[nSLUG] Linux Certifications

Daniel Morrison draker at gmail.com
Wed Apr 14 17:27:53 ADT 2010


On 14 April 2010 16:01, Dop Ganger <nslug at fop.ns.ca> wrote:
> In a mission critical environment I would expect the interview process
> would pick out incompetents, with interviews done by someone with clue.
> One of my favourites for my environment is "what does killall do on Unix
> systems?"; that is one that people who have the battle scars know the
> answer to all too well, but filters out people who have only run a Linux
> box in their basement.

I don't know about that. I've been a paid sysadmin for 15+ years, but
I haven't a clue what killall does. Why not? I never use it, because I
don't trust it. And a quick look at the man pages shows why:

CentOS:
killall  sends  a signal to all processes running any of the specified
commands.
(how is this different from pkill?)

Solaris:
killall is used by shutdown(1M) to kill all active processes not
directly related to the shutdown procedure.

Completely different!

At least the CentOS page includes a warning (way at the end in the
'known bugs' section):

       Be warned that typing killall name may not have the desired effect on
       non-Linux systems, especially when done by a privileged user.

Be safe. Use standard commands.

In my opinion, sysadmin certification is useful, for example, in an
enterprise that uses RHEL in particular, and wants RedHat
certification to ensure a MINIMUM standard of competency from their
employees. But what's the use of learning chkconfig,
/etc/sysconfig/network/*, or yum for an environment that has
Debian/Ubuntu, Solaris, etc.? Basically none. Real competency is not
memorization; testing the ability to read documentation and absorb new
concepts is a key factor in making a competent sysadmin.

-D.



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