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Old 07-29-2001, 12:58 PM   #1
cinnix
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Sysadmin/RHCE


It is my ultimate career goal to become a Sysadmin for unix/linux (preferably linux). I bought the book "RHCE Red Hat Certified Engineer Linux Study Guide" by Dave Egan. I read the book and was able to breeze through the sample 200 question test without much difficulty.

What I am asking is anyone else here has taken the RHCE test or read this book. I think I am ready to take the test but with how expensive the test is, I can't really afford to fail. Also I would like to know how valable a RHCE is. Will it mean something to employers.

What does it take to be a sys admin, what knowledge is required. I have read many different viewpoints on the subject but feel answers from people in this forum could be a little more trustworthy. ( I seen someone on a forum ask where they can DL linux and two days later they are "instantly and miraculousy" a sys admin.) I would like to know what core concepts a sys admin needs to know.

It is my uneducated opinion that a sysadmin should have a decent understanding of everything. (Know every flag that can be used in tar is unecessary as long as you know how to find the man page and understand it.)

The things that I lack most is any kind of programming language. I know a decent amount of shell scripting and can hack a makefile but am pretty clueless in areas such as perl, c, c++ etc etc..

I am currently working a Unix computer operator for a realy big company, but I have found my job rather easy lately and there isn't anywhere for me to get promoted to, because the company is quickly migrating from a unix platform to an AS/400 platform. I guess my biggest question is where do I stand in the computer world?

anyone who can throw me a few thoughts, opinions or random ideas would be most helpful.
 
Old 07-29-2001, 05:25 PM   #2
jharris
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Red face IHMO

Quote:
Originally posted by cinnix
What does it take to be a sys admin, what knowledge is required. I have read many different viewpoints on the subject but feel answers from people in this forum could be a little more trustworthy. ( I seen someone on a forum ask where they can DL linux and two days later they are "instantly and miraculousy" a sys admin.) I would like to know what core concepts a sys admin needs to know.
This is gonna start a pretty big thread I feel!!

I recon thats there's no true core concepts to be a sys admin, its really a case of knowing as much as you can, and being able to keep track of whats going on with your systems... I've always found the best sys admins are the ones that never get flustered even when things fall apart around them, and ones that are pretty firm when it comes to what they'll let their users do on the system. That way the system runs well for everyone.

Quote:
Originally posted by cinnix
It is my uneducated opinion that a sysadmin should have a decent understanding of everything. (Know every flag that can be used in tar is unecessary as long as you know how to find the man page and understand it.)
True, the ability to quickly RTFM and understand whats going on could be classed as a major skill!

Quote:
Originally posted by cinnix
The things that I lack most is any kind of programming language. I know a decent amount of shell scripting and can hack a makefile but am pretty clueless in areas such as perl, c, c++ etc etc..
I'd say that learning Perl would be a serious help if you want to get into a sys admin sort career - it'll save you a hell of a lot of time in the long run... I've written many a hand Perl script in the past to make my life easier!

The only hassle with sys admin jobs is that if you do it well most people don't know who you are, yet when you do a bad job everyone knows your name...

As for the RHCE - I never seen anyone with one, or any mention of them while I've been job hunting...

cheers

Jamie...
 
Old 07-29-2001, 09:01 PM   #3
rog
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Ive been looking into this as well..
http://certcities.com/editorial/exam...ditorialsID=21

http://www.informationweek.com/caree...l/carintel.htm
this one all kinds of links.. including forcast...

tell us what happens as you progress!
 
Old 07-29-2001, 09:07 PM   #4
cinnix
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I was just doing a search in the forums and I seen that KevinJ the moderator took the test and cawalker is taking the online classes. Hopefully the will offer some input on the test.
 
Old 07-30-2001, 12:39 AM   #5
isajera
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those books make me nervous... i just know that i'd breeze throught the book and choke on the test.
has anyone bothered to check out the MSCE books? the tests they have in the books are a joke. ...but MSCE shows up in job requirements more and more often now.. (it might just seem this way to me because i currently searching ...) i'm almost considering getting the certification for more padding on my resume...
 
