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Thread: Thinking about taking the Novell CLDA. How is it? Anyone here taken it?

  1. #1

    Default Thinking about taking the Novell CLDA. How is it? Anyone here taken it?

    Hi everyone, I am seriously considering getting CLDA certification, and I'd like to know how the exam is, what kind of questions are asked, etc.
    https://www.novell.com/training/test.../3086tobj.html

    I have been using Windows since 98 and have stopped at Windows 7. As far as my Linux experience goes:

    I have a year of Ubuntu/Mint experience, and 4 years or so of Debian experience.
    I have used Arch for around a year, CentOS for around a month (due to gnome2 nostalgia).
    I have used OpenSUSE in the past, but only for around a month or so.
    I am comfortable using both CLI and GUI.
    I know how to do a Debian base install and then customize it to my needs. (Will do an OpenSUSE base install some time today or tomorrow).
    I know how to ssh, ftp, telnet.
    I know how to compile kernels for Debian and its derivatives (though this probably doesn't really matter anyways).
    I know how to set up Apache and ProFTPD with a bit of assistance from Google.
    I know how to set up GPU drivers and such.
    I know how to set up printers via CUPS (localhost:631).
    I know how to compile software from source.

    Now, considering all these things and that I know around 3/4ths of the stuff on that CLDA objectives list, would you recommend me taking the self study course? or signing up for a class? And, if you have already taken the exam and passed it, how was it? How were the exam questions? How's the difficulty?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Thinking about taking the Novell CLDA. How is it? Anyone here taken it?

    Personally I would go more for a redhat certification as it has far more choices:
    http://www.redhat.com/training/certi...certifications
    so you can choose your own speed

  3. #3

    Default Re: Thinking about taking the Novell CLDA. How is it? Anyone here taken it?

    Quote Originally Posted by MadmanRB View Post
    Personally I would go more for a redhat certification as it has far more choices:
    http://www.redhat.com/training/certi...certifications
    so you can choose your own speed
    http://www.redhat.com/training/courses/rh124vt/
    That's like the most basic certification you can get from RedHat, but it costs $2700. Did I mention I'm a student?
    Novell's course is similar, using SUSE, but is much cheaper (~$500 for self-study course).

    Both are recognized by the IT industry obviously.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Thinking about taking the Novell CLDA. How is it? Anyone heretaken it?

    On Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:36:01 +0000, sagirfahmid3 wrote:

    > Hi everyone, I am seriously considering getting CLDA certification, and
    > I'd like to know how the exam is, what kind of questions are asked, etc.
    > https://www.novell.com/training/test.../3086tobj.html


    I used to work on the team that designed the certifications and exams,
    and I managed the "practicum" (performance-based - used for the CLP and
    CLE certifications) exam program for a few years.

    I would look at the SUSE (or Novell) Certified Linux Administrator - if
    you do it right, you get the Linux+ and - I think - the LPIC-1
    certifications with it, all with one exam.

    At least, there was a program in place to provide three certs with one
    exam.

    Both the CLA and the CLDA are written exams - that is, they're going to
    be multiple choice/fill in the blank/multiple choice multiple selection
    exams.

    The CLP and CLE exams are practical exams - from a credibility
    standpoint, that type of "hands on" exam is better recognized (RedHat
    only does practical exams for their exams - but as I understand it, you
    pretty much have to go someplace where the courses are taught - they
    don't require you sit the class, but the exams are delivered on-site at
    the end of the course).

    The SUSE practical exams are delivered remotely, using a combination of
    technologies. The written exams are delivered through Pearson/VUE
    testing centers around the world.

    Obviously, we can't discuss specific exam content (as that compromises
    the integrity - and thus the value - of the exam and the certification).
    The objectives listed, as I recall, come directly from the objectives in
    the 3086 course guide. It is for SLED 10, so is one version out of date
    - I don't know if there are plans to update it for SLED 11, so that might
    be a consideration worth noting.

