My Adventure with the LFCS…

As I mentioned in an earlier post, “Microsoft Goes Linux… Again…“, I was interested in pursuing the Linux Foundation Certified Sysadmin (LFCS).  Well, about a year and change after that, I finally completed the exam and attained both the LFCS and the Microsoft “MCSA Linux on Azure” (Microsoft provides this certification by combining the “external recognition” of the LFCS along with other Microsoft-specific requirements).  Phew!  A long, winding road to get here…

When I fist became interested in the LFCS, I discovered that they offered a “bundle” for a year of access to the “201” level course and the LFCS exam (with re-take) combined for special price of $299.  Nice deal!  So I took that option, and then of course leisurely wasted a year slowly making my way through the training course.  Of course, once I scheduled the exam (for the last day of the year of validity), I really began to buckle down on the training material (which is excellent, by the way).

Interestingly, on the day of my exam, there was a technical glitch that prevented me from ever starting the exam.  After some panicked moments berating the proctor, and two hours of staring at the screen wondering if the exam would ever start, it simply timed out, closed, and exited. The proctor told me to email the Linux Foundation and tell them of my problem, but at that point, I’m thinking that I’m out of time to schedule the exam, and in fear that I lost my chance and my money.  Enter Janet…

Janet from the Linux Foundation responded to my panicked email with kindness, courtesy, and understanding.  She very openly explained the technical glitches that occurred (based on my distro, OpenSuse 13.2), and explained what they were doing to resolve it, and we worked together to re-schedule my initial exam session (not a re-take) when it was comfortable for me.  This was incredibly helpful, since I had some travel plans that were going to make it difficult without that level of flexibility.

I’m excited to report that when I *was* finally able to take the exam, the exam wen perfectly smoothly, and I passed as well!

Since it is a “practical exam”, and a very real-world exam at that, I think it is a very real reflection of a scenario you might encounter at any given customer visit (speaking as a consultant).  The exam is almost perfectly aligned with what the Linux Foundation publishes as the criteria, so no tricks there.  In hindsight, it struck me as though I was remoting in and setting up a team server for a small project team in a a tightly locked-down environment.  If you can do that, you’ll probably do well.

Once again, I want to thank Janet for all her patience, kindness, and openness, and the Linux Foundation for putting together an impressive set of training and a very real-world exam.


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