wrote an LPI Level 2 Linux test

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Tonight I wrote a Linux sysadmin certification test [1], in a
beta exam session that the Linux Professional Institute (LPI)
was running to test the quality of their exams.

I don't really feel like I need any kind of certification, but
decided to take the test because I was curious how well I would
do, and because I couldn't pass up the bargain of the special
beta test price ($25 CAD instead of $200 USD.)

The test was 141 questions, almost all of them multiple choice,
covering all areas of Linux system administration (see the
objectives [2] for details.) I think the questions were generally
very well written, and would do a fairly good job of
distinguishing experienced sysadmins from inexperienced ones.

A lot of the questions were about specific commands, command
line flags and configuration options, a lot of which I wasn't
sure about because whenever I need them I just look them up.
I generally dislike tests that test your ability to memorize info
when you don't need to, but I don't really have a problem with it
in this case because I think more experienced admins will just
tend to know a lot of the things they asked about. There were a
few things I didn't have much experience with and just guessed
(e.g., specific configuration details of dhcpd, samba, INN, NIS,
DNS zones) but others that I didn't even have to think about
(sendmail, procmail, apache.)

A lot of the skills that I think make for a good sysadmin weren't
tested, like:

 - skilled use of shell commands and pipelines

 - the ability to automate stuff in a way that it won't break or
   need much ongoing maintenance

 - the ability to make good decisions about spending money on
   hardware vs wetware

 - deciding which of the many potential security vulnerabilities
   are the ones that are the highest priority to fix

but those things are much harder to test for.

The guy that administered the exam (Dan York, one of the founders
of LPI and a board member of Linux International; seems like a
cool guy, writes a lot of good stuff) had this to say [3] about it:

   LPI Testing - Proctored the LPI Level 2 beta exam for 8 local
   Linux users... It took 2+ hours for most of them.  Having
   taken the beta exam, I can say that it is one tough exam.
   People passing this exam will definitely know their stuff
   about Linux.

We'll see... the results are supposed to be in in 3-4 weeks.

[1] http://www.oclug.on.ca/archives/oclug/2001-October/010688.html
[2] http://www.lpi.org/p-L2-obj-pre.html
[3] http://www.advogato.org/person/dyork/diary.html?start=153
   (I saw some good stuff from him the other day about the
   W3C patent policy snafu, but I can't find it now. Aha:
   http://www.advogato.org/article/349.html#13 )

--
Gerald Oskoboiny <gerald@impressive.net>
http://impressive.net/people/gerald/

Re: wrote an LPI Level 2 Linux test

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On Tue, Oct 23, 2001 at 11:47:54PM -0400, Gerald Oskoboiny wrote:
> Tonight I wrote a Linux sysadmin certification test [1], in a
> beta exam session that the Linux Professional Institute (LPI)
> was running to test the quality of their exams.

A couple of you have asked about this usage of 'wrote':
no, I didn't help author the test, I just took it.

I wonder if that usage of "wrote" is really a Canadian thing
as you guys suggested, or just something I made up? Or maybe
Yankees are just easily confused ;)

hmm... looks like it is indeed a Canadian thing:
http://www.google.com/search?q=%22wrote+a+test%22+students&num=50

--
Gerald Oskoboiny <gerald@impressive.net>
http://impressive.net/people/gerald/

Re: wrote an LPI Level 2 Linux test

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At 10:38 PM 10/24/2001 -0400, Gerald Oskoboiny wrote:
>On Tue, Oct 23, 2001 at 11:47:54PM -0400, Gerald Oskoboiny wrote:
>> Tonight I wrote a Linux sysadmin certification test [1], in a
>> beta exam session that the Linux Professional Institute (LPI)
>> was running to test the quality of their exams.
>
>A couple of you have asked about this usage of 'wrote':
>no, I didn't help author the test, I just took it.

I had the same question as I read the beginning of your
message, but the remainder cleared it up for me.

I have heard another North American use the term
'challenge'  in a similar way; i.e. they would say
"Tonight I challenged a Linux sysadmin certification test."

When I first heard this it made no sense to me, so I asked what he
meant.  The answer was "I took the test without taking the course
first."   In other words, he paid the fee to take the exam but saved
the actual course fee.  That example made possible my mental
translation from CanEnglish to MITEnglish ;)

>I wonder if that usage of "wrote" is really a Canadian thing
>as you guys suggested, or just something I made up? Or maybe
>Yankees are just easily confused ;)

The disjunction is not needed.  You could have made it up,
in which case the first condition also holds.  And I know
*I'm* easily confused;

>hmm... looks like it is indeed a Canadian thing:
>http://www.google.com/search?q=%22wrote+a+test%22+students&num=50

Astonishing that there are a few queries left that don't return
impressive.net early in the rankings.  You must have made
it up while working under an alias ;)

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