[svlug] RHCE exam

Richard Sharpe rsharpe at richardsharpe.com
Fri Jan 10 10:25:58 PST 2003

On Fri, 10 Jan 2003, Ian Kluft wrote:

> These are from very early in the thread.  I checked the other messages
> up to this point (except for skipping dozens from you-know-who) and
> didn't see this point already made.
> >I am planning to take RHCE exam RH300. But, before I do it (it is not
> >cheap),I would like to know if there are any real benefits of been
> RHCE >on this bad job market. [...]
> For anyone considering certifications, the benefits depend on your
> background.  Anyone with a 4-year technical degree or equivalent work
> experience wouldn't need a certification.  Though there's nothing
> stopping you if you want it anyway.

Well, this is true in general, in the same way that someone with 20 years 
computing experience probably does not need certification in general, 
however specific circumstances often intrude.
> But if your formal education is less than or equivalent to a 2-year degree,
> then you want a hiring manager or other interviewers who reads your resume
> to get any other hints and info you can honestly claim.  (Expect that
> anything you put on your resume will result in interview questions.
> So while you want to put positive spin on your resume, don't fudge it.
> You'd only set yourself up for questions you can't answer.)  
> It's my belief that certifications which have a lab exam instead of just
> a written exam are generally more difficult.  And worth the extra effort.
> RHCE has a lab exam.  I couldn't tell for sure about LPIC.  A lab exam
> means you have to learn the subject in greater depth to pass.  But it also
> indicates to an employer that you had to do better than memorize to get it.

I would have to agree with this. Having been involved with LPI, I think 
that its usefulness is that it tries to be distro independent. However, 
there are fewer and fewer relevant distros. The LPI exam does not have a 
lab exam, and indeed, cannot have a lab exam because it is given through 
Prometric and etc. 
> (Disclosure: This belief is mostly based on my own expectations if I was
> reading your resume.  [But my employer hasn't been hiring for 2 years.]
> I haven't tried getting one of these certifications since I have a
> Computer Science degree.  More specific advice about which certification
> to get will have to come from others here who have taken or taught them.)

Well, I don't know about you, but if I was hiring a hot-shot sysadmin, I 
would be more interested in an RHCE than a CS degree, but if I was hiring 
a [Linux] developer, then I would be more interested in the CS degree than 
the RHCE, and if someone came along with both, then I know who I would pick.
> Also, don't forget to list your participation and contribution to Open Source
> projects on your resume.  That's applicable self-training for technical work.
> It's easily verifiable online before you arrive for your first interview,
> possibly helping to establish a good first impression.  Expect that you'll
> need any honest advantage you can get since you'll never know who your
> competition is.

Oh, so you mean all those hours spent on planes and in Qantas club lounges 
writing dissectors for Ethereal weren't wasted :-)

Perhaps I should give a talk on Open Source Development in Airline club 
lounges :-)

Richard Sharpe, rsharpe[at]ns.aus.com, rsharpe[at]samba.org, 
sharpe[at]ethereal.com, http://www.richardsharpe.com

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