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Linuxgruven, Sair And Employment Practices - updated 163

An unnamed correspondent writes: "Looks like Linuxgruven has been making offers that if you pay them a few grand for them to train and Sair certify you, they will hire you on for a $45,000/yr entry level position. Besides that fact that this smells like a scam, it seems that Sair is now in legal proceedings against Linuxgruven. Here is a link to an e-mail from Sair [Director of Courseware & Instruction Ross E. Brunson] posted on a users group mailing list." (Read more, because it gets more complicated.)

"Here are other links to mailing list discussions about those offered positions at Linuxgruven:

Sair GNU/Linux provides certification and testing materials for personal or corporate use intended to show proficiency with various GNU/GPL software. Eric S. Raymond, Jon "maddog" Hall, Bruce Perens, Richard Stallman and other luminaries of Free software sit on the board of Sair, which lends an air of credibility that few organizations can boast.

In an economic niche somewhere near that of Sair, Linuxgruven also focuses on GPL software, by providing training courses and materials and certification, but also provides professional services. They currently have offices in eight U.S. cities, and plan on opening an equal number soon, according to their CEO.

I exchanged email and telephone calls with representatives of both Sair GNU/Linux and Linuxgruven yesterday to find out what each had to say about any legal entanglement between the two companies, and about the uncomplimentary descriptions online of Linuxgruven's hiring practices. If you read the links above, you'll find accounts by Linuxgruven course applicants, who claim that they were offered well-paid entry-level jobs -- in advance, prior to taking any course -- in exchange for paying up-front for the training courses offered by Linuxgruven.

Lenny Sawyer, Sair's Vice President of Operations, was the first to respond to my email, but could offer little information. He said "[w]e (Sair Linux and GNU) feel it would be inappropriate for our company to comment publicly on any possible legal proceedings or an investigation by an outside agency. Sair Linux and GNU Certification has stated it will always take the necessary and proper steps to protect its copyrighted training and certification materials, but we can not comment on any possible individual situations."

Shortly after this, I reached by telephone a Linuxgruven employee named Alex White, who told me that I needed to talk to Matt Porter, the company's CEO. Porter, he said, was on another phone call at the time, but would be able to call me back later in the day. I asked whether I could have Porter's email address in addition, but White said that he had been told not to release email addresses.

While he was on the phone, I asked White (in Linuxgruven's St. Louis office) a little bit about Linuxgruven and his experience there. Was he a Linux user? Did he take a Linuxgruven training course? White answered Yes to both of those questions, and described the 4-week training course as "very comprehensive -- about 80 hours of classroom instruction." White, though, said he was unaware of any legal action either active or in the works involving Linuxgruven, and that I'd have to wait to talk with Porter. White also said he'd never heard of anyone being offered a job at Linuxgruven contingent upon pre-payment of course fees.

I asked White if when he had taken the Linuxgruven course he had been asked or required to pay in advance. "I don't recall," he said. When I expressed surprise at not remembering at what point he'd had to hand over the thousands of dollars the four-week course costs, he explained, "I had relatives who paid for it, and they went through that whole [payment] process." He saw the training course as a route to a better job, after a stint in tech support for another company. What is his job at Linuxgruven now? "Basically, I set up interviews," said White.

A few hours later, Porter called me back, and promised an email with some information (it arrived a few minutes later), and provided his cell phone number; we both agreed that I should read his email and then we would talk again.

During a second telephone call, I asked Porter whether anyone was offered employment at Linuxgruven on a quid pro quo basis, as the user-group emails above indicate, and Porter flatly denied that anyone was ever offered a job based on prepayment for Linuxgruven's training course. "That's never been the case," he said. "That's not how we operate."

"There is absolutely no requirement that any job applicant take our training course and, in fact, we have many employees who have passed either our own examination or the Sair examination without ever taking our training course," reads part of his e-mailed response. "If someone wishes to take our training course in order to prepare for either our own examination or the Sair examination, we offer a discount on our course and we offer to employ the person if he or she subsequently passes one of the two examinations. We do not offer employment in return for simply enrolling in the course, and we do not guarantee that anyone who takes the course will pass one of the two examinations."

Porter told me by phone and in his email that he was aware of the Ross Brunson email cited above, but that he knew of no active legal action involving his company and Sair, or anyone else. Rather than the (singular) "ongoing Better Business Bureau investigation" mentioned in that email, Porter said that he is aware of two BBB investigations, one apiece from the St. Louis and Kansas City bureaus. "We are currently working with both Better Business Bureaus to explain the correct nature of our employment practices," according to his email.

But what is the status of Sair's relationship with Linuxgruven, and why the talk of legal action? According to the email linked above, which Porter says he "assumes is genuine," Sair has "suspended operations with [Linuxgruven] due to non-compliance" with Sair's contracts regarding instructor qualifications.

