[colug-432] the /etc test
thomas.w.cranston at gmail.com
Mon Jul 21 17:21:17 EDT 2014
On 07/21/2014 03:34 PM, Rick Troth wrote:
> Pronounced "the etsy test".
> On 07/21/2014 12:26 PM, Scott Merrill wrote:
>> I recently learned that someone who I consider to be a competent Linux
>> sysadmin had never personally installed Linux. In his professional
>> life, that was a task always performed by a different team.
> Most shocking for me was to find at one shop that "systems
> programmers" in one group did not know programming. To be specific,
> they did not know the primary developmental language of that system.
> This knowledge was historically a requirement. (True, one can go far
> with Linux and not know C from the alphabet. But here was almost like
> not knowing command entry.)
> There's a spectrum of capability ... along several axis. Point taken,
> Scott. There's also a problem of elitism, even snobbery.
> the need to bring people up to speed is real and serious. (Crypto
> crises are just the low hanging fruit for opportunistic journalists.
> Other forms of system security follow closely, and RAS (reliability,
> availability, serviceability) aspects will become critical.)
> In job A, I learned about the /etc test.
> In job B, I tried to apply it. Didn't go well.
> In job A, the Unix team hired a PhD student who was ostensibly a Unix
> heavy. Guy's working on a doctorate so he's not suffering from lack of
> basic brains, and he'd been *on* the Unix systems for months. But they
> had to let him go after just a week. It was embarrassing and painful.
> Somehow he passed the interview only to fall flat with real work. What
> Looking for a sharper edge, someone on that team hit upon "the /etc
> test". The idea was ...
> cd /etc
> "tell me what each of these is used for"
> It's a Kobayashi Maru. You're going to fail. Something in the range of
> files will be outside your domain of knowledge. But the intent (of the
> interviewers) was to see how far you get. (And maybe also see how you
> handle the unknowns.)
> In job B, I was allowed to be part of the interviewing panel. As if
> candidates were not intimidated enough, I threw in the /etc test.
> Once. We hired that candidate, and she was terrific, an excellent
> engineer/admin. But she let us know with certainty (after joining the
> team) that "the /etc test" was a bad idea (in her not so humble opinion).
> I've mentioned the /etc test a few times since then.
> -- R; <><
> colug-432 mailing list
> colug-432 at colug.net
I'm not system admin material, but am curious:
acpi dictionaries-common iproute2
adduser.conf dkms issue newt
adjtime dm issue.net
alternatives dnsmasq.d java-7-openjdk
anacrontab doc-base kbd openal sgml
apg.conf dpkg kernel opt
apm drirc kernel-img.conf
apparmor emacs kerneloops.conf
apparmor.d environment ldap pam.d
apport firefox ld.so.cache
apt firefox-3.0 ld.so.conf
at-spi2 firefox-3.5 ld.so.conf.d
avahi fonts legal pcmcia ssh
bash.bashrc fstab libao.conf
bash_completion fstab.d libaudit.conf
bash_completion.d fuse.conf libnl-3 pm
bindresvport.blacklist gai.conf libpaper.d
blkid.conf gconf libreoffice
blkid.tab gdb lintianrc
bluetooth ghostscript linuxmint
bonobo-activation gimp locale.alias
brlapi.key gnome localtime
brltty gnome-settings-daemon logcheck
brltty.conf gnome-vfs-2.0 login.defs
ca-certificates groff logrotate.conf
ca-certificates.conf group logrotate.d
calendar group- lsb-release
casper.conf grub.d ltrace.conf
chatscripts gshadow lvm rc0.d udev
chromium-browser gshadow- magic rc1.d
colord.conf gtk-2.0 magic.mime
ConsoleKit gtk-3.0 mailcap rc3.d
console-setup hddtemp.db mailcap.order
cracklib hdparm.conf manpath.config
cron.d host.conf mdm rc6.d
cron.daily hostname mime.types
cron.hourly hosts mke2fs.conf
cron.monthly hosts.allow modprobe.d
crontab hosts.deny modules request-key.d vim
cron.weekly hp modules-load.d
cups icedtea-web mono resolv.conf wgetrc
cupshelpers ifplugd mtab rmt
dbus-1 init mtab.fuselock
debconf.conf init.d mtools.conf
debian_version initramfs-tools nanorc rsyslog.d X11
default inputrc ndiswrapper
deluser.conf insserv netscsid.conf
depmod.d insserv.conf network securetty
dhcp insserv.conf.d NetworkManager security
How much of the above should an average user know? How about a serious user?
This is from a fresh install of LinuxMint 17
I know the feeling about Job A. Human Resources usually hire the person
that's best at jumping thru hoops. (not me) I knew a lady that ran a
Human Resources company. She said it was really hard to determine who
could actually do the job. I usually got the best jobs (in another
field) by hiring on as a temp, and then the engineer had to have me
hired. One time after that happened, the woman that ran Human Resources
came and told me she would never had hired me. I told her that she was
incompetent and that if it was my company I would fire her.
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