[BSDCert] Unix sysadmin requirements
sgeorge.ml at gmail.com
Tue Aug 9 00:40:20 EDT 2005
On 8/9/05, Dru <dlavigne6 at sympatico.ca> wrote:
> On Mon, 8 Aug 2005, Chris wrote:
> > Oh hell, why not include someone that can code php, MySQL etc. Where do
> > you draw the line? A good Sys Admin does NOT need to be a programmer.
> > If you want a cert for programming (in C in this case) then create one
> > for just that.
> What has been interesting is that when we formed the Group and made the
> mission statement, our target was BSD system administration. Yet
> everywhere we go and have a BOF or talk to users, the programming topic
> always comes up.
> The other thing that comes up is "are you going to force me to learn a BSD
> variant I never use?"
> Both of these have been topics of discussion within the Group and on this
> list and, ideally, the testing methodology would address both these
> concerns. One suggestion that has been raised is to have the certification
> be module based.
> As an example, let's pretend for a moment that an exam targetted at
> experienced admins requires 4 modules where the candidate chooses the
> modules he wishes to "specialize" in. Let's pretend his choices are:
> - configuring mail server to certain specs (e.g. SASL, TLS, IMAP, content
> filtering) on BSD of choice using MTA of choice
> - configuring web server to certain specs (e.g. SSL, Webdav) on BSD of
> choice using tools of choice
> - troubleshoot a network problem using tools of choice
> - scan a network for vulnerabilities
> - configure the firewall of choice according to scenario's requirements
> - create x # of scripts to do specified tasks using language of choice
> - install BSD of choice according to requirements of a scenario
> - recommend a solution according to requirements of a scenario (written
> - contribute x to one of the BSD projects (e.g. 3 months of port cleaning,
> x of of docs, provide mentorship)
> In this pretend module environment, there could be a mix of handson,
> written, and experience required. A person could prove proficiency in the
> parts of sysadmin they are most interested in using in the real world or
> wish to prove to prospective employers.
I think as we start the certification lets not go too much in giving
modules to select room for people. it will confuse the whole thing
from the HR point of view because it would require that the HR folks
need to have sufficient knowledge about BSDs and other softwares to
analyze the certificates and select the right person for the job.
As we know the BSD field is still unknown to people if we are going to
complicate things further it will be a turn down because we lose
I beleive that in the BSD field not everyone gets job because he knew
everything in the begining. If you know the basics of how things work
in the BSD you can easily learn the particulars of differrent
implementations. I suggest we don't go for so much of modularity and
specialization in the begining. How ever once we startup and pickup we
may plan such specialized certifications.
In my opinion if a company hire a BSD admin he should be able to do
anything in BSD with a little bit of study and reading. It is not
possible to hire one admin to configure sendmail and another one to
configue postfix and yet another one to configure qmail :-)
So there should be some generalization on the most popular or most
useful softwares used on a particular distribution of BSD and tests
should be based on that. Candidates who want to get certified should
learn them and not just softwares of their choice.
Comming to testing programming skills. I think now a days most of the
things can be done without knowing C programming by a sys admin.
Scripting knowledge is necessarry and that can be tested. but again we
should devise tests that does not just check the correct syntax but do
the job efficiently. Again if we are going to have candidates write
the script it would require manual validation :-)
hope my thoughts will help :-)
Thankyou so much
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