LPI Supporting Linux Conference Australia

Linux Conf AU 2018
January 22, 2018

LPI Supporting Linux Conference Australia

Tapping into the Australian open source community

January 22 - 26, 2018

Linux Professional Institute (LPI) invites you to join us at Linux Conference Australia from January 22-26, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. LPI is thrilled to sponsor Linux Conference Australia.

Linux.conf.au is a conference with a focus on Linux and the community that has built up around it and the values that it represents. It is a deeply technical conference covering topics varying from the inner workings of the Linux kernel to the inner workings of dealing with communities.

LPI will be attending to connect with open source users and businesses in order to answer any questions about when it makes sense to pursue IT certifications. As well, we are always interested in discussing how to help encourage the adoption of open source technology. Please contact us directly if you would like to set up a time to meet over the conference days.

Register to attend Linux Conference Australia now!


LPI Blog

DevOps Tools Introduction #02: Modern Software Development

January 16, 2018 - by Fabian Thorns

The DevOps Tools Engineer exam starts with objective 701.1 which covers modern software development, including aspects of architecture and team organization. These are broad topics but, since LPI expects candidates to be experienced IT professionals, you will probably already have some background in this area. Therefore, we’ll focus on those aspects which are explicitly mentioned in the exam objectives.

The context of the exam is applications that follow modern approaches to software development. One of the most quoted sources related to this kind of applications is the Twelve-Factor App. This manifesto explains twelve best practices for designing software that runs in containers and clouds. These tips apply to any programming language and development ecosystem. After reading them, you should think about how to implement these best practices with your preferred language and platform. Try to reflect upon how your software handles the Twelve Factors.

When getting more detailed in your learning, Martin Fowler's website is a great place to learn about software architecture. He and his co-authors offer articles on application architectures, SOA and microservices, immutable servers as well as monoliths and coupling.

A topic of special interest in the world of services are application programming interfaces; APIs for short. The exam objectives explicitly mention REST APIs and JSON data. A great introduction to APIs can be found on restful.io. Likewise, jsonapi.org illustrates how to represent data in JSON and links to documents explaining JSON in greater detail.

The exam objectives also mention a number of security aspects of applications. A good learning source is the Open Web Application Security Project. They cover the terms mentioned in the objectives such as cross-site scripting, SQL injections, web service security, authentication, transport encryption, CORS and CSRF, and error reports. Make sure you get an overview of the materials offered by OWASP and take a good look at their collection of cheat sheets.

Two other terms mentioned in the exam objectives are ACID properties and CAP theoremes. Although there are many explanations, a number of answers to the question of the relationship of these terms are given in a quora thread. This discussion also covers properties of relational and NoSQL databases; a field that we will shortly meet again when talking about cloud services.

Finally, topic 701.1 also expects you to understand agile software development and DevOps. The Manifesto for Agile Software Development is the canonical source for a lot related techniques. Again, Martin Flower’s website hosts articles on the agile manifesto and DevOps culture as well as some hints on how to become fluent in agile.

Learning about architectures and development techniques involves a lot of reading and almost no coding. It is a dusty topic for sure. However, the contents of this topic build the base upon which all of the other topics of the exam can be placed. In their own way, each technology covered in the exam supports the architectures and collaboration models explained in this objective. Having this big picture in mind helps you to recognize the relationships between the tools and explains design decisions made by the creators of the tools covered in the exam. Therefore, bookmark the most useful texts you found when working through the links above. Review them at the end of your studies and see how the technologies you’ve learned in the meantime fit in.

To see some examples of practical applications of these principles, stay tuned for next week’s posting, when we’ll talk about cloud components and platforms.

About Fabian Thorns:

Fabian Thorns

Fabian Thorns is the Director of Certification Development at Linux Professional Institute, LPI. He is M.Sc. Business Information Systems, a regular speaker at open source events and the author of numerous articles and books. Fabian has been part of the exam development team since 2010. Connect with him on LinkedIn, XING or via email (fthorns at lpi.org).


LPI Blog

DevOps Tools Introduction #01: Getting ‘Getting Started’ Started

January 9, 2018 - by Fabian Thorns

In October 2017, LPI released the LPIC-OT DevOps Tools Engineer certification. Covering a series of relatively new tools used to develop and deliver software in a collaborative manner, the content of this exam extends skills of both software developers and system administrators.

