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Where Do You Go For Linux Training?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the have-to-learn-it-from-somewhere dept.

Operating Systems 84

Spritzer writes "I work for a rather large corporation with multiple divisions around the world. Nearly all user computers in the company are Windows systems, and there is no plan to move to Linux in the future. However, a good many of our products are now designed to run on Linux systems for security and stability purposes. Obviously, the design/development teams are knowledgeable in the use of Linux operating systems. Unfortunately my field service teams are not, and their is no in-house training program. This has begun to affect our ability to provide efficient, quality service to customers when in the field. So, we need training and would prefer to stay away from online, self-paced courses and get our people some hands on training with an instructor. What training services have you used in the past to get people trained in the basics of using?"

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Poll Troll Toll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19249109)

What's better...

Having crappy support [impoll.net]
Sex with a mare [impoll.net]

Red Hat offers hands-on training (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19249139)

At lots of locations in North America.

https://www.redhat.com/training/ [redhat.com]

Re:Red Hat offers hands-on training (1)

Rudeboy777 (214749) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249921)

I'm a strong supporter (and holder) of LPI certification, but I agree that Red Hat training/certification is the best fit for your situation.

The hands-on nature of training for and achieving RHCT is ideal for staff who are likely troubleshooting systems they themselves did not set up.

Re:Red Hat offers hands-on training (1)

bprice20 (709357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250489)

I third that option. Have em go for the well respected rhct, rhce coarses.

Re:Red Hat offers hands-on training (1)

GrievousMistake (880829) | more than 7 years ago | (#19254429)

Is the training very specific to Red Hat systems, or would you use it even if the final systems they'd be working on were, say, Debian, or Slackware?
When I (some time ago, now) moved from Red Hat to Slackware at home, a lot of the basic commands I had learned for things like network setup turned out to be Red Hat specific tools. How does LPI fare in that regard?

Re:Red Hat offers hands-on training (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19254057)

Red Hat is not Linux.

Re:Red Hat offers hands-on training (1)

exklusve (991442) | more than 7 years ago | (#19254077)

Man pages. Why use training for a proprietary version of Linux that will only teach you how to use their GUI tools?

Re:Red Hat offers hands-on training (1)

Gratch06 (969980) | more than 7 years ago | (#19255275)

I just recently finished a course on kernel programming from RedHat, and found it to a very good experience. The instructor was top notch, and while the course was 5 days of 8 hours each, we had plenty of time to get hands on experience with what we were being taught, and have any questions answered,

Since RedHat's development courses impressed me, I'd recommend considering their sysadmin courses for your purpose. Albeit, there is the issue that they will certainly be more RedHat centric in their teaching, but if that matches your environment, all the better.

SCALE in Feb! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19249149)

The Southern California Linux Expo [socallinuxexpo.org] is a great traing event for Linux and OSS platforms.

Where? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19249163)

I go to the man.

Re:Where? In Soviet Russia... (1)

I'm not a script, da (638454) | more than 7 years ago | (#19252569)

...Linecks traneing ggooeess forst yoo!

Re:Where? (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19254543)

You should go to your mother's basement. That's where most current linux "experts" are trained these days.

Google (2, Funny)

El-Wrongo (1105293) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249223)

Where else?

Re:Google (2, Informative)

vga_init (589198) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249293)

That pretty much sums up the experience that 90% of use have had with Linux.

I go to the man (5, Insightful)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249489)

...pages, of course!

Re:I go to the man (3, Interesting)

WebCrapper (667046) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250127)

This comment may sound funny/stupid, but it's true.

I personally bought 1 book, used Google a lot and dug through man pages to learn. Figuring out things for themselves is the key.

A training company will teach them a few things and they'll come out knowing enough to be dangerous. Give them a virtual server on their computer of what they'll be working with (show them how to backup the image and restore it on their own) and then give them a few scenarios that you all get on a normal basis. After they break the machine within 20 minutes (rm -r *...SHIT!), restore it and they'll start learning to be more careful.

