A response to “Why many MCSEs won’t learn Linux”

Found this post via techmeme in regards to Why man MCSEs won’t learn Linux and am disappointed by some of the reasosn given but agree with some of them.

A little background about myself.  I am not a MCSE, but I have several Microsoft Certifications, MCSA MCP, MCT, along with my LInux+ certification and several years helping out with the Ubuntu distribution.  I use Linux on a daily basis and at work am considered the Linux guru, which may not be saying much about my co-workers.

The biggest disagreement I have is the difference between a Windows admin and a Unix admin is “the difference between rote learning and the application of theory to practice.”  This statement assumes that MCSEs memorize the tests answers, get the certifiation and then couldn’t admin their way out a situation that doesn’t fall on the test versus Unix/Linux Admins who “understand key ideas and acheive expertise by expanding both the set of ideas and the ability to apply them.”  In other words, Unix/Linux admins are smarter because they can apply practices and ideas, not test questions.

In my travels as a Windows consultant I have met a large number of Windows admins who not only are willing to try new ideas and new utilities but then apply those ideas to solving business needs.  As a consultant for a management product the people that are hardest to get to change are the Unix/Linux people.  A Linux admin is more stuck in their ways and assumes they know the best way to do things is the way they have always done things.  That no one could ever come up with a better management tool or utility to help them out is a common occurence.

The author of the post makes a comment that scripts from a book in 1984 provides great scripts that still run today.  That is great, but is it still the best way to manage the devices?  Is there a more powerful way then a script or cron job?  Some form of centralized reporting software that can track hardware/software inventory, patch management, and software delivery?  Or should we still rely on these scripts as the “best” way to do things.  A Windows admin is more wililng to adapt and change to the best practices.

Also the author compares a Windows 2000/2003 admin trying to figure out how to admin a Windows NT box.  I remember when I made the trasnsition from NT 4 to Windows 2000 and it was a large change.  However I didn’t give up, I was forced by my company to adapt or to start looking for a different job.  I wonder if the people the authors talks about that are  Windows are admins that shouldn’t be in either a Windows environment or an Unix environment.

Feel freee to argue


3 thoughts on “A response to “Why many MCSEs won’t learn Linux”

  1. cron and anacron are great for that, a quick script that you put in the init.d at the correct run-level that in it’s turn runs apt or a similar packet manager (apt is the Debian and Ubuntu way). and with apt you can run your own repositories centralized on a server with out paying your arm and legg in licence fees for the privilige of running your own update service.


  2. Trust me I understand how to run a centralized packaging source like my own apt repository or something like. But what reporting information for compliance can I get out of it? Can I tell how many computers/servers have X package and X version?


  3. Pingback: linux script cron job

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