Originally Published: Tuesday, 18 January 2000 Author: Mark Nowlin
Published to: news_interact_jobs/Jobs News Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

The times they are a-changin'

Back in the early days of Slackware, Linux was widely unknown by most if not all corporate entities. A job interview would seem to go awry if you made mention of using Linux, that is if the interviewer even knew what you were talking about.

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Back in the early days of Slackware, Linux was widely unknown by most if not all corporate entities. A job interview would seem to go awry if you made mention of using Linux, that is if the interviewer even knew what you were talking about. The interviewer wanted to hear the UNIX keywords as I like to call them; HP-UX, SunOS, AIX, etc. And if you were one of the lucky ones who had experience with these operating systems, then you would most likely get the job.

Other than the costly HP-UX, AIX, SUNOS, etc. UNIX "flavors", there wasn't much experience to be had for people looking for administrative positions in the UNIX world. With the rise of linux in the mid 1990's, anyone with an IBM PC could pick up some invaluable UNIX skills with little or no cost to themselves, and apply them to the UNIX of old. This made it possible to gain knowledge on the basic structure of UNIX, and therefore would be a nice asset when going in for an interview on a UNIX position. But still, the UNIX position you were trying to get most likely would have nothing to do with Linux.

Now, widely in conjunction with the success of RedHat, and the Internet itself, companies are shifting their outlook on people with linux experience. Gone are the days where we linux power users are unrecognized when it comes to the job hunt. In are the days where reputable enterprise software solution companies such as Veritas, are making developmental commitments for the linux OS. This can only serve to strengthen our emerging foothold in the enterprise Linux server sector.

With the Linux onslaught of late, the UNIX administrator position has adapted so that people with Linux experience can actually apply their Linux skills on Linux servers in the workplace. Not only can you get a job now in a Linux-only shop, but you most likely will not have to have any interaction with the UNICES of old. And for now, when interviewing for a UNIX position of any kind, Linux administrators have the best of both worlds. This is because Linux can be compared to a gateway drug, it opens the door to all of the other UNICES out there. Linux gives you some familiar territory when you must jump around to a different UNIX OS (such as those outdated print servers running SunOS that you have been neglecting to upgrade for years).

So when the interviewer of today queries, "What kind of *nix have you had experience on?" don't be surprised if when you mention Linux, their ears perk up. Even if the position you are interviewing for is a *nix other than Linux.

Mark Nowlin is a Technical Solutions Consultant for Sprint Paranet, In Fort Worth, Texas.





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