Re:I go to the man (1)

Hegh (788050) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250677)

I totally agree, that's how I learned, plus I needed to figure it out for college courses, because the CS machines were all Linux. Training will certainly speed up the process, but figuring it out for yourself is the best way, although probably the longest.

Nice idea with the virtual machine to make restoration easy. VMWare even has a snapshot ability, so when you shut down the machine you can restore the last snapshot if you screwed something up.

Re:I go to the man (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256909)

The submitter of TFA doesn't want to teach them to be careful - he wants to teach them to be field technicians. Field techs, by definition, have to frequently go where Joe User fears to tread - and your method teaches the techs to fear to tread there as well.

Re:I go to the man (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257141)

--I read an article a few years back that basically said RM is the #1 cause of *nix farkups.

-- ' mc ' is your friend when deleting files...

Re:I go to the man (1)

bensch128 (563853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292313)

Maybe alias rm="rm -i"

or alias rm="mv -i ...something... ~/Trash/"

or tell the user just to use the bloody trash can :)

Ben

Uh, he said linux. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19254577)

Have you actually tried reading man pages on a linux based system? Its not like an operating system where there's consistant and useful documentation. Most man pages are non-existant or just say "read the info page". The ones that do exists are practically worthless and in some cases even incorrect.

Re:Google (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250509)

Where else?
The usernets.

Re:Google (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19251409)

Where else?

Ask Slashdot, of course!

Empirically (4, Insightful)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249237)

If you really want to be proficient with an OS, the only way to really do it is through experience. In school, I took a class where I learned how to use MS Office (I've been to hell and back a few times), and after the semester, do you really think I understood how to use it?

Same goes for Linux. The only reason I know how to use it (fairly) well is because I've been using it for a few months.

I suggest you have your teams just start trying stuff and looking online (I know, I know) for reference.

Eddie

You must be kidding! (5, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249615)

How can you suggest that a company which might have thousands of employees should let them train for such skill as Linux admin/setup "Empirically"? Empirical learning is OK for the mom-basement geeks which might just put their web server online. What are they going to do? are they going to give the guys 2 daily hours to mess around with some computers? uh, *great* use of time (and money).

I would definitely suggest getting some formal (read *real*) training. As others have stated in the thread, there are lots of Linux certification programs. What companies usually do (at least the ones I have been which does not have a lot of money to send 100 monkeys to learn about X or Y technology) is to choose 2 or 3 people and send them to take a course and certificate on the technology (some kind of Linux administrator cert. on http://www.lpi.org/ [lpi.org] for example) and then arrange some time to let these guys teach the other people in your place. That way you will have a structured plan of learning.

Of course you may want to have practical sessions (to "try stuff and look online") but you will know what to try and look. I can just imagine a chemist going to the laboratory to "try stuff" in order to learn about the effects of nitroglycerin when combined with different reactants...

If you are a lone consultant, sure just google your way to get this new set of knowledge (of course do not get pissed of when the guy who has the Red Hat Certified Engineer cert. gets your job...). But for big companies, you'd better get real training (to justify the time/money you will be spending).

Re:You must be kidding! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19251121)

It probably is the best way to really learn an OS. I've taken some computer courses, and you often spend lots of time learning stuff you already knew before you started the course, and a lot of time recapping stuff that other people don't understand that the class already went over. While I realize it's important for the class to review stuff that some students didn't understand so that everybody comes out learning everything they're supposed to, I think it's a waste of time for the people that already do understand it. And since different people are going to have trouble with different things, it makes for a lot of wasted time. I've also seen a lot of people (more on the Microsoft side) who took all their courses, and got all their certifications, and still weren't very qualified to be working on the systems. They were ok as long as nothing unexpected showed up, but as soon as something unexpected did happen, they were completely lost, and had no problem solving abilities whatsoever. So while certifications can be good for a CYA situation, and ensuring that everybody "knows what they're doing", I don't think they leave you with enough knowledge to handle the systems when something goes wrong.

