem libraries.

Career paths—Node.js Developer, Open Source Developer, Application Developer, and more.

Software developer certification

Is it right for you?

This program will acquaint you with the capabilities of Node.js in depth, so that you can build functional knowledge while preparing for the OpenJS certification exam.

The open-source curriculum is expert-led by qualified engineers, covering everything from the crucial fundamentals to advanced concepts, equipping developers to showcase their expertise in Node.js application development. It culminates with more advanced topics, including command-line tools, real-time applications, desktop applications, network applications, build tools, and best developer principles and practices.

OpenJS Node.js Application Developer Certification

Developing Applications For Linux

As the Linux kernel continues to cut into the supercomputer market share [2] after dominating the global market, now is a great time to learn how to develop applications for the Linux environment.

Developing Applications for Linux Development (LFD401), an expert-led training program offered by the Linux Foundation, can help experienced developers become thoroughly acquainted with system programming and take full ownership of Linux application development.

Career paths—Linux Software Engineer, Open Source Developer, Open Source Engineer and more.

Best for software engineering teams

Is it right for you?

Its deep coverage of writing Linux-specific extensions equips C programmers with low-level programming skills to perform critical operations to secure or to port existing code to Linux and systematically present the key APIs. Along the way, the instructors will share insights and best practices to help open source developers gain the functional knowledge of debugging techniques, process management, system calls, and more — on the underlying platform.

Developing Applications For Linux (LFD401)

Embedded Linux Development

Embedded Linux Development (LFD450) promises to give you the knowledge of Linux kernel architecture and cross-development you need for a high-end open-source job.

It delves into the development environments and toolchains, moving on to boot loaders, the kernel, drivers, and device tree, providing all the essential training needed to evaluate the options available for populating libraries and application user-spaces to meet the goals and constraints of embedded systems, and more.

Career paths—Linux Embedded Software engineer, Embedded Engineer, Embedded System Engineer and more.

Best for IoT Software developers

Is it right for you?

This training program is live and highly collaborative, equipping programmers with the low-level knowledge and skills needed to design and develop embedded Linux devices.

To pursue this program, developers must be proficient in C programming and basic Linux (UNIX) utilities, including text editors. Upon completion of this program, professionals will be able to demonstrate their competence in developing embedded systems. It comes with hands-on lab exercises and demonstrations, as well as the necessary tools to develop the various parts of the system covered in an expert-led class.

Embedded Linux Development

FAQs — Best Certifications for Software Developers

We’ll answer some basic common questions around open-source certifications.

Are Software developer certifications recognized by employers?

Yes, software developer certification programs in the open source domain are recognized by employers and can help you stand out from other job applicants. Employers value specialty certifications as they demonstrate your commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest open source technologies and best practices. Additionally, certifications can help you demonstrate your knowledge and experience with the technology.

Are there any other resources available to help prepare for an Open Source Certification?

Yes, there are a variety of resources available to help you prepare for an open source certification. These include official training courses, tutorials, practice exams, and study guides. Many open source communities offer support and resources to help you prepare for the certification exam.

What should software developers expect to learn in a Certification program by the Linux Foundation?

The Linux Foundation offers a range of certification programs for software developers. Depending on the program, you can expect to learn topics such as Linux system administration, scripting, cloud computing, DevOps, and open source development. You will also gain hands-on experience with open source tools and technologies.

What are the benefits of obtaining a Developer Certification?

The benefits of obtaining a software developer certification include increased job opportunities, higher salaries, and improved credibility. It also demonstrates your commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest open source technologies and best practices. Additionally, it can help you stand out from other job applicants and give you an edge in the job market.

What Certifications paths are suitable for entry-level software developer jobs?

There are a variety of certification programs available in the open source, including Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS), Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE), Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA), Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA), and Certified Ansible Automation Engineer (CAE). Additionally, there are certifications available for specific open source technologies, such as Apache, MySQL, and MongoDB.

What are the requirements to obtain a specialty Certification for software developer job roles?

The requirements to obtain a specialty certification vary depending on the program. You will need to pass an exam and demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and complete a training course or have a certain amount of experience working with the technology.

What are the costs associated with obtaining these Certification?

The cost of obtaining a certification for developers varies depending on the specialty program. Generally, you can expect to pay a fee for the exam, as well as any associated training courses or materials. Additionally, some programs may require a membership fee or other fees.


Software developers can take their career in a range of directions by focusing on the right certifications and specialty skill sets. Organizations are heavily using OSS technologies, but there is still a challenge finding open source talent, making certification programs highly valuable for developers. Therefore, software developers should identify the right career path and take advantage of vendor-neutral certifications to learn skills that can be applied in any software environment. This will help them tap into the opportunities provided by open source technologies and lead to better job prospects.

Banner ImageMikhail Nilov

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