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Red Hat Software Businesses Education

Red Hat Certification Program For Education 209

Posted by Hemos
from the certify-rectify dept.
Frank Caviggia writes "The Inquirer has a story up about Red Hat providing educational institutions with the ability to certify students as Red Hat Certified Technicians (RHCT) and Red Hat Certified Engineers (RCHE) how this will relate to Microsoft's MSCE program. You can find the story here. Red Hat has more information on the program here."
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Red Hat Certification Program For Education

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  • education? (Score:5, Funny)

    by s20451 (410424) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:00PM (#5227033) Journal
    So certification involves actually educating people now?
    • it involves saying they have been educated.

      Anyone want to become an FECE for only $20? Inquire here [frob.us].
    • Certs are beneficial in 2 ways. 1. To me. I am CCNA MCSE and CNE - with each cert I am percieved as more valuable to my company. They offered me a $2000 bonus to get my last cert - the CNE. (and immediatly after that they decided to scrap netware in exchange for Win2k) Whether or not I learn anything from the tests is up to me. Personally I got the most out of my MCSE courses. 2. My company can bill me at higher rates due to my "credentials". More money for them more money for me. And yes you do learn things in these courses. Go take one. Whether you understand this or not - percieved value is more worthwhile than intrinsic value when you are looking for a job or a raise. Personally I feel I could do just as good a job without these certs but I understand I live on planet earth and use them to my advantage. For those of you complaining about how certs are so worthless - go back to your job hunt. P.S. I am in the process of recertifying on MCSE before I set my sites on the Red Hat course.
  • Havent we learned?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sickboy_macosX (592550) <(ude.usi.unnocni) (ta) (yobkcis)> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:02PM (#5227046) Homepage Journal
    OHavent we learned that people who get certs are just people who think they are computer geeks? I meean look at how well the MCSE has worked, Dont get me wrong, I think certs for some people can be good but over all they need to be better with more real world questions. And when they start giving out Certified C++ Expert I will be in line to get one But I think it is over rated to h8ave a Cert. Especially since 45% of the people with certs i know are Paper Certified.... Why start kids out like this? Let them choose for them selves!
    • by nightsweat (604367) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:08PM (#5227097)
      You miss the point.

      This is a brilliant move on the part of Red Hat.

      Certification serves two main purposes.
      First, it invests technical pros in your product. If a person has worked for weeks or months to learn the arcana necessary to support Red Hat, what arethey going to suggest when management comes to them asking for an OS recommendation? This invested loyalty is a good part of what keeps MS shops MS shops.
      Second, certification is a warm fuzzy that lets potential corporate adopters know that there will be talent for them to draw on. IT might be expensive now, but the cost will drop as geeks get run through the Cert mill.

      This will end up being a Martha Stewart sized Good Thing.

      • by orthogonal (588627) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:30PM (#5227265) Journal
        Certification serves two main purposes.
        First, it invests technical pros in your product. If a person has worked for weeks or months to learn the arcana necessary to support Red Hat, what arethey going to suggest when management comes to them asking for an OS recommendation? This invested loyalty is a good part of what keeps MS shops MS shops.


        Great, instead of recommending Red Hat because they honestly believe it's the best answer, they'll be pimping it to protect their paychecks.

        "Sure enough, boss! Red Hat's the best solution for our embedded OS. Works great on toasters. And it's the most secure and stable too! Let's use it for all mission critical systems. And it's great for new users and long time linux geeks. You betcha, boss!"

        Is it because you love linux or because you hate Microsoft that you've decided the ends justify the means?

        I'm reminded of a Russian(?) aphorism: "Choose your enemies well, because you'll become them."
        • Unfortunately we don't live in a technical utopia, managers love buzzwords. If they didn't, the MSCE, Cisco Certification, etc wouldn't be as valuable as they are.

          Sure, you can learn all this stuff on your own, hey even learn it better - but how does management truely know that?
      • but they blew that to utter hell by making every one of those It techs that got redhat in the workplace look like idiots and morons by doing the stupidest move ever... EOL'ing their product 7 years too early. If I want to pay for RH7.3 support only a complete fool would turn me down.

        and it seems like the complete fools are in charge at redhat lately.

        I am waiting 30 days for redhat to bull their heads out of the sand and make sane decisions.. then I start to migrate all the redhat servers to something that WILL HAVE SUPPORT available 5 years from now.

        RHCE = worthless as noone will want their product as it no longer has any advantage over microsoft because of their decisions.
    • by hdparm (575302) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:18PM (#5227176) Homepage

      Well, for your information, you cannot be 'paper' RHCE. Two out of three parts of the exam are fully practical. You need to know where to look and how to fix the problem (1st part) and to be able to perform network install of the Red Hat system according to specs given + to configure most of the common network services on that machine (part 2). You have passed the exam only if your overall score is >80% with none of the 3 parts scored @ less than 50%. School kids who do this will be ready for entry support roles after finishing school.

      Much larger benefit of this I see in the fact that Linux/OSS will be introduced to greater school population, beating long time perception about Microsoft and Windows (yes - Apple too) being the only option out there.

      • I bet I could get anyone with some IT experience to pass the RHCE exam in 2 weeks. An Exam Cram was released (they went under) that covered pretty much every piece of the exam. Any test can be reduced down and a "cheat sheet" created.

        There will be plenty of paper RHCEs as soon as the cert becomes popular. The real creators of paper certs are the companies themselves pushing quick courses that always seem to stress the sticky spots on the exam.
        • Re:Paper RHCE... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hdparm (575302)
          I don't think so. When I did it, there were 9 of us doing it. 8 sysadmins with 2-5 years experience and 1 hobbyist. 4 passed, other 5 guys failed on the first, troubleshooting, part. There are so many different details introduced that it would be extremelly hard to create 'good' cram papers and have significant passing rate this way. Of course, you'll always get few random guys who are lucky/able to do this but nowhere near the MCSE numbers.
          • But, I could send 5 or 6 people through that test and get about every lab situation. I can then write up "similar" situations in my Exam Stuffer book. Bingo, paper RHCE.

            That's EXACTLY what happened to the MCSE in the late NT4 days. The Transcender practice exams were very close to the same exact questions as the real exam. Microsoft started coming down hard on those companies and now the tests aren't that similar...but it can happen to any exam.
            • Re:Paper RHCE... (Score:3, Interesting)

              by hdparm (575302)
              I know what you're saying but trust me, it doesn't work quite that way for a RHCE exam. I am sorry I can't be any more specific but this should probably give you an idea:

              Candidate is in front of the screen that tells him what he is supposed to do as an outcome. It's all nice and easy but when you press to continue, machine doesn't even boot. So, to even get to the point where he can do what he'd been asked to, he has to fix couple or more other problems. That's pretty tough cookie to byte into if you've never fixed Linux machine before and all your learning was done reading exam cram book.

              BTW, you have to byte into the cookie 4 times in 2 hours and to fix at least 2 problems, to continue with the exam. The hairy bit is that you have to complete other 2 sections with the avg. score of 95%. Answering multi-choice questions - maybe. But completing 95% correct last part - configure fully functional Red Hat server and provide range of services from it... I sincerely doubt it.

              I still think paper RHCE is not possible.

              • Re:Paper RHCE... (Score:3, Interesting)

                by NetJunkie (56134)
                I got my RHCE two years ago. I got a 98% overall, so I'm very familiar with the exam. But honestly, the troubleshooting was the easiest part. All of the fixes were straight out of the normal "how to repair a Linux box" chapters in the study guides. They were almost covered word for word from the class manual that someone gave me.

