The Linux Foundation offers many resources for developers, users, and administrators of Linux systems, including the Linux Certification Program, which is designed to give you a way to differentiate yourself in a fierce job market.
To illustrate how well the certification prepares you for the real world, the Linux Foundation is featuring some of the people who have recently passed certification exams. These testimonials should serve to help you decide if the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator or the Linux Foundation Certified Engineer certification is right for you. In this installment, we talk with George Doumas.
How did you become interested in Linux and open source?
I got my first desktop PC in early 2004, which ran Windows XP. I wanted to find a platform that I could practice programming on easily without having to buy any other product. I knew that Linux existed, and I attempted to install a distro as a second OS. Unfortunately, I only used it in order to get familiar with the command line. In early 2008, I installed Ubuntu and stopped using Windows. I was also interested in the GNS3 network simulator then, and Ubuntu had it as an easy-to-install package.
What Linux Foundation course did you achieve certification in? Why did you select that particular course?
I was LFCS certified in openSUSE 13 in December 2015. I also tried LFCE for CentOS 6 in December but scored a 62%. Since I have the RHCSA (from 2014), I did not want to go for the LFCS on CentOS 6, and preferred to do the LFCS for openSUSE.
What other hobbies or projects are you involved in? Do you participate in any open source projects at this time?
I do not participate in any open source projects. I do want to learn deeper languages like Python, C, and C++ (although I am still scared to try!). There are so many things to learn about system administration, and I have more than 5 books on my to-study queue only...just for the sysadmin portion.
Do you plan to take future Linux Foundation courses? If so, which ones?
Sure. Maybe the LFCS and LFCE for CentOS 7. It is so convenient that you can have the exams on your home from your computer.
In what ways do you think the certification will help you as a systems administrator in today's market?
It will help me get to the interview, but not more than that. The rest is on me, during the interview.
What Linux distribution do you prefer, and why?
I am searching for a job now, and I see a lot of demand for cloud computing and configuration management like Chef/Puppet, etc.
Where do you see the Linux job market growing the most in the coming years?
Cloud computing, virtualization, and containers.
What advice would you give those preparing for certification?
Do not rely on one book only! Study and practice...even the stuff that you find mundane. A portion of the tasks are boring, but you cannot avoid them. Memorization plays an important role, so the student should keep their own notes for everything they do (and do so in a way that will help them personally to remember -- easy and fast).