[nSLUG] Re: Linux Certifications

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Thu Apr 15 15:36:16 ADT 2010

"George N. White III" <gnwiii at gmail.com> wrote:

> "Can you build us a safe nuclear power plant?", or "Can you design a
> fail-safe fly-by-wire engine management system?".  9 times out of of
> 10 the guy who says "no problem" gets the jobs while the guy who
> says "That will not be easy." is shown the door.

This reminds me of "The Orange Juice Test" that I read about in the
CoEvolution Quarterly (aka Whole Earth Review) years ago.

A guy who organized large conferences and conventions needed, as a
first step, to select a hotel for a venue. So he'd meet with senior
hotel managers from a number of hotels of suitable size and
location. After some initial conversation, he's say, "Oh yes, we'll
need a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice for each of our 1100
participants for breakfast each morning."

If the manager's reply was, "No problem", then he would politely close
out the interview and scratch that hotel off his list of options.  If
the reply was, "Jeez, that's a hard one. Let's see what I can do about
that" then that hotel remained a candidate for the conference.

Because squeezing a few thousand oranges in a frantically busy and
efficiently organized hotel kitchen *was* a problem and if the manager
didn't instantly realize this he was too stupid to rely on.  If he
realized it but wanted to skim over it in order to get the contract,
he was too devious and full of BS to rely on.

I'm not sure just how you'd morph this into evaluating a hacker or
sys admin but it has potential.

In days of yore, a boss would ask a candidate mechanic, millwright,
blacksmith, machinist or the like to present his personal tool box for
inspection.  He could tell, from the selection of tools and their
condition just what kind of work the man could be expected to produce.
When the tools are all cerebral, that's kinda hard to do.

- Mike

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

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