                The application setup also wasn't difficulet. You never really had to think up a new way to do things... It was all spelled out in the class manuals or the basic "how to set things up" chapters. Several of the app setups were the defaults when the RPM was installed!

                Some of the people in my exam were taking it their 2nd and 3rd time. I think they finally passed, but in my eyes they are already paper RHCEs. I wouldn't let them touch my systems. They finally learned the test, not the material.
    • by bloxnet (637785) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:22PM (#5227205)
      You know, I generally agree that the general value of a certification is zero...except for a couple of things.

      To begin with, I was working for a company that thought it would be a good PR move to get as many of the admins/techs on staff MCSE or RHCE certified, so they actually shelled out the $$$ for training from both RedHat and Microsoft. I got to take the full course for RHCE (RedHat 7.2 exam), and I have to say that not only was the material good (a lot of us went in thinking this was going to be a joke and went out having learned a couple of things), but the test itself was not a total cakewalk...it was exactly what it was supposed to be: challenge level scaled to the examinee's experience. If you were really knowledgeable, and good at troubleshooting, the test was a breeze, if not, you probably failed. I would say more, but they make you sign non-disclosure forms regarding test information, another plus.

      As for the Microsoft training, I only got to go to one class, but I did learn quite a bit from this class as well. More than likely had I been able to go to all classes, I would have had an MCSE as well.

      The real point on all of this is that the big difference is *who* is training you. The trainers direct from RedHat and Microsoft were top notch...not some fool from CompUsa who likes tinkering...these trainers were focused, knowledgeable, and just good at teaching the material.

      Getting back to the value of certs...do I think that a person's merit is determined by a piece of paper (be it from a university or a tech certification) ??? Hell no. But one important thing to keep in mind is that there are people still trying to break into the IT world...whether it's the beginning of a career or a transition from one field to another. If I see someone who has gone out of their way to get an RHCE, an MCSE, CCNA, OCP, GIAC certs, whatever...ESPECIALLY on their own time and money, then I would at least give them a fair evaluation.

      THAT is what I would like to see a certification treated as...a minimum requirement for evaluation. If someone wanted to get into InfoSec, or Systems Administration and had little direct work experience...a certification would be a nice way to weed the fly by night types out from the people who are serious about the field they want to work on. I don't know if things will get to that point, experience is still king...but I do know that if I would interview for a position, let's say for an admin...and this was not a senior level position, I would give people with certifications a definite evaluation/interview/shot at the position...especially if this was something they pursued on their own. I mean, isn't that part of what college is? You don't have to go, but people want to see a degree to know you stuck through it or maybe were truly interested in your field?
      • by stand (126023)
        THAT is what I would like to see a certification treated as...a minimum requirement for evaluation.

        I agree that this is all that a certification should be worth as they exist now, but I think that a certification *should* mean more. There are two things that make a certification more valid, in my eyes:

        1. It needs to be administered by a disinterested third party. Otherwise, it's just a means for company x to increase sales by creating its own extended (unpaid) employee base. Most certifications (unfortunately) are disqualified on this count.
        2. It needs to have an element of peer review. I can easily peg a stranger who claims to have a skill that is one of my specialties as a pretender after just 5 minutes of talking with him/her. Think of your certification as a membership card to an exclusive club. In order to get in, in addition to passing some tests or whatever, I should be interviewed and approved by a minimum number of current members. Got to avoid the Old Boys network though, that's hard.
        • I disagree with your #2. I think the Old Boys network is inevitable with this "peer" review. This isn't a job interview and it's not a club. Create objective criteria and measure people against it. Otherwise, it's just a popularity contest.
    • This is the same type of issue as people with degrees.


      A person with a BSCS may be able to program a 2000 line program, but give them a problem to fix on a 200,000 program and they are dead.

      All a degree or certification does is state that the person has taken course work and exams that show they they knew some knowledge at some point. It is not an end-all-be-all determination of skill. It is only one aspect to look at when determining a persons ability.

      • by captain_craptacular (580116) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:35PM (#5227301)
        I beg to differ. A person with a BSCS should have a good enough understanding of the fundamentals of programming and debugging "in the large" to track down and fix a problem in any sized program. It's all about knowing how to go about it, and thats what you should learn in a BS program.

        I also find it rather disturbing that you compare a BSCS to a certification program that takes somewhere between a couple weeks and a couple months to get. I'll hire a BSCS over a any day if thats the only fundamental difference.
        • I beg to differ. A person with a BSCS should have a good enough understanding of the fundamentals of programming and debugging "in the large" to track down and fix a problem in any sized program

          Nope, sorry. That comes with experience. Real world experience. A school degree only tells me that you can tie your shoes and that you'll probably manage to get up in the mornings and come to work.

          I don't care if you have all the theory in the world - if you can talk the talk but you can't walk the walk, your degree is useless.

          • Nope, sorry. That comes with experience.

            Or a degree. I feel, and have proven, that I was capable of doing exactly what I described above after completing my degree program.

            A school degree only tells me that you can tie your shoes and that you'll probably manage to get up in the mornings and come to work.

            A CS degree tells me that you have a solid understanding of the concepts of computer science and mathematics, as well as some understanding of the related EE and physics concepts. It also implies that you have some experience writing code in at least one language and probably several. You also understand how languages are designed and supposed to work, as well as where they are likely to go wrong. You have a good idea of many common programming errors because you both committed them yourself and were shown examples by your instructors.

            If you regard a college degree as so useless, you either went to a bad school, or you need to get a degree yourself so you can appreciate their usefulness.
            • I don't believe that all CS or EE grads are simply idiots that paid for a piece of paper. Even in those cases, their degree proves diligence...and they can't have slept through all of the classes so there must be some modicum of education.

              Here's where I part ways with you, CC:
              A CS degree tells me that you have a solid understanding of the concepts of computer science and mathematics, as well as some understanding of the related EE and physics concepts. It also implies that you have some experience writing code in at least one language and probably several. You also understand how languages are designed and supposed to work, as well as where they are likely to go wrong. You have a good idea of many common programming errors because you both committed them yourself and were shown examples by your instructors.


              A degree does not guarantee understanding of any subject, whether it's computer science, engineering, or poetry. The degree simply certifies that someone met the requirements of an institution. Fortunately, there are a lot of people that are really into this stuff and they go to college and really learn to understand computers. Unfortunately, there seem to be a great many more that latched onto a CS degree before the dot-com boom and they have NO CLUE how stuff works and, worse, they don't care to learn.

              I applaud the hackers that have or are pursuing college degrees and/or certifications. I just wish the posers that don't give a shit about technology or computers would stop crowding the field so the rest of us could get some work done.

              --K.
            • Or a degree. I feel, and have proven, that I was capable of doing exactly what I described above after completing my degree program.

              Fair enough, assuming you prove it. But then again, I'm not hiring you.

              A CS degree tells me that you have a solid understanding of the concepts of computer science and mathematics, as well as some understanding of the related EE and physics concepts. It also implies that you have some experience writing code in at least one language and probably several. You also understand how languages are designed and supposed to work, as well as where they are likely to go wrong. You have a good idea of many common programming errors because you both committed them yourself and were shown examples by your instructors

              That may be true, but are you saying that self-taught developers don't have those same skills and capabilities?

