I hope last week was productive for you in your journey towards a Red Hat certification. To recap I posted every scrap of official information that I could find as well as some generously donated EX200 RHCSA study notes from a reader who was already days away from taking the EX200 RHCSA exam.
Also this week I pulled the book “Hands-on Guide to the Red Hat® Exams: RHSCA™ and RHCE® Cert Guide and Lab Manual” into my Safari Books account. It has rather poor reviews on Safari as well as Amazon, however I figured I’d peruse it more for the labs and less for the written word. If I can approach a few labs as if they were actual tasks on a performance based exam then my reasoning is that, regardless of poor information in the book itself, I can still Google my way to the correct answers and get more hands on experience with the crevices of Red Hat that I don’t normally deal with.
Commentor Matthew had a good point last week. Has anyone taken the Red Hat Linux system administration skills assessment? If you want to get a vague idea of what kind of readiness you’ve attained, take the skills assessment test. Be warned that a lot of information is required before you can take it and it’s a means of advertising Red Hat’s official courses. You’ll probably get contacted by a Red Hat representative too.
In spite of all that, if you do end up taking the assessment test, share your results below!
How Did You Get On Last Week?
Remember, this is pretty much an individually self directed study group. The strength comes in 1) knowing that you’ve publicly stated your intentions and will be forever shamed in public if you fail (only kidding…), and 2) whatever effort you put into networking with others. If people want to pull together and make consistent Google+ Hangouts and SysAdmin-Network threads, that’s awesome! I’ll try and prod things in that direction once in a while, but others will have to take the initiative if the dates and times aren’t set up to their liking.
So how did you do in accomplishing your steps towards the Red Hat certification goals that you’ve set out for yourself?
I had stated that the goals for last week were:
- Scour the RedHat site for hints, tips, and the official synopsis for the EX200 test.
- Set up some virtual machines with the latest CentOS (Sorry Scientific Linux)
- Read one, maybe two chapters in the RHCSA/RHCE book including the labs.
I didn’t really do #1. I elected instead to just dive into chasing any fancies that caught my eye as I tweaked around with a few test Red Hat installs. I think that was a more productive choice.
I did #2, but not in the way that I wanted. I set up VirtualBox on an old Windows machine and spun up some destructible CentOS instances. I kicked them around plenty good, so it wasn’t a waste, but I’d rather have bare metal installs to play with KVM on. I’ll be recovering one workstation for that purpose and I’ve also got a shipment of older servers coming to my consultancy that I can use for this.
#3 I did up pretty good. I finished chapter 1, but spent two entire evenings parked on only a few pages. In reality, I decided to let myself stroll through historical writings on why the Linux file system is set up the way it is, the history of `init` and its replacement by upstart, as well as a few other things. All in all, great information that helps solidify my understanding of systems. I can’t be told what to do – I have to know why I’m doing it. Rote memorization has its place, but it seems less useful for my brain’s tendencies than perhaps other people find it.
Get on Wiff Yo’ Bad Selves
We’re facing a new week this week. My goals are:
- Set up a more permanent virtualization environment on some hardware that I’ve reclaimed. I want to set up a bare metal instance of CentOS to use as a KVM host.
- Get through Chapter 2 of the RHCSA /RHCE book.
- Park on specific topics as desired. I’ll probably do a good night or two camping out with iptables.
What are your goals for this week? Have you already set an exam date? I’m considering booking my exam well in advance just to give myself something to focus on. I’m thinking December 7th is a good date to give myself enough time to scramble and retake if I have to.
Any ideas and suggestions for the group’s success? Want to schedule an online meeting of some kind? Have some study materials and tools to share? Let me know in the comments below.