While candidates with a background in either of these knowledge domains will find the tools covered in the exam useful, it can be difficult to gain proficiency with these tools. For all of them, documentation exists, although it sometimes is overwhelming and it is difficult to find a good starting point.

This posting is the first in a series of introductory postings in the LPI blog. Together we will take a tour through the LPIC-OT DevOps Tools Engineer’s objectives. For each topic I will summarize the most important tools and skills and will point you to documentation you might find helpful to get started.

To work through the upcoming postings and prepare yourself for the DevOps Tools Engineer exam, you should be equipped with a few tools:

  • Print out the exam objectives and get some color markers. It might sound silly, but keep in mind that the objectives ultimately describe what is relevant in the exam and what is not. Following the objectives makes sure you spent your time efficiently. Work with the objectives, check what you already know, color what you want to repeat.
  • Get a place to keep notes. You should be prepared to be asked for commands or configuration options in the exam. They won’t be obscure hidden ones, but those you frequently need when working with these tools on an ongoing basis. Take notes of anything you consider relevant, give your notes some structure and remember that you will come back to these notes for repetition once your exam date gets closer.
  • Prepare your computer to run some virtual machines. You’ll need a few gigabyte of space and virtualization software. Some of the tools we cover use VirtualBox by default, so that might be a good choice to start. You can, of course, use any other virtualization software you like, although, it might require some tweaks to the examples that are provided by documents referenced in this series.
  • Sign up for an account at an IaaS cloud provider. Most of the large providers should be fine, some even offer you free access to small computing instances. This should be sufficient for your first experiments. If you already have access to a cloud computing platform, make sure you have some extra dollars in your account to play around with some instances. In case you want to do all your learning in the cloud without using local virtual machines, you’ll definitely need some more dollars for larger instances and the ability to use them concurrently.

This series of blog postings contains links to external learning materials. These are, of course, only recommendations. If you have another favorite source for a topic just stick to that. If you are already familiar with a topic, you’ll probably already know some of the content in the referenced documents. In either case, make sure you meet the requirements LPI outlines in the objectives. No matter how you prepare yourself, enjoy learning new tools and spend some time considering how you can leverage these tools in your daily job.

Please feel encouraged to share your recommended learning resources in the comments. We will collect and review these links and add them along with the original blog postings to our wiki.

If you’d like to join our tour through the DevOps tools jungle, make sure you come back to our blog next week, when we’ll learn more about modern software development.

About Fabian Thorns:

Fabian Thorns

Fabian Thorns is the Director of Certification Development at Linux Professional Institute, LPI. He is M.Sc. Business Information Systems, a regular speaker at open source events and the author of numerous articles and books. Fabian has been part of the exam development team since 2010. Connect with him on LinkedIn, XING or via email (fthorns at lpi.org).

Linux Professional Institute and BSD Certification Group Join Efforts

December 29, 2017

Linux Professional Institute and BSD Certification Group Join Efforts

Partnership Expands Certification Offerings for Open Source Professionals

The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world's largest certification organization for Linux and open source professionals, and the BSD Certification Group (BSDCG), the organization which sets the certification standard for BSD system administrators, have announced the merging of BSDCG with LPI. The partnership includes the creation of a BSD Advisory Committee which will work with LPI and the BSD community.

“The new partnership is mutually beneficial,“ said LPI Executive Director G. Matthew Rice, “LPI will better fulfill its mission of advocating for the use of all free and open source systems“. According to BSDCG President Dru Lavigne, "BSD Unix use is growing rapidly and globally with BSD professionals involved in every industry. Joining efforts with LPI will help us scale our exam delivery while maintaining the quality of the certification program."

One of the first tasks of the merger is the 2018 launch of the next version of the BSDA certification exam which matches the requirements of the Open Technology certification track. Current BSDA certificants will continue to be recognized and will have the option, upon request, to have their exam credentials hosted on the LPI Candidate portal.

More information about the partnership is available through our media contact, marketing@lpi.org. To join the BSD Advisory Committee, contact Dru at dlavigne@lpi.org.