              If you regard a college degree as so useless, you either went to a bad school, or you need to get a degree yourself so you can appreciate their usefulness

              I don't regard a degree as useless, I didn't go t a "bad school" (you're so 1337!) and I don't have a degree. I also don't happen to need one. You have one, so you think they're neat. More power to you. You are not, however, the one doing the hiring. At least not yet. And in the end, that's what counts - whether you think it's fair or not.

        • by luzrek (570886)
          Degree's and Certs are fundamentally different. The process of getting a degree (for a good student at a good school) should impart general knowledge that will be applicable to a wide variety of problems in a particular field granting a base from which the degree holder can use to solve problems well into the future. In contrast a certification shows that the certification holder can solve a particular set of problems or accomplish a particular set of tasks. Just having a BSCS does not mean you would make a good (or even competant) Linux administrator, C programmer, or database administrator (MLS/MIS for that). It means that you will be able to apply your general knowledge to learn a specific skill set more quickly. Therefore, the cert is the only thing that gaurantees a new hire has a particular skill.

          IMO the value of a comuter science degree is questionable. It is much better to have someone with specific knowledge who just happens to know how to program. Why do you think so many programmers have scientists, artists, doctors, lawyers, and accountants as their ultimate bosses? Because programming for programming's sake is a very limited business.

  • by jorupp (529670) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:03PM (#5227050)
    They want to create a certification comparable to the MSCE? Gee... then we'll have have all these people with just a RHCT or RCHE admining linux boxes, and we'll have as many problems (DDOS zombies, etc.) as with the MCSEs admining windows boxes.

    Certifications will help, but then people will think that that certification is _all_ that is needed to admin a linux box.
    • by signe (64498) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:15PM (#5227158) Homepage
      No, RedHat never said they want to create a certification comparable to the MCSE. They know that MCSE is a useless certification that really only means that someone paid for a set of books for you, or someone paid for you to go to the week training.

      In fact, RedHat likens their certification more to Cisco's CCIE cert. A good chunk of the RedHat test for RHCE is practical. Meaning they sit you down in front of some computers and have you make them work. Or make them work in a particular configuration.

      I'm not big on most certifications, but I'm interested to see what RedHat has actually put together, based on what I've heard from them.

      -Todd
      • by kableh (155146)
        I got my RHCE last October. Took the RH300 course to bone up on the basics and the last day was the exam. And man, I was glad I took the course! The writeup here on /. [slashdot.org] about the RH300 course was right on the money.

        The exam is 3 parts: lab, written test, lab. The first lab involves doing an install of Red Hat that conforms to a set of specs you are given. After that your instructor comes over and breaks your system, then you get to fix it. I saw a lot of my classmates struggling well after I got done with that portion of the test. Granted, I have about 3 years of professional experience admining Red Hat so I considered myself well prepared, but some of these problems were a bitch to fix. The multiple choice test covered a broad range of questions. There was some debate over the correct answer to a couple of questions, due mostly to the fact that this was the first time they were giving a Red Hat 8.0 course, but I'm sure they have worked out those kinks. The final lab involved securing your machine, only allowing access for specific services to specific machines. All in all a very thorough test.

        I must admit though, I don't know how much I like the idea of a bunch of high school graduates with no security experience, or even real world experience, coming out of school RHCEs and bringing down median wages even lower. Not that I make median for what I do, but I digress.

        I've been doing MIS stuff for 4 years or so now, Red Hat for 3 years pro, much longer as a hobby, and all that has taught me is that I have a LOT to learn. =)
        • Actually the certification for this course is the RHCT which is a half way point in getting a RHCE. (Or another way to think about it is that it's equivelent to 2 or 3 MCSE certifications.)

      • you're not big on certifications...

        I work for a large technical college in MN. I look at the people that graduate there w/two or less year degree/certs for various computer related careers...

        Novell, Windows, and "Microsoft Office". We track the amount of money that these individuals make upon leaving our institution... They make over double what I do w/a four year degree from a large University.

        Granted, some of these people have already been working in the field and just went to the college to gain their "official" certifications.

        Still, if you are not "big on certifications", you may want to think again.
        • Right on, my friend.

          Hey, I love to hear people crack on MCSEs, but maybe not for the reasons you'd expect. Yeah, I'm an MCSE. And yeah, maybe I'm no genius, because I had to work hard to pass those exams. But I won't apologize for being an NT admin, because it has paid me well. The fact is that I was doing Linux networking when Slackware ruled and nobody had heard of Redhat. When I took the NT classes, I had a better view of the "big picture" than most of my classmates, I think, thanks to the Unix exposure. But when it came time for interviews, the MCSE was what everyone wanted to talk about - - that, and Novell. So I took that first job as an NT admin making the usual $40k starter. And you know what? The training I'd had turned out to be totally worthwhile. Day after day, I was glad I'd been through the exams, because I was using what I'd learned.

          Lastly, let me say that it took me four years to take my boss's job - - a comfy little spot where I don't work weekends or nights unless I want to, and I put *nix wherever it makes sense. The money's just fine: I drive a nice car, live in a waterfront property, get four weeks of vacation, plus the usual perks. What got me through the door wasn't what I could do with Linux, comrades. It was the MCSE. And the ability to spell most words correctly. So laugh hearty - - I'll be laughing,too.

    • They want to create a certification comparable to the MSCE?
      Whether or not it compares to an MSCE is debatable, but they created the certification awhile ago.
  • by MyPantsAreOnFire! (642687) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:03PM (#5227052)
    Will this turn into the same repetetive cash cow that the MCSE is? Will certified engineers have to get a new certification on every new release of the kernel? what about major releases?

    I hope they realize that one of the major flaws with microsoft's certification is the necessity to get re-certified when a poorly-done ripoff of the previous operating system is released.

    • It is not a flaw. It is there by design.

      Think!

      1. If you have invested heavily in the process of getting certified will you be willing to allow the proliferation of competing technologies that will make your certification worthless? Ever tried to make a MSCE think "outside the box"? Ever tried to do this with a recertified one?

      2. The process of refreshing your certification eats most of the time you can afford to use on education so the chance of learning something on a competing technology is decreased significantly.

      Overall do you think MSFT is stupid or something? If they were they would not have been where they are now.
    • Will this turn into the same repetetive cash cow that the MCSE is?

      I know this question is part sarcasam and part real question so I'll answer it anyway. Yes, it will generate revenue. As for how much, I couldn't speculate. All certifications I know of (including HP-UX, Microsoft and Comptia certs) require recertification after a specified amount of time. It is usually after X number of year(s) or X years after a new certification test has been released. Note some do not require recertification (Sun) but encourage it.

      Will certified engineers have to get a new certification on every new release of the kernel?

      That's just silly. Yes, daily tests everytime CVS changes are committed.

      what about major releases?

      More than likely not. System administration and engineering aren't as much about knowing the kernel inside and out as much as it is about knowing things like how to build a new kernel, how to configure and troubleshoot Samba, NFS, NIS, Apache, etc. Red Hat's certification tests accurately reflect this.

      I hope they realize that one of the major flaws with microsoft's certification is the necessity to get re-certified when a poorly-done ripoff of the previous operating system is released.

      Aside from the Microsoft bashing refer to my above statement. Most vendors (even vendor neutral certifications such as Comptia) require recertification.

      The real problem with the Windows NT 4.0 MCSE were braindumps and Transcender tests. NT 4.0 was when most of the MCSEs got certified because it was cake. Ask anyone who has done it, the Transcender tests were almost exactly like the real tests. Ace them and you'll pass.

