LPIC-3 core exam, was: Re: [lpi-discuss] RE: Linux Professional Institute changes Recertification Policy -- the "2 issues, " plus LPI's direction ...

Alan McKinnon alan at linuxholdings.co.za
Tue Dec 5 14:08:46 EST 2006

On Tuesday 05 December 2006 17:44, Etienne Goyer wrote:
> Alan McKinnon a écrit :
> > In the world outside of ISPs Samba is about the most useful thing
> > an admin could ever have, and in terms of getting Linux used in
> > corporates nothing else comes close to it. It's just one of those
> > things that is so prevalent and used in such a high percentage of
> > networks that it makes sense to make it mandatory.
> I disagree.  Samba is widely used indeed, but I see Linux mostly
> deployed as an "Internet" platform (web, mail, etc) and low-level
> network functions (firewall, VPN, etc).  By your logic, why not make
> a mandatory exam on these subjects too then ?

We do, but it's called LPIC-2.

> Also, I believe that Samba is very much a specialization.  The
> skillset required for Samba administration is very specific to this
> task, and not generally useful.  I would rather see core exam being
> about generally useful stuff such as advanced networking, security,
> etc.

A tricky part of defining what is mandatory and what is elective is 
determining how broadly each technology is used. This is mostly art, 
some science with a healthy dose of luck and intuition thrown in. All I 
can add is that yes, Samba is to some degree a specialized topic, but 
in my experience it is the most widely deployed of all the 
specializations. The other technologies are also important but for 
better or for worse, Samba ended up being a mandatory topic. This might 
change in the future but it's what we have right now and as such we 
have to work with that.

If you are meaning to say that it's not fundamental and indispensable, 
then you are correct. But is it pervasive, so much so that the majority 
of non-technical (HR?) people who have to somehow rate Linux 
uber-professionals will have heard of it, and many of them will 
(rightly or wrongly) want to see it incorporated in their yardstick.

I suppose it's a numbers game at the end of the day - the specialized 
subject that is most in use by the greatest *number* of admins will be 
the one that is mandatory. Sure its arbitrary, but something has to be 
mandatory and it might as well be Samba


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