How to recruit a Linux guru?

Làm sao để đánh giá được năng lực chuyên môn, mức độ thông thạo về Linux của 1 ứng viên và họ thuộc cấp độ nào: Beginner, Seasoned Admin hay Guru?

Dưới đây là một ý kiến trích từ thảo luận sau trên – một Q&A site nổi tiếng dành cho các sysadmin.
sẽ giúp hình dung những kiến thức, kinh nghiệm, nét đặc trưng của mỗi cấp độ trên.


 A Beginner:

  • Has less than 4 years experience.
  • Has to rely on binary packages for everything
  • Has never seen an old kernel (i.e. only knows 2.6.x series)
  • Hasn’t figured out that the commands and directory locations are different in each distro; often, they only know of one they are starting out on, and can become confused when their environment has switched.
  • Can’t script common commands and often do everything manually.
  • Needs assistance in performing diagnostics on a troubled system, although they function independently on lighter issues.
  • Is still learning from others things that the “Seasoned” admins already know.
  • Has a demeanor that is still “green’ – they are self-assured (rightly so), but appear cocky to some. This can lead to friction with end-users, developers, and management. Troublesome end-users can often get them to do something that a seasoned admin would immediately deny. Developers don’t have much to talk about with them, but may teach them a thing or two about scripting. Management usually wants someone more seasoned and will not bother them unless there are limited choices.
  • They often do not have a complete picture of your core business and how it generates revenue, although they do understand procedural-level positions in the company. As such, they can identify the needs of regular staff throughout the company, but do not necessarily understand the interactions of all company units.

These are the admins that start out in junior level positions.

A (stereotypical) impression: “This person’s got potential, they just need time to make it shine.”

A Seasoned Admin:

  • Has 5+ years experience.
  • Can download and compile tools/utilities/services, and can recompile a kernel
  • Has seen older kernels (2.2 and 2.4 series)
  • Can adapt to a different distro, or has experience in 2 or more distros.
  • Can do simple scripting to automate tasks.
  • Can perform diagnostics on their own, but require time to pinpoint the issue
  • Can function on their own, but have no management experience, or limited supervisory experience; they often tutor and instruct junior-level admins.
  • Has a demeanor that is “seasoned” – they are observant and reserved, but will always be pleasant without being technical. This leads to confidence when dealing with end-users, developers, and management, and ultimately, a deep-seated sense of trust that this person will “get the job done”. End-users will usually consult these folks first, but troublemakers will sometimes attempt to “game the system” and get them to do something they wouldn’t (although the admin will know better and deny it). Developers will consult with this person about common issues. Management will sometimes ask for special tasks to be performed (vetted, of course, through the Guru) and they will accomplish this to their satisfaction.
  • They understand the core revenue model of your business, and how this inter-relates with other positions and procedures. They can design custom solutions around this knowledge, and can find ways to decrease operational expenses. They cannot, however, create new revenue sources.

These are the admins the Guru will initially hire.

Another stereotypical impression: “This person has been around the block, and has the war wounds to prove it. If my back was against the wall, I’d put my trust in them.”

A Guru:

  • Has 9+ years experience.
  • Can perform code-level customization of a kernel before recompile, either by reconfiguration or by writing new code
  • Has seen very old kernels (2.0 or 1.3 series)
  • Has experience with very difficult-to-install installations (Slackware prior to version 9, Gentoo, Linux From Scratch)
  • Can do complex scripting, sometimes writing complete tools for other staffers.
  • Immediately knows all potential causes of a problem and can look at each solution without additional diagnostics
  • Has functioned in a supervisory or management capacity with at least one other person for at least 3 years. This means the person was hired and managed directly by them.
  • Has a demeanor that borders on “happy but zen-like’. They are quiet, focused, and have an uncanny means of knowing what to say and when, while putting everyone they talk to at ease. End-users often do not notice this person because they function well at what they do, yet troublemakers are quick to fear their presence; developers will consult with this person about difficult issues; and management trusts them with staffing and employment decisions.
  • They have intricate knowledge of your business process, and how your company’s cash flow interacts with capital outlays, staffing, and on-going maintenance. They can find creative ways to create new revenue sources within your business model.

This is the person you want.


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