PDA

View Full Version : Linux Professionals - please read



Zyphrexi
November 13th, 2007, 09:28 PM
I have a great love for linux and technology in general, my dream is to become a linux system administrator. I know where I want to go, but no idea how to get there. The school I attend does not have a great many linux classes, nor do the advisors have a clear understanding of how I should go about pursuing my goal.

So I ask you, Linux and IT professionals, what did you do to make your dream a reality?

Kingsley
November 13th, 2007, 09:31 PM
Oops, try Fedora Forums.


Of course I'm joking.

some_random_noob
November 13th, 2007, 10:06 PM
I'm not a Linux professional, but I know one in real life (He offered me a job as a network admin :) ). He started his own business - him and a friend... or something like that. The thing is that there aren't many Linux related jobs out there, so you're often better off starting your own business - provided that you are capable of it.

If I wanted to start my own Linux business, here's what I'd do: Find people with similar interests, simulate a network situation at home and experiment with things, and THEN go into the real world with the knowledge gained and start my own company.

... but seeing that I've already been offered a Linux related job (Which was a huge fluke!) it seems I won't need to start my own company.

Zyphrexi
November 14th, 2007, 04:58 AM
hmm... not quite the answer I was looking for.

some_random_noob
November 14th, 2007, 05:05 AM
hmm... not quite the answer I was looking for.

Well, it's a small market. Making jobs is better than getting jobs.

intelligentfool
November 14th, 2007, 05:08 AM
honestly, i think a few years of experience in 'the field' would suite you much better than trying to do it alone from the get go. also, in most parts of the world, your going to have to know how to make linux play nice with windows, and vice versa.

I personally got into IT a few years ago (i'm 26) doing infrastructure work (cabling, equipment refresh projects, etc) and then realized I really enjoyed networking. Now that i've been doing that for a few years, i'm realizing i'd like to combine my routing & switching knowledge with some linux server admin type projects.... linux firewalls, proxy server, dns, etc etc.... but also knowing that i'll have to integrate that into active directory and MS file servers for most customers.


bottom line.... take every opportunity you can, so long as its in the right direction. you need to just get your foot in the door, so just take any IT job you can get to begin with, and go from there. once you have a few months experience, it'll be alot easier to move up and/or get a new job with more responsibility, eventually getting your "dream job"

macogw
November 14th, 2007, 05:47 AM
Get a Linux Professionals Institute Certification, for one thing. Are you in high school? It sounds like it. A lot of colleges/universities offer majors that are very well-aligned with system administration or have computer science with a networking or security focus (both of which would be very good for a sysadmin to know)

Christmas
November 14th, 2007, 06:45 AM
Go to a computer science college. At my college there is a course called 'Using Operating Systems' and the main OS studied is Linux, and, guess what, it's Kubuntu. Feisty if I recall correctly.

toupeiro
November 14th, 2007, 09:15 AM
If you don't mind me asking, where do you live?

My company actively recruits from universities for internships in Information Technology during the summer, and the hands on experience usually opens the doors for placement if the internships work out. Get on the Computer Science educational path if you are not already on it, and talk to your counselors about internships.

I prefer to keep the name of the company I work for private. In the meantime, talk to your college counselors.

Zyphrexi
November 14th, 2007, 06:54 PM
yeah i'm currently at a 2-year community college located in illinois, unfortunately most of the IT classes don't actually transfer. It's a pity, but cheaper than some schools.

timcredible
November 14th, 2007, 07:34 PM
get whatever IT-related degree or certification you can where you are, then try for a job at a larger company, they all use linux, even though most of the management and HR staff have no idea that their firewalls, wireless networks, remote access devices, mainframes, VM-ized Windows servers, etc. are all running linux, they just see Windows on their desktops and think everything in their company uses windows. once in a larger company, you can find the department that works with a lot of linux stuff, and then try to get in that department. learning networking (routers, switches, remote access, etc.) will lead you to linux jobs also.

intelligentfool
November 14th, 2007, 07:39 PM
unless you get in on a federal contract (in the states)... at least with the agency i'm working for, they have an explicit policy AGAINST OSS (although nobody has been able to produce anything in writing yet, oddly enough).

Go with Fortune 500's if you want enterprise linux experience. SMB's if you want to try a bunch of different stuff out, but with no senior staff to support you.

jkeyes0
November 14th, 2007, 07:42 PM
Until my current job, I had only ever worked with Windows. I use linux exclusively at home, and that helped a lot in getting my current position.

One thing you might try is finding a position that's primarily Windows based, and see if you can't incorporate Linux into the mix somehow. For example, if they don't already have a proxy server, offer to set up an Ubuntu proxy server. If their websites don't require IIS, try to migrate them to Apache. Little by little, you'll gain Linux experience to put on your resume, until you can find a true "Linux" job that would satisfy you.