Re:You must be kidding! (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#19251233)

I would definitely suggest getting some formal (read *real*) training.
You mean like the kind of training I got in college? I think *real* Training is self directed.
Everything else is just monkey see monkey do.

Re:You must be kidding! (3, Insightful)

jguthrie (57467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19253215)

What you're supposed to get in college is education, not training. The difference being that an education is not directed toward a specific purpose, while training is all about learning a particular set of skills. Education is supposed to increase your broad knowledge level while training is supposed to make you able to do some specific thing. My opinion is that education is important, but most training is pretty useless for me. Although other people find formal training to be quite useful, the utility I get from it lies mostly in the training materials, which I can refer to when I actually get to the point of doing real work.

Re:You must be kidding! (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#19262957)

The difference being that an education is not directed toward a specific purpose, while training is all about learning a particular set of skills.
I don't know what your major was, but as a CS major for me, it was training all the way.
But I guess I see your point...Maybe we can agree there is a rather large gray area between
training and education?

Re:You must be kidding! (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19255227)

choose 2 or 3 people and send them to take a course and certificate on the technology (some kind of Linux administrator cert. on http://www.lpi.org/ [lpi.org] [lpi.org] for example) and then arrange some time to let these guys teach the other people in your place.
I wonder how long it will before copyright law gets extended to make that illegal?

[note to self - patent that]

Re:You must be kidding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19407935)

At best, a course can get you up to speed on a SPECIFIC topic in a hurry. At worst, it's an EXPENSIVE waste of money. Some courses are literally the price of a used car. Books and mailing lists are the way to go. In a big city, LUGs (Linux User Groups) tend to attract local sysadmins who are usually more than happy to let you pick their brain (for the price of a beer). As a former DBA and software developer, I have little respect for courses. Maybe it's different for sysadmins.

It's really quite simple (5, Funny)

Jazzer_Techie (800432) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249287)

I suggest sending a large number of emails liberally sprinkled with the phrases "RTFM" and "n00b". It works wonders on my mailing list. I haven't listened to a single complaint.

(It's a joke. Laugh)

Re:It's really quite simple (2, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249319)

(It's a joke. Laugh)

All right! Typical Linux user attitude. We need to laugh at it since it's an open source joke, not because it's funny, right.

(It's an OS. Use it.)

Now that's a joke too, but you may chose whether to laugh at it, or go sell yourself to the networks and watch some quality comedy :P

One Place to Go (1, Funny)

mr_nuff (212669) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249289)

RTFM, noob! ;)

Re:One Place to Go (2, Informative)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250447)

Why is this modded funny? This is damn straight advice. 5 years ago I had a short term contract to write some QT stuff on Linux. I think it was redhat. I hadn't used Linux before but I read the manual that was in a PDF file and away I went. Most of the stuff you need to know to get around Linux is in the manual. It's not that hard. Like what did people do when the first got their hands on a C64 or Amstrad 6128 or an Amiga 500? They read the manual. How did people learn to use Lotus 123? They read the manual. What is it these days that people can't read instructions? Goddam if everytime I needed to learn something on my job I had to go to a course I would forever be in training. What do I do most of the time? I RTFM. Why is RTFM such a common expression? Because it's good advice. Of course adding a bloody link would help.

Hey I just found a useful link here http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux [redhat.com] now go RTFMs....n00bs! :-P

Re:One Place to Go (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 7 years ago | (#19251793)

The original article is about technical training for support staff. If someone calls on the phone with a problem, and the technician says, "Give me a few hours, I have to go RTFM for a solution" it will not go over well.

Formal training won't teach you everything, but it can help you troubleshoot common problems and give you a framework for approaching other ones. One of the most difficult problems I had while learning Linux was getting a feel for which combination of search terms (inside a manual or on the web) would lead me to the section I needed.

Re:One Place to Go (1)

Mipoti Gusundar (1028156) | more than 7 years ago | (#19255299)

If someone calls on the phone with a problem, and the technician says, "Give me a few hours, I have to go RTFM for a solution" it will not go over well.
I am in total agrement - he should be telling damn fool user to be reading it and not wasting his times! And trust me, I am knowing about this things.