About Linux Professional Institute (LPI)
For 20 years, LPI is the global certification standard and career support organization for open source professionals. With more than 500,000 exams delivered, it's the world’s first and largest vendor-neutral Linux and open source certification body. LPI has certified professionals in over 180 countries, delivers exams in 9 languages, and has over 400 training partners.
About BSD Certification Group (BSDCG)
Founded in 2005, the BSD Certification Group (BSDCG) is a non-profit organization committed to creating and maintaining a global certification standard for system administration on BSD-based operating systems. The BSDCG works with the BSD and sysadmin communities in order to provide a practical and relevant certification.

LPI Blog

How to Close the UK’s Tech Skills Gap

December 15, 2017

Every year, technology becomes more integral to our lives and a larger contributor to the UK economy – with open source technologies driving the biggest growth in the technology marketplace today. However, it’s widely acknowledged that the UK is experiencing a significant IT skills shortage. The answer? Skills certification.

In the UK, there’s huge employer demand for tech specialists, with more developers, systems administrators and DevOps personnel needed across every industry. Advancements in software development have led to the rapid expansion of this sector.

There are now more than 29,000 software development companies in the UK - an increase of 150% in the past five years. The ever-increasing adoption of software and solutions based on open source technologies, such as Linux, is playing a vital role in the rapid growth of the tech industry and its global impact.

As Linux has now been adopted by corporate giants like Google, Facebook and the US Government, this global trend towards open source means an increased demand for skills in open source technologies.

A recent survey carried out by the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) of 200 UK IT employers finds that nearly 89% report difficulties in recruiting the right candidates for IT positions. Furthermore, 82% state that the shortage of suitable IT professionals is having a negative impact on their organisation.

The implications of this shortage on the UK economy are serious. There is a real risk that more jobs will be off-shored, or even that businesses will move their entire operations overseas. How can the industry prevent this from happening?

IT skills certification can help, by enabling employers to hire candidates with proven advanced, professional-level IT skills in Linux and other open source technologies. Certification provides accredited evidence of these skills, ensuring employers have access to a trusted talent pool of highly skilled and qualified IT professionals.

For a more in-depth analysis of the UK IT skills gap, read our new whitepaper: The IT Skills Gap

Testimonial: How Adam Futureproofed His Career with Linux Professional Institute

December 7, 2017

Testimonial: How Adam Futureproofed His Career with Linux Professional Institute

Linux Professional Institute (LPI) has delivered over 500,000 exams to IT professionals around the globe. So why do so many choose the world’s largest, vendor-neutral Linux and open source certification body to help advance their career?

According to Foote Partners report, ‘IT Skills and Certification Index’, there’s double-digit growth in bonuses paid to LPI certified candidates1. So, is it the promise of a lucrative career, or is there even more to being certified with LPI?

We asked Adam, from Washington, about his experience of getting into open source, taking the exams and how this contributed to his current success.

“After spending most of my early life learning and then teaching Spanish, Japanese and English as a foreign language, I realised that there wasn’t much progression in this profession – so decided to take a different path.

“I’ve always been interested in technology trends and saw potential in learning a programming language, so began learning about Linux in around 2007. I really felt that, if I was going to establish a new career in software development, that I had to understand and be able to work with Linux, first and foremost. Since I lacked any industry experience I decided to take the LPIC-1 and Linux Essentials certifications.

“I had to upskill to prepare for the exam, and I began by using Linux Academy and their training tools; I read lots of “Intro to Linux” books and study guides; I went to meetups and networking events to talk about Linux with people who really knew their stuff. To support my learnings with practical application, I set-up and ran my own Linux server, and started my own professional blog, which I still run to this day.

“The exams were actually much tougher and more thorough than I had expected, but that shows it’s something worthwhile. I’d recommend dedicating at least an hour a day to prepare for the exam.

“It took me approximately a year to complete all three exams (LPIC-1 [101 and 102] and Linux Essentials) but within a week of getting my first Linux certification, I got a job as a Support Technician, at Silicon Mechanics – where I currently work, but now as a Senior Support Technician.