BDNiner
November 14th, 2007, 08:07 PM
I have to agree with most people in this post. Getting your foot in the door is the hardest part about the IT field. I would stay away from specialized degrees since software changes so frequently. Try and get a degree in computer science or computer engineering. Then at your first job slowly try and introduce Linux. Unless you are a server admin and have 5 years experience in that field then it will be hard to get a linux job right from the get go.I am currently trying to get or field workstations converted to linux but it is proving harder than i thought when i first started. and i have to really work on it on my own time, since my boss won't dedicate time and money to it until i have a working system.

The Tronyx
November 14th, 2007, 08:17 PM
I have a great love for linux and technology in general, my dream is to become a linux system administrator. I know where I want to go, but no idea how to get there. The school I attend does not have a great many linux classes, nor do the advisors have a clear understanding of how I should go about pursuing my goal.

So I ask you, Linux and IT professionals, what did you do to make your dream a reality?

Greetings fellow IT student and fellow Illinoisian (is that a word?)

I'm in the same metaphorical boat as you in some sense so please allow me to offer my advice. The first step would be to gain familiarity with Linux which you seem like you are on your way to doing. Try simple things at home, setting up a server, secure the server, basically make it as real world as you can. On the subject of working with Linux, a lot of that will be done from a server standpoint . Ubuntu is a great distribution but it seems that one of the most valued certifications is Red Hat so don't hesitate to read up on that.

I personally attend Roosevelt University in Chicago and am enrolled in the Networking program. My main interest is in network security and while there isn't a specific security degree program here, there are introductory classes which provide the basis of what you will need to become an expert on.

One of my business professors worked for a hospital at one of the top tiers of IT and mentioned that a misconception is your degree. He told me a story of someone who was a supplies manager, no IT background but often found himself, after hours, talking to the IT guys, learning more and more about the network. Eventually the hospital helped him cover certifications and he now works as a network analyst for them. The moral of the story isn't so much, do whatever and just pursue IT in the meantime but that IT is a very different field. Almost that it isn't what you know at that point in time (for an entry-level position) but rather what can you learn.

Being in Illinois you have a lot of IT resources available to you as well. ChiSec and ISSA (Chicago) are 2 groups that convene pretty frequently.


The Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) is a not-for-profit, international organization of information security professionals and practitioners. It provides educational forums, publications and peer interaction opportunities that enhance the knowledge, skill and professional growth of its members.

While it might sound security specific, I am sure there are plenty of network admins hanging around there you could talk to. Initiative is key and everyone in the business you meet will see your initiative and most likely be more than happy to answer questions and offer assistance.:)

On a final note, one of the greatest things about working in IT is certifications. These certifications allow you so much mobility no matter what you went to school for. I encourage you to read up on Red Hat, Cisco, CEH, and Network+ certifications. There's a massive amount of info that can be found here: http://www.cramsession.com/ . That is an excellent and reputable site, not one of those that tries to sell you things at every corner. If you wish to explore Linux certifications more, check out a distro based on Knoppix which aims to prepare individuals for LPIC certification. http://distrowatch.com/elpicx

I hope something in this post will be of some use. Good luck and keep me/us posted!:guitar:

Zyphrexi
November 15th, 2007, 02:42 PM
wow, so much great information, thanks.

I'd love to set up my own servers, etc. Unfortunately I don't have control over the home network (which is a pity), so probably the most I've done is set up a crossfire server and a media server for my wii.

I remember red hat... I hated it with a vengeance. yeah business is slow to adopt new software technologies since new technologies mean training and expense.
I don't think red hat will be king much longer. I've seen quite a few job listings asking about ubuntu/debian experience, which shows that power is shifting

Scotty Bones
December 13th, 2007, 09:58 PM
This link may also provide you with info on the different certs for linux
http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/13530/53/

ericesque
December 13th, 2007, 10:32 PM
I live in mid-Michigan-- so I could probably throw a rock through your window...s box.

I know that a handful of small ISPs in the area are using linux (CentOS specifically) for a variety of things. You could contact a local ISP either about an internship or even just a tour of their facility. Explain that you're an IT student and would like to learn about the infastructure. On the tour you could even ask for an internship. The worst they could do is say no. Best case scenario, they bring you in for all kinds of hands on training. I worked at one local ISP for just 2 months and my understanding of networking--and how linux can fit in the mix-- grew leaps and bounds.

cluepon
December 13th, 2007, 10:39 PM
yeah i'm currently at a 2-year community college located in illinois, unfortunately most of the IT classes don't actually transfer. It's a pity, but cheaper than some schools.

Well, as an Illinois resident, I feel obliged to kick in my $0.02. =)

Depending on where you live, a LUG (Linux User Group) might be a good starting point. You would be able to meet like minded folks, who may in fact be able to point you in the right direction.

As you are in Illinois, I can tell ya..there are a plethora of options for a person wanting to get into I.T. From trade schools to U of I@champaign/Urbana...you have options. Not being sure where you are in Illinois, its difficult to say what's close by.