      As for the people who are getting their MCSE in Win2k they say it is much harder, but I can't say from personal experience.
    • I take it you aren't a MCSE and haven't looked at the re-certification policy. I've been a MCSE for close to 7 years. This year will be the first time I've been forced to upgrade. No big deal.

      Cisco requires you to recertify every 3 years, no matter what. I've been an RHCE for about 2 years and so far no recert needed in site.
  • A useless Red Hat certification!
  • RCHE? (Score:5, Funny)

    by FueledByRamen (581784) <sabretooth@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:05PM (#5227066)
    (RCHE)
    I can think of certifications that I'd like to have, and Red Certified Hat Engineer is not one of them.

    It's funny. Laugh.
  • MSCE?! bzzzt! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:06PM (#5227078)
    Maybe Microsoft developed a new course, because last time I checked it was "MCSE". It stands for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer in case you were wondering.
  • Yay! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:08PM (#5227096) Journal
    Now all the wagon jumping paper tigers that swamped the IT world can move to Linux.

    A large part of the state of job opportunities in the tech sector are the 5000 absolutely unqualified applicants for every job.

    Pointy haired bosses don't know a good coder from a hole in the ground, so they hire the janitor-cum-MCP with the $20,000 salary expectation.

    There are a few places left that look for someone who can do the job, and do it well, and don't give a hoot about alphabet soup and buzzwords in the resume.. I'm fortunate enough to have found one of them.

    I should probably get back to work, I've wasted too much time here today.
    • by puto (533470) <theflatline@yahoo.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @08:33PM (#5227675) Homepage
      I agree with on your points except for where you say"Pointy haired bosses don't know a good coder from a hole in the ground, so they hire the janitor-cum-MCP with the $20,000 salary expectation."

      Last time I checked an MCP had nothing to do with punching code.

      A systems engineer and a coder or two very different animals.

      A coder might do a little admin and and an admin might code a little. But otherwise on two seperate ends of the spectrum. Not a very good comparison.

      I have also had the pointy haired bosses who have hired utter embeciles as admins. But also cause they listened to the stringy haired coders who thought cause they could could they were admin gods as well.

      I am a RHCE, MCSE,MCSA,CCNA, A+ and NET+

      RHCE - A little difficlut but if you have the Unix experience and study hard you can pass it.

      MCSE 2000 - Well the MCSE NT 4 was a joke. The 2000 track(if you dont use cheats) recquires a lot of study and experience to pass. Active Directory and Migration are two hard topics. Yeah, people used the cheats, but I tell you, I just took the AD 2000 examn, and it was no joke. Don't punish us MCSEs who actually know what they are doing.

      A+ If you need to study for this, you need to choose another field. But their is a lotta cumaltive knowledge here.

      Net+ A very good primer before you hit the CCNA if your only experience is your home network.(which 90% of the people in the world makes them gurus cause they got a speedstream router with a web based admin) but I would reccomend it to anyone who wanted to get into networking.

      CCNA - Best beginners network course there is. Learn the theory and you will go far.

      My problem with Linux admins is this. They consistently dog MS and their products when 90% of them do not know enough about them. Like any OS you have to live it and breath it to know it. And Windows 2000 is a damned fine product if you know how to admin it. Many don't. And people on the nix side dont tend to learn. I run headless 2000 servers, yep no gui, i turn it on when i need to do something. Always astound people when they see this.

      MS Admins, are very inflexible, reboot and restore seems to be their main fixes for all. Instead of installing right the first time and doing the maintenance.

      I use *nix and Windows for different things. Each has its good and bad. But a mentor of mine told me that the best way is to learn them all and take from each. That is what I have done. FUD is for children.

      Puto

  • How it relates. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FreeLinux (555387) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:11PM (#5227126)
    It means that there will now be a flood of "Paper RHCEs" just as was the case with the MCSEs. But there will be a big difference.

    The difference will be that few Slashdotters will ridicule the RHCEs as they have done the MCSEs. And, the Slashdotters that do ridicule them will be classified as jealous of the certification, since they do not have one. Then they will be modded down to minus one, much as I suspect this post will be.
    • Except RHCE isn't just a "paper" exam - there's actually an interactive skills section to it, so it's not the same as the MCSE.

      If Slashdotters don't ridicule the RHCE exam and the people that get the cert, maybe it's because the RHCE is a better program.
  • 5 -- Make a hat pattern out of the multiple choice fields

    4 -- Copy off the smelly guy with the dandruff-coated black tee shirt

    3 -- Bribe the proctor of the exam with a lunch that's "free as in beer"

    2 -- emacs &... Edit... Query Replace... "MCSE, Red Hat Certified"

    1 -- Insist on using the new open source Test Answer Development (TAD) model championed by Bruce Perens

    Don't forget *nix.org [starnix.org] either

  • Lets just HOPE (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alexborges (313924) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:13PM (#5227137)
    That universities learn from the free software movement that knowledge is something that they can generate. I dont see whatsoever any value in giving any kind of certification to a student that is not involved in important admin tasks in a real datacenter. Come on, she'll go into the cert, finish it. Oh cool its friday! Go to a rave and kill most the synaptic connections given by the cert in the first two hours. With some luck (and here is the upside), our very hypothetical geek will get laid and on and on and on until they finish their degree....

    Certs provide no value to kids in school. Abstract math, the study of algorithms, the understanding of the engeneering process behinf organizations like IETF, W3C do provide it....quit loosing time colleges, educate ppl. Certs are for lame professionals that lost the next wave (which is most of us, at some point anyway).

  • by exhilaration (587191) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:13PM (#5227140)
    For those interested in certifications, also take a look at Linux+ [comptia.com] from CompTIA (the A+ folks). I plan to take the exam soon, and frankly, it looks pretty easy.

    You guys can bash certifications left and right, but to a new graduate desperately looking for a job, they can prove useful. The job market is so bad at the moment that recent college graduates applying for entry-level positions are competing with people that have decades of experience. If having "RHCT" or "RCHE" on your resume can help, it's worth investing a couple of hundred bucks into it.

    • Certifications like the CompTIA certs do not carry much value to techies, but may mean alot to that HR rep.

      If you don't have the right alphabet soup at the top of your resume, that HR person may very well throw away your resume, even if you have years of experience.

      That said, I don't have a certification, and I still don't have a job after looking since November. I'm looking into getting a RHCE and CompTIA to help me get past the HR level.
      • Certifications like the CompTIA certs do not carry much value to techies, but may mean alot to that HR rep.

        If you don't have the right alphabet soup at the top of your resume, that HR person may very well throw away your resume, even if you have years of experience.

        So true! I've been looking for a long time, and if anything, as time passes, the HR Reps seem to become more arrogant, obnoxious, and totally aware of the power they have over people's lives. One twat actually said to me this week that she automatically throws out the resume of anybody who calls her on the phone to follow-up (before she calls them) because "Chances are, anybody who is rabidly looking for a job is an unemployed 'bad' employee who we don't want anyway..." ('Bad' apparently means anyone with enough ambition to follow-up on a job after submitting a resume.)

        The way it works at large companies is your resume gets dumped text only into a database, and they then do some keyword searching based on what they're hiring for. (ie. MCSE, RHCE, MCSD, Linux+, Samba, Apache, RedHAt, whatever...) All the "hits" are evaluated by human eyes, the rest get automated rejection post cards. Period. If your resume isn't designed to get a "hit" in the DB query no person will ever look at it. Your experience level, where you've worked, your accomplishments and what projects you've worked on--none of them matter at the "HR Slug" phase of hiring.