Old 07-30-2001, 01:21 AM   #6
mcleodnine
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I'm out on the West Coast of Canada and there's more MCSE's out here than Earth people. The one thing I'd like to see is more focus on the policy rather than technology aspects of network administration.
 
Old 07-30-2001, 05:11 AM   #7
funkup
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its seems you can nearly buy a microsoft certification theses days

back in the day when an nt certified person seemed to know their stuff but now you can find at least 2 people in a bar with a certified os under their belt and quite proud of the fact too.

if the slightest mention of linux is heard they begin to laugh at the "underdog"

which i thought was quite amusing in itself

 
Old 07-30-2001, 07:22 AM   #8
trickykid
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You might want to check out http://www.linuxcertification.com/ for looking into getting your certification. Its cheaper than the Redhat exam's and it covers the specifics for all of the Linux Distro's instead of just one of them like the Redhat does. I have never met anyone with a RHCE, but know a few with the SAIR certs which helped them out in getting jobs. And as far as I know, its the most recognizable than all the others. The bad thing about the RHCE, its only pertaining to the Redhat distro.
I was going to take these Sair certs but have held off due to the lack of funding for them... but they go for last I knew of was 100 bucks a test and there are four of them in total. Then they do have the more advanced tests as well on down the road.
 
Old 07-30-2001, 07:48 AM   #9
cinnix
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I checked out the SAIR tests and they look like they are worth the money to go and take. I also checked out the LPI which really caught my interest due to their company strucuture but it seems that they are still in the development stage.

As far as MCSE's go, lemme tell you a story... Where I work they had to put an emergency helpdesk together for a client, so what they did was hire 15 MCSE certified people. I was talking to the boss the other day and he was telling me that only two of the 15 people that work theor could do the work that an MCSE should be able to do. He was telling me how the test doesn't prepare you they way that it should. It sounded to me like an MCSE is GREAT resume padding and nothing more. This wasn't supposed to an anti-microsoft remark, but I wanted to share it since the guy who was telling me this is known to be quite talented.

It seems like isajera is having the same doughts as me, I found the book and sample questions to be easier than any test should ever be. I have never used Linux in a production enviroment, ( other than a couple of take-downs on the company's sever for security testing) But I do try to emulate at home a lot of the things that I see at work.

Just a note though, every linux server that is at the company that I work for is redhat based (which I think is great, but unnesecary). I don't know if this is how things usually are but it seems to me that an RHCE would be more valuable than a SAIR just because it is distro specific.
 
Old 07-30-2001, 08:08 AM   #10
trickykid
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Not to dish anyone out or anything, I truly think the MCSE's are a joke for a certification. There really isn't much money out there either for them. I see less and less jobs requiring them cause the market is swamped with MCSE's now. And as far as I know, I knew someone, older guy who knows everything there is about computers, self taught, he was a manager for a grocery store, but no experience, so he went out and spent 10 grand at a university to attain all of his MCSE cause he thought it would get him a job. That was wrong of him to think, he spent 6 months looking for a job, and to this day, I don't even have any certs and I am making more money than him and he has had his MCSE's for 2 years. I was gonna go for mine a few years ago... to add to my Resume... but I see no point now in it.. Just a waste of money.
 
Old 07-30-2001, 11:26 AM   #11
rog
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hmm...
Im adding to the mix, maby to help me make some decisions, and maby help others. Im starting school next month at the local university (its a new test enviroment in which i earn my b.s completely online) they do not have an advance computer studies, but they do offer the basics and i will learn more about networks and get a degree.. i figure i would have the time to pursue Unix Admin, and take some of the test ..there are so many certifications, it goggles the mind :-) theres oracle, sun, redhat, linux, msce, ect, ect. Im in tennessee and in the south, there is a need for more well rounded administration needs, than for a specific need. I figure that a b.s and some certifications and some interning at companies who support the school would be a great benifit..what worries me is when im done in two years..what will have changed? who will the next red hat be? its very confusing to a newbie, to know what direction to take??
I hope this thread turns into a forum on what the next big thing to do is..there are many profesionals in this website that maby a few could offer there insight into the needs of the immediate future holds. already ive learned that there are too many msce's out there.
I wonder if there will be a msce for xp?
if SAIR cert is THE linux cert to have..what is THE unix cert to have?
 
