[lpi-discuss] LPIC-3

ross at brunson.org ross at brunson.org
Fri Nov 11 16:19:00 EST 2005

Oh dang, you had to go and bring up the one thing I haven't figured a way around (so far) in a pbt scenario...

Good points, Alan.


-----Original Message-----

From:  Alan McKinnon <alan at linuxholdings.co.za>
Subj:  Re: [lpi-discuss] LPIC-3
Date:  Fri 2005 Nov 11 5:04 am
Size:  3K
To:  lpi-discuss at lpi.org

On Friday, 11 November 2005 02:26, ross e. brunson wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-11-10 at 12:13 -0500, Evan Leibovitch wrote:
> > 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
> I think the redesign of Level 2 to be a Core and Pick an Elective
> or two should be the first thing we consider.
> Level 2 is relevant and worthwhile as it is, but there is room at
> that level for both a plain-jane Level 2 and a set of merit
> badge-like specialty certs.  I envision the following (thought a
> lot about it, but haven't formed it fully yet):
> Level 3 = Practicum Only, available at fixed locations
> Level 2 = 201 + 202
> or        201 + Security
> or 	  201 + Samba
> or 	  201 + Web
> Level 1 = 101 + 102
> Before the "Practicum-based exams are complete shite" (not a
> misspelling) crowd jumps on me, I challenge anyone to take the one
> I teach and support cold and pass it by guessing.  The
> *combination* of lower-level CBT's and an upper-level PBT covers
> all the bases and virtually guarantees that someone who gets the
> Level 3 is not doing it with any combination of TestKings or
> RainMain-like memorization, they HAVE to know it and have done it
> extensively, and the lower levels are a great filter for this
> higher level.

Expanding Level 2 sounds like it could develop into something 
worthwhile, if the market needs, wants and supports it.

Practicum exams are very problematic though. I've always maintained 
that the Linux industry needs both CBT and PBT, but they do fall into 
two distinct areas, with some grey spots in the middle.

CBT is great for testing generic stuff, or vendor-neutral stuff like 
LPI does. It can work independent on any specific Linux 
implementation, so it's good for LPI's programs.

PBT can't work independant of an implementation - you have to have a 
real Linux system running to do the test. Therefore PBT is best for 
vendor taining, and excellent for testing candidates on a specific 
vendor AND version.

I don't see LPI managing to come up with a PBT exam that suits it's 
mandate - vendor neutral testing. There is no reference standard to 
measure against and a large part of a PBT test would be to ensure the 
candidate understands the quirks and customizations of one vendor. To 
illustrate, not many LPIC-1s will be able to pass this very easy PBT 
question using my current box:

Configure Apache to start and X to not start at boot up.

Why? Well, I run gentoo. That one little fact invalidates the entire 

Alan McKinnon
alan at linuxholdings dot co dot za
+27 82, double three seven, one nine three five
lpi-discuss mailing list
lpi-discuss at lpi.org

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