        All that matters is that when they're seeking an MCSD who knows SQL, C++, Perl, and HTML, the DB Query looks for those letter combinations and flags them. Again, anybody else isn't even considered. If these buzz words aren't on your resume, you don't get an interview.

        And I agree, it sucks. Believe me. Shit, I've been working on getting into ond company for six months now--A job that would be PERFECT for me.

        I have every single qualification they want except one: Paid experience working with Crystal Reports. They WILL NOT INTERVIEW ME because I've never been paid to use Crystal Reports. The job has sat open for six months because they can't find anybody with all the DB skills and crystal reports who will work for the money they're offerring. I even offerred to pay for Crystal Reports training OUT OF MY OWN POCKET if I could just get an interview, even offerred to submit to multiple skills tests, and to create reports for them as an "audition" for the job. I pointed out that since they haven't filled the job in six months they should think alternatives if they're serious about hiring somebody. Response?

        "Nope, sorry. We need at least a year of paid Crystal experience to even consider you. We won't train or allow anybody to prove themselves." You know what's really sad? This paragraph originally ended with "At least these assholes answer the phone." But the more I think about it, the more I wish I'd never been told this. Part of me (the part that holds on to hope of ever getting another job) needs to think that employers aren't all completely stupid, inflexible ninnies who leave qualified DB Admins like myself posting on slashdot over lack of paid experience with a fucking database abstraction GUI. Hell, I've had interviews for other jobs where they say "Crystal? Shit, somebody with your skills can learn that in 25 minutes", so I know I'M not crazy.

        Yeah, I could just buy the software, learn it, and then lie on my resume. But that sort of thing will get you fired if it comes out down the road (and I don't have $1000 for enterprise-level Crystal Reports software.)

        Bottom line? HR Reps are the most worthless people at any technology company. They don't know what the hell they're doing as far as hiring IT and technology skill workers, but are still in charge of "pre-screening" these people.

        This is just something you have to learn to accept. Yeah, some guys will get lucky and find a job where people take time to review resumes by hand and hire people based on the depth of information they draw from this activity. More power to him! I'm glad he was so fortunate. But for the rest of us, who need jobs, being picky in this economy isn't really practical.

        As much is it sucks to admit, if you want a job, the best way to optimize your chances is to pander to the idiot HR Monkey. You simply have to accept that most (99%+) American companies regard you as cattle--interchangable beasts whose relative merits are best analyzed with a black and white DB query. You get a hit, you might get an interview. If not, you won't ever hear from them.

        You can take the "moral high ground" which seems to be this unspoken IT elitism that we shouldn't have to jump through hoops to get a job because we know about computers... But in this economy this "high ground" is really more like a beach that unemployed techies run aground on.

        My only practical advice is that if you find the process distasteful, you should consider hiring a professional resume writer to re-work what you have. I've had five interviews in three weeks with four companies since getting my resume re-done... She did all the distasteful buzzword stuff-- I just showed up and told her about myself and what I do/want to do. Best $200 I ever spent...
  • RH at a university (Score:3, Interesting)

    by I_am_Rambi (536614) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:14PM (#5227145) Homepage
    Being a CS student at a university, almost every semester we have to write a program or more on a linux server (I believe they are running RH 7.2 or 7.3). Thats for the first few CS classes, then in the upperclassmen classes, the servers are handled more for a few classes. Namely Network Security. Just think, if the students who took network security, also were RedHat certified, that would have a big impact on resumes. Looking at the description, I can see where this certification could come in handy for me or other CS students. I would take the class, if my university offered it. I could see that if CS took this certification, a job would almost be guarrenteed.
  • by Billy the Mountain (225541) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:17PM (#5227168) Journal
    Certification has pluses and minuses for employees and employers alike, the real winners turn out to be the Cerifying organization. So, why not? Let's start "Billy The Mountain's Certified Information Technology Professional" program. "What, you say you're not BTMCITP? Gedowwdahea!"

    Step 1. We'll charge $400 a pop, with a $50 annual maint. fee

    Step 2. ????

    Step 3. Marvel at how it's just like were printing our own money.

    BTM
  • by rob-fu (564277) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:18PM (#5227172)
    I thought engineering was something you had to go to college for, not some 'school' in a strip mall that does computer 'certs'.
    • I thought engineering was something you had to go to college for, not some 'school' in a strip mall that does computer 'certs'

      When it comes to network engineering (as opposed to chip design and things of that nature) not really. Witness this post [infopop.net] over on ArsTechnica. I don't think there are any schools out there that teach you what is required to answer that question.
    • Actually, according to most state laws and regulations, an engineer is someone who has:

      (1) Completed a four year degree in "engineering."
      (2) Taken the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and passed with a grade of 70 or better.
      (3) Worked for 7 years (I think) under a registered professional engineer.
      (4) Taken and passed the Professional Engineer (PE) exam.

      Only after the above four steps have been completed can one truely call themselve an engineer. Exceptions include when the position that a person holds is titled something engineer, such as county engineers who are usually former construction contractors.
      • You're right, except for the experience portion. That is different from state to state. Most require four years of experience, and it doesn't always have to be under a professional engineer. It just has to be the type of experience where you make "engineering" decisions. Also, you have to have the experience verified by a number of people (again, some states require PE's to do experience verification, some states don't, and the number of people varies, typically four or five).

        Regardless, getting a Professional Engineer license involves a lot more than taking a test (though the PE test wasn't necessarily easy, either).

        BTW, I just received my passing score and received my PE seal yesterday.
      • What about the guys on trains. :)
      • that's for the states where 'engineer' is a professional title, CA for example is not one of them - anyone can be an engineer there. (hell I am). It's also why we have the job title "Member of the Technical Staff" a title out of the east coast (Bell Labs I seem to remember, back when it was somewhere) that means roughly the same thing - smart person who understands applied technology and gets the job done
    • In certain provinces of Canada, MCSEs are not allowed to use the work "Engineer".

      Being a member of ASET [aset.ab.ca] and APEGGA [apegga.ca], I was sent a memo from both of those organizations and Microsoft on this issue. Microsoft was really pushing to use the work "Engineer", but the laws of BC, Alberta and Ontairo forbid the use of that title unless you are certified by one of those organizations. (APEGGA or ASET, or the Ontairo versions)

      I can't find reference to that memo on any of their websites, but I did get a copy about a year and a half ago.

      I forget what work they were trying to use to replace the "E", but I believe they settled on just using "MCSE" as the title, not as an acronym.

      • The Press Release (Score:2, Informative)

        by spac (125766)
        As a junior engineer, I'm not too happy with the loose use of the word "engineer"

        The title of engineer should only be bestowed upon those with enough knowledge, experience, and professional accountability to certify the proper performance of any system whether mission-critical or not.

        You don't acquire those skills in a strip mall, and Canadian Law sure as hell doesn't give you any professional accountability.

        Anyway, here is the press release that the parent post was referring to:

        For immediate release

        OIQ advises MCSE holders NOT to use the term engineer

        Montreal, August 13, 2002 - Due to Microsoft Canada's recent announcement that the company will continue to use the term engineer as part of its Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) designation, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ) is advising MCSE holders that they are subject to the laws of Quebec and will be prosecuted should they improperly represent themselves to the public as engineers.

        "Microsoft Canada has left us no choice," says OIQ president, Gaétan Lefebvre, Eng. "The term engineer and the engineering profession itself are strictly regulated across Canada - just like the legal and medical professions. Last year, Microsoft agreed to advise their Canadian holders of the MCSE certification not to call themselves engineers or use the full title. Now that they've reversed their decision, we will enforce the Province's Engineers Act and Professional Code. These two laws are very clear and were in force long before Microsoft ever existed. In Québec, the OIQ is responsible for their enforcement."

