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Old 03-15-2018, 09:35 PM   #1
pmknkaek
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Question Linux+ Certification Suggestions? Thoughts?


I'm somewhat new to linux and decided going for a lower level certification would be a good structured way to build some fundamental skills while getting the added bonus of something worth putting on a resume. I decided the CompTia Linux+ certification would be a decent place to start. My goal is to be ready to take and pass it by the end of the summer.

Is there an alternate certification you would recommend over this? Why?

If you have taken/passed it before, how did you prepare? What books/resources would you suggest? (Not looking to pay for a course)

If you are also interested in getting certified, what is your plan?

Other thoughts or questions for me?

(I currently have the latest version of slackware installed on my desktop as a learning environment, previously had a reasonable amount of experience in Arch Linux)

Last edited by pmknkaek; 03-15-2018 at 09:39 PM.
 
Old 03-15-2018, 09:44 PM   #2
Timothy Miller
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Good thing about taking the Linux+, is it's mostly multiple choice.

Bad thing about taking the Linux+, what's not multiple choice is fill in the blank, and damned if I normally know what the whole name of a command or file is...that's what tab autocomplete is for!!

But to pass, know the basics of the linux system. What the most common commands are (mostly command line), what common system files are, what common system directories are. If you actually learn linux, it's a SUPER easy test, I took it and you're given 90 minutes to take each half, the first half took me 15 minutes and I got a 97% or so. The second half I did much worse, it took me 20 minutes and I only got like a 89%.

Linux+ is actually a good cert though, as depending WHERE you take it, you also will get LPIC-1 certification bundled with it. And I like hte lpic certs, and am trying to convince my company to pay for me to take an LPIC-II class + test (I think I'd pass, but if I can get a free class, why not!!).

All this said, anyone who knows what they're doing also knows the Linux+ cert is a joke.

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 03-15-2018 at 09:46 PM.
 
Old 03-15-2018, 10:25 PM   #3
AwesomeMachine
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I looked at the Linux+ cert. It's pretty basic, so if you're just learning, it's probably a good one. I took a practice exam and got 90% (9 of 10). The questions weren't difficult. But if I was first learning they'd be challenging. Go for it. It's also reasonably priced.
 
Old 03-16-2018, 08:39 AM   #4
sundialsvcs
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There's an entire subsection on this forum which talks about "Linux certifications" and their relative value – if any – in the marketplace. I can candidly say that I have hired many people and that it meant nothing to me. One of my best hires did have a college degree – in Fine Art. (And actually, that's not too uncommon in the computer-software biz. Hell, Steve Jobs studied calligraphy... heh.)

Now, I've never bought a certification, but I have contributed material to a few of them, and I have also taught community-college night courses. (Back in the day when they didn't cost $150,000.00.) So, I would say – if you want to go that route, "go take a class." Real classroom, real instructor, real fellow-students, homework, the whole nine yards. Merely taking a multiple-choice(!) exam and passing it won't mean anything, because nothing in the job that you are supposedly training for is multiple-choice. But being in the same room with other students who are learning as you are, and with an experienced instructor who well-knows the material and how to present it, just might be very valuable.

(And I can certainly say that being the instructor in that situation is very valuable! Nothing "keeps you on your toes" about a subject quite like teaching it to a group of adults.)

As for me, and although I obligingly took one of the very first(!) "computer science" degrees my local University ever offered, I am self-taught. But that approach doesn't work well for some people. Sitting in a classroom does. The diploma, or certificate or whatever-it-is, is really an afterthought. Learning is something that you achieve by doing it, usually in the company of other people. It goes like this: ... ... ... ... ... . Over and over and over again.

I think that you should also be mindful that certifications are products. And there's always going to be that thought going through a course-writer's mind: "do I make this stuff realistically tough, with the risk that no one will buy it, or do I go for the instant-gratification and make the student feel good?" And the classroom – with all of the human dynamics that takes place in one – is not there at all. "So, what are you missing?"

Also – inquire if your present employer (if you have one) has a budget for "professional development" for its employees which might (help) pay for this sort of education. They usually do, or can get one if you ask nicely. (They might ask you to stay-on with them for a certain period of time in exchange for their money, but that, to me, is "fair enough.")

