Linux Foundation Certified Engineer: Karthikeyan Ramaswamy


The Linux Foundation offers many resources for developers, users, and administrators of Linux systems. One of the most important offerings is its Linux Certification Program, which is designed to give you a way to differentiate yourself in a job market that’s hungry for your skills.

LFCE Karthikeyan Ramaswamy
How well does the certification prepare you for the real world? To illustrate that, the Linux Foundation will be spotlighting some of those who have recently passed the certification examinations. These testimonials should serve to help you decide if either the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator or the Linux Foundation Certified Engineer certification is right for you. In this installment, we talk with Karthikeyan Ramaswamy.

How did you become interested in Linux and open source?

Linux was part of my academics. I was introduced to Linux at the Anna University Bioinformatics Lab by my Professor Gautam Pennathur. After that introduction, I became truly interested in Linux and open source when I was doing my final year project with Professor Nagasuma Chandra in the bioinformatics department, Indian Institute of Science. It was an incredible journey with the different flavors of Linux as well as the scripting and programming languages. After learning about the history of Linux and open source software movement, I become an Individual supporter of The Linux Foundation and an Annual Associate Member of the Free Software Foundation.

What Linux Foundation course did you achieve certification in? Why did you select that particular course?

I achieved certification in LFCE. The Linux Networking and Administration LFS211 course will help in achieving this certification.

What are your career goals? How do you see Linux Foundation certification helping you achieve those goals and benefiting your career?

My career goal is to work in an open source based organization. I believe The Linux Foundation certification will help me achieve this goal by giving a competitive edge to my profile.

What other hobbies or projects are you involved in? Do you participate in any open source projects at this time?

As a hobby, I am maintaining a multi-boot USB with all the Live Linux distros to let my friends try any distro of their choice without installing. This keeps me alive with up-to-date knowledge on the progress of Linux and various distros. I keenly participate in open source events and have won a ticket to LinuxCon 2012 and WorldWithoutLinux Contest in 2015. Currently, I am a user of open source products, and I am trying to become a code contributor to open source projects.

Do you plan to take future Linux Foundation courses? If so, which ones?

I am planning to take the Developing Applications for Linux course (LFD401). This will provide me with formal training for the development work I am doing (currently using vim, gcc, and gdb).

In what ways do you think the certification will help you as a systems administrator in today’s market?

Certification helps me in being the go-to guy for consultation on migrating the applications from Unix/Linux to latest enterprise Linux. This definitely is an advantage in my company for growth and visibility.  

What Linux distribution do you prefer and why?

Personally, I prefer Ubuntu since it works out of the box on almost any system. After I installed Ubuntu in my old laptop, my wife, Kalpana, and my daughter, Nisha, felt immediately at home on the desktop. Professionally, I prefer RHEL because of the enterprise support and the free developer subscription.

Are you currently working as a Linux systems administrator? If so, what role does Linux play?

I am currently working as an application developer for Linux with admin skills. It helps me in resolving system issues and debugging applications.

Where do you see the Linux job market growing the most in the coming years?

I see a growth in cloud computing jobs within Linux job market. In my current company and customer, there is a great amount of opportunity in cloud deployment and computing.

What advice would you give those considering certification for their preparation?

During preparation for certification, make mistakes and learn to look at logs to find the issues. Completion of tasks without issues in practice will not prepare you fully for the exam. Definitely, there will be issues during the exam, and you should be able to pinpoint the problem and resolve it quickly with the log messages and man pages. Try to attend webinars like No More Excuses: Why You Need to Get Certified from The Linux Foundation, because it helped me to understand the exam environment.  Also sign up for Linux SysAdminTutorials from The Linux Foundation on to improve your knowledge.

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