Is RHCE doable with either no or very little experience?

hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Posts: 1,209Member ■■■■■□□□□□
I tried digging up an old thread on this to see what the others had to say on the topic. I understand that an RHCE with no experience is not favorable, and one would be skeptical about the cert-holder passing the exam. However, I've been reading that RHCE is a difficult test, and it has gotten harder than the previous version.

And not to mention, the test is a practical hand-on test. My question is: What is wrong with passing the RHCE exam with no experience? That person could've been unemployed, labbing numerous times in his mom's basement a whole year. Let's just say he's on the rise kind of like how Scott Morris started out. If there exists a fellow TE member who have done this, I'd definitely like to hear their stories on how they did it without experience.

Comments

  • BodanelBodanel Posts: 214Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I dont think that there is something wrong in passing RHCE with no experience. If someone passes RHCE without experience it means that has done LOTS AND LOTS of labs and will do pretty much ok in a entry-level sysadmin job. BUT I dont think that RHCE whitout doing lots of labs is doable because of it's nature. RHCE is much more than configure this and that. Is also a time management exam, I know a few cases where guys where caught up in some minor topic and failed the exam because of this. It almost happened to me. When I took my RHCE there were 2 guys who had official RHCE training and they messed up their fstab and system wont boot. From what I've talked with them at a beer afterwards both of them have done pretty well on the exam but if the system doesnt boot you fail.
  • techfiendtechfiend Posts: 1,481Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm sure it's possible although I haven't taken it myself. Linux may be daunting at first but once you get used to what does what and where things are in the file system most things are straightforward. Some third party programs and admins go against standard file placement but it's something you have to learn to deal with. I really doubt this will come into play on RHCE or any other linux test.

    Without experience, I think RHCE and other practical exams hold A LOT more weight than multiple choice exams. I also think it's tough to test ahead of your skillset in linux as long as you're honest unlike CCNP MCSE and other tests that can be passed by remembering answers.
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  • masqmasq Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well, ... first i should say your question is confusing..
    Is RHCE doable with either no or very little experience?
    NO.WAY. Unless you ****, but that's a different story..
    What is wrong with passing the RHCE exam with no experience? That person could've been unemployed, labbing numerous times in his mom's basement a whole year.
    A year of labbing.. while being unemployed? - Wow! I'd say he would be experienced enough to pass almost ANY linux exam even with no prior knowledge!

    PS I interviewed several people who passed MS-oriented, CCNA, and RHCA by cheating - got the **** and learned them by heart. (YEAH, there are **** for RHCA - i wuz shocked!). First i didn't realize they cheated. I just could not understand, how somebody with ccna cert cannot distinguish between tcp and icmp protocols, or someone with RHCA cert doesn't know what insmod command is, or a guy with MS cert, who does know MS Exchange server REALLY well, but has no idea about smtp protocol(just to mention a few). Like.. WHAT THE HELL ?!
    The answer was simple: some companies get the **** for their stuff -> they get the certs, and then the company gets *some* benefits from different vendors. Personally I know several guys with such certs, but they would NEVER present them on interviews, or mention about such certs in their resume, because they know IT'S A FAKE. By showing a cert, that was earned with ****, one is lowering the value of a certification itself, and undermines the reputation of vendor, which in turn affect on others, - conscientious cert-holders.

    Speaking about expierience and rhce exam: perhaps you wanted to ask if someone, who has linux background, but who doesn't maintain\deploy\administer linux servers on a daily basis would pass the rhce exam? - I'd say yeah, it's doable, BUT with neccessary preparation, - read the books, do the labs, and you'll be fine. Otherwise, don't count on tricking ANY exam, whether it's hands-on, or point'n'click. AND - it's totally ok, if you are not maintaining any linux sites at the moment. By preaparing for the exam you gain experience - something that is priceless, especially in IT sphere.
    .
    IMHO
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  • koz24koz24 Posts: 766Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I don't see why you would be skeptical about someone having RHCE and no experience. It's just a test after all--one with plenty of labbing resources. So yeah, if you have the time to lab like a maniac I say go for it. You will be a better engineer in the process. Just know that most job postings that list RHCE will also want experience to go with it, but you can start at entry and work your way up.
  • XavorXavor Posts: 161Member
    The better question would be, "Am I qualified for a more senior role by having the cert with no professional experience". Nope.