Porter puts it slightly differently, allowing that Sair and Linuxgruven are no longer parters, but according to him this is because the two companies could not agree on terms for contract renewal. He said via email, "We have not received any word from Sair Linux asserting that it believes that we have misappropriated any of its copyrighted materials. Of course, it is not our company's policy or practice to misappropriate anyone's copyrighted materials."

"The whole stuff about Sair confuses me, because we look at that test, and we have complete respect for what Sair and those guys are doing," said Porter. "We have the utmost respect for the Linux community,and we owe a lot to the community." Porter pointed out that his company accepts Sair-certified applicants, and said this was a good indicator of how much respect Linuxgruven holds for the worth of Sair's training, whether or not the two companies are currently working together.

On the telephone, Porter also seemed slightly taken aback by the disappointment and skepticism expressed online by the people behind the links above, saying "We're a legit company ... We have happy customers," pointing to the testimonials and case studies featured on the Linuxgruven web site. Porter, in fact, is chairperson of the St. Louis LUG, and seems genuinely interested in spreading the idea of Open Source software.

With eight offices open at present, and plans to open eight more in the works, there's no doubt that that aggressive hiring practices are the natural result of Linuxgruven's growth. But why do several people claim to have been offered jobs in exchange for paying for the Linuxgruven training course, if that's "never been the case," as Porter says? The answer to that is likely to come out soon.

If courtroom action is initiated, we're sure to hear more about both Sair and Linuxgruven; anyone with experiences of any kind as a Linuxgruven applicant or employee, or with thoughts on the Sair certification, is encouraged to post comments below.

Update: 01/31 02:04 AM by T : Thanks to Matt Porter for this clarification: Alex White, the Linuxgruven employee I spoke to on the phone, has not yet received certification from Linuxgruven, and his current position is one which allows him to work toward that certification. Any implication otherwise was in error.

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Linuxgruven, Sair And Employment Practices

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  • They even stole the penguin logo. []
  • i mean if you take a course to get certified, your probably going to get a job. linuxgruven just wants to make sure that they get an extra advantage when they go scouting. to me the thought of scouting people by training them seems like a very good idea for any firm. how better to get a feel for how good a guy is than to sit and train him for a while.

    as they say, they've hired people who werent trained by them before.


    Drink more tea []
  • by NetJunkie ( 56134 ) <jason DOT nash AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 30, 2001 @11:21AM (#469284)
    First, I'd like to say my wife and I are writing an LPI study guide for IDG. This is the certification IDG supports, not us. But after taking both exams I'm happy to be writing this book.

    I took the SAIR exams at LinuxWorld in San Jose and I'm not impressed. I've also taken the LPI exams, and they are better geared toward real-world job experience. SAIR also partners with Wave to provide training material. That material basically spoon feeds you the answers. After taking the exams my wife and I both looked over the Wave books and just picked out the answers to the questions word for word. I don't consider that very professional.

    I'm scheduled for the RHCE exam in two weeks. I wish more people did lab exams....
  • I would tend to agree that this sounds like a scam -- there is a fine line between "we give you a discount and hire you if you pass..." and "pay to take the exam at a discount and we'll hire you." It seems like a great way to get imployees, but in reality they're paying their own salary for the first month or two -- at which point they can be fired if they aren't worth Taco Boy's two cents.

  • Linuxgruven sells Linux training seminars. SAIR sells Linux training seminars. Linuxgruven probably needs seminar teachers.

    Who could teach the Linuxgruven seminars better than former students (or students of SAIR)?

    It's one thing to say that Linuxgruven's seminars suck and aren't worth the money, but that doesn't make it illegal. Neither does offerring the prospect of jobs to seminar attendees.

    And what exactly does SAIR have to do with any of this?

    Dancin Santa
  • Yah right, RH stole it too, and even put a silly red hat on it.. I'd link to redhat's penguin logo, but frankly I can't be bothered since this this entire thread should probably be modded to "-1 - Lame and pathetic" Is Tux GPL'd? Do penguins (or cartoon images of them) have source code?
  • "$45,000/YR> Entry level position. Responsibilities include installation, administration, and updating system security. Positions available nationwide. Qualifications: 2 yrs minimum IT experience in programming, web development, system administration,hardware or equivalent experience. Must have excellent communication skills as you will be interacting with clients. If you do have Linux experience, we will ask you to take an exam to measure your skills. If most of your experience is on other platforms, we have a variety of training and certification options available. If interested please submit your resume as plain text in the body of your email message. All attachments will be deleted. Submit resume" It does not look like you have to go through the course. Now if you do all that and then get a job setting up interviews that would suck. But if one was looking for a way to get a Linux job on the old resume it might not be too bad.
  • Instead of paying people back with the money they put into the course, why don't they just say, hey, the course is free, but if you get hired you'll work for free for two months! :) I guess that wouldn't really entice anyone now would it?
  • This is not the way it works in the world of business. If they were so eager to have Linux certified personelle they'd pay for the training themselves and then pay new hires $40k to $43k rather than offering $45k AFTER they pay up and get the training.

    It's either a scam, or a very poorly executed recruitment drive. Either way, I personally would steer clear.

