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Old 07-12-2015, 02:24 AM   #1
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other skills that help with Linux development

I want to work as a Linux system administrator. So Obviously I am spending tons of time to learn Linux. However, I was wondering what other skills apart from Linux that will help me getting a Linux Job.

I mean I heard that people recommend learning Python to get the most out of Linux. Is that true ?

And also what other programming languages or skills that help with Linux ? I assume a lot of networking knowledge will be a plus as well. I am also studying for my CCNA certificate, Does it help with Linux development ??
Old 07-12-2015, 02:44 AM   #2
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Python, Bash, C, C++, Java, Javascript, MySQL, PHP, HTML, basic networking, basic hardware, etc. (that's for starters... )

There are tons of things that you want to pick up. I've been at Linux 15+ years and have yet to have someone hire me as a Linux systems admin. (my resume is filled with sales/other jobs... ). I've just earned a 2nd Bachelors in Comp. Sci. from a reputable Univ. and have still yet to have people look at me...

... Good luck...
Old 07-12-2015, 09:57 AM   #3
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A linux system admin and "development" are not necessarily the same career path. Although they are getting a bit blended these days with devops. You need to know networking and servers for the admin path. With your development of sorts being mostly limited to shell scripts and applying patches. And TBH, even as a developer, a lot of your work is NOT writing code. Meetings, wrangling test cases and data, and smoozing the admin to give you enough access to run your application to test it.

I've worked as a developer. Mainframe / windows, but it's been a few years since I've had a job offer. I got hired as a junior linux system admin a while back, although I don't know why they called a customer service / sales position a linux system admin position. They even had a windows logo on the sheet of paper on the door. I didn't even have enough access to run "sudo swapon -s". And since I'm not a peoples person that job didn't last.

Otherwise most of the same experiences as JaseP without all of the official schooling stuff. Ever since Clinton opened the flood gates on H1-b visas, the jobs are scarce. It was only a 4 year visa when I lost my last full time job. Now it's an 8 year visa. If you're still in school, learn farsi so you can leave the country and go to where the jobs are located. Or at least relocate to where the tech giants have thier IT centers and find a closet to live in that you can pay for while making minimum wage between jobs. Not to be blunt, but if you ever want to have a family / life do not go into IT.

Remember the story of little boy blue? It pretty much ends with him saving the town by sticking his finger in the hole that would have flooded the town. Because he's probably still there with his finger in the dam, because management doesn't see the problem because the city isn't flooded. Still there with his finger in the dam, and his termination papers in the other hand. And when he leaves that position and the town floods management wont have anything good to say about him. It's all his fault after all. Everything, ever, since the beginning of time. Curse that little boy blue.
Old 07-12-2015, 06:54 PM   #4
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A linux admin tends to write a lot of scripts - custom backup/restore procedures, custom user administration, custom security scripts, custom ... They also help keep you from forgetting a step.

In my history as an admin (Linux, Solaris, Irix, SunOS, some UNICOS and a little AIX), I have written entire web services to support administration, security, adding/removing users, ...

All take scripts, and a lot of documentation. If anything, more documentation - even including the things the vendor says you do - along with notes about how to recover when things go south (and they will). The resulting documentation can/will keep you from getting calls in the middle of the night...
And the book (yes, should be printed as a backup for an on-line version - as it is useless to have the information on the computer, and the computer is down... and the only instructions are on the computer). The "book" can also save your butt - when a boss asks "how do you..." and you don't remember. You can then say "I don't remember, but I have it in this..." and hold up the book. It also helps when a new admin comes on board - you can give them the book, with directions to mark anything they had to do different... or something you overlooked. I saved myself a lot of time training new admins by telling them "it is in the book, but if you can't find it, ask - maybe I missed something". (A bonus if you add their name to the book - doing that builds an "I've got your back" and "You get credit for improvements" attitude, and they will help you when you have a problem).

Currently the popular language for this is Python. Before it was Perl. Before that it was shell scripts. Now, it is all blended - some Python, some Perl, and a good bit of shell scripts to glue things together, though both Python and Perl can be used for that - it sometimes is just overkill. And when a shell script starts getting complex (I draw the line at about 500 lines or I get tired of "one more error"), it is time to convert the shell script to Python or Perl.

Last edited by jpollard; 07-12-2015 at 07:01 PM.
Old 07-12-2015, 09:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by alkabary View Post
I am also studying for my CCNA certificate, Does it help with Linux development ??
Yes. In general, a good networking education will help you a lot with planning, setting up and managing systems, not only open-source-based ones. I understood it when I started learning about Openstack - see next paragraph.

It seems that cloud is all the rage. Invest some time in learning about OpenStack or VMware products. By the way, you will find that networking skills help a lot understanding cloud issues.

I assume by "development" you mean your personal development, not software development.


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