Sebastopol, CA--Certification of professionals is a time-honored tradition in many fields, including medicine and law. With the proliferation of small computer systems and networks, the information technology profession has seen both a demand for and growth in certification programs of its own, including those in the once-unconventional field of Linux. Understandably, there's been some controversy surrounding certification of Linux professionals. Many who've learned "hands-on" fear that certification will give an edge in the job market to less experienced candidates who hold the appropriate certification. While these fears are not unfounded, the benefits of a certification program may far outweigh them. As the use of Linux continues to grow and make headway into the mainstream market, it's clear that Linux professionals and those who hire them need to have an objective means of measuring and describing one's skills.
"Linux has penetrated the enterprise market and now there are plenty of jobs for true professionals," says James Stanger, one of the authors of the new LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell (Prichard, Pessanha, Langfeldt, Stanger, and Dean, Second Edition, O'Reilly US $59.99). He adds, "LPI certification helps guarantee that people really know what they're doing to get those jobs. This is important because the success of Linux depends on true professionals, not just open source/Gnu/Linux zealots."
The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) program is a job-based certification that currently consists of two levels that focus on two-year (Level 1) and four-year (Level 2) experienced candidates. Level 1 tests a basic knowledge of Linux installation, configuration, and command-line skills. Level 2 goes into more depth regarding system troubleshooting and network services such as email and the web.
"Since the first edition of LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell was released, LPI has added their Level 2 exams, plus they significantly reworked the Level 1 exams," observes Steven Prichard, another coauthor of the book. Pritchard adds, "As far as I know, this is the only book currently available that covers the LPI Level 2 exam material."
According to the authors, there are many Linux pros who don't care about certification. They see more value in hands-on skills. But this is what makes LPI certification different: its focus is hands-on. "By learning what the LPI asks you to study for, you'll be able to know important Linux commands, and not waste your time on arcane knowledge," says Stanger.
"Linux has become mainstream," Stanger continues. "As a result, you should learn Linux from those who work most closely with the professionals, and that's the LPI. Linux will only increase its dominance of the enterprise space in the future; from programmers to database administrators to high-end storage and system integration experts, those who know Linux will find more opportunities." Stanger also points out that the knowledge gained from LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell will work in any Linux distribution, from Red Hat to Novell to Debian/Ubuntu/Knoppix, or any other. "Knowing Linux through the LPI's perspective frees you to consult and make money."
The primary audience for LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell, Second Edition is, of course, candidates seeking the LPI Certification. The book will help them with the specific information required to be successful with both the Level 1 and Level 2 exams. Owing to the breadth of coverage required by the LPI Objectives and the book's one-to-one coverage, it also makes an excellent reference for skills and methods required for the day-to-day use of Linux. It will also prove to be a valuable reference for new Linux users and administrators looking for a broad, detailed, introduction to Linux.
"There was a time when working on Linux meant 'system administration,'" recalls Stanger. "This is no longer the case. Programmers are LPI's biggest audience. Because the LPI certification is based on job task analyses, the topics in this book cover the skills and knowledge that any Linux professional needs."
LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell, Second Edition
Steven Pritchard, Bruno Gomes Pessanha, Nicolai Langfeldt, James Stanger, and Jeff Dean
ISBN: 0-596-00528-8, 961 pages, $59.99 US
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