The Linux Foundation’s Certification Program is designed to give you a way to differentiate yourself in a job market that’s hungry for your skills. But, how well does the certification prepare you for the real world?
To illustrate that, we are featuring some of the people who have recently passed certification examinations. These testimonials should help you decide if either the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) or the Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE) certification is right for you. In this installment, we talk with recently certified LFCS Dashamir Hoxha.
How did you become interested in Linux and open source?
It started when I was a student, 20 years ago. All the students of the university had accounts on UNIX (AIX) servers, and computer students had accounts on the systems of the department as well. I remember that we had Solaris workstations with big screens, DEC computers with KDE (or CDE) desktops, etc. So, I got familiar with the terminal, vi, telnet, elm, etc.
During my last year, they installed a lab with Linux machines (I don’t remember which distro). But before that, I attended a workshop where some guys demonstrated how to install Slackware on a PC. Even before that, I remember that I had tried to use Minix on my DOS PC, during holidays, at home, and it made me very happy that I could run on my PC at home something similar to the UNIX systems that we had at the university. So, you can say that I was already in love with Linux even before knowing it.
An important event that happened during my school time was a visit by Richard Stallman. I saw the announcements and what attracted my attention was that he was the author of gcc and other tools that we were using every day. I immediately decided that I should not miss that meeting. He talked about the philosophy of Free Software, why and how it started, etc. It all seemed so reasonable and natural to me. Initially, I had some doubts about GPL and I was more in favour of LGPL. But years later, my experience convinced me that GPL was the right choice for most of the projects. Anyway, I still remember one of his statements at that meeting: “Microsoft, open the way!”
After finishing the university, I used Windows because this was what my employers had. But soon, I tried RedHat 7.3, and it all felt familiar to me. I switched to it (even at the workplace) and since then I have been working only on Linux.
What Linux Foundation course did you achieve certification in? Why did you select that particular course?
I am a proud Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator. I have been working as a sysadmin for a long time, on various jobs, sometimes formally and sometimes informally. I have had to try a lot of things (or tried them just out of curiosity). So, I believed that I had the right skills to be qualified as a sysadmin. I got the certificate just to prove to myself and to the others that indeed I had the skills to have the title of a sysadmin.
What other hobbies or projects are you involved in? Do you participate in any open source projects at this time?
Do you plan to take future Linux Foundation courses? If so, which ones?
No. (At least for the time being.)
In what ways do you think the certification will help you as a systems administrator in today’s market?
I don’t think that the certificate will help me on my job. However, the employers usually have an attitude of trusting the certificates, so maybe it can help me to find a job.
What Linux distribution do you prefer and why?
For my desktop, I usually use some flavor of Ubuntu. Right now I am using Chromixium because it is minimalist, customizable, and has a great theme and look. I also love Linux Mint Xfce and I have been using it for some time.
Are you currently working as a Linux systems administrator? If so, what role does Linux play?
Currently. I am a freelancer (or unemployed). But I do manage a small server in the cloud.
What advice would you give those considering certification for their preparation?
The best preparation is your experience. If you feel that you have enough experience with the topics required by the exam, you can give it a try. Otherwise, you have to work hard to get those skills. Don’t think that in a short time you can learn everything.