My day-to-day work usually involves my using Linux in some way – so the certifications have helped me enormously. I’d definitely recommend it as a good foundation for anyone interested in an IT career – in fact, I have recommended it to colleagues who have also gone on to take the LPI exams.

For my own next step, LPIC-2 is on my list: I’m always looking to learn more about my industry and the LPIC-2 exam will allow me to take my knowledge to that next level – ultimately, enabling me to better support my customers.

Technology is always evolving, which makes it a fascinating industry to work in. We also now have an automation and DevOps team at Silicon Mechanics, and I’ll soon be joining up with that team and working with them on a number of projects. Once I take my LPIC-2 exam, I’m looking forward to taking the LPIC-OT: DevOps certification, so I can upskill in that area too.”

Learn more about Linux Essentials, LPIC-1, LPIC-2, and LPIC-OT: DevOps Tools Engineer certifications.

1 Foote Partners report, ‘IT Skills and Certification Index’, 2014

LPI Blog

Exploring DevOps Tools - How to Choose the Tools Right for You

November 29, 2017

The popularity of the DevOps movement has resulted in a wide range of tools in the marketplace; the XebiaLabs DevOps Tool Chest alone lists over 200 different individual tools. And while DevOps is about more than just which tools you use, they are essential to benefiting from the improved speed, agility, and automation that DevOps offers.
To choose the DevOps tools that are most appropriate for you, your projects, and your organization, it makes sense to begin with exploring how they are categorized.

How DevOps Tools are Categorized
The types of tools emerge directly from the activities required to deliver software to users via the Continuous Delivery (CD) pipeline model. Each stage in the CD model corresponds to an activity in the software development lifecycle which moves software from development towards production.
Every software team’s CD pipeline – or toolchain – is a mirror of their software development processes, which means there are many possible configurations. DevOps principles involve collaboratively delivering high-quality software, and that means that tools naturally fall into more than one category because they are used throughout DevOps teams. Having said that, there are tool types that are common to all pipelines. These are: build tools, test tools, deploy tools, and monitor tools.  

DevOps ‘Build’ Tools
‘Build’ tools assist in the creation of the software, and they make up the beginning stages of all pipelines. Included under this category are tools for pulling source code from Version Control Systems (VCS), handling build-time dependencies among components, and building entire software products. Such tools automatically send reports if any errors are encountered and prevent software changes from moving down the pipeline. It is, by far, the largest category of DevOps tools.

DevOps ‘Test’ Tools
To ensure quality, automated testing is a vital stage of the CD pipeline. These tools test whether or not software features work as expected, previous software ‘bugs’ have reappeared (through regression testing), and check that performance is maintained. Failing tests should prevent software from reaching further stages, but the severity of the test failure is taken into account.
DevOps ‘Deploy’ Tools
Once code changes have passed all the quality checks from testing, they are packaged and tagged for release, and deployed to the production environment. This stage incorporates all tasks required to configure and provision the target environment, and install the software on the machines.
Deployment tools are increasingly working directly through cloud services to automatically create and configure virtual machines. The steps for creating the environment are increasingly written as code, giving rise to the term Infrastructure as Code.
DevOps ‘Monitor’ Tools

Once the latest code is running in the production environment, its operation needs to be monitored for signs of bugs, performance issues, and anything negatively impacting the user experience. Issues appear when users are engaging with the software, and therefore it is important to capture information through logging, alerting, and performance monitoring for analysis. DevOps monitor tools capture this data.

How to Choose DevOps Tools
With these categorizations in mind, here are the items you should consider when reviewing, evaluating, and choosing DevOps tools that will be right for you, your projects, and your organization:

Common Considerations (across all DevOps tools)

  • Track record of the tool working across different projects of various sizes and complexity
  • Time and/or cost involved in getting team members up-and-running on the tool – taking into account project deadlines and budgets
  • The expected return on investment, cost-savings, or cost-recovery expected from the tool.
  • The ability of the tool to integrate seamlessly with other tools along the Continuous Delivery Pipeline
  • The tool’s ability to keep project/client data secure (i.e within project groups or the organization)

Category-Specific Considerations

For ‘build’ tools – consider the programming language and runtime environment of your software product.

