Help with information about demand for Linux certifications?

Gaggl, Leo leo at
Tue Oct 29 15:18:13 CST 2013

Interesting topic. Apart from agreeing with both Tomasz & Paul on what has
been said so far I would add

a) the whole "Industry Certification" - or the less commonly used (but more
telling) term of "Vendor Certification" reeks more like corporate
profiteering (for both Vender and Certifying Body) and Vendor Marketing
rather than any effective quality control measure. Having participated
personally on some of the early components of such schemes, these days I
would actually hold too many "certificates" against that individual. All it
shows me is that more time is spend on collecting certificates than
innovation on the actual job.

The answers on this Stackexchange thread might be helpful:

b) the concept of a portfolio of past work and experiences is I think what
would be much more useful. As Paul mentioned an active committer to OS
projects (Github, Ohloh, ...) or an active social media presence in areas
of expertise is what I look for in those areas.

>From an employers point of view the only positive thing that a
Certification would tell me is that the person is willing & capable to deal
with bureaucracies and can stick to a goal. Other than that I would not
base much emphasis on it. Demonstrable experience and references would be
more crucial.

>From a Students perspective the question might be what kind of a job do you
want. If you are aiming for some Government IT Admin job or getting into a
large Corporate IT Silo these pieces of paper are some kind of entry-level
sacrifice you have to make to the CIO gods so they can make a tick in the
compliance column. But for SME or Startup they would be largely irrelevant.

A good educational basis (be it VET or Tertiary) in a Computer Science
related subject is another story though.....


On 29 October 2013 14:07, Paul Gardner-Stephen <paul at>wrote:

> I concur.
> In the Linux/open-source world artificial certifications are less
> important than evidence of capability and output.  For example, we would
> tend to look for contributions to an open-source project, rather than a
> certificate in open-source software development.
> This transparent and discoverable/verifiable nature of portfolio in many
> cases obviates the need for certification, in contrast to industry where
> the undiscoverability of your contributions necessitate some sort of
> warrant that you are capable of making them.
> Of course this is not a universal thing, and probably more true for
> software developers than for systems/networks administrators, although even
> then being able to say that you maintained facilities for organisation X is
> at least as legal tender as a certification for linux systems/network
> administration.
> So from my perspective, I would get the students doing what it is they
> want to be employed to do, for example, actually contributing to an
> open-source project, doing source-control, maintaining operating systems
> and networks and so on.
> Eventually, in many ways what people are looking for in the open-source
> world (and some other places) boils down to:
> 1. Are they smart?
> 2. Do they get stuff done?
> 3. Are they, as a person, someone you would enjoy having in your
> organisation?
> and, in smaller enterprises:
> 4. Will it take them too long to learn what they need to know to do their
> job, but do not yet know?
> Paul.
> On Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM, Tomasz Grzegurzko <tomasz89 at>wrote:
>> Hi Jackie,
>> On 29 October 2013 12:39, Jackie Brooks <Jackie.Brooks at>
>> wrote:
>> > Is there currently a demand in the IT Industry in Adelaide (or
>> Australia)
>> > for Linux certifications and if so which one/s?
>> I can't say it has ever been important to be Linux certified in any
>> job that I've had and I think it has to do with the community nature
>> of Linux. In any employer Linux-environment, they have at least one
>> person who knows enough to ask a few questions.. The certificates may
>> help to get past the sifting of CVS to get to the interview stage but
>> I've not personally seen evidence of this.
>> As an employer, I'd be more included to look for someone who is a
>> "hacker" or just generally enthusiastic about the technology we're
>> doing -- it tends to imply that when you hit the weird problems that
>> you do in software/IT, you'll have someone who will dig and ferret
>> around (on the Internet, using the needed tools on the Linux box, etc)
>> and get to the bottom of it. Tertiary students have an advantage here
>> as I've observed they have a better ability to research and attempt to
>> solve their own problems, and subsequently remember the
>> fixes/resolutions without always resorting to immediately asking a
>> colleague when the answer may be evident.
>> The technologies involved will bear a part to play - someone with
>> networking/sockets programming knowledge is useful in a networked
>> application environment, someone who has played with a Raspberry Pi
>> might indicate an interest in embedded too (boot loaders, kernel, core
>> OS concepts, etc..), and so on. This is what I'd go off when looking
>> at candidates and talking to them.
>> Happy to hear if someone else has found a certificate to be the main
>> reason for the job.
>> Certainly, I've turned down MS certified people as when questioned
>> they really knew nothing about the specifics of the area they were
>> "certified" in!
>> Regards,
>> Tomasz
>> --
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*Leo Gaggl
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