    Jim
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    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
    Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

  5. #5

    Default Re: Thinking about taking the Novell CLDA. How is it? Anyone here taken it?

    Hi Jim, thanks for all the info.
    It's too bad there aren't any review questions for the exam, but oh well, no big deal.

    I probably will pursue the CLP/E certification later on, but, as me being someone without official Linux certifications, would you recommend skipping the CLDA and going straight to CLP/E? or would it be better, in terms of skills learned or strengthened, if I took the CLDA before moving on to advanced courses?

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    Default Re: Thinking about taking the Novell CLDA. How is it? Anyone heretaken it?

    On Sat, 11 Jan 2014 17:46:01 +0000, sagirfahmid3 wrote:

    > Hi Jim, thanks for all the info.
    > It's too bad there aren't any review questions for the exam, but oh
    > well, no big deal.
    >
    > I probably will pursue the CLP/E certification later on, but, as me
    > being someone without official Linux certifications, would you recommend
    > skipping the CLDA and going straight to CLP/E? or would it be better, in
    > terms of skills learned or strengthened, if I took the CLDA before
    > moving on to advanced courses?


    I would probably skip CLDA and use the CLA as a starting point. It used
    to be (and may still be) that CLP grants you the CLA as well, but the CLA
    is a good way to check your knowledge before going on to a performance-
    based exam.

    In the CLP exam, you have to perform tasks on a live system. The CLA is,
    in a way, like a pre-test for the CLP exam (though the CLP covers more
    areas).

    You may also need to check on availability of the exam in your area - the
    CLP isn't as widely available as the CLA exam because of the technical
    requirements for remote access (bandwidth in particular - it's not got a
    huge bandwidth requirement, but in some areas, stability and bandwidth
    can be a problem).

    Jim
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    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
    Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

  7. #7

    Default Re: Thinking about taking the Novell CLDA. How is it? Anyone here taken it?

    From just looking at the CLA test objectives, I can do pretty much 3/4th of that stuff right now, but of course, I will test myself on these and make a checklist.
    If I buy the self study kits for the CLA exam prep, it comes out to $800, which is alright, I can afford that.

    Does the self-study kit expire after a certain amount of time? or can I study for as long as I need and then take the exam when I feel that I am ready?

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    Default Re: Thinking about taking the Novell CLDA. How is it? Anyone heretaken it?

    On Sun, 12 Jan 2014 16:16:01 +0000, sagirfahmid3 wrote:

    > From just looking at the CLA test objectives, I can do pretty much 3/4th
    > of that stuff right now, but of course, I will test myself on these and
    > make a checklist.
    > If I buy the self study kits for the CLA exam prep, it comes out to
    > $800, which is alright, I can afford that.
    >
    > Does the self-study kit expire after a certain amount of time? or can I
    > study for as long as I need and then take the exam when I feel that I am
    > ready?


    Unless something's changed, the self-study kit includes a physical book.
    There's on expiration on it.

    Jim

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    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
    Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

  9. #9

    Default Re: Thinking about taking the Novell CLDA. How is it? Anyone here taken it?

    IT is a young man's game, rarely respected by management, and a tough path to salaries > 150K. The on-call duties definitely would be a deal breaker for me, plus why do these cert exams cost so much money? Also I doubt there is much demand for unix/linux admins when most companies can go off the shelf cloud services by companies such as Amazon. Spend the money studying your math & science instead and get into health analytics or something which is at the ground floor.

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    Default Re: Thinking about taking the Novell CLDA. How is it? Anyone heretaken it?

    On Tue, 14 Jan 2014 18:26:01 +0000, BSDuser wrote:

    > IT is a young man's game, rarely respected by management, and a tough
    > path to salaries > 150K.


    Depends on the industry. I've worked for companies that had a high
    amount of respect for their IT professionals, as well as those who looked
    to blame them for system failures (and here's a tip: in IT, systems
    fail. That's part of the job. As is fixing them.)

