LPI: The Power of Being Neutral – with Elzbieta Godlewska

by Mirek Burnejko

Elzbieta_LPIThis is an interview with Elzbieta Godlewska from LPI Central Europe.

You have probable heard about LPIC-1, LPIC-2 and LPIC-3.

LPI works on the value of neutral certifications and during this year we should see few upgrades and even a new certification.

In this interview you will find:

  • What will change with LPIC-1 and LPIC-2 in 2012?
  • Who should think about LPIC-1, LPIC-2 and LPIC-3?
  • Who will find the new LPI certification – Linux Essentials – useful?
  • Why Linux is better than Windows? 🙂


IT Certification Master: Two standard questions at the beginning. How long have you been working with LPI and what is your story?

Elzbieta Godlewska: I joined LPI Central Europe in January 2011 r. as in charge of Polish and Czech markets. The LPI brand was quite well-recognized in this region with a satisfactory number of exams taken every year given that LPI had no direct presence there. In 2010 there was a very strong increase of LPI exam numbers in Poland and LPI decided to have a local Polish representative to assist with further growth and service improvements in this area. That’s how I became a member of the team.
My first contact with Linux and Open Source was in 2005 and since I have been working on certification programs for IT specialists, previously as manager for EMEA region at CompTIA.

ICM: Could you describe the history of the LPI certifications?

EG: LPI was formally incorporated as a non-profit organization in New Brunswick, Canada in October 1999. It has operational offices in Toronto, Canada and Sacramento, USA and it is represented by regional affiliates around the world. LPI Central Europe, for example, represents the Linux Professional Institute as a Master Affiliate in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland since 2006. Since 2010 the responsibility has been extended to the Czech Republic and Poland.

LPIC CertificationsLPI is the worldwide market leader in personal certification for Linux and Open Source Software and brings together an active and committed community of companies, IT professionals, training organizations and volunteers to. The Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC) program is designed to certify the competency of IT professionals using the Linux operating system and its associated tools through the global delivery of comprehensive, top-quality, vendor-neutral exams.
LPIC-1 was first published January 11, 2000; LPIC-2 November 29, 2001. LPIC-3 “Core” was released in January 2007 and specialties thereafter.

ICM: LPI has three certifications in the portfolio. For whom they are targeted?

EG: All IT professionals with a professional interest and ability in Linux and Open Source Software.
To pass Level 1, someone should be able to work at the Linux command line, perform easy maintenance tasks such as help users, add users to a larger system, backup and restore, shutdown and reboot, as well as install and configure a workstation (including X) and connect it to a LAN, or a standalone PC to the Internet.
To pass Level 2 someone should be able to administer a small to medium-sized site, plan, implement, maintain, keep consistent, secure, and troubleshoot a small mixed (MS, Linux) network, including LAN server (samba), Internet Gateway (firewall, proxy, mail, news), Internet Server, (web server, FTP server), Supervise assistants, Advise management on automation and purchases.
The LPIC-3 program consists of a single exam for LPIC-3 “core” designation. A number of “specialty” exams are proposed as additional designations on top of the LPIC-3 core. Proposed specialties include mixed environment, security, high availability and virtualization, web and intranet, mail and messaging

ICM: What is the benefit for engineers and employers with the LPI certifications?

EG: LPI certifications are designed by professionals for professionals and internationalized through regional involvement. They are a global standard in Linux professionalism, endorsed by global leaders in Open Source. For customers and employers LPI certification is a proven demonstration of knowledge and skills and a benchmark for HR recruitment.
LPI-certified engineers have proven their knowledge on a certain level. This is helpful when for example employers have to filter candidates for a certain job. It improves the chances of a candidate looking for new job and career opportunities.

ICM: Let’s talk about the future. Are you going to add new levels to the portfolio or change the actual exams?

EG: In general the LPI certification program is continually monitored for technical currency as it relates to job tasks in the IT industry. It is consistently reviewed with IT industry representatives and Linux professionals for needed program changes and new certification initiatives.
The LPIC-1 and LPIC-2 programs are currently approaching the 2.5 year mark for revision to their objectives. The anticipated publish date for new versions of LPI 101 and 102 exams is April 1st 2012. LPIC-2 will be undergoing a similar revision process and republish is scheduled for July 1st 2012.
Upcoming changes to exams and certification programs are detailed on our public wiki.

Also, to talk about the future, LPI is actually working on a new introductory level for its certification program. The new exam, provisionally named “Linux Essentials”, is currently under development and is meant to prepare youth and those new to Linux and Open Source for work in the IT sector.

ICM: What with the renewal process? Do you plan any changes or do you want to keep the actual model with 5 years?

EG: There are no anticipated changes to our renewal program at this time as we made good experience with the current model.

ICM: Where should engineers train for the LPI certifications? What is your recommendation? Do they need some special materials or just few Linux distributions and man pages?

EG: We believe that the preparation for LPI exams is an individual choice. Some people may simply look at the exam objectives and study on their own using for example man pages, other people may prefer to read books, take on-line training or go through instructor-led classes offered by a training center. LPI has actually committed that it will never designate an “official” set of LPI training materials in order to offer a maximum choice for those seeking to take LPI exams.
For suggestions on preparing for our exams LPI candidates should visit the following LPI web page.

ICM: What would be the biggest mistake candidates make preparing for the LPI certifications?

EG: It would be a big mistake and misunderstanding to just learn LPI exam simulation questions and answers without having any knowledge of the LPI exam objectives.

ICM: What other certifications engineers should have to be the best of the best in the industry? What is the best combination for people with LPIC-1, LPIC-2, LPIC-3 certifications? Should they try other Linux certifications like RHCE/Linux+ or other operating systems like Windows?

EG: IT professionals should acquire certifications in accordance with their career and lifelong learning needs–including other relevant OS certifications. LPIC holders will need to determine for themselves what other, if any, other Linux certifications they may need. However, please note that the CompTIA Linux+ powered by LPI certification uses the same exams as LPIC-1 for their program, and the Novell Certified Linux Administrator (CLA) certification accepts LPIC-1 as an equivalent.

ICM: Why Linux is better than Windows? 🙂

EG: I wouldn’t say better than Windows. Microsoft already started to adopt Open Source strategies and concepts. The Linux kernel is vendor independent, Linux is a very fast, scalable, transparent, flexible and safe operating system. And Linux and Open Source software can be downloaded and installed without any costs.

ICM: Thank you very much Elzbieta and see you soon.

[This is part of the Interviews with Vendors Series]