        According to section 22.2 of the Engineers Act (R.S.Q., c. I-9):
        22. Any person not a member in good standing of the Order who:
        (1) [...];
        (2) assumes the title of engineer alone or qualified, or makes use of any abbreviation of such title, or of any name, title or designation which might lead to the belief that he is an engineer or a member of the Order,
        (3) advertises himself as such,
        (4) acts in such a manner as to lead to the belief that he is authorized to fulfil the office of or to act as an engineer,
        (5) [...],
        is guilty of an offence and is liable to the penalties provided in section 188 of the Professional Code (chapter C-26).

        And, according to sections 32 and 188 of the Professional Code (c. C-26):

        32. No person shall claim in any manner to be an advocate, notary, physician, dentist, pharmacist, optometrist, veterinary surgeon, agrologist, architect, engineer, land-surveyor, forest engineer, chemist, chartered accountant, radiology technologist, denturologist, dispensing optician, chiropractor, hearing-aid acoustician, podiatrist, nurse, acupuncturist, bailiff or midwife, or use one of the above titles or any other title or abbreviation which may lead to the belief that he is one, or initials which may lead to the belief that he is one, or engage in a professional activity reserved to the members of a professional order, claim to have the right to do so or act in such a way as to lead to the belief that he is authorized to do so, unless he holds a valid, appropriate permit and is entered on the roll of the order empowered to issue the permit, unless it is allowed by law.

        The prohibition relating to the use of any titles, abbreviations or initials mentioned in the first paragraph or in an Act constituting a professional order extends to the use of such titles, abbreviations and initials in a feminine form.

        188.Every person who contravenes a provision of this Code, of the Act or letters patent constituting an order or of an amalgamation or integration order is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of not less than $600 nor more than $6 000.

        "Engineers have an enormous responsibility to the public" explains Mr Lefebvre. "When engineers create a design and build such things as superstructures, airplanes, computerized control systems and highways, public safety and confidence are at stake. People trust engineers because they have a permit to practice engineering, and such trust is vitally important. The public has a long history of respect for professionals with a reserved title. It's also why governments across Canada have entrusted the responsibility of regulating the practice of the engineering profession to the organizations that govern the profession in each province, and for Québec, that is the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec."

        The OIQ President continued: "Becoming an engineer is not just a matter of completing a few days or weeks of studies, as Microsoft suggests when it promotes its MCSE certification. In fact, at a meeting in their offices in Seattle, Microsoft officials openly admitted to officials from the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE) that their MCSE training program is in no way comparable to an academic engineering program. In Quebec, there are a number of laws and regulations governing the engineering profession. All this extensive legislation is based on the principle of protecting the public. That is the OIQ's principal function, and its primary concern is to verify the skills of those who apply for admission to its ranks."

        Only persons who hold a permit to practice issued by OIQ and are registered on its membership roll as engineers can use this strictly reserved title. Once engineers receive their permit to practice and thus the right to use this professional title, they are required to adhere to a professional code of ethics and demonstrate continued competency in their field of expertise.

        To date, in all cases where OIQ has taken legal action against the unlawful use of the title of engineer, the individuals charged have been found guilty. The OIQ President concluded: "When the OIQ learns of people violating the Engineers Act by not being registered on the roll of members, we see that they are prosecuted. They are not entitled to use the title of engineer, which has been strictly reserved for the members of OIQ. These violators run the risk of being fined."

        The Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ) regulates and governs the practice of engineering in the province in accordance with the Engineers Act. OIQ has over 45,000 members and is affiliated with the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE,) which represents some 160,000 engineers across Canada.

        The full text of the Engineers Act and the Professional Code of Québec can be consulted on the OIQ Web site at www.oiq.qc.ca.

        For information:
        Danielle Frank, ARP
        Conseiller en communications
        Direction des affaires corporatives
        Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec
        Tel. (514) 845-6141 or 1 800 461-6141, ext. 111

        http://www.peo.on.ca/enforcement/OIQ_Aug12_2002. ht ml
        • Canadian Law sure as hell doesn't give you any professional accountability.

          It sure the hell does! As an Engineer in Alberta, I must adhere to a strict code of ethics and laws. Some laws are more restrictive than being a Doctor or Health care worker, and focus more on being professionally accountable, as the profession of Engineering by it's nature means that people's lives are at stake. More so for Civil or Mechanical Engineers, than for myself as an Electronics Engineer, however, if I put my stamp on something, I am Criminally and Civilly responsible for my work.

          If my work is incomplete and is responsible for public damage or death, then I am responsible, just as sure as if I had gone out and shot someone.

  • by frankthechicken (607647) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:23PM (#5227211) Journal
    Theres an interesting comaprison between the benfefits [redhat.com] that Red Hat perceives that can be gained through taking their course and Microsofts [microsoft.com] idea of the benefits you get for its MCSE.

    Its an interesting contrast of philosophys, Red Hat stresses its IT benefits, whereas Microsoft seems to stress the special offers that come free with the course.

    Apparently you get a free badge with the Microsoft cereal, I think I know which one I'm going to be buying.
  • I worked as a network admin and then studied hard to get my CCNA. Right now it is almost worthless because of all the paperCCNAs out there who spent a week in a cert mill memorizing acronyms. Red Hat's approach, however is like Cisco's better program forces a student to take several classes over the course of a year not a week and we get people who may acctually be qualified. If we don't do it like this we will get Mom and Dad shelling out money to send their kid to (insert cert mill) for a few grand where they will leave with no skill.
  • by nuwayser (168008) <peteNO@SPAMtux.org> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:25PM (#5227229) Homepage Journal
    What's interesting to me is that if somebody fails the RHCE exam but gets all the RHCT portions of the RHCE exam correct, they still don't earn an RHCT. Red Hat hasn't quite figured this one out yet. I asked this question during one of RH's webcast presentations, and they said they didn't have plans at that time for implementing a "partial credit" solution.

    Although I can see how in a given real-world scenario, one would expect an RHCE to perform a longer list of tasks in a given time frame (be they troubleshooting, installation, service configuration, etc.) than an RHCT, it still doesn't make sense to me why one wouldn't be able to walk away with at least the RHCT if they had performed well enough to have passed the RHCT exam. Instead, they would have to pay more to take the RHCT exam separately.

    I'm not sure why this issue is important to me, except that I think it would be neat to earn the RHCE. I can't think of any other IT certs that employ any kind of partial credit system.
  • by Shouichi (647465) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:27PM (#5227242)
    Well, there are two ways to look at this.

    First, we can consider it to be a learning opportunity, which it isn't. It's an opportunity to be brainwashed and turned into a mindless employee. That is, of course, assuming it goes Microsoft's route.

    But, we can see this as an opportunity to get a title that will help you get a job, where you can do some real learning. Way I see it, if you take the cert, get a job, and study a LOT, you can actually get somewhere. And by somewhere, I don't mean a trailer. I mean SOMEWHERE!

    Of course, being the everything-hater I am, I have to say that the idea of an open-source cert is sort of weird. When I say weird, I mean extremely ugly. That's just a pet peeve of mine.