    By all means, if you can study for the test and pass the test go for it. Just don't expect a senior role to land in your lap. There are many soft skills you develop in the trenches that studying for an exam will not teach you.
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Posts: 1,209Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Sorry if my questions were unclear. I've been reading up that it's undesirable to have someone with an RHCE or even a RHCA with no real-world experience to work directly in a senior level role as Xavor pointed out.

    So because of the 'no-experience' stigma, I was a bit concerned that even a honest RHCE holder may can't break in a junior-level role as hiring managers wouldn't want to bother waste time hiring them as they're more likely to hop to the next job that pays more within a few months after hiring. So if he's already not qualified for a senior-role, then what other choice does he have.

    That'd be a Catch-22 situation. That'd be like telling him he's not even allowed to be RHCE certified without experience. Hence, the reason I asked the question. Sorry if my first post was confusing.
    masq wrote: »
    A year of labbing.. while being unemployed? - Wow! I'd say he would be experienced enough to pass almost ANY linux exam even with no prior knowledge!


    Heh! I'd argue that a year is enough to get the RHCA, but that's just my opinion.


    I'm rather shocked that one can **** the RHCA exam. That tells me that Red Hat doesn't recycle their exam questions as often as they should or they didn't randomize it enough. Or maybe the so-called RHCA has some sort of anxiety or mental issue where they can only answer questions if you put them in front of a computer rather than trying to interview them.
  • koz24koz24 Posts: 766Member ■■■■□□□□□□

    So because of the 'no-experience' stigma, I was a bit concerned that even a honest RHCE holder may can't break in a junior-level role as hiring managers wouldn't want to bother waste time hiring them as they're more likely to hop to the next job that pays more within a few months after hiring. So if he's already not qualified for a senior-role, then what other choice does he have.

    I think this is a valid concern. Another option then would be to get RHCE-level knowledge and not mention that you have the certificate. After all you should be doing it for the knowledge and not just the piece of paper. It sucks but it eliminates that hiring manager overqualified concern. Of course once you get the job you can then update your LinkedIn and resume icon_cheers.gif Honestly, I would hate to be that deceptive but it is an option. If it was me I would get the RHCE anyway and hope for the best. Breaking into that first gig with no experience is as hard as the cert itself, so do everything (ethically) possible to get it.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    If you're asking the question as a general rule, or curious about another individual, I don't see anything wrong with getting an RHCE w/o experience, as long as the individual knows the material and can demonstrate their skill level. Just as having a CCNA or CCNP doesn't automatically qualify anyone for high level networking positions, I don't think passing the RHCE auto qualifies someone for senior level Linux Admin position, as previously mentioned in this thread. But it can help bypass the catch-22 situation of needing experience in order to accumulate experience, and help land 1st Linux position.
    Additionally, in order to be an RHCE one must first pass the RHCSA, which alone should be able to get an individual experience, while they work towards their RHCE.

    If you're asking the question about yourself -- because you're hesitant to get the certification based on your own professional history --I think you have more than enough Linux experience to confidently display the cert on your resume. I'd even volunteer to be used as a reference to attest to that.
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  • Hawk321Hawk321 CCNA R+S, CCNA CyberOPS, LPIC-1, LPIC-2 201-450, MS 70-410 and some smaller unknown certs Posts: 49Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Let me clear that out for you.

    First you need the associate Red Hat Cert...than go on to the Expert Level.

    Now back to the real world, and let's assume you mastered the exams.

    You will NEVER EVER get a job in that field WITHOUT that exam, because you can not prove Linux skills. With the exam, you can.
    Don't apply for senior jobs in first instance, yep, experience is needed. But you could start with a non senior job and gain the experience.

