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Red Hat Software Businesses Education

Red Hat Certification Program For Education 209

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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  • Havent we learned?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sickboy_macosX ( 592550 ) <> 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!
  • 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 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 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 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 nuwayser ( 168008 ) <pete@tux.oBOYSENrg minus berry> 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 n3rd ( 111397 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:26PM (#5227231)
    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 [] over on ArsTechnica. I don't think there are any schools out there that teach you what is required to answer that question.
  • 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.

  • by Burnsides_CS ( 633129 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:32PM (#5227283)
    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.
  • by Dr Caleb ( 121505 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:42PM (#5227360) Homepage Journal
    In certain provinces of Canada, MCSEs are not allowed to use the work "Engineer".

    Being a member of ASET [] and APEGGA [], 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.

  • 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 ) <jason DOT nash AT gmail DOT com> 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 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....
  • by bluesoul88 ( 609555 ) <{bluesoul} {at} {}> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:55PM (#5227451) Homepage
    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 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @08:04PM (#5227500)
    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!

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

    by hdparm ( 575302 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @08:25PM (#5227628) Homepage
    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.
  • by puto ( 533470 ) 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.


  • Re:Certs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nystul555 ( 579614 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @08:39PM (#5227702) Homepage
    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 darthvader88 ( 647646 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @09:36PM (#5227997)
    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.
  • by ( 637314 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @10:05PM (#5228146) Homepage Journal
    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?
  • Re:Paper RHCE... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hdparm ( 575302 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @10:12PM (#5228175) Homepage
    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 ) <jason DOT nash AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @10:17PM (#5228194)
    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.

Garbage In -- Gospel Out.