There are my notes for a talk I gave at a local community college. The talk was to an entry level Linux class on things they need to know on using Linux in the workplace and general career advice.


Linux Information

Overview of Distributions

  • Novell (OpenSUSE, SLED, SLES, Realtime, OES, POS)
  • Red Hat (Fedora, RHEL (ES, AS, WS), JBoss)
  • Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux
  • Debian and Ubuntu
  • Linspire
  • CoLinux

Linux Certifications

  • LPI -> NCLP -> NCLE
  • Test taking tips

Working with Windows

  • Dual Booting
  • VMWare
  • Xen
  • CoLinux

Markets for Linux

  • Home Desktop market is irrelevant.
    • You will make no money there.
    • It will follow the way of the schools and businesses.
    • It is being replaced by a services infrastructure anyway.
  • Business desktops
  • Business servers
  • Virtual servers
  • Services


Getting a Job

  • Don’t Send A Resume tips
    • Active vs Passive search
    • Know why you want to work and what you want to do. Don’t just go for money.
  • Build your social skills, they will take you further than technical
  • Learn to couch everything in terms of money. Money is used to represent resources, not just itself.

Best Practices

  • Packaging
    • Always always always use packages
    • Use repositories (RPM Forge, Factory, Packman), and if they do not work, rebuild the package from them to reset dependencies.
  • Testing
    • Prove that the problem exists
    • Structure tests to locate possible sources of problems
    • Test at edges and work your way inwards
  • Fingerpointing
    • Never point at something else without knowing 100% that the problem exists there
  • Stability is prime. Users do not care about cool.
  • Do not allow power users to drive corporate standards, keep the system clean.

Future Directions

  • Many opportunities as long as you keep learning.
  • Do not advocate, listen.
  • Overview of Linux jobs
    • Sysadmin
    • Security
    • Integrator
    • Developer