Re:One Place to Go (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 7 years ago | (#19308413)

What?

In a business environment, it's not the end user's job to RTFM. It's the end user's job to DHFW (Do His/Her Fucking Work). The technical staff should have set up the user workstation so that everything they need is easy to accessible and anything they could possibly do to fuck it up is locked down and disabled.

For a home hobbyist, telling him RTFM is fine (especially if you include helpful hints, like telling him to lookup 'du' for directory size or 'man -k' to find commands, or refer him to the Linux documentation project for helpful HOWTO documents). But if you're a system administrator and one of your users is having printer problems, it is your problem, not his.

Re:One Place to Go (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19266805)

The original article is about technical training for support staff. If someone calls on the phone with a problem, and the technician says, "Give me a few hours, I have to go RTFM for a solution" it will not go over well.
If he had RTFM himself, then he'd already know the solution!

Re:One Place to Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19254255)

Again, Red Hat is NOT Linux.

Try this instead:
http://www.slackbook.org/html/index.html [slackbook.org]

You're better off studying something that is at least somewhat standard, as opposed to the abortion of Linux that RedHat sells. Train on Red Hat and you are locked in. Avoid it like the plague.

Re:One Place to Go (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257371)

--Agreed. A few years ago RH released a version that WOULD NOT compile a standard Linus kernel out of the box(!!).

--I kicked them to the curb for stupidity, and went with Suse (7.3, IIRC. Textmode YAST was surprisingly good, and they even had a frontend for LVM.) When support for that finally died, I went with Knoppix hdinstall, and finally settled on Debian / Ubuntu variants.

--However, hanging about on the Vmware forums, I saw consistently good recommendations for Centos (RH Enterprise source-based.) 4.4 was a wash for me as I couldn't get X working with my newer Nvidia card; but Centos 5--64 has been a pretty good experience so far, and upgraded 4.4 in-situ with no major problems. (Barring a lack of stock-kernel JFS / Reiserfs support, and Ethernet-card detection order.) I've kept it on as my 4th OS in Grub, for Vmware Workstation 6 / Player integration testing.

Re:One Place to Go (1)

Spritzer (950539) | more than 7 years ago | (#19258917)

Thanks so far to people who have offered real advice. RTFM is perfectly useless at this point. Someone (I know who) dropped the ball when they decided to field 100s of units and not provide any notice, much less training, to the field service teams. With products in the field and need to support them now RTFM does not cut it. These people need a crash course in basic *nix OS structure and operation. I've looked into redhat training as well as courses offered by linuxcertified.com. Does anyone have any input about linuxcertified?

IBM (2, Informative)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249299)

IBM offers Linux and UNIX training, but it's pricey, like everything IBM carries.

Re:IBM (3, Insightful)

donaldm (919619) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249745)

There are many commercial organisations offering training in Linux and prices vary enormously, however from my personal experience I have found Redhat courses are excellent but pricey since you get both theory and hands on fault finding because the instructors do break your software and it is your job to fix it. It must be stressed that all the theory in world is not going to help you much unless you develop a comfortable attitude to faultfinding.

In my opinion the best way of learning Linux is to get a "dull bleeding edge" distribution like Fedora or even OpenSuSE and install it on a laptop. I will guarantee you are going to have issues however there are many forums that can help. In doing this you will either learn or just give up in disgust and if this is the case you can forget about the "bleeding edge" distributions which would be the next logical step after feeling comfortable with something like Fedora.

When picking a forum to subscribe to pick one that is about the same level or just a little higher (can be hard to judge) as your current expertise but please don't go to the advanced forums and bug the people there. In fairness to advanced users who will say "RTFM first" they are more interested in advanced or complex issues than trying to help a new user who wants to know how to "list files". Visualise yourself in the position of someone who has all the kids in the neighbourhood coming round to ask you how do you add 2 plus 2 and you can see why an advanced user is standoffish to new users.

