The Linux Essentials Exam: How I Confronted My Linux Intimidation and Got a Cert Out Of It

LE Certified

Some of you that follow me on Instagram are aware that yesterday, I sat for my Linux Essentials exam and passed. Today, I want to talk about why I took this exam, study strategy, and my feelings about Linux before and after taking the exam.

First off: Linux intimidates the sh** out of me. I was first exposed to the Linux command line while I was still a student at ITT. It wasn’t so bad because we had the commands fed to us by the instructor. The intimidation factor set in once I started working for a company that was both a Windows and Linux shop. Training was limited to asking your more seasoned co-workers and Google on how to fix the thing that made the thing do what it needed to do, and if you couldn’t find an answer quick enough, the customer wasn’t very happy. Sometimes I’d stare at the terminal so long, I’d hope the issue would resolve itself (or the user would hang up). The lack of a graphical interface and my lack of knowledge on how to navigate the Linux OS are the two things that caused me to build my wall of intimidation for Linux.

Why Did I Go For This Certification?

Although I’ve been with my current company for two months, I absolutely love it! The people, the atmosphere, the team environment and the work itself is amazing, I see why people stay as long as they do. My team is fantastic, and I want to contribute as much as I can. One of those contributions is to learn and understand Linux. Plus, doing so would help me confront the intimidation I have for it.

The Study Strategy

  1. Signed up for Linux Academy. I found out about Linux Academy from one of the Linux subreddits. For $50 a month, video courses ranging from Linux, DevOps, AWS, to Google Cloud Platform are available at the click of a button. Not only are videos available, but flashcards, practice quizzes, exercises, and test cloud servers are free to use to help users study and get ready for their exams. There is also a Community section on the site where you can ask questions to other students and instructors. Linux Academy was enough for me to pass the Linux Essentials exam. One of the cool things about Linux Academy is that once you choose a course to start, you can build a course schedule that will tell you to watch what videos on a particular day, and an estimated time frame of when you will finish the course.
  2. Reddit. Yes, Reddit. The site isn’t just for LOLs, but it’s pretty darn informative. I would go through the r/linux4noobs or r/linuxquestions to find advice on taking the exam and mainly to get a point of view from others that have taken the exam.
  3. Take Notes. I only looked at my notes once or twice, that’s all. I take notes because the act of writing them down helps me to remember.

I studied for the Linux Essentials exam for 3 weeks. The test is 40 questions and was allotted 60 minutes. I finished the exam in 15 minutes, but took an extra 5-10 to review my answers before submitting. Once I submitted, I got immediately got my score and the score report was printed, showing me how I did with each exam objective. To add, this certification does not expire!

My Feelings About Linux Today

Now that I’ve gotten the basics down, I feel more confident in my ability to navigate through the Linux OS and its directories. This was only an introductory certificate, but going through the video training and practicing the commands has peaked my interest in learning more about the different Linux Operating systems and what they can do. I even subscribed to the r/linux4noobs and r/linuxmasterrace subreddits to see why others dig it so much. Next week or the week after, I will start my Linux+/LPIC-1 lessons.

Here are some resources that may be helpful for those looking into obtaining a Linux certification:

LPI Certifications

Linux Essentials Exam Objectives

Linux Academy

Reddit’s r/Linux4Noobs Subreddit

Reddit’s r/Linuxmasterrace Subreddit

All in all, this has taught me to confront the things that I fear or intimidate me. Linux is aight in my book.

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