For ‘test’ tools – consider the scale and type(s) of testing you are conducting, e.g. functional testing, performance testing, accessibility testing, data testing, security testing, etc.
For ‘deployment’ tools – consider the reliability you need and whether a master-client or decentralized model would meet the requirements of your production environment.
For ‘monitoring’ tools – consider the degree to which they support your software architecture and their scalability.

Knowing the categories of DevOps tools and key considerations should help you optimize your DevOps processes and its outcomes.

Want to get ahead in DevOps? Visit www.lpi.org/standoutindevops to discover LPI’s new DevOps certification.

Join LPI at LinuxLab 2017

November 23, 2017

Join LPI at LinuxLab 2017

Join LPI at LinuxLab 2017

Hone your skills. Save on registration and certifications. Tap into the open source community.

Linux Professional Institute (LPI) Italia invites you to Linux-Lab 2017 taking place December 6 – 7, 2017 in Florence, Itlay. LPI is thrilled to support Linux-Lab 2017 as a Media Partner.

Hone Your Skills

Linux-Lab – How to build the Cloud, is a conference focused on Linux, kernel, embedded, cloud, container, virtualization and the Open Source culture. Linux-Lab is a project, developed and managed by professionals with many years of experience in the field, professionals that know how important the training and the certification of IT skills and high-level knowledge are, in the chords of LPI worldwide mission.

Save on Registration and Certifications

50% discount on entry to Linux-Lab 2017 for those who purchase an LPI exam – Register – LP150 discount code is already included in the registration price.

25% discount on entry to Linux-Lab 2017, without the purchase of an exam – Register - LPI25 discount code is already included in the registration price.

All LPI Exams are available at a discounted price for this conference. Please register. Registrations are mandatory. Examlab session details at Linux-Lab, Florence 2017. On site exams will commence on December 7, 2017.

Tap into the Open Source Community

Linux-Lab Florence is the first Italian edition of an international event. Linux-Lab’s objective is to create and nurture training and networking between developers, experts and companies. Linux-Lab wants to build up a framework in which professionals can deal with topics such as kernel development, embedded applications, Cloud Computing, container.

Linux-Lab’s claim is “How to build the cloud” to highlight the will to aknowledge “from below” the dynamics of the ecosystem of tools and technologies around Cloud services.

According to Daniele Cirio, Linux Professional Institute Country Manager for Italy, ‘We are very happy when a new project comes to raise the bar for the Linux Italian sysadmins.’


LPI Supporting DevOps Days (Cape Town)

November 3, 2017

LPI Supporting DevOps Days (Cape Town)

Linux Professional Institute (LPI) invites you to DevOps Days (Cape Town) on November 6th and 7th in Woodstock, Cape Town.

The event, organized by local leaders in the rapidly growing DevOps communities who are committed to IT improvement, is one of several dozen DevOps-focused events conducted around the world.

To demonstrate support for this year’s Cape Town event, LPI is making available a select number of vouchers for the LPIC-OT DevOps Tools Engineer certification – a new certification that helps system administrators and software product developers be recognized for their dexterity in working with DevOps tools.

At the same time, LPI will also be attending DevOps Days (Cape Town) to answer any questions about when it makes sense to pursue its IT certifications (e.g. Linux Essentials and LPIC).

Register for the DevOps Days (Cape Town) event now.

Find out about other DevOps Days events.

LPI at T-Dose

November 3, 2017

LPI at T-Dose

Explore the issues and skills related to free software. Save on certifications.

Linux Professional Institute (LPI) invites you to T-Dose November 18th and 19th in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

The event, which is hosted at the Fonty’s University of Applied Science, is organized by the Technical Dutch Open Source Event Foundation which strives to promote the use and knowledge of open source software.

Save on Certifications

Get a discount exclusive to T-Dose attendees on LPI certifications. Write an LPIC paper-based exam on site for 90 EUR, Linux Essentials for 60 EUR, or the LPIC-OT DevOps Tools Engineer for 90 Euros. Note: on site exams will commence at 13:00 on Saturday November 18th, 2017.

To take advantage of the special event pricing, take the following two steps: 1: Get an LPI ID Number. 2: Register to take an exam. Note: registration space is limited.