Please note there are a huge number of Linux distributions, some easier and others harder to maintain. Just about all are almost boring to install. You do need to do some reading (ie RTFM before asking) and decide what path you wish to follow, keeping in mind that if one distribution does not work or is too hard for you there are many others that may be more suitable and the cost to you is minimal.

If you want to work on commercial Linux try CentOS which basically is Redhat. The latest version now has Xen setup to make virtualization much easier so you can play with more unstable distributions without having to blow away your base OS.

From what I have read and heard Ubuntu is the most stable Linux for the desktop. This is a excellent way of having a stable base OS and you can still use Xen to install and play around with other Linux distributions. I have heard that you can even install Open Solaris under Xen and this can be a very marketable skill in the future.

Re:IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19254867)

Huh? What does that have to do with IBM's training?

Oracle University Offers Linux Training (2, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249301)

When I took my last Oracle class, the instructor told me they were finalizing a new set of Linux classes. I just hopped over to their web site [oracle.com] and did a search on linux and it came up with a few classes they offer.

All the classes I have taken from them have been for the database, or Peoplesoft. They all were built around hands on labs with instruction. They are not cheap. My last RAC class cost $3700 for 5 days.

I can't recommend the Linux classes, as I have never taken them, but just thought I would mention that they are out there. I don't know about availability location wise either, but I would assume that eventually they will be available wherever Oracle training is available - which should mean choices in many countries.

Re:Oracle University Offers Linux Training (1)

textstring (924171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249721)

$3700 a student for 5 days work? i want that gig

Re:Oracle University Offers Linux Training (2, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19251307)

Very believable. I took a 5 day VB course back when I was a student and it cost $2000 (paid by my coop employer). That's why I think it's best to just have the people sit down and read a book. I could have learned everything that I learned in that class by just sitting down and reading a book, with some free time to try out the stuff I was reading about. Give somebody a book ($100) and 5 days where you don't bug them at all, and you will be surprised how much they can learn. I don't see why companies would pay $3700 + the person's salary for them to learn something when they can buy a book and spend $100 plus the person's salary to have them learn the same thing. Plus they can reuse the book when someone else needs to learn the same thing.

Re:Oracle University Offers Linux Training (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19252813)

You know - I had a book and a couple weeks and there were some things that I really struggled to grasp. Having a teacher who knew the software extremely well right in front of me was very helpful. I could ask him questions and discuss the areas I didn't understand as well.
 
Along with that, for example in the RAC class, I wasn't just paying for the lecture. In the labs we installed the software, built a cluster, messed around with the cluster and a number of other things that I don't think would be trivial to set up. A person could do this on their own, with the help of the web and books but I don't think they could put it all together in 5 days.
 
The class was also packed. I think there were over 20 people there. It is the most popular Oracle database class they offer at that facility. So the money must not be a problem for a lot of their customers. They would be foolish to charge less as they are operating at capacity with the current price. That leads me to think they could probably even charge more without hurting enrollment too much.

Re:Oracle University Offers Linux Training (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19254807)

You probably couldn't set that all up in 5 days. It might take you 10. Or more. But you'd come out knowing it a lot better. I know a guy with his MCDBA that couldn't configure log shipping. If you're a DBA, you should know how to configure a server for log shipping. It should be a basic task. It seems to me from reading this thread that a lot of the Linux or Oracle certifications are a lot more in depth than what Microsoft Certifications required. We use mostly MS where I work, so I don't run into a lot of Oracle or Linux certified people, so maybe they aren't as bad as the MS certified people that I meet who most of the time have no clue what's going on.

Re:Oracle University Offers Linux Training (1)

BUTT-H34D (840273) | more than 7 years ago | (#19255441)

configure a server for log shipping
Huh huh. Heh heh. We should, like, do that to someone. Like Coach Buzzcut. Heh heh. Special delivery.

