“With Novell shifting its technical future to Linux, so follows its certification program. While the company is still releasing NetWare-specific titles (6.5 exams are in development), the major Novell credential news during the past two years has come in the form of its Linux certification plans.

In 2003, the company announced development a hands-on Certified Linux Engineer (CLE) title, released earlier this year as the replacement for its flagship Certified Directory Engineer practicum. Then, following its acquisition of SuSE, Novell debuted the SuSE Certified Linux Professional (SCLP), only to announce it would be replaced with a Novell-developed Certified Linux Professional (CLP) title a few months later.

While many know that both of Novell’s credentials require passing hands-on exam, not all are aware that are priced at $192 each — hundreds less than those offered by most other programs. To bring the hands-on exams to the market, however, Novell had to move away from the traditional test delivery providers, thus limiting availability to less than 100 locations worldwide.

We recently got a chance to sit down with Dan Veitkus, vice president of Worldwide Training Services for Novell, about these new Linux credentials, changes announced over the past year, and the challenges of releasing the program’s hands-on exams. Here’s what he told us…”