Testing Linux skills

Stuart Jansen sjansen at buscaluz.org
Mon Jan 16 14:51:02 MST 2006

On Mon, 2006-01-16 at 14:17 -0700, Nicholas Leippe wrote:
> The feeling I've gotten about certifications in general (MCSE, Cisco, RHCE, 
> etc) is that they are more academic--they show that you can study material 
> and repeat it just like in school.  While the information may be valuable and 
> the basic skills very useful in solving a majority of 'common' tasks, I still 
> don't think the certifications are nearly as valuable as improving your 
> resourcefulness, and doing so in a way that is demonstrable to (future) 
> employers (think projects and experience).

I'm a Linux trainer, an RHCE, and an RHCX (that means I can give the
RHCE exams), so caveat lector.*

Taking the RHCE exam is not a good way to personally measure your Linux
experience (if only because it is pretty expensive). However, the
pre-assessment test could be useful. 


For employers, however, certification can be useful. Speaking from
experience, I can say that the RHCE exam is not easy. It doesn't prove
that you are a Linux master, but it does show that you are comfortable
with Linux, have decent trouble shooting skills, and can follow
directions. You'd be surprised how much of hiring is just filtering out
punks who don't achieve that level of competence.

The lowest levels of Cisco certification may not mean much, but CCNE
(for example) seems to be a pretty good indicator that the person knows
their stuff. Most of the absolutely amazing network people I've met have
high level Cisco certs.

MCSE targets a different type of admin than RHCE. Again, I personally
don't think much of the lower level Microsoft certs, but if you've
checked out the requirements for the higher level you'll be impressed by
what's required to earn them. The person may not be a *nix geek but
they'll have demonstrated some skills that are pretty useful in a
business setting.

* I am not a Red Hat employee. Everything I have said is my personal
opinion and should not be understood to represent the opinion of my
employer or Red Hat.

Stuart Jansen              e-mail/jabber: sjansen at buscaluz.org
                           google talk:   stuart.jansen at gmail.com
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* ^From:.*sjansen@
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