[lpi-discuss] LPIC-3

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Thu Nov 10 12:13:38 EST 2005

>>LPIC-3 is about the security of linux and the related network.
>I thought LPIC-3 was specializations, with security being one.
The reality, to the best that I am aware, is that LPIC-3 is no closer to 
fruition now than a few years ago.

There are a three main reasons for this that I encountered while serving 
as LPI pres:

1) "Top of the pyramid"

The higher the level, the more it will cost to make (because you need 
people beyond Level 3 to be able to create Level 3, and by nature it's 
more difficult than lower levels) and will be taken by less people 
(given that LPIC1 and LPIC2 are pre-requisites in a conventional 
bottom-up program).

This is why CompTIA only does entry level exams in so many fields 
(including Linux+). They want to be the bottom of every certification 
pyramid -- easiest (and thus cheapest) to make, biggest potential 
audience (and revenue).

Right now there is likely not enough of a base of LPIC-2 people to make 
a LPIC3 upgrade economically feasible (unless some white knight with an 
open chequebook says otherwise).

2) "What is it?"

Even the thread I'm now entering indicates a diverse opinion on what 
LPIC3 should be, and as some of you know this forum has bashed around 
this topic before. Various options that I've seen put forward include:

- A conventional two-exam program built on top of LPIC2 addressing 
security and/or enterprise admin issues
- A number of specialized "merit badges" that don't even require LPIC2 
as a pre-requisite
- A series of elective specialities -- pick any two (plus LPIC2) to get 
your LPIC3
- LPIC3 should be LAMP -- LPIC (1 or 2) plus MySQL cert plus an Apache 
exam plus a Perl/PHP/Python exam

Each of the above scenarios has its advantages and drawbacks. Consensus 
was beyond my ability to achieve during my tenure. And of course there 
is the issue of "how can you create LPIC3 while levels 1 and 2 still 
need work?", which matters in a circumstance of finite resources.

3) "Where is the demand?"

This is really just a variation on "what is it", because there's no 
point doing any cert if it's not going to be of value to sufficient 
numbers of people and employers. During my tenure I just didn't see the 
demand; there was a lot of "this would be really good to have" but very 
little of "the community must have it right now". Since LPI doesn't sell 
software or training, there is no _internal_ need identified, it must be 
come from outside. And so far I haven't seen much beyond the odd curiosity.

Still, maybe I'm wrong and things will indeed develop otherwise.

- Evan

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