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 Post subject: SysAdmin: Windows or Unix?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:43 am 
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Greetings all. Like a lot of other people, I'm looking to get into the IT industry. I have no certs yet (Studying for Network+ and Server+), but plan to go to college for AS in IT, majoring in Network Administration. I see alot of SysAdmin positions, but some want Unix people (Solaris, Linux, Mac OSX, BSD, AIX, etc.), and others want Windows people. Which one should I try to get in to first. Should I train for my Linux+, LPIC I, then LPIC II, or should I just start with an MCSA 2003? I plan on studying for it all, but which one would be more valuable at the start? I personally prefer Linux, but haven't had much experience in it (haven't had the time. I've been working so much and haven't had the time to back up my windows machine and play with the new Ubuntu 6.10) What's the verdict?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:40 pm 
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I'd love to give you a straight answer, but it really depends on your location.

I manage an HPC center at a research lab in Virginia. If you lived in the VA/DC/MD region I would say focus on linux. I see many more openings (and VERY few qualified candidates) for linux/unix administration. Quite frankly there are very few qualified candidates to fill those positions.

If you pursue a linux certification, I would STRONGLY reccomend RHCE over Linux+. RHCE certification is by far more respected in industry circles then linux+, etc.
I know the common arguement is Linux+ and other are vendor neutral, but lets be honest here, 99% of all linux administration is done via SSH and CLI and RHCE tests for that. Their certification is more rigorous.

I have yet to encounter an candidate that had a RHCE and lack in skills, but I cannot say the same for other certifications.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:47 am 
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Good to know. I knew the Linux+ was a relatively basic exam (in the linux certification scheme of things). But I'm also somewhat of a newb in the whole wonderful world of Linux/UNIX. So the RHCE, huh? Well, I'm in mid-Michigan. Flint area to be exact. I looked on dice.com and saw more job results for Linux/Unix sysadmins rather than Windows, but not too much more. Good to know about the RHCE though. So you think I shouldn't worry about the Linux+ and LPIC I and II, and just focus on the RHCE?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:39 pm 
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Yes.
Lets put it this way, if I were the hiring manager and you had little to no experience and all you had were Linux+, etc. I might consider you, but I certainly would sit you front of a terminal and have you perform some semi-basic admin procedures. With RHCE I wouldnt be concerned with your skill level at all.

The reason is this: Its a 6 hr exam; 1 hr is multiple choice. Then two hands on lab; Lab A: Installation/trouble shooting; Lab B: Administration/troubleshooting. Ive never encountered anyone with a RHCE that did not have above average skills.

One place you might want to check out since you are in Michigan I would check out the automobile companies and the various research oriented companies that cater towards the auto companies. I know for a fact that GM has a large research division that uses linux workstations and clusters for FE modeling. Their linux IT group is somewhat large.

If you are attending a local community college, I would hit up the career resource center (or whatever its called at your school) and find out which companies they have close ties to. Alot of local companies are tightly integrated with community colleges because its a good resource for technical help. If you can, I would try to get an internship. Even if its unpaid.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:32 am 
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Ahh, more good to know info. Thanks markmark. I've actually always wanted to stay away from anything to do with the automotive industry (well, GM, not Toyota or Honda or something) Reason being cause the american brands aren't doing too well. But I guess I could still try. Thanks again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:31 pm 
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Location: Illinois
I agree with markmark, the RHCE is highly respected and it is definitely a cert worth earning.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:22 pm 
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Ok, so I know that I should forget the Linux+ and LPICs and focus on the RHCE. But, my bro says that the MCSA is the way to go. I personally think that the RHCE would be more valuable, and the competition would be much less with it too. There are lots of people that have MCSAs, but fewer that have RHCE, and there are more jobs that call on a knowledge of UNIX. Still I want to hear from others, MCSA or RHCE starting out?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:32 pm 
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I believe there are around 500,000 MCSE's and there are around 32,000 RHCE's.

Like I said before, I personally feel there is less competition for the RHCE's because there are very few skilled tux admins out there.
It doesnt help my opinion because I have interviewed a few 'boot camp' MCSE's and found their skills sorely lacking.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:56 pm 
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Quote:
I believe there are around 500,000 MCSE's and there are around 32,000 RHCE's.

Like I said before, I personally feel there is less competition for the RHCE's because there are very few skilled tux admins out there.
It doesnt help my opinion because I have interviewed a few 'boot camp' MCSE's and found their skills sorely lacking.



Not quite, in server 2003 there are only 40,000.
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/certified.asp


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:26 pm 
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Sure - but there are over 400K people with Win2K certs and presumably more experience. And let's not forget the respect issue. As a computer science major and working programmer, I find that Unix admins command a lot more respect than Windows admins. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that they're 2nd class citizens in comparison.

Whose marketshare is increasing?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:13 am 
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Yeah, my brother (works as a tech for a school district says he doesn't know why I bother with Linux; no one around here runs Linux. I'm not sure if he's thinking of home users or small businesses, but I'm sure that in my town (Flint) most small businesses run Windows. All the jobs for Linux/UNIX are in Detroit and surrounding areas. So RHCE it is.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:29 pm 
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He is right there are fewer shops using unix/linux.
In my field (HPC Linux clusters) the field is even smaller. But you would be surprised at the companies that are in the field: John Deere employs one of the largest Linux clusters in private industry. In fact we just lost an engineer to them this past week.
You will also find that jobs for linux admins are more frequently posted on linux list servs vs typical job posting sites such as monster.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:23 pm 
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We just had a contractor come in to set up our TELECO server with the OS running the very stable RH Ent.
I set up the existing server on a now expired ver of UNIX SCO awhile back.
The tech flew in last night and left this morning-took the server with him. As far as I could see the install went smoothly, however he couldn't get the custom application to run right.

RH Ent is making some headway in the market but there are some compatibilty shortcomings and everyone knows MS still dominates a large portion of the server marketshare.
That said, there is definitely a need for more qualified RHCE's but first and foremost developers need to design their apps with Linux in mind.

In terms of respect, a lot of that respect comes from the fact that Linux is not exactly an intuitive OS. Windows on the other hand is easy to use and easy to manage. This is because it is a product that we are already familiar with.
It's also a product that is running on just about everyone's home computer worldwide.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:58 pm 
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markmark69 wrote:
He is right there are fewer shops using unix/linux.
In my field (HPC Linux clusters) the field is even smaller. But you would be surprised at the companies that are in the field: John Deere employs one of the largest Linux clusters in private industry. In fact we just lost an engineer to them this past week.
You will also find that jobs for linux admins are more frequently posted on linux list servs vs typical job posting sites such as monster.com


MarkMark69 - I'm considering taking some graduate courses in HPC, and I'm sure there are plenty of other of CS majors in the PP that are also eager to find out more about the subject (many probably haven't heard the term HPC though), I was wondering if we could do a little question and answer thread about HPC, what your work is like, what material courses cover, job prospects, etc over in the PP sometime. If so, I can make it sticky, 'introduce you' and let others know about the thread.

PM me if you're interested.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:30 pm
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markmark69 wrote:
I believe there are around 500,000 MCSE's and there are around 32,000 RHCE's.

Like I said before, I personally feel there is less competition for the RHCE's because there are very few skilled tux admins out there .
It doesnt help my opinion because I have interviewed a few 'boot camp' MCSE's and found their skills sorely lacking.


Even Cisco is climbing the ladder.
Im an ex ccna, it expired, but everyone is trying to get cisco certified.
Blech...

Im actually going to look into it myself...anyone else know the difficulty of this cert as opposed to the ccna?


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