    No BA, no Doc, no Master...no one learns Linux stuff in that deep like the RH track offers you...everybody needs to start somewhere without experience.
    If you find a HR guy who tells you that you are useless due to the lack of experience,... present him this .|.. !!!!
  • BodanelBodanel Posts: 214Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hawk321 wrote: »
    If you find a HR guy who tells you that you are useless due to the lack of experience,... present him this .|.. !!!!
    In my country we have another saying: _|_ , ascii style baby. If you need I can translate but in private because in not nice. I've seen enough recruiters that know the value of RHCE so I'd go for it, it helped me get my first full linux position while having limited experience(by limited I mean working with linux but only for development environments)
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Posts: 1,209Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    If you're asking the question about yourself -- because you're hesitant to get the certification based on your own professional history --I think you have more than enough Linux experience to confidently display the cert on your resume. I'd even volunteer to be used as a reference to attest to that.
    I appreciate the gesture, and I'd definitely keep that in mind when I land an interview for a Linux position asking for references. I guess I was asking hypothetically because of my past experience when I had the CCNA and had hard time getting entry-level NOC position, but that's behind me now as I'm not passionate about it anymore. I almost considered getting the CCNP, but reading the threads here said I'd be wasting my time pursuing it just to break in.
  • VeritiesVerities Posts: 1,162Member
    I appreciate the gesture, and I'd definitely keep that in mind when I land an interview for a Linux position asking for references. I guess I was asking hypothetically because of my past experience when I had the CCNA and had hard time getting entry-level NOC position, but that's behind me now as I'm not passionate about it anymore. I almost consider getting the CCNP, but reading the threads here said I'd be wasting my time pursuing it just to break in.

    If you're dead set on a Linux certification for something entry level then try the RHCSA first. Since you would have to obtain it prior to going for the RHCE anyways. In my opinion with the Linux field, you don't need to have certifications, but you need to know Linux inside and out. The learning curve is much steeper than Windows since its designed in an entirely different way.

    I bridged the gap from Windows admin to Linux admin about a year and a half ago by studying Linux + and labbing like a mad man (FYI I've obtained Linux + and RHCSA). Not that I needed to get the certification, but they certainly helped. The biggest thing is experience or showing where you've developed experience. There are other ways of gaining experience like volunteering as an extra set of hands for repetitive tasks, possibly with a Linux admin at your job place or in your area?

    In summary, the Linux field is very hard to get into because a lot of positions require 3 years of experience working with it and having scripting knowledge or programming knowledge. I'm still having trouble finding higher level Linux based positions that will accept my skill set because I lack programming experience.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Verities wrote: »
    I'm still having trouble finding higher level Linux based positions that will accept my skill set because I lack programming experience.

    It seems impossible to get a mid-senior level Linux position without at least some basic shell scripting experience now. Most Linux jobs seem to put all emphasis on automation and orchestration of [large] distributed systems. But just a few short months of picking up a language and/or popular configuration management system can take an individual far in the Linux side of the field.
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  • Mike7Mike7 Posts: 1,061Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    It seems impossible to get a mid-senior level Linux position without at least some basic shell scripting experience now. Most Linux jobs seem to put all emphasis on automation and orchestration of [large] distributed systems. But just a few short months of picking up a language and/or popular configuration management system can take an individual far in the Linux side of the field.

    I agree. Learn scripting to automate and orchestrate and you will go far.

    Even Microsoft is moving towards PowerShell and non-GUI environments. The default install option for Server 2012 is server core (i.e. no GUI) and GUI option is not even available for new Server 2016 install (you can add in back via PowerShell after installation is complete). Some of the newer Windows Server 2012 configuration settings can only be accessed via PowerShell scripts. And Microsoft did announce Nano Server
  • Hawk321Hawk321 CCNA R+S, CCNA CyberOPS, LPIC-1, LPIC-2 201-450, MS 70-410 and some smaller unknown certs Posts: 49Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    It seems impossible to get a mid-senior level Linux position without at least some basic shell scripting experience now. Most Linux jobs seem to put all emphasis on automation and orchestration of [large] distributed systems. But just a few short months of picking up a language and/or popular configuration management system can take an individual far in the Linux side of the field.

