[lpi-discuss] Re: Certification v. Non-Certification Training
-- WAS: LPIC-1/2 training
Bryan J. Smith
b.j.smith at ieee.org
Mon Jul 26 15:28:03 EDT 2004
On Mon, 2004-07-26 at 14:16, enigma at riddlefixer.com wrote:
> Well, it is about pushing Linux but I believe the community aspect of
> LPI has been a good and necessary thing. As LPI gets more popular,
> one of the challenges will be to keep it a valuable certification.
> Some of that responsibility should also fall on those of us who train
> and develop training solutions.
I don't see LPIC being devalued anytime soon. The LPIC-3 specialty
exams are only going to make the program even better.
> If you take someone into Operating Systems cold trukey (i.e. they have
> had no other exposure to Linux or real world implementations of any
> other OS), cram LPIC-1 training into their skulls such that they pass
> the exam, you have devalued the certification because they will not
> really posess the skills of the ideal LPIC-1 candidate. Furthermore,
> if they don't have a job doing it for a while and don't breathe it at
> home, all of what they did have learned will evaporate.
It's hard to "cram" for an LPI exam. Far too much to study for.
Most of the time, my clients end up getting a "Pre-Administration" track
for the majority of their time with us, even if they contracted us for
the LPIC-1/SCLP. The reason? They've never touched Linux.
Now I _could_ just sell them a Linux+ training course. But that would
only cheat them. They come to us for the LPIC-1/SCLP, and we end up
delivering about 7 days of "real-world" labs with 3 days of exam-focused
It works out well for me because it means I can do 8 days of the
> I am not sure there is a solution to this problem, other than a lab-like
> test which LPI folk have continually been able to talk me out of :)
I costs a _lot_ of $$$ to do it. Even if you do something more like
Novell does for the CDE/CLE with a "virtual lab," the development costs
are well outside of the budget of LPI's.
At the most, I think LPI would have to parter with the OSDL (Open Source
Development Lab), but then vendors start to have influence. Nope, I
think the LPI program stands on its own quite well -- especially once
the LPIC-3 exams come out.
> If there were a way to certify their hands-on experience, that would be
> ideal. For example, you have to have so many hours of hands-on-linux
> in certain core areas before you can get a certification (like pilots).
Hey, you're preaching to the choir. I'm fairly impressed with Red Hat's
RHCT and RHCE. Hopefully their RHCA will be a real-challenge to
Novell's CLE which is their Linux equivalent of the CDE (Directory).
> At the same time, we need to keep this available to those that don't
> have a job or income. Bringing the cost of the certification down is
> important for obvious reasons as well.
Lab-based testing and low-cost are mutually exclusive. The CCIE is over
$2K now. I'm surprised Red Hat keeps the RHCE exam-only RH302 at $750,
but it's probably because most people take the full week crash course
> The LPI team has done very well addressing all these very challenging
> problems, but the landscape changes too, so we must all be on our toes.
I think LPI has adapted very well, or as best as possible.
> Some ideas might include LPI sanctioned internships, jobs, online labs,
> and self study labs (e.g. build a mail server that does xyz). Yes,
> validation is still a problem and creates more infrastructure
> requirements and costs to LPI but can we really rely on only the exams?
LPI doesn't have the resources AFAIK. The only way it could is by
aligning with vendors or the OSDL, which means vendors as well. Not
likely to happen.
> LPI has the opportunity to show how a community-run certification effort
> can be more valuable than the classic certifications we have now. Linux
> is changing the way people think about software and Intellectual
> Property; why shouldn't our certification effort? I believe LPI is
> doing a great job. As supporters of LPI, we must keep that spirit in
> the things we do as well.
> Frankly, I don't know if there is a solution to other than at the actual
> interview; perhaps interviewers should have an LPI interviewer's resource
> guide or something.
The problem is even getting to the interview these days. I've meet my
supposed future boss only to find out I didn't make it past HR because
of lack of certifications.
As of 2002, I realized I had to join the rat race of certifications.
Linux Enthusiasts call me anti-Linux.
Windows Enthusisats call me anti-Microsoft.
They both must be correct because I have over a
decade of experience with both in mission critical
environments, resulting in a bigotry dedicated to
mitigating risk and focusing on technologies ...
not products or vendors
Bryan J. Smith, E.I. b.j.smith at ieee.org
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