[Linux-aus] Admin certificate help!

Adam Nielsen a.nielsen at shikadi.net
Sat Dec 31 00:23:05 EST 2011

Hi Graeme,

> 1/ Am I told old to start this as a carree (No need to be nice)

It took me a good year to get to grips with Linux, once I switched to using it 
as my primary desktop OS.  I had done some very basic sysadmin stuff before 
that (Internet router, mail hub, web host) so I knew only the basics about it. 
  Using it as my desktop OS taught me a lot, particularly about how to fix 
things when they break - an important skill for a sysadmin.

Whether you're too old or not probably depends on how quickly you think you 
can reach a level where you're able to start working productively.  It sounds 
like you're pretty close already.  If you enjoy the challenge and you're not 
struggling with it then go for it.

> 2/ Shold I get a certificate such as LPI or wait for a Junior position come up
> and apply for it ( I read that certificates are not looked upon that well?)

Personally I don't put a lot of credit into certificates because there are so 
many, which makes it difficult for me to judge how much someone would learn 
from a given certificate.  Maybe if we were using RHEL then it'd be worth 
investigating RHCE, but we don't so it isn't :-)

What I would be interested in as a potential employer is some demonstration of 
your skill, either to prove you know your stuff without any certification, or 
to prove you haven't forgotten what the cert taught you.  If you set up your 
club's server and you can explain to me all the things you had to configure to 
get it working, along with all the problems you had to solve while doing so, I 
would easily take that over anyone else with only a cert to show.  (So take 
notes while you do it so you don't forget the details when you get an 
interview!)  But that's probably no surprise - I think experience would 
usually trump certifications.

> 3/ Perl or Python?

Both.  The real skill is not knowing a particular language, but being able to 
pick up a new language quickly.  Plus the answer to that question depends on 
where you want to work, so a basic knowledge of both won't limit your choices. 
  FWIW some of our maintenance scripts are written in PHP, and the more 
involved ones in C++.


More information about the linux-aus mailing list