Re:Oracle University Offers Linux Training (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19255763)

Oracle has three levels of database admin certs - the first two are attainable without knowing what you are doing. There is a lot of griping in the Oracle community (that I have seen anyway) about the fact that the first two, Oracle Certified Associate and Oracle Certified Professional, are not worth a whole lot. The top level - Oracle Certified Master is extremely difficult and expensive to attain - but there are just a handful of people world wide that hold it.
 
The thing with the labs that I think would be difficult to do on your own would be the recovery stuff. In fact, I think there is a good opportunity out there for someone if they could write up materials that spelled out how to cause various types of problems and then walked through correcting them.
 
But I think the thing that needs to be considered in the cost equation is that for the people buying Oracle's enterprise software and running it on high end systems - the classes are a small cost to get the most out of that investment. I doubt there was anyone in those classes I took that was paying for it out of their own pocket. A company that is already buying that kind of stuff, has already indicated a willingness to pay a high premium for what they view as an essential product.

Re:Oracle University Offers Linux Training (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256059)

But why are companies paying big bucks for certifications that the community views as a joke. You can say they have X and Y certification, but if they still don't know anything, you are wasting your money. If the certifications actually do mean something, and obtaining them proves (to some extent) that you are a competent admin, then I don't see a problem with shelling out the cash. But it just seems like all these businesses are spending money so that they have a piece of paper so they can pretend that they have the proper training, but they really don't know anything.

Re:Oracle University Offers Linux Training (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19258201)

Well - I don't think the classes are a joke. I think a lot of companies send their employees to the classes because they want them to have the training, not the certification. Though I could be wrong. The OCA and OCP only require that you take one class and pass one exam each.
 
A lot of people I've talked to in the classes are not seeking certification though- they just want to learn what is in the class. My boss wants me certified, but to be honest - I think it is only because he thinks it is important for making our team look better to leadership outside of our IT group. I would want to take the classes whether I was getting certified or not - and the exams are not very expensive. The class is the only part that really costs a lot, except for the OCM - which I have no intention of ever going after.

Where everyone else learned... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19249355)

in their parent's basement.

man(1) (2, Insightful)

dos (415274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249483)

man(1) and their sister organizations apropos(1) and whatis(1) meet most of my training needs. Sometimes I have to go to their less organized competitor /usr/share/doc, or the overly bureaucratic info(1), but most of the time all I need is man(1), man.

Re:man(1) (3, Interesting)

Beolach (518512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249695)

For actual learning purposes, I very much agree w/ you. The problem is though, training is as much or more (IMO MUCH more) for the gaining of credentials as for learning. I've been running Linux exclusively on all my personal boxen for several years now, and pretty much everything I've wanted to do I've been able to learn how to do. But I haven't had any "official" training, and I have no certification or credentials, so whenever I look at postings for jobs that really interest me, I feel like I'm under-certified. I might actually have a shot at acceptance to some of them, but between my feeling of being unqualified & my innate laziness, I haven't yet bothered to really go for any of them. Various things (mostly low pay & my current job being in MS Windows shop) are currently prompting me to reconsider doing some active job hunting, so I might put whether or not I'm qualified to the test.

On the other hand, part of me thinks I really should do some official training to get certifications before starting a serious job-hunt. I really ought to go back to school and get a bachelor's degree, but there's so much time & money required for it that I don't want to. There are of course simpler test-certifications, some of which I could pass w/out needing any additional training, but while they don't require as much time, I'm still too much of a cheapskate to be comfortable paying for them, especially as they aren't worth as much as a B.S.

This has gotten a bit longer than I intended, really all I intended was to agree that for learning, reading easily obtained free documentation is usually enough; but for useful employment-wise credentials, I get the feeling they're almost worthless.

Re:man(1) (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19251823)

You've hit the nail on the head with the idea of "official training". An employer isn't going to care at all if you claim that you've got x years experience administering your own network of Linux boxes. People can claim lots of things. If, however, you do go in for some "real" training classes, you gain the ability to document what you've learned (or in some cases already knew going in). Personally, I do think it's a bit if a racket that you have to pay some organization to certify that you know what you claim to know, but in the corporate world, it's the price of doing business.

