[Linux-aus] Ubuntu Certification (was: lca2005 CD)

Les Bell lesbell at lesbell.com.au
Wed Apr 5 21:08:05 UTC 2006

Steve Walsh wrote:
> My comments were more the time expenditure required. You can't hand some
> paper to a entry level developer and say "write a test" as they might not
> know enough to make it a good test of knowledge. Whereas a mid level dev
> might not have the time, and a Lead Dev will probably just laugh at
you (tho
> this may not always be the case).

I was fairly involved in the development of the LPI tests, so I can make
a few comments here.

The development of the LPI certification tests was done in a highly
structured way; I regard it as a good example of the way it *should* be
done. Writing a good test requires a lot more than just subject matter

LPI conducted an online survey asking administrators what they did
during the working day. From this a Jobs & Tasks Analysis was performed,
and then from this a range of behavioural objectives was created. (It's
important to realise that terms like "job" and "task" actually have a
technical meaning in adult/vocational instructional design and testing).
And finally, from the objectives came the test items, which are the
actual questions.

(As a course developer & instructor, I am - very properly, imho -
enjoined from writing and submitting items. However, I did some work on
developing the objectives in several areas of LPI levels one and two).

The test items are themselves extensively reviewed and then tested by
LPI's consulting psychometrician.

During the development, there was extensive discussion about avoiding
distribution-specific tools and techniques. In essence, the tests
concentrate on the text files in /etc; different distributions might
provide convenient tools for editing those files, they're not much help
in debugging problems and really understanding what's going on. And they
might not even be available, e.g. on a server without X client libraries
installed. So the focus was on knowing one's way around with just vi and
the contents of /etc, which is distribution-neutral.

>>I don't know if just giving the test material to LPI would be enough  for
> them to start using it.
> True.

The process I've described is the reason why LPI would not just accept a
bunch of questions.

>>Perhaps the cause is this: employers who care about certification  also
> tend to like company-backed distributions?
> Yes and No. I have one client offering to put me through a RHCE in return
> for a guaranteed 3 year contract migrating their current .NET AD to
> linux/Samba4/squirrelmail/CUPS solution, as they have chosen RHEL and
> RHEL(AS) for their Linux Distro.
> I have another who wants to know that there is a certification there
so that
> should I happen to step in front of a number 36 bus, they can look for
a new
> organisation or person with the right letters after their name.

That's about right, although Big Business - big enough to pay for
employee training and certification - is also very conservative and
likes to deal with other Big Businesses.

The RHCE has one big advantage over LPI - it's a hands-on practical
test. LPI is restricted to multiple-choice format, because hands-on
would be logistically difficult and expensive to administer,
particularly in developing countries, where there is a big potential
market for Linux.

(I have the RHCE, because I wanted to make sure that the courses I was
teaching would prepare the students for the test, and to get some
experience of the test process. I don't have LPI, because I know how it
works, from the inside. I'm a strong proponent of LPI, though; otherwise
I wouldn't have put so much work into it).


--- Les Bell, RHCE, CISSP
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: smime.p7s
Type: application/x-pkcs7-signature
Size: 4600 bytes
Desc: S/MIME Cryptographic Signature
Url : http://lists.linux.org.au/pipermail/linux-aus/attachments/20060405/1803e307/attachment.bin 

More information about the linux-aus mailing list