  • Paper Certs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NTT (92764)
    There was a time when being an MCP/MSCE *actually* was worthwhile. Before every fly-by-night tech education company realized they could make a buck off the courseware and flooded the market with paper-cert toting meta-geeks. I see this as a good thing. Anything that RH does to expand awareness of its products ultimately helps the whole OSS & FSF idealogies through a trickle down effect.
  • My high school offered a two year course that would allow the students to get cisco certification. Unfortuanatly the instructor found a different job (better pay now that he had cisco certification, paid for by the school) after the first year, so we ended up with a dumbass history teacher that thought he was a computer genius for the second year.
  • I've been considering the RHCE (To get past the the HR People who think that it means something), but have been really turned off by the associated costs.

    The RHCE is super expensive: $2500 for the "review classes" where you try to cram information into your poor brain over a 5 day period (You will lose 95% of this knowledge in less then a week), and then $700 for the tests.

    I'm hoping that as RedHat expands these classes to other schools, the price of the review class may decrease, and other schedules may be offered. I'd be happy with 1-2 classes per week with 3-4 hou0rs per session for 5 weeks or so, much easier to remember that way.
  • ...if linux is going to make it in major corporations. It's a quick, easy way for lazy managers to determine employee performance. Just like linux needs office software optimised for making Lovely Documents containing data that could be easier read/manipulated in .txt files. There's a whole class of people who don't do any useful work beyond making sure the rest of us do, and as silly as it sounds Microsoft makes it easier for them to do this. To summarize: Managers like certs, managers authorize software purchases, we want Linux software purchased, so certs are good.
  • by ausoleil (322752) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:43PM (#5227362) Homepage
    ...or it will be DOA.

    The MCSE is an almost useless cert to go and get if you plan to work in a modern IT department. Due to Microsoft concetrating generating revenue from it's MCSE progrsam and not really worrying about creating truly knowledgable sysadmins the MCSE will get you a 30K job (or less) on a Helpdesk as a mouth-breathing card reader. Unfortunately, the cert mills and Microsoft itself sell this useless stack of papers as keys to the server room, where you will know better than the guys who have been staying up all night for years in there putting on security patches, hotfixes, service packs and upgrades that are wildly different from one another. It ain't so, sorry, thanks for playing.

    Red Hat, on the other hand, has a chance to create some truly educated people in their cert program, and if they do, they will definitely be able to get their foot in more doors. But if they just create a bunch of wild-eyed know-it-all evangalizers (read: sales people) who just know how to spin up an install and then run the graphical version of Up2Date, then it will be as big a waste of time as Micro$ofts.

    Of course, all IT groups are managed by MCSE's (Magazine Certified Stupid Engineers) who read the rags and think that it would be oh so easy to go and migrate from Progress to Oracle, AND implement SAP in a single evening of downtime!
  • Certs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NetJunkie (56134) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `hsan.nosaj'> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:46PM (#5227387)
    I'm a RHCE (2 years ago), MCSE (6 or 7 years ago), and a CCNP. The new MCSE exams are a good bit deeper than the earlier tests that were very easy. The RHCE is a good lab exam, but mainly focuses on supporting small Linux servers in a pretty rigid setup. It doesn't really cover managing a large Linux network, like some of the MCSE tests cover.

    Is the RHCE worth it? It's a good cert and until it gets washed out, it has value. But don't worry, when it gets popular you'll see cheat sheets and answer books just like you do with the MCSE. The exam will always be based on the RedHat classes, which can be reduced down to only the facts needed.

    I did not take any Red Hat classes when I took my exam...in fact, I was the only one out of 8 that didn't. I got a 98% on the exam while some of the people who took the training were taking it their 2nd time. I think those guys passed when I was there, but I wouldn't want them on my servers....
    • Re:Certs (Score:2, Interesting)

      by nystul555 (579614)
      I'd like to just second everything you've said. I'm a RHCE, MCSE, MCNE, and I have a few Cisco certs.

      A co-worker and I took the test together, and we were the only 2 out of 15-16 people there who did not sit through the classes. Even after a week of training, 4 of the testers left after the first portion, knowing they had already failed. I talked to a few of them during the breaks, and I've got to say, I wouldn't trust most of them with any of my clients systems.

      The MCSE has toughened up a bit, but I still feel that it is too easy. I liked the RHCE test better, due to the lab portions, but it did not go into much beyond maintaining one server. At one point, Red Hat was going to have a RHCE 2 that was supposed to be far more difficult, but I haven't heard anything about that lately. As I understand it, they were having a 50% failure rate on the RHCE as it was, so they may have decided that it was tough enough.

      I've got to say though, I am still proudest of my MCNE.

  • by ScottForbes (528679) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:48PM (#5227406) Homepage
    I think they should call them Certified Linux / Unix Engineers. Who could resist the acronym?
  • Perhaps it's just my current location (Kentucky) that has me thinking this, but when it's all said and done and you've got your shiny new Red Hat Certification, how many companies are going to know or even care about it's importance? Linux is growing more and more efficient, and, as such, being used by more and more companies. But it's still just a drop in the bucket. I'm sure there's many a company that hasn't heard of Red Hat (or Mandrake, SuSE, blah blah blah), or at least there was prior to IBMs pushing of it onto the airwaves. I suppose what I'm trying to say is there's a lot of companies blinded by the famous MCSE that this "newfangled RHCE" won't mean a jot to them.
  • Well Done Red Hat! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Eric Damron (553630)
    One of the arguments people give me as to why they don't want to switch their shop over to Linux is because 'The learning curve is just too great.' They feel that they have too much time and money invested in learning Windows.

    Making Linux training available cheaply gives Linux more credibility and at the same time removes one of the main reasons I've heard for not adopting it.

    Well done Red Hat!

  • It would be much better if it were a LINUX certified engineer. It should focus on core concepts, not on redhat specific stuff. I guess it is in Redhat's interests to get these kids on their flavor though, so that redhat is what gets bought at companies as these kids move into the business world. Hmmm. Sounds much like what a certain company in Washington has been doing for many years by flooding universities and high schools with discounts/free products.
    • Linux is at the point of being so generic that you may as well have a POSIX-OS certification instead. If perhaps Sun, SGI, HP, SCO, RedHat, SuSE, Debian, MS, etc. all got together to make a 'computer professional' series of exams for the sake of saying "this person understands how (networking/operating systems/development) works", that'd be interesting.

      But it won't happen any time soon ...
  • As an RHCE, I can tell you that Red Hat has recently polled RHCE's to find out if anyone was willing to DONATE time to NON-PROFIT organizations in their vicinty and offer assistance with Linux (setup, deployment, troubleshooting, and staff education).

    The RHCE program hasn't been around that long and the final 6 hour really test pushes your endurance and breadth of knowledge. A year or two ago, RHCE's were very sparse and rounding up volunteers to help in a specific area would have proved challenging. However, now that the RHCE population has grown there might be enough volunteers to go around. I volunteered! I'd be happy to help my local library, school, or public institution into Linux Land.

    Incidentally, I've never seen MSCE's volunteer for anything related to MS products. The only time I see them is when we are interviewing. You can always tell an MSCE since the logo is usually printed LARGE at the top of the re'sume'. They usually try to regale us with tales of how they used TCP/IP engineering and the OSI standard to assign an IP address to their cable modem router. Of the batch I interviewed, none even had Computer Science degrees. However, this was back in the day when we used to do interviews. It was so long ago we had a different President.

    Ok, enough picking on MSCE's ... I can't pick on RHCE's because I honestly don't know any others. Even the smarter UNIX admin peers I have that attempted it, didn't pass. Maybe all the stars aligned for me on test day. My class had a 20% pass rate. However, before you blast me for picking on MSCE's I want you to know that if RHCE's deserved to be picked on, they would get a dose as well.