Get to like rice (5, Insightful)

extrasupermario (1084831) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249607)

I thought I was pretty good with dozens of system installs of Redhat 6 through 9 but it wasn't until I got through a couple of Gentoo installs that I felt my linux skill set was worth a damn. Say what you want about Gentoo but as a Linux learning tool, there is nothing better. Their documentation is first rate and much of what you learn by installing Gentoo carries over to every other Linux flavour.

Re:Get to like rice (1)

lazycam (1007621) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250687)

I agree. I started off using an early version of Red Hat, but it was not until I used gentoo that I "actually" learned Linux. Also, I found it particularly helpful to set up a simple network (2~3 machines) and worked on making a router, NIS, dhcp server, etc. I took notes and placed them on a personal wiki. One of these days I'll get around to posting it online, but the only way you will learn is by getting your hands dirty. Oh, and for a real challenge, read the Linux from scratch documentation and have a crack at that.

Re:Get to like rice (1)

alexandre (53) | more than 7 years ago | (#19252991)

Or try a linux from scratch from any other linux distribution... this will really teach you things :)

LinuxZoo (2, Informative)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249625)

Well, I don't know if it's pertinent, but LinuxZoo [linuxzoo.net] can be helpful when you wanna learn..

INTEC BRUSSEL vzw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19249915)

INTEC BRUSSEL vzw [intecbrussel.be] offers a free (as in beer!) three-month course in Linux/Windows/Networking (Windows Server 2003 connected to Linux via SaMBa) to the unemployed. In Dutch only, but there is also a special PC technician course with language class. More details are here. [intecbrussel.be]

the basics... (1)

huckda (398277) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250057)

You can learn from linux in a nutshell...
O'reilly books...
But if you are wanting a broad knowledge you really need baptism by fire...
whether fed by a fire hose @ some intense 5day course or setting up an internal server that houses live services that everyone uses...and you get to figure out how to make it all play nice...
hands-on is the only way to go...with 'man' pages at your fingertips & google for backup...

Managed hosting DC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19250075)

Work in a managed hosting datacenter such as Rackspace, The Planet, layered Technologies, etc. You'll learn things you never knew about linux really fast.

TIC (2, Informative)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250151)

I go to http://www.tic.ac.uk/ [tic.ac.uk] (Technology Innovation Centre) in Birmingham, UK. They have a RedHat an Sun Academy for Linux training. It's also the central training centre for CISCO for the world apart except the Americas.

First ask the salespeople what OSs customers use (1)

renuk007 (638802) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250263)

You said that the development people were fine with linux, and were pushing it for security reasons. That means they know your product, on linux, with security features turned on. They're the best source to find out which versions of Linux they're recommending and which ones the clients are using. On top of which, they can most easily convene a train-the-trainer session for several of your senior support people, including yourself, and can answer questions not only about Linux but more importantly about your application's behaviour under Linux. That's also the information your customers will most frequently want.

You missed the most obvious source -- in-house!

Re:First ask the salespeople what OSs customers us (1)

Spritzer (950539) | more than 7 years ago | (#19265051)

Unfortunately it will be much easier to find and arrange outside training than to get the devs to crawl out of their hole and support us. Welcome to "How to drive your corporation into the ground through in-house politics 101"

Linux User Groups (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250429)

I think it may be a little informal for your needs, but attending local LUG meetings can be a great way to develop your Linux skills. You can interface with other people interested in Linux, and there's usually someone there who can answer any sort of question you have. The only downside is that they have everyone from the hobbyist to professionals, so like I said it may be a little informal.

I also know that a lot of companies are forming their own LUGS, so perhaps it would be a good idea to start one at your company. It can be a cost effective way to increase your employee's skills.

"Linux" training? Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19251049)

Given there are over 200 different forks of the Linux kernel with each one being different - you want to "train" people to service the differences?