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 03-16-2018 at 09:45 PM.
 
Old 03-16-2018, 09:07 AM   #5
rtmistler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmknkaek View Post
I'm somewhat new to linux and decided going for a lower level certification would be a good structured way to build some fundamental skills while getting the added bonus of something worth putting on a resume.
What's a "lower level" certification?

I'm thrilled to see you write that you feel it is a good structured way to build some fundamental skills.

Please bear in mind that all following is biased by the facts that I have no interest in certification, and I am a Linux developer versus an IT person.

Resume fodder, is resume fodder. In an interview, I'll ask about what I see that interests me and indicates you have skills I deem interesting/necessary for a given position we're talking about. I'll also ask about what I don't see, but want to see. However if you happen to spout forth that you have this certification and seem to not wish to be ignored about that, then it will sort of be "game on" and I'll ask you to impress me. If you can't subsequently tax my patience with interesting and relevant tidbits about this certification and convince me that you really learned something from it, I'll be about as disappointed as I am when I detect that someone lied on their resume. I will however ignore a certification entirely and only talk about it if the candidate happens to bring it up a lot.
 
Old 03-16-2018, 01:11 PM   #6
pmknkaek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtmistler View Post
What's a "lower level" certification?

I'm thrilled to see you write that you feel it is a good structured way to build some fundamental skills.
By lower level I guess I meant something relatively simple that would give good direction on what basic commands everyone should know and how to use them, along with stuff about the actual structure of a Linux operating system. I felt that most resources out there to learn about Linux were always too specific about certain scenarios and did not provide the breadth of knowledge I was looking for. Most resources available are more related to troubleshooting and don't help much with the basics of being a Linux system administrator.

Long story short, being able to put this on a resume is just a little bonus to actually getting a comprehensive understanding of Linux and how to use it effectively. I'm curious to know how so many people are "self-taught". It feels like you need to be in a situation where you need the knowledge to learn anything, but can't succeed in a situation like that unless you already have the knowledge in the first place. Going for the certification is just my solution to that paradoxical learning process.
 
Old 03-16-2018, 01:15 PM   #7
pmknkaek
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Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
There's an entire subsection on this forum which talks about "Linux certifications" and their relative value if any in the marketplace
I'll be sure to post future threads in that subforum. Thank you for your advice and perspective too though!
 
Old 03-16-2018, 01:40 PM   #8
AwesomeMachine
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I guess, in the grand scheme of things, certs and education without experience might make the difference between getting yourself in the door or not. I have a comp sci degree, but I never relied on it to get a job. Basically, I just said, "I can do the job. I want the job."

But I really 'could' do the job. I have also hired people. And, to tell you the truth, I just asked applicants about specific skills and experience I was looking for. It's pretty easy to tell if someone is faking it. But no one is going to get a job relying on just a cert.

Classroom time and a degree is great. But not everyone has time and money for that. Although I have to admit, it would have taken me 5x as long to learn what I know without classroom time.
 
Old 03-16-2018, 10:08 PM   #9
sundialsvcs
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I would encourage you to seek education, and to seek knowledge, but not to place too much faith or emphasis on "certifications." Even in the OP's post I detect the drive, the dedication, and the promising signs of professionalism that I always look for: "it matters to this person."

More than anything else, the work that we do in software is trusted, and profoundly important to literally every aspect of the businesses (or academic institutions) that employ us. This entirely drives the selection of personal(!) characteristics that a hiring manager must look for.

Beyond the obvious ground-level-setting principle of "we're not running a programming-school here," every "shop" is different and therefore every new hire is going to experience what a gentleman affectionately known as "David I" called "taking a sip from the fire hose." (N.B. he still publishes blogs and so-forth under that title.) They're going to be learning everything more-or-less in a sheer panic, and I have to gauge if they actually understand that this comes with the territory.

"The right candidate," if (s)he can and will be taught such that "if (s)he can't, (s)he wasn't the right candidate after all" can be taught anything "on the job." And that's where most of the learning will take place. Interpersonal skills, diplomacy, and "basic professionalism" are really far more important than what bits-and-bytes you know (right now). Intrinsic to the entire software business is grueling pressure. This must never be understated because it also "comes with the territory." Can you handle it? Do you want to?
 
  


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