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.
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.
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.
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.