    If there are any other RHCE's out there, I'd really like to start an RHCE listserv or community. Also, I live in the Detroit area and have tried to get Red Hat to hold a RHD (Red Hat Kernel Development) class in Detroit, but they claim there isn't enough interest. If you have a similar desire, please check the Red Hat training website and drop me an email. I can fill two seats, but believe a minimum of 5 is required to fly in an instructor.

    However, keep in mind. All certifications are mostly worthless. They usually won't get you a job or even a raise. The best bet is still a college degree followed by an MBA. It's mostly personal satisfaction.

    I think the Red Hat Educational Push is great! I fully endorse it and will even volunteer time to support it! Please do the same if you get the call for help.

    Also, keep in mind that Red Hat is not the ANTI-CHRIST. Anyone who wishes can still make their own distro and if you want to compile it all yourself, check out gentoo. Without IBM, Red Hat, and the hard working developers plowing ahead, the Linux movement might be over except maybe in some parts of Europe.

    Microsoft will still try to stop and block Linux, but I have it on good authority that some of the guys at Redmond actually like Open Source and have the desire to incorporate some of it's features. Linux is no longer just chasing tail lights!
  • Red Hat has had information on their web site regarding Red Hat Academy for some time... but they are just getting it rolling... and haven't really announced it in a big way.

    I passed the RHCE back in April of 2002 and I know that the RHCE program is a high quality program... especially the test.

    I happen to work for a college in Montana and I was interested in learning what it would take to get Red Hat Academy / RHCT training and testing in our area... hoping to eventually turn it into an RHCE training program (not currently in Red Hat's cards). After talking to Joel Jackson (I think that was his name) in the Sales department... he emailed me a PDF with the details.

    First year cost:

    $15,000 for training - 2 RHCE Instructors and 1 RHCE Administrator
    $22,000 for a year of Red Hat Academy curriculum, support, manuals, distribution, etc.

    So... the first year investment is $37,000

    Additional years are $22,000 (unless you lost your trained people and need to train more).

    I wonder if that $22,000 figure is negotiable? That is good for up to 5,000 students per year.

    They only allow non-profit educational institutions (high schools, colleges, universities, etc) in the Red Hat Academy program... and while they say you can charge the student a fee (call it whatever you want... book fee, lab fee, etc) they really don't give you any guidelines as to what you can charge... except that Red Hat wants $150 for each test administered. How much do you charge for tests? Again, that's up to your institution.

    Being from a small college in Montana, $37,000 is a sizable first year investment. It wouldn't be any big deal if we could get 500 students interested in the program... but that would be a real challenge. Considering the fact that Red Hat is "planting seeds" with the Academy program... you'd think the seeds would be cheaper... or that they'd have a program priced close to cost. I have no idea how much it will take Red Hat to administer. I'm sure it is a quality program, judging by the RHCE.
  • i am a public school teacher. let's face it, school districts are not run by the "best and brightest". see LAUSD (los angeles). however, this means that yes, that linux has real value, AND, that kids need to learn it in order be employable in the "real world". the ease and cost of entry is a huge bonus and an easier sell.

    i can't tell you how many times our paper tigers have screwed up our network at school. where linux could have provided real solutions, it is purposely excluded, simply because it tramples on others' turf. what this helps do is get RHCE's into schools, they push it, parents see the value in it, kids get into it, and the ball gets rolling. plus, the cost is VERY attractive to school boards. it is win-win. and lete's face it, there isn't a whole lot of difference between linux distros really. flame on here, but c'mon, if you are red hat cert., and you get a deb server, are you lost? now, if you're a paper tiger mcse in front of a shell prompt...
  • The only valid certs I have is LPI 101, Linux+, Network+, and Inet+. None of these tests were worth a damn (I got most while I was in college. The LPI was off a bet, a friend bet me that I couldn't "just take it" and pass). I passed the Network+ and Linux+ so fast that I didn't even meet the required amount of time to have to pay for parking in the garage. And I don't even consider myself all that bright when it comes to IT.

    They are nice to have, so that you can feel some measure of comfort in your own skills, but they are ultimately pointless. None of them have ever been a deciding factor in getting me a job. I didn't learn anything that I didn't already know by taking them.

    I think that only the full CCNP track, whatever way you want to go, is still a valid measure of what someone knows. The tests involved in the CCNP track really test you. I know two CCNPs and one CCIE that are also all MCSEs and/or CNEs. They told me this. Whether they or right or wrong has yet to be seen.

  • Now the RHCE will mean nothing. Just like an MCSE.

    Unless they are going to keep the exams tough, standards high and questions and problems unique so the 'braindump' memorization doesnt work. I find it hard to believe Redhat will keep the RHCE standards. Theyre trying to spread RHCE on peoples resumes and attract jobseekers. Theyre trying to increase the number of RHCEs by orders of magnitude....

    And I was about to embark on getting certified after my SCSA. Now we'll have too many MCSEs, too many A+es, too many CCNAs etc. and if the market remains this bad, getting these certs will give you no better value. Redhat now has too many reasons to maintain a high-quality certification that will filter out only the most capable admins, and I hope they see this.
  • that would be me as exampled yesterday:

    Pop Quiz hotshot:
    You mucked about in your /etc/fstab and rendered your RH 8 machine non-bootable...what do you do?

    Break out the Slackware 7 disk, boot, mount the drive and fix the fstab file.

    (oh, and Redhat....where is cfdisk? sheesh).
    .
  • ...have differing levels of importance.

    I recently moved from the UK to the Middle East. The situation in the Gulf States such as Qatar, Oman, the UAE, etc, is that the local citizens of each state make up, on average, about 20% of the population of the country. 'Locals', meaning the indigenous Arab population, generally work for the government in managerial positions and the majority of hands on IT work is performed by people from every country in the world, from Kyrgystan to South Africa, to Great Britain, to Somalia, to India and everywhere in between.

    Certifications in this region are extremely important. As a manager looking to employ someone, whether in a small or large company, you have to have some benchmark to use before you even interivew someone for a hands on IT role as you have no way of knowing what the general standard is in Iran, or Somalia or England, so there is no point interviewing everyone who claims they have a CS degree from the University of Tehran or Dundee or Hyderabad followed by sys admin experience at the Al Eadffg Coat Factory - it simply means nothing to you.

    So, you need some kind of benchmark from which to work up from.

    If you need an MS admin, you start off with people who are MS certified. If you need Sun skills you interview only those with Sun certification. Clearly a good manager will try and delve a little more deeply into what each individual can actually do and make a decision based on the results.

    As an Englishman, I'd be happy accepting a CV from someone from the UK without certification as I could look at a CV and make some judgements based on my own experience as to whether they are worth interviewing. We'd speak the same language and would have had similar experiences which would let me make that judgement. For other nationalities, I'd expect to start with at least some kind of 'official' level of skill and take things from there.

    Equally, an Indian manager wouldn't trust a UK CV - and quite rightly so - as they don't have the experience to judge what a UK guy's CV *really* means.

    So, even though the certification doesn't guarantee that the guy can do as much as someone without a certification, it gives one a good basis on which to work from.

    Linux is taking off here as everyone is obsessed with price and since Linux is 'free' it must be a good thing to use.

    So Red Hat are right on the nail in producing a 'benchmark' which the guys with the budgets and the influence can use when looking for potential employees.

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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