LPI suggestions -- The RH and LPI programs are complementary ...

Bryan J. Smith b.j.smith at ieee.org
Sun Jun 29 12:37:04 EDT 2003

On Sun, 2003-06-29 at 12:12, Bryan J. Smith wrote:
> I think trying to compare the RHCT/RHCE and LPIC-1/2/3 is ludicrious. 
> There former are lab-based exams, the latter are computer-administered
> exams.  Depending on how people take exams, one or the other may be more
> difficult.
> ...
> So I believe we should stop trying to make "direct" comparisons of the
> RH and LPI programs.

[ Yes, answering myself ;-]

I believe the RH and LPI programs are quite complementary.

LPI has built a very sound, vendor-neutral program.  It's non-profit,
which means its inherently not about pushing product.  But unlike other
non-profit certifications, e.g., CompTIA, it's not simple/elementary. 
In fact, even traditionally CompTIA-aligned vendors (e.g., Novell) are
either recommending or requiring the LPIC-1 level, rather than the
CompTIA Linux+, which instantly tells me of the quality of the exam.  I
also consider the LPIC-2 among the difficult of other UNIX certification
exams, but less ambiguous/memorization-intensive than them as well. 
This is a testament to the process of drafting, reviewing and testing of
the LPI exams -- especially the latest LPIC-1 set (hope the LPIC-2 are
updated similiarly soon).

Red Hat's program is _not_ a "traditional" vendor program where the
objective is to "push product."  Yes, the RHCE is Red Hat-centric, but
sometimes you _have_ to have a program be "product centric" to focus on
very detailed skills and experience.  That's why the RHCE is very much
modeled after Cisco's CCIE (which was Cisco's only cert for a long time)
-- it's a test to prove you _can_ get a massive amount done in minimal
time (especially Section III, Installation/Config), as well as prove
basic, but key troubleshooting techniques that only _experienced_ people
will have (Section I).  RHCE training also ranks highest among IT
training programs by independent reviews.

And _unlike_ Cisco, who went computer-administered for the CCxA/CCxP
programs, Red Hat _still_ stuck with the lab-based format for its lesser
RHCT.  Red Hat sees no reason to duplicate/compete with CompTIA/LPI in
the computer-administered space, and even markets the RHCT as an
"additional, performance-based certification" to those holding
computer-administered exam certifications.

So I easily see the RH and LPI programs co-existing and even being
complementary.  I find that Red Hat-centric shops still respect the LPI
program, although prefer the RH titles.  In fact, I was hired at my
current job based on my LPIC-2 certification, even though they were a
100% Red Hat shop and wanted a RHCE.  I just couldn't get "time off" to
take the RHCE at my last job, so having the LPIC-2 certification was a
great way to show I knew Linux.  [ I still obtained the RHCE about 3
weeks after I started that new job. ]

At the same time, non-Red Hat-centric shops will prefer the LPI program,
while I'm sure they will still respect the RH titles based on their
testing format.

Bryan J. Smith, E.I.   b.j.smith at ieee.org   http://thebs.org
If you want the stupid letters:   http://thebs.org/certs.pdf
Running Windows applications under Linux does not reduce any
political/legal "costs" but does increase the overall tech-
nical "costs."  Linux is not a better Windows than Windows.

More information about the lpi-alumni mailing list