Before I started writing about technology, I was a Beltway Bandit. That is, I was an IT contractor working for NASA and the Department of Defense. In those days, my job skills were Unix and mainframe system administrator, database programming, e-mail, and network administration. I never lacked for a job. But that was in the 80s. Today, if you want a job, the skills you need are in the cloud. And, what does the cloud use -- even Microsoft Azure? Linux and open-source. It's that simple.
So, to land a job like that, you need to either learn or prove you have mad open-source developer skills or Linux sysadmin abilities that employers want. You must be able to prove that you can actually walk the walk and not just talk the talk. One way you can prove you've got what it takes is to take and pass well-regarded classes and get certified in these technologies.
The Linux Foundation is an IT certification pioneer, offering its first certification exams back in 2014 in a remote format. Before this, it was virtually unheard of to take an IT certification exam outside of a testing center. The Linux Foundation established verifiable, secure remote proctoring processes, which remain in place. This makes it much easier, especially in the days of the coronavirus pandemic for qualified individuals to obtain certifications without traveling.
Here are some of the best of the best of their class programs. I've focused on the ones leading to certifications because having a certification can always help. Many techies don't respect certifications, but to get a job in IT, you must first get by the human resources gatekeepers. And, if they don't see the certifications they're looking for, you'll never get a chance to show your prospective boss your technical chops.
- A good working knowledge of Linux.
- How to navigate through major Linux distributions.
- System configurations and graphical interface of Linux.
- Basic command-line operations.
- Common Linux applications.
- How to design, deploy, and maintain a network running under Linux.
- How to administer network services.
- The skills to create and operate a network in any major Linux distribution.
- How to securely configure the network interfaces.
- How to deploy and configure file, web, email, and name servers.
Intro to Kubernetes will get you well on your way to understanding its basic principles -- and those aren't changing. You'll also get some hands-on experience with Kubernetes using the lightweight miniKube on your own PC.Introduction to Kubernetes is free. View Now at The Linux Foundation
- Essentials of Linux System Administration (LFS201)
- Linux Networking and Administration (LFS211)
- Containers Fundamentals (LFS253)
- DevOps and SRE Fundamentals: Implementing Continuous Delivery (LFS261)
- Kubernetes Fundamentals (LFS258)
- Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator Exam (LFCS)
- Certified Kubernetes Administrator Exam (CKA)
Why take a Linux Foundation class?
As Dice, the leading technology job site, and The Linux Foundation discovered in their latest Open Source Jobs Survey and Report, there's an abundance of open-source jobs. Eight-seven percent of hiring managers are having trouble finding open-source talent -- while hiring open-source talent is now a priority for 83% of employers.
The Linux Foundation's executive director, Jim Zemlin, has also said that open source technology talent is in "high demand," especially as "Linux and other open-source software dominates software development."
It's not just programming, though: DevOps, system administration, help desks -- you name the IT field. There's a demand for Linux and open-source savvy people. A recent Dice survey even found that Linux-smart sysadmins skilled are earning six-figure salaries. With salaries like that, demand is still outracing people with the necessary skills.
There are many Linux and open-source classes out there you can take to develop or hone your skills. Red Hat. Udemy, Coursera, Linux Academy, and CompTIA all offer excellent courses. But taking one from The Linux Foundation can be particularly advantageous. In tech circles, The Linux Foundation is a household name. Everyone knows them.
The Linux Foundation has been able to reach so many students because of its partnership with edX. EdX is the non-profit online learning platform from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Its popular massive open online courses (MOOC) make it possible for you to take classes anywhere in the world on your schedule. The Linux Foundation now offers over 20 MOOCs on the edX platform.
It's not all automated, online classes. The Linux Foundation also offers top-of-the-class, instructor-led courses. These tend to be for more advanced subjects such as Linux Kernel Debugging and Security (LFD440), High Availability Linux Architecture (LFS422), and Open Source Virtualization (LFS462).
Besides taking the classes as one-offs, companies can contract for single classes for their employees or an entire online training program.
Together with the classes, The Linux Foundation also offers certifications. The most popular of these are Linux Certified SysAdmin (LFCA), Linux Certified Engineer (LFCE), Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA), and Certified Kubernetes Application Developer.
Looking ahead, The Linux Foundation plans to offer more developer classes. Currently, it offers the Node.js Application Development (LFW211) + JSNAD Exam Bundle. It also recently introduced Open Source Licensing Basics for Software Developers and A Beginner's Guide to Linux Kernel Development.