[lpi-discuss] how about LPIC-2 ?

Ross E. Brunson ross at brunson.org
Tue Nov 8 02:15:03 EST 2005

Anselm, don't take my bluntness as a criticism, I definitely know how it is.

Anselm Lingnau wrote:

>ross e. brunson wrote:
>>Like hell you can't.  That's like saying if you give whiskey and car
>>keys to teenagers you can't predict the results...  You have to make it
>>a condition that they don't have TK or other materials on site, you put
>>that into the briefing before classes and upon discovery of the
>>materials, the trainer gives them the "That f'ing cheating, do you want
>>to be a Test-King Level 1 or a LPIC Level 1?" speech.  Fear of public
>>embarrassment and ridicule (mostly from their peers) keeps them from
>>cheating in all but the most covert manner.
>I just checked the e-mail about the class in question, which was part of a 
>4-week programme containing all 4 LPIC exams (don't get me started). 
Sales can really get you into trouble, I recommend engaging them and 
building trust with them, then shaping their outlook over time, it's 
paid off many times for me, and the classes are much better for the 
trainer's involvment.  Not always possible, but highly recommended.

>As we're 
>normally working as subcontractors for training providers that want their 
>customers to come back to them, our trainers aren't usually in a position to 
>get rid of participants who do not appear to have the proper ethics (much as 
>we would want to, every so often).
Laddy, I never said to get rid of them, I think that was the "bluff" 
that Alan was speaking of, I said and mean to scare them straight, and 
let them know that they'll suffer more from cheating than doing the 
work.  Sometimes life sucks and you can't do a damned thing about it, 
and training is a microcosm "tempest-in-a-teacup" of that, and it's 
always hard to walk that fine line between getting future gigs and being 
able to see one's own reflection in the morning mirror to shave properly.

>>I suggest that trainers who are giving cert classes take the extra time
>>to do daily reviews with them, if you get really involved and know their
>>knowledge levels, it's easy to figure out if you have a room full of
>>"exam-rangers" or decent examinees.
>This is well and good but there's no real way of putting pressure on the 
>brain-dump people in class. Peer pressure? Their peers are probably doing it 
It can be done, but it takes many years of classroom skills to make it a 
go.  I can do it, but to teach someone to do it is hard, it's much more 
about the moment, your skills and the goal, and lord knows I have tried 
to distill it so I can give it to others.

>Try to keep them from sitting the exam? They will complain to the 
>training provider, who is more interested in happy customers (who pay him) 
>than happy trainers (who he needs to pay; if the trainer is too obnoxious 
>then there are others available). 
Buddha was reputed to have said: "Suffering is part of the deal" but 
that's probably paraphrasing...   Some of the biggest whores in the 
world work on the phone and sell training, but that's part of the deal 
too, you just have to keep your soul during all the selling that others 
sdo of thiers.

>Walk out? This will also get you in trouble 
>with the training provider, and the participants won't really mind as they 
>now have more time to learn their brain dumps.
That's not the right thing to do, I find it's better to work in the 
system, rather than out of it, but that's probably what SS soldiers and 
CIA operatives have thought over the years too, so it's definitely on an 
individual level.

>>I would say that if you have a trainer that was able to get them to pass
>>the exam without having the actual experience, or some experience and a
>>damn good idea of what was going on, that you should audit that
>>trainer's class and adjust his delivery so that he's not giving away the
>>Test King answers, or just teaching to the exam.
>I can assure you that you won't catch that trainer doing either the one or the 
>other. In fact he was quite worked up about the whole affair -- he was doing 
>his best trying to teach the actual topics in what scant time he had but the 
>participants would much rather look at their brain dumps.
I like him, shows he's got a brain and a heart, and I mean him no 
slight, it's part of what you have to do as a trainer, sometimes you eat 
the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.

>The one time a class (basically an in-house job) came to me in an LPIC-1 
>workshop and said »let's just learn the Test King answers« I took their brain 
>dump to bits in front of their eyes (which is easy -- the Test King one is 
>really lousy, or was at that time, anyway) but that still didn't keep them 
>from coming back to it. I don't know what it is with these brain dumps; why 
>people seem to hate learning the actual stuff so much that they put up with 
>the stupid things is beyond me.
Pearls before swine, if you know what I mean.

>One part of the problem may be that over here a large part of the audience 
>that we're dealing with aren't really »Linux people«; we have people who are 
>basically pushed into Linux and LPIC certification e.g., through 
>qualification programmes for the unemployed. 
I had to deal with a LOT of those from one of our California vendors in 
my time at SAIR, it's hard to deal with those folks, but not impossible.

>These programmes operate on 
>shoe-string budgets, and the participants have to attend because otherwise 
>they may lose (part of) their state unemployment benefits. Many of these 
>people would rather be elsewhere (anywhere!) than in a Linux class, and for 
>them a certification exam is not something they look forward to as a chance 
>to prove their Linux mettle, but something that they have to pass by means 
>fair or foul just to keep the labour office happy -- they have to be seen 
>spinning their wheels even though they may not really be that interested in 
>Linux at all in the first place.
Again, see the section where it sucks to be you, sometimes it's not 
worth doing the class, but somehow you can always get your message 
across to someone in the class, and even one makes it worth while.

>Even experienced Linux/Unix people sometimes seem to think that much of the 
>stuff required for LPIC is so outdated as to be ridiculous, and that passing 
>an LPIC exam consists in part of learning how to handle things that in the 
>real world one would not want to touch with a 10' pole, such as NIS, 
>ipchains, Majordomo or Sendmail, just on the off-chance that the exam will 
>zero in on those. 
Right, and those people often find that clients happen to use that old 
shit, and much as they want the client to upgrade and match the 
Sysadmin's skills, clients aren't that interested in what we think 
sometimes, though we have our victories.

>This creates an »us vs. them« situation that again may 
>suggest to some folks that learning brain dumps rather than wasting time 
>actually fooling around with obsolete pieces of software that may be 
>difficult even to locate and install on one's 2005 Linux PC is a more 
>efficient way of getting the certificate.
It's all in the spin, baby, you make the reality, you have the pole 
position, and even if they make you earn it with blood, sweat and beers, 
it's yours.

Nice thread.



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