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Oracle + Sun = What kinds of certs and programs?`

In case you’ve been hiding out lately, you may not be aware that Oracle has made an offer to buy Sun, and that Sun’s board of directors has accepted that offer. All that’s left now to do to consummate the merger is to get past any government objections (none are expected), consolidate operations (and presumably layoff redundant staff), and bring the two parties under one umbrella. I leave this to upper management and the M&A teams at both outfits. What I really want to know about is what happens to the cert programs from both companies in the aftermath?

As company cert programs go, both Oracle and Sun have pretty substantial sets of offerings. I’ve worked with and around the Sun programs more than I have the Oracle ones, but my impression is that both organizations offer an interesting mix of credentials, supported by serious and capable training and certification teams. I do see some big differences in philosophy and approach between the two, especially where Open Source and standard vs. proprietary tools, languages, and platforms are concerned, however. But given that so many analysts and observers are drawing attention to the importance of Java in the overall mix of what Sun brings to this party, I have to guess that here will be some intense “cussin’ and discussin'” going on behind the scenes as these two outbits begin to coalecse and decide what to do with their respective certification and training programs.

Does that mean I’m brave enough to guess who’s going to come out on top? Probably not: I’ll simply observe that the combined mass of Sun certified professionals outnumbers the corresponing population of Oracle developers by two or more to one. Given that both organizations are strongly motivated to hang onto and grow their user bases, I’ll hazard the idea that numbers and perception will play a key role in keeping Sun credentials and programs alive, and in perhaps driving Oracle to change its certs and related infrastructure to be more like Sun’s rather than vice-versa.

Watching how all this plays out should be interesting, particularly for those of us (like me) who are distant enough from any associated carnage to not be harmed by it. I’m guessing it will take 1-2 years for all this to unfold, and should provide plenty of fodder for blogs and musings to come.

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