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NetApp to appear in Australian TAFE, Uni courses

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NetApp stands upon the threshold of long-held ambition: having its view of storage taught in Australian tertiary institutions.

The company expressed an interest in doing so in 2011, when your correspondent worked for another outlet and heard NetApp's-then-Australian-MD Peter O'Connor (late of Nimble Storage) express a desire to emulate Cisco's success in antipodean educational institutions.

The Reg has now learned that those efforts have finally paid off with Box Hill college of technical and further education (TAFE, think polytechnic in the UK or community college in the US, Victoria University and Lidcombe TAFE all set to adopt courses based in part on NetApp certifications.

NetApp Australia's Neville James, the company's head of sales engineering and channel enablement, told Vulture South that Box Hill TAFE was instrumental in its success, as it offered assistance to convert NetApp's curricula into smaller pieces suitable for being taught in classes.

“We went through a fairly intensive process with all IT lecturers at Box Hill,” James explained. “We taught them all our whole curriculum from foundations to the things we teach the most advanced pre-sales engineers. They did all the web-based and instructor-led training.” One lecturer even achieved the NetApp Certified Data Administrator certification, the second-highest NetApp qualification. That individual, James said, is the first university lecturer in the world to win the certification.

The courses include many basic storage principles, a welcome addition to the Australian computing curriculum which at present hardly touches on storage. When matters move towards the practical, some material is specific to the operation of NetApp technologies.

James said NetApp hopes its efforts will see courses based on its curricula included in the soon-to-be-updated ICA11 Information and Communications Technology Training Package.

The first round of courses delivered at Box Hill, Lidcombe and Victoria University will be treated as pilots. NetApp hopes to expand the program to other educational institutions in time. ®

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