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LPI or not?

The Linux Professional Institute offers all its exams at a discounted price at debconf7. That's definitely good news and should earn Klaus Behrla another round of gratitude for his efforts (assuming he's behind this again). However, it also gets me thinking again:

I've been meaning to complete my certifications for years but never could be bothered to spend the money (even at a discount) or actually devote the time to the exam itself. At FOSDEM 2007, I had signed up but then skipped the exams to do more important stuff. The reason? During the conference, someone responded with something like "LPI? Why? I am a Debian developer" when I brought up the subject. Good point.

I think I could just sit down and pass the second and third stage exams (having contributed to the exams themselves), and do even better with a bit of studying for it. But is it worth it? Does the LPI certification actually prove something that isn't already obvious from my online track record.

What do you think? I'd be interested specifically to hear from fellow developers who decided to take the exams.

NP: Anekdoten - Monolith

Update: thanks, Joerg, for your thoughts. I am not looking for employment, and if I was, I'd certainly not want to work at a company that thinks certifications are the true proof of capabilities. So I guess that leaves me with a 'no' still.

But I also want to say that this post is not to discredit the LPI. I think their exams are fair and definitely not trivial. Even looking at some study notes for LPIC1, I learnt some new stuff, so I bet just preparing for LPIC2 and 3 would teach me things I did not know yet. Compared to other certifications by more commercial vendors, LPIC definitely ranks very high, so don't let my blog post discourage you: there are plenty of reasons to take the exams; I was just looking for reasons why I would want to continue taking them.

Update: Mario, I would not be a DD if before I had not been and continue to be a system administrator. And I think you'll have problems finding a hand full of DDs who've never touched an ISA card.

Update: several other people responded with thoughts: Matey Cepl wonders why Novell hasn't struck up an alternative to Redhat's RHCE, which is considerably harder and closer to the actual subject being tested than the LPIC exams.

Kevin Fries claims that as more people get LPIC-certified, the Linux platform gains credibility; in the Windows-world, certifications are everywhere and even though completely pointless, companies look for them. Certifications like LPIC make Linux more viable a choice to those companies, who then have the impression that it'll be easier to find "certified consultants."

Finally, Ambrose Andrews gives the view that presence or absense of certification is not in his view a means of selecting personnel but rather a means of rejecting them. Candidates with certifications can be considered provisionally competent and thus may be worth to consider when compared to Joe Random, who may simply be a wast of time. To that I do have to add that I've made decisions to reject people because they pushed their certification too much into the foreground. It goes both ways.