- To: Andrew Macks <andypoo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Alex <bian_les@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: [SLUG] Linux Certification
- From: Jon Biddell <jon@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue Aug 22 13:39:00 2000
- Cc: slug@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Organization: Bowen Mountain Systems
- Reply-to: jon@xxxxxxxxx
> It would be like all these Microsoft MSCE people. How many of them know
> anything about Windows' application design? Or even just the registry
> structure? (Is there a registry structure? :P) But seriously, even
> though one could argue, "But why would they need to know that?", I don't
> think you deserve a certificate of creditation for anything less than
> that. You should be expected to know at least a bit of everything.
Let me tell you an MCSE (Must Consult Someone Educated) tale;
I was contracting for United Distillers (great place to get cheap
"samples" !!) doing their Y2K testing and, because of total
mismanagement of the project by their IT director, we were grossly
behind. No problem, he says, get a few temps to help you... Better
still, I'll get them for you.
So I get A & B.
"A" was a nice, friendly, personable (and not unattractive, but
that's inconsequential) Uni student doing her B.Sc(IT) part time - yes,
made mistakes and needed hand-holding, but could get the job done and
wasn't afraid to ask questions if she was unsure.
"B" was a "certified MCSE", bla, bla, bla. Not only did he try to take
over the project by telling management that he was more qualified than
me (he was, hell - I'm an ex-Lawyer !!), but he showed his total
ignorance in two ways. Firstly, he had absolutely NO idea how to turn
off the EvilWare95 "splash screen" to see what was going on behind it
(you hit ESCAPE) - claimed that ".... they didn't teach us such trivia
Secondly, being the suspicious bastard that I am, I set him up with a
problem - NT4 workstation would boot to the command prompt only. No, we
MUST save the data on this drive, so you cannot reinstall NT. He spend
2 days on it and gave up, saying that a full reinstall was needed.
When all that was needed was to change the BOOTGUI=0 to BOOTGUI=1 in
the (scratches head) boot.ini file (file might be wrong).
Again, claimed that they didn't teach anything like this.
In the example above (A and B), I was asked to recommend one of them to
an affiliated company as an IT desktop support person - guess which one
got the job ?
These are the sorts of things that Cisco will do to you when doing a
CCNA/CCIE course - goodies like sticking a pin through yout CAT5 cable
to create a short, then trimming off the ends so you have to FEEL for
The point is, are these certification courses really worth it ? Both in
terms of money spend (I believe some of the linux ones are bloody
expensive), but in terms of industry recodnition ? The CISCO ones
certainly are comprehensive (my boss is sending me for my CCNA this
year, and allowing me to upgrade to a CCIE at the company's expense
next year if I want to (I WANT !!! I WANT !!!), but the Linux ones ?
Are any of them recognised, not only bt the IT industry, but by
recruitment agencies / contractors ?
Will the RHCE or any "generic" course teach you how to use one distro,
how to use tools that are not common across 90% of the distros ?
The MCSE, (which my company is trying hard to talk me into doing and I'm
trying with equal assertiveness to avoid !) teaches you to pass a set of
exams - it teaches you little of "real world experience" that would be
useful to a potential employer. You are taught, not to use
"experience", "intuition" or other resources to solve the problem, but
"... to do things the Microsoft way...", that there can
only be ONE solution to a problem with MS products, and that's the
Microsoft-approved one (and God help anyone who questions this or trys
to do things an "unapproved" way during the course / exams).
Just my $0.022 worth (includes GST !!)