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Old 02-19-2005, 06:03 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Stockolm, Sweden
Distribution: Novell SuSe Professional
Posts: 76

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advice for certification candidates

So you have deceided to certify your knowledge in Linux?
Congratulations, good for you!

There are different reasons to get a certification. It might be job requirements, future job requirements, to get a raise etc... I just hope the reasons motivate you because a certification is meant to be a challenge and for the most part it is.

This raises the question on how to prepare. The hard way using books, maybe a training course, or simply relying on experience. Then there is the seductive easy way. Braindumps.

Like the one ring, it has powers to seduce but only brings evil. The evil to destroy the very value you seek in getting the certification. Instant gratification, but murder in the long run.
If anyone remembers the MCSE title on NT4 you know what I'm talking about. If your mom can get a certification using a braindump, then what's the point?

The advantage of actually studying Linux vs studying a braindump is that you will take with you something far more valuable than any diploma or title: Knowledge! (plus a certification that actually means something).

I know that it is tempting to search the web for the "get out of jail free card" that you might feel a braindump is, been there done that. I never fell for the temptation though. I was tricked once to use more or less a braindump. I had bought a book on ms exchange 5.5, a studyguide from a respected publisher. Of course I did the follow-up questions after each chapter. You can imagine my surprice when I recognised almost all of the exam questions from the follow up questions in the book. That didn't feel good.

Do yourself a favor. Get a good book and spend time with it next to a computer that runs linux. You will be in better shape because you will not only know the answers, you will understand the questions and answers at a much greater depth then you would if you had simply memorized a braindump.

The key to really know your stuff is experience, there is nothing like it.
If you dont have access to a lot of computers running linux, then just get the one computer running linux and use it all the time. Note that all distributions are different and I have been confused once or twice while doing exercises and tests on my computer at home. You read one thing in the book and your distribution is organized slightly differently. Don' t give up though. Remember you have access to a LOT of experience and knowledge right here at LQ. We are all here for different reasons. Some to get help, others to provide it.

The best of luck to all you certification candidates!

Old 03-02-2005, 06:02 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: South Africa
Distribution: SuSE
Posts: 60

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As a CNI and Trainer of the CLP certification I have to add a HEAR HEAR to that. 3 weeks of training does not a CLP or RHCE make, but exposure and experience. Get your heads stuck into the OS.

And don't forget and

(Obviously linux questions is a must ;-) )
Old 03-17-2005, 01:08 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2005
Posts: 5

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Thanks for the sound advice. What exam in your opinion offers the best certification in terms of value?

Last edited by imfreee; 03-17-2005 at 01:18 AM.
Old 03-17-2005, 03:27 AM   #4
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Stockolm, Sweden
Distribution: Novell SuSe Professional
Posts: 76

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
That is a good question, and the answer depends on a few things.

Do you currently work on a specific distribution?
If Red Hat or Suse, they have their own certification program.
I would probably choose one of those, since what you learn in the process of getting the certification will be directly related to job performance. I know at least the Novell/Suse certification is in the way of a practicum test which imho is the best way of measuring real working knowledge.

There is no real "neutral" certification for Linux. I know that LPI and CompTIA has done a great job trying to make one, but the distributions are slightly different and that means the certification tests are geared towards the major distributions (generally Red Hat or Debian).

If I was to choose I would go for LPI, which is a community driven, not for profit, "vendor neutral" certification which has three levels (or will have, eventually). Junior Systems Administrator (level 1), Intermediate (level 2) and Senior (level 3). LPI is gaining recognition in the industry and is fast growing.

The value of a certification is measured in better job performance, better understanding of problems and that the certified individual is more solution oriented. That is generally what an employer is looking for and the more the certification is a guarantee of that, the more value the certification has.

I have no idea if my ramblings here are any help to you, and they are of course only my own experiences and opinions.

Best of luck


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