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i'm using Slackware now for more than ten years as distribution of choice. I installed it in different environments: for professional 24/7 server tasks, just as for private Desktop use. When a customer decided to run Debian, Centos, or whatever, i never had problems working with those systems.
I applied now for a free-lance job (via a recruiter), where Linux skills were required. There Suse SLES is used. I was refused (after no interview at all) because of the following reason:
"Sehr geehrter Herr XXX,
nach Rücksprache mit unserem Kunden sind Ihre Kenntnisse im Bereich Linux für das oben genannte Projekt leider nicht ausreichend."
"Dear Mr. XXX,
after consulting our customer, your skills at Linux regrettably are not sufficient for the referenced project"
Suse is used to run Tomcat, Apache-httpd, and different database servers. So it's just used as a platform to run some services on (i'm very familiar with those services), not for development work on Suse itself (and why should one do this, as a customer).
Please don't get me wrong: i really don't want to start a discussion about pros and cons of distros, i used Suse myself and i think yast is ok, and in the end, the customer has the last word. But running Suse, you don't need to get to deep into Linux, and one being deeply experienced with slackware (or LFS) can work on every other distro, especially, when there is something like yast.
What do you think about this? I really would like to read your opinions, and give the recruiter a link to this thread.
My point is: to claim (without a talk) that the Linux skills, of someone, who is really experienced in slackware (and by the way, who not only has formal qualifications), weren't enough to do the same tasks on Suse, is at most a hint of some ignorance. That has nothing to do with the distributions themselves. Not even with OSs in general.
Distribution: Debian Wheezy/Jessie/Sid, Linux Mint DE
My experience with recruiters is that they don't know what they are talking about. It is not that they think Slackware is this and Fedora is that. If the customer asks Suse and you have Slackware experience they think Suse != Slack => no match. Or actually, most prefer not to think at all.
I have this experience due to a number of applications which I discussed with recruiters. As it happens I do not apply as Linux expert (which I am not really despite of 10+ years on Linux and experience going back to the IBM 370) but as energy expert which I really am.
It can go as far as that recruiters ask for experience with wind turbines from manufacturer "V" in a management function, and experience with wind turbines of brand "E" is catagorized as insufficient. And it doesn't count on which level the job is, and most important it doesn't count what type of person you are.
Recruiters use "text search" to search thru resumées. They contact whoever pops up in their search screen. Next time, name all major distros as your experience. Hell, if you install them once in a VM you're not even lying. You can always reject the job when you think you are not sufficiently qualified.
The sad thing is that experience in resumés is by far exaggerated by the applicants. I know this from people I know and I know what they write in their resumé. Recruiters fall for it when doing the first selection on resumées because they don't understand what they are talking about and they find literal matches on their search criteria.
It does indeed sound like mis-judgement on the recruiter's side. I'd ask them why the draw this conclusion because you feel you have the necessary qualifications (insert specific examples) and take it from there.