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Old 11-10-2014, 11:44 AM   #1
Ryanms3030
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RHCSA on RHEL 6 or 7?


I'm planning on doing self study and sitting for RHCSA. Probably take exam 6-12 months from now depending on how prepared I feel. I am doing this mostly for personal enrichment but possible career change down the road. I currently work in technology and am mid career level. I'm not sys admin and I don't work much with Linux although we do have RHEL 6 at my job.

I've been a home Linux user for about 5 years but only serious about learning at an admin level for the past year. I've set up several servers for web hosting and file servers both internal home network and web facing etc on CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu.

I recently got Michael Jang's RHCSA/RHCSE 6 prep book. I am running CentOS 7 at home and have set up several CentOS 6 systems on KVM to work through exam objectives based on Jang's book. I'm only 3 chapters in but so far there hasn't been anything ground breaking that I haven't done before so I feel pretty good so far. I still think I need a lot of time and experience with the book before I pay $400 out of my own pocket to sit for the exam.

My main question is should I just focus on the exam for 6 or should I continue my learning but wait until there is a good study guide for RHCSA on version 7 and sit for that version on the exam? My ultimate goal if all goes well would be passing than moving on to RHCSE and passing that and then looking for an sys admin job 2-3 years form now
 
Old 11-10-2014, 11:59 AM   #2
TenTenths
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You may as well study and certify on 6, it really doesn't make that much of a difference. Even in 2/3 years you'll find that many companies will still have large RH/CentOS 6 estates.

Practical experience is much better than "book learning", speaking as someone who has (and is currently) interviewing people for sys admin positions having or not having RH certification has never been a priority. Taking any form of certification does show me that someone is willing to invest in themselves which (to me anyway) is a plus.

That's my experience, I'm sure you'll get a different story shortly!
 
Old 11-10-2014, 12:02 PM   #3
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Our Red Hat rep 'secretly' told me that RHEL 7 has the slowest adoption rate of any RHEL product yet. So going with 6 is safe for the moment - also the extended support for that lasts 13 years.
 
Old 11-10-2014, 12:10 PM   #4
Ryanms3030
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Thanks for the opinions. I am also trying to get practical experience but that's a bit of a catch 22. I am managing my own servers at home and hosting a website on CentOS but I don't know how much hiring managers will care about that experience. I'm trying to make my interest in linux known at work and slowly but surely getting some exposure to things here. I'm hoping I get the RHCSA and then I can tell the person that manages that department that I am interested and "certified" and maybe be allowed to do some overflow work that the senior admins don't have time for in addition to my other core job responsibilities to build some professional experience.
 
Old 11-11-2014, 08:10 AM   #5
TenTenths
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanms3030 View Post
I am managing my own servers at home and hosting a website on CentOS but I don't know how much hiring managers will care about that experience.
I'd take that into account, depending on the position. I got my first Linux admin job based on experience of administering my own public facing web and irc chat servers.
 
Old 11-23-2014, 09:28 PM   #6
nbritton
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With the exception of Red Hat's training, there is not RHCSA/RHCE training material for RHEL 7. Go look on amazon and you won't find any books you can buy. Until this changes I recommend going with RHEL 6.
 
Old 12-08-2014, 06:28 PM   #7
Ryanms3030
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTenths View Post
I'd take that into account, depending on the position. I got my first Linux admin job based on experience of administering my own public facing web and irc chat servers.
Thanks for advice and info from everyone.

On this particular note, what would everyone recommend that would be a good project for me that would have the highest real world resume value?

I've set up a couple of public facing servers using Digital Ocean hosted servers and hosted personal websites on them. Is there anything else that may be more valuable for my learning experience?
 
Old 12-09-2014, 02:13 AM   #8
TenTenths
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Get as much exposure to as many things as you can.

For example, set up DNS servers for websites you're creating, including having the glue records registered within your domain and doing things like secure zone transfers.
Set up mail handling using both sendmail and postfix, including setting up secondary/relay mail servers.
Look at things like monitoring and central config management / deployment, implementing these gets my attention when I'm reading resumes.

The more you can say (and even better, demonstrate!) that you can work with the better.

Be familiar with administering a server from the command line rather than through any GUI or even web front end.
 
Old 12-10-2014, 07:53 AM   #9
sundialsvcs
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You make some interesting comments about your career aspirations. Why don't you talk about these things now, with the manager that you now have? Express your interest, then listen carefully(!) to what s/he says in reply, or after a couple days spent thinking about it.

"Certifications" are not a Golden Ticket. They're merely the piece of paper that you get upon completion of a training program. Of course they are specific to the company's latest product-offerings. If you actually get one, then it should be your employer who's paying for it, as part of their investment in their own staff. But don't think that saying "I'm certified!" will cause beams of light to shine down from heaven as secret doors swing open wide for you.

The "hiring manager's point-of-view" is basically that ... "my team has a job to do, and can you help us do it?" (Also: "do you have an insufferably obnoxious ego?") Most of what people learn, they learn on the job. Precision, accuracy, consistency, work-ethic, and humility are all very important because the work is extremely important. When I hire, I look for signs of those "soft skills," those "people skills," in addition to basic technical competency. I can teach "basic technical competency." That's the easy part.
 
  


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