Thought Leaders: Linux Academy

Q+A | Musings on innovation from the region's paradigm-shifting companies and organizations.

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Linux Academy is the premier hands-on online training platform for all skill levels to learn the latest cloud technologies. Since 2012 we’ve provided self-paced courses, access to expert training architects, a massive library of courses, and real scenario-based environments for cloud mastery.

Anna Talerico: COO of Linux Academy

How does your company recruit talented workers?

We are really proud that about a third of our new hires are referrals and nearly a third are former or current Linux Academy students. We’ve built a strong, positive reputation in online user communities, which is a great place for talent searches. Our presence at major conferences also provides opportunities to connect and attract hard-to-reach talent.

What role does your company culture play in recruiting and retaining talent?

Our culture is everything. This is a hyper-competitive industry and talented workers align to organizations with a rewarding culture that challenges and supports them. Culture isn’t about free snacks or chair massages; it’s created and fostered by the people who come to work every day. Changing lives is what drives us, and that’s the underpinning of our culture.

Anna Talerico [Image: Courtesy Linux Academy]

Explain why it’s important to have diversity in the workplace. How does your company maintain and support diversity and inclusion?

Differences strengthen the fabric of a company and we are committed to diversity as we continue to expand globally. We often seek candidates who don’t fit the mold. To build a diverse company, we choose to be intentional. A workforce lacking diversity isn’t competitive or compelling. And a culture that doesn’t focus on inclusion isn’t a sustainable one. Creating and maintaining a diverse workforce requires a continuous commitment to sourcing and attracting talent that’s representative of the communities we serve.

How will job roles evolve as a result of technology, and how are you keeping up?

Our job is keeping up so our students and the employees of our business customers can keep up. We create the training that prepares the workforce to stay competitive and move towards advancement.

How does your company retain talent?

We have a comprehensive mix of company-paid benefits that ensure we stay relevant and competitive for recruiting and retention. But beyond that, we want to ensure our staff is experiencing professional satisfaction in their work—we’re focused on creating a vibrant culture for people to do their best work and providing ongoing development opportunities. The flexibility to work remotely has helped our team have a better work/life balance and has significantly cut down on the stress of commuting.

How does your company contribute to the talent pool in Dallas-Fort Worth?

We’re in a unique position to contribute through our product—we are both recruiting talented technical candidates to build our product, and are also providing technical training and skill development to individuals and local businesses through our online learning platform.

What role does tech talent play in innovating within your organization?

One of our core values is to push the boundaries of online learning. To fulfill that core value, we need engaged technical teams who are committed to innovating. We seek individuals who thrive on challenging themselves, are creative problem solvers and who deliver high-quality work.

What makes your office unique/attractive?

One of the interesting facts about Linux Academy is that over 50% of our staff is remote. We have team members as close as Grapevine and as far away as Australia and Bosnia. DFW is a hub—traveling here is so convenient. So, on any given day in our Keller office we have staff from anywhere and everywhere visiting and working together. The office is professional, comfortable and designed to encourage collaboration.

How is your company positioned to lead the tech workforce in 2020 in Dallas-Fort Worth and beyond?

We have experienced unprecedented growth this year. It’s clear that technology workers require intellectual stimulation, an environment where they can be heard and practice their craft, and the opportunity to expand their knowledge base. It’s a challenge, but we continually push forward to engage our employees in a supportive culture.

A version of this Thought Leaders article was first published in Dallas Innovates: The [Tech] Talent Issue.


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Dallas Innovates: The [Tech] Talent Issue, a special edition of the Dallas Innovates magazine, looks at how companies in Dallas-Fort Worth are attracting and retaining the best talent. From corporate stalwarts to startups, social impact and conscious capitalism-driven businesses to nonprofits, Dallas Innovates: The [Tech] Talent issue takes a deep dive into the companies and people that are continuously making Dallas-Fort Worth a force for the future.

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