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After 20 years in the tech industry, Linux pro Sander van Vugt knows a thing or two about how to get ahead.
His IT career began with his first job at Novell as a technology trainer. He became an independent IT pro in 2004 to delve deeper into open source and gain hands-on experience. Today, van Vugt is an expert in Linux high availability, virtualization and performance, and continues to teach.
Here, he offers sage advice on navigating the ever-changing tech industry to develop a successful IT career.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in the field?
Sander van Vugt: Focus on Linux because it's getting bigger and bigger, and [it's] replacing Unix. Then, decide which Linux [distribution]. Some people use Ubuntu on their desktop, but that isn't used in data centers for big companies.
SUSE and [Red Hat Enterprise Linux] matter the most, so get skilled in those. Then, get your [Red Hat Certified Engineer] because it is the most demanded [certification]. OpenStack is too complicated.
Hopefully this [provides] a 10-year [career] plan.
What other certifications are important?
van Vugt: [Linux Professional Institute] is a nice starter; it provides the basics. Then you can get SUSE [or Red Hat] certified and become an administrator. SUSE isn't as sought after as Red Hat certifications.
The Linux foundation started a new [certification] that is the equivalent to LPI, but it's too new and hasn't proved itself yet.
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