    > The on-call duties definitely would be a deal
    > breaker for me,


    These days, that is a deal breaker for me as well. But some people like
    that - and even thrive on it. I used to - I remember doing a 36-hour
    troubleshooting session on a critical system error. Support person
    handed off when their shift ended, and came back the next day to find me
    still working on the problem.

    I can't do that any more.

    > plus why do these cert exams cost so much money?


    Because there's a lot of development that goes into building an exam in a
    defensible and consistent manner. There's a *lot* of development work
    that goes behind building a certification program - it's not just a
    question of siting down and coming up with a few dozen questions to ask
    candidates.

    So, why do they cost so much?

    1. Because it costs money to develop and maintain a certification
    program properly.

    2. Cost is a "barrier to entry" that's easy to control. You set a price
    that's too low, and people just keep trying the exam until they pass it.
    Then they've proven they can pass an exam - big deal. If there's a
    higher stake in it, then there's incentive to pass the first time, which
    means the student learns the material well enough to pass the first time.

    3. Many people believe that if you don't pay for something, it has no
    value. While in the OSS world, we know that's clearly not the case, in
    the business world, the value assigned to a "thing" depends, in part, on
    what they paid for it.

    4. Certification program development isn't just about developing the
    exam. You also usually have to develop the training materials that teach
    information that helps the student learn what they need to in order to
    pass the exam. Done properly, this means developing a set of
    interrelated objectives, structuring the objectives in a way that flows
    logically, and then handing them off to course development and exam
    development. In an ideal world, the courses teach content to the
    objectives, the exam tests knowledge (or, ideally, skills - which means a
    hands-on exam rather than a written exam), but the training materials are
    developed independently from the exam so as to not "teach to the exam."
    That's actually not an easy thing to do.

    5. You need infrastructure in order to deliver exams. You need proctors
    to proctor the exam to ensure students aren't cheating (or trying to
    scrape answers). You need a way of tracking the students' progress in
    the certification path (because *usually* a certification isn't "one exam
    -> one certification," although that trend has been shifting in order to
    cut costs).

    6. Businesses are in business to make money. The same is true of
    companies that deliver exams, develop certifications, and validate those
    certifications. There usually is a profit motive involved.

    7. Higher cost also helps protect the value of a certification - if it's
    cheap enough that anyone can get it, then there's not much value in it,
    no matter how hard the exam is (because low cost means you can keep
    taking the exam until you pass it, and sooner or later you might get
    lucky and stumble on the solution). Being one of a billion people who
    can spell "certification" doesn't have a lot of value. Being one of even
    100,000 people who have proven they can solve a complex problem in a
    reasonable amount of time? Yeah, that's got value.

    And that's just a start. Take it from someone who spent a decade working
    in that line of business. A certification exam that is cheap isn't worth
    a lot.

    > Also I
    > doubt there is much demand for unix/linux admins when most companies can
    > go off the shelf cloud services by companies such as Amazon.


    I'm sorry, but this is a completely false assertion. Most companies
    still have in-house IT, and probably will for a long time to come.
    Especially with question surrounding surveillance, data security, and
    data integrity. If you think a company like Target puts their POS system
    on Amazon, you're not really thinking it through. If that system can be
    compromised to the tune of 110 million people (the latest "maybe as many
    as this number of customers affected" by their data breach) is inside
    their network, imagine how much higher the risk is if it's not secured on
    systems in their own data center.

    Go look at *any* job board - there are needs for people managing UNIX and
    Linux systems. Even if it's in the cloud, so what? Someone *still* has
    to manage it - just because it's in the cloud doesn't mean it doesn't
    have to be managed. Managing an AMI instance is not very different from
    managing it installed on bare metal. Amazon doesn't run the systems in
    the virtualized instances.

    Jim
    --
    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
    Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

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