Old 07-30-2001, 11:34 AM   #12
trickykid
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Quote:
Originally posted by rog
hmm...
Im adding to the mix, maby to help me make some decisions, and maby help others. Im starting school next month at the local university (its a new test enviroment in which i earn my b.s completely online) they do not have an advance computer studies, but they do offer the basics and i will learn more about networks and get a degree.. i figure i would have the time to pursue Unix Admin, and take some of the test ..there are so many certifications, it goggles the mind :-) theres oracle, sun, redhat, linux, msce, ect, ect. Im in tennessee and in the south, there is a need for more well rounded administration needs, than for a specific need. I figure that a b.s and some certifications and some interning at companies who support the school would be a great benifit..what worries me is when im done in two years..what will have changed? who will the next red hat be? its very confusing to a newbie, to know what direction to take??
I hope this thread turns into a forum on what the next big thing to do is..there are many profesionals in this website that maby a few could offer there insight into the needs of the immediate future holds. already ive learned that there are too many msce's out there.
I wonder if there will be a msce for xp?
if SAIR cert is THE linux cert to have..what is THE unix cert to have?
I would take as many Unix related courses that you can, try to get an intern with a company with Unix related or Linux and then that counts as some sort of Experience and that is what you need for Unix. I wouldn't go based on certs, and I don't think there are any One specific Unix certs out there, most of the jobs I see want experience and what you know based on Experience.
 
Old 07-30-2001, 11:48 AM   #13
cinnix
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Hey everybody, I just want to thank you for all of the commensts and great ideas to help me find my way.

I am currently looking to change jobs, and I wanted to see what I can do to help me find something a little more challenging. I was barely able to get the job I have now because I didn't have anything to back up all the things that I said I could do. I have a decent amount of experience between personal adventures and work but my job is ultra-boring because it is too easy. It is my opinion that by obtaining a couple of certs, that I would be more noticeable to employers.

I am currently checking out the SAIR certification and it looks like I won't have to travel very far to take it. I will make sure I post details about the experience here, but in the meantime any additional comments are still appreciated.
 
Old 08-07-2001, 12:00 PM   #14
facroft
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I took the test about two years ago in Durham. Red Hat's facilities were nice. It was a four day class and the last day was a full day test. They may have changed the format, but the first part was debugging a live machine, then multiple choice, then they gave you some specs and you had to build a box to their specifications. At the time, I had worked on SCO for many years, so my Unix skills helped. It was a tough test. I scored 100, 97, 95. So I can now put RHCE next to my name.
When SCO had their ACE program, the test were open book. The instructor said that when you are in the field you would use the manuals, so why not now. He felt it was more important to know where to look for the information.
Now, as for sysadmin, for Linux, get the book Linux in a Nutshell. Excellent handbook. That will help you learn how to do things. O'Reilly has all kinds of books on administrating a Linux system. You will also want to learn how to write scripts. Automating processes cuts down on the mundane tasks. Helpful hint, use email notifications. Have your script email you the logs from a job. If you don't get a log, then you know there is a problem. Of course, if you are administrating a large data farm, you will get a lot of logs. YMMV.
Has the RHCE helped me? Hard to know. I got it with my last job. The owners of this company didn't really know much about computers. So in my case maybe not.
 
Old 08-07-2001, 12:57 PM   #15
cinnix
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions, I talked to my supervisors and they agreed to pay for me to go and take the SAIR tests. I am planning on going within the week, so I will be sure to post all my hints on what to expect.

The RHCE will have to wait for now due to the cost and travel to go and take it. (I only have to drive 15 minutes to take the SAIR test)

It seems to me and the general opinion of others that experience is what counts, but certs may be a good way to help you get in a place where you can build some experience. I think that they would be a good way to pad the ole resume so that I can get in a place to start building a little experience.

If their is anyone out there looking for a good way to find a portal to some linux information, they should check out the SAIR knowledge matrix, it points you to a lot of sites you may have never seen before.

BTW, LPI just came out with the level 2 exam.
 
  


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