    That's the absurdity of the market...you need experience in scripting but you get no chance to obtain it....scripting is something which hard to learn in a private lab environment.
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Posts: 604Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hawk321 wrote: »
    That's the absurdity of the market...you need experience in scripting but you get no chance to obtain it....scripting is something which hard to learn in a private lab environment.

    Reading books is a start and following examples. Trying to automate or script even the simplest tasks will show you some challenges that you may come across. I am far from a scripting guru but showing a base knowledge got me past the initial interview stages.
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  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Hawk321 wrote: »
    That's the absurdity of the market...you need experience in scripting but you get no chance to obtain it....scripting is something which hard to learn in a private lab environment.

    I disagree. As weird as it may seem, most technical interview questions for Linux positions seem to just want an individual to know what grep, sed, and awk are and use cases in when you'd need to use them. Even if you can't get the syntax down pat but can display you know what a man page is and/or what to Google to get the syntax, they'll be fine with that. After that, knowing what exit codes and arguments are, and how to display (echo) what exit code a script returned and what arguments were passed are enough. Almost all of that you'll learn just by using Linux. They'll then write you off as someone who has "scripting knowledge."

    When you start going into languages other than shell scripting, it's as easy as taking a Python/Ruby/Perl/PHP/Java/Go/Scala etc MOOC or reading a book. Comp Sci students go straight from graduation into becoming full on developers, without any on-the-job experience. I don't think it's too hard to learn some basic scripting on your own within 2 or 3 months and then refine what you've learned at work from there on.

    Knowing only Shell Scripting is usually enough to land a Linux job. Knowing say Shell Scripting and Ruby will get you extremely far. You don't need to be a polyglot programmer - just know 1 or 2 languages and have the drive and know-how to fill in the gaps when needed to automate a specific task.
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  • garfield9999garfield9999 RHCE Posts: 3Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    This is an old thread, but I wanted to reply as I kept coming back to it when preparing for RHCE. I recently passed RHCE with a score of 281/300. Starting with very basic Linux knowledge it took me about 19 months to prepare. My job didn't give me any opportunity to practice what I was learning and IT work is limited to Excel and Powerpoint. It was frustrating to not have anyone to discuss concepts/doubts related to networking, security,etc. I should have made more of an effort to team up with someone preparing for the test at the same time.

    I mostly used linuxacademy for coursework. The course is good, but has few gaps. One thing that really helped was automating all RHCE objectives to learn scripting and experience with git.
  • ErtazErtaz Posts: 907Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    This is an old thread, but I wanted to reply as I kept coming back to it when preparing for RHCE. I recently passed RHCE with a score of 281/300. Starting with very basic Linux knowledge it took me about 19 months to prepare. My job didn't give me any opportunity to practice what I was learning and IT work is limited to Excel and Powerpoint. It was frustrating to not have anyone to discuss concepts/doubts related to networking, security,etc. I should have made more of an effort to team up with someone preparing for the test at the same time.

    I mostly used linuxacademy for coursework. The course is good, but has few gaps. One thing that really helped was automating all RHCE objectives to learn scripting and experience with git.
    Outstanding man.  Congrats. What are you going to do with that cert now? 
  • garfield9999garfield9999 RHCE Posts: 3Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Ertaz. I am looking for part-time AWS/SysAdmin opportunities. Now that certs are done I need to build on that by doing some real world projects.

    If I cannot find a job, I will finish the few AWS projects I am working on and continue building my github repo.
  • Swift6Swift6 Senior Member ScotlandPosts: 235Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hard work paid off.
    Armed with RHCE, there will be a job for you somewhere. Good luck.
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