Lets take sendmail as an example. On RedHat the default is to not allow the local IP address for sending email. On Debian, they replace the sendmail.cf on reboot (a rebuild is done from some .mc file) And on others (I think gentoo) sendmail isn't a package that one can get from the fork-ers. I think Suse had milter enabled - RedHat had some of the libraries for milter but its otherwise a seperate package.

If your field 'techs' are point-n-click admins and board-swappers - exactly how are you gonna have them fix, say sendmail, when different 'linux vendors' implement thinks how they want.

RTFM! (1)

extremescholar (714216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19251445)

Read The F... Manual! Some of them are outdated, but then again, some things don't change. Go to The Linux Documentation Project and read.

Hi (0, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 7 years ago | (#19251549)

Where do I apply?

Starnix in Canada and the North-East (2, Informative)

davecb (6526) | more than 7 years ago | (#19252831)

http://www.starnix.com/ [starnix.com] who are one of the sponsors of Linux Professional Institute (LPI)

--dave

As the linux fanboys will tell you (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19252995)

You can get all your questions answered by reading the forums. Don't dare ask any questions, just read. If you can't figure out what you're looking for then you have no business using linux, since they can't be bothered to help those they deem unworthy.

OK, done ranting. Just tired of the "use a forum or wiki for all your support needs" crowd.

College (1)

MountainLogic (92466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19254345)

Seriously, consider a good liberal education. It lasts far longer than the current tech fad and with it you should be able to tech yourself from the foundation that you have been given to handle new challenges.

Linux and Unix Certifications links (1)

CFrankBernard (605994) | more than 7 years ago | (#19254687)

Search for "Linux and Unix Certifications" on my page http://1wit.com/links/links.htm [1wit.com]

Community College (1)

pat_trick (218868) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256057)

The community college in my area has a technical training program that they offer on Linux (I'm taking a course there right now). It's great for getting a comprehensively taught course on the basics, and costs a ton less than any "training academy" or other specialized training service vendor.

They can supplement this with any online materials on a specific distro.

Commercial Security and Sysadmin training (1)

wstearns (5784) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257303)

(Disclaimer: I teach the following courses) SANS [sans.org] has two 6-day courses on Linux and Unix; Linux System Administration (track 408) [sans.org] and Securing Linux and Unix (track 506) [sans.org] . Both are hand-on courses that require laptops. The first focuses on system administration, the second on hardening and security, with a small amount of overlap. --Bill

Re:Commercial Security and Sysadmin training (1)

felixdzerzhinsky (809662) | more than 7 years ago | (#19266995)

I did SANS GSEC in Amsterdam and can vouch for their training. You actually use your computer during Class unlike CISSP course which are pure book learning. They give you a pile of documentation to read and practice with. I do agree with the people who say get a spare box install linux and mess with it. You have to destroy the village in order to save it. Install it, break it, install it again...but when you are done you will have the strongest castle in the swamp: http://www.mwscomp.com/movies/grail/grail-14.htm [mwscomp.com]

Time to look for a new job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19260189)

Nowhere. Your jobs should be outsourced to IT contractors who are actually knowledgeable of the products they support.

In house IT departments are always such a joke. Almost bottom of the barrel... where the paper MCSE's hide. I have to deal with your undocumented remnants all the time. Sigh.

I hate tech snobbery as much as the next guy. (1)

br0d (765028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19260263)

Believe me, I really can't stand tech snobs. But linux is a special case--if someone can't manage to self-teach on a free operating system that is perhaps better documented than any other technical topic on the entire internet, I really don't want them working in my environment. If they're doing it for the certification and credentials, fine. But if for the knowledge, no thanks, that is a serious indication that you are hiring a hand-held spectation junkie.

Hire them (1)

NateTech (50881) | more than 7 years ago | (#19277815)

Why aren't you acting like every other company out there and firing all your (now "worthless") staff and outsourcing to some big Linux geek company? LOL!

(It's a joke, kinda.)

Seriously though -- if the skill-set of the Field Engineering staff doesn't match the products anymore, you *might* have some culling to do. They can learn Linux on their own.

If they're not learning it on their own already, it might be a sign that they're not interested. Find people that are.
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