    Want to get a Linux job? The best way is probably to participate in the community as much as possible, then put THAT on a resume... example; "Contributed port X for Linux, fixed bugs Y and Z".

  • by Christopher B. Brown ( 1267 ) <> on Tuesday January 30, 2001 @11:43AM (#469291) Homepage
    There was a discussion on this back last October on comp.os.linux.development" [os.linux.development] under the subject Should I Pay Linuxgruven $2500 for a Job. It's out at [] if you wish to refer back to it...

    The conclusion was that the policy that people were reporting then, which sure sounds like what we're hearing here, seemed pretty fishy.

    At the time, I figured that they were a little company that was trying just a little too hard to grow a little too fast; the evidence neither supports:

    • The thesis that they're a pure "pyramid scam" nor
    • The thesis that they're tremendously credible.

    Perhaps the most cogent comment was thus:

    Real companies pay for your training, and then, if you are good, expand your pay, benefits, bonus, etc. to keep you. What you have here is either a scam, or at the very least, a great big red flag that the company is run like crap.... -- Ken Sodemann
  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2001 @11:44AM (#469292) Homepage Journal
    I've never been a big fan of certification exams. Many are famous for simplistic questions, sometimes with "correct" answers that are technically wrong. And if you want to study for them, you usually have to buy some expensive book or courseware.

    At first glance, LPI [] seems to be a refreshing exception. The exam goals are well-documented, but require some creative intelligence to prepare for. They seem to be in no hurry to jump into the lucrative marketplace with half-baked exams, preferring to proceed carefully and to leverage community involvement. Best of all, they're keeping their commercial sponsers at arm's length.


  • I am sure that it is against the law for an employer to force a prospective employee to pay them for the opportunity to get a job, which seems to be to me why, the first guy who talked "couldn't remember" and the president sent an email explicitly stating what they are doing. Easier to prove what he said, and nice when the lawyer can get a peek at it first to make sure nothing can bite you.

    I personally would not have anything to do with someone as slippery as this, if it is really true.

    All seems rather fishy to me, someone aughta call the state labor board where they are to have them take a peek at how bidneth is done down there.

  • SAIR also partners with Wave to provide training material.

    Actually, Wave bought Sair about a year ago. But due to some licensing issues, Wave is not able to use the material Sair wrote.

    That material basically spoon feeds you the answers. After taking the exams my wife and I both looked over the Wave books and just picked out the answers to the questions word for word.

    That sounds like the Sair material. I read the Sair material after I took their exams. I wasn't impressed by either. Some of the questions were really dumb, and I couldn't figure out the answers until I read their material. The Wave material (the last version that I saw, at least) targets LPI, Sair, and RHCE, and is much more comprehensive.

    Disclosure: I used to help write the training materials for Wave. Now I work for Linuxgruven. My opinions belong to neither.

  • by pongo000 ( 97357 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2001 @11:56AM (#469295)
    The airlines have been doing this for years: Employment candidates pay for their training, and are then offered a job based on their performance. Comair [], a subsidiary of Delta, does just this.

    H&R Block offers people who successfully complete their tax course possibility of employment.

    What makes Linuxgruven's practices any different?

  • You are kind of right. But in the training school business this is really quite common. One place that I hear ads for on a regular basis says they will train and then place you in a job stay in the job for a year and then they will reimburse you for some amount. Many of these companies make money on both ends. I have not read anything but the ad but it looks like if you go through the training and then want to work for them they will offer the job. It makes sense given the mindset of the training schools. I would not work for them on the basis that I think said schools are evil but many would.
  • It sounds to me like they are saying "We'll hire you if you can pass this exam." and they just happen to offer a training course for the exam. It doesn't sound like you must take their course to get hired, or any course at all - just that they're only interested in you if you pass the exam.

    I would rather work for a company that was interested in me, and willing to train me if I was behind on anything. Come to think of it, I do work for a company like that. They hired me right out of college, and promptly spent several thousand dollars sending me to 3 different training courses.

    Whether this is a scam or not, I wouldn't want to work somewhere where the attitude is "how much can we get out of our employees." I would want to, and do, work for a company where the attitude is "how much can we give our employees to make them better, more capable programmers."


  • A great many years ago (more than I care to mention), I was looking for my first job. I went to an employment service and got interviewed for an insurance/securities sales job. I was told I had done brilliantly on the interview and got hired, paying the headhunter's fee based on potential earnings (what can I say? I was inexperienced and stupid). Fast forward about a year. Turns out that the so-called insurance company and the headhunters were in cahoots. I got scammed out of a fee, never earned a dime of commissions, but learned a heck of a lesson about jobs that sound too good to be true. The only thing missing in the Linuxgruven deal is the headhunter's office. They're just cutting out the middle man.
  • Some of the chief proponents of Open Source sit on the board of Sair, which is interested in "[taking] the necessary and proper steps to protect its copyrighted training and certification materials..." So, Mad Dog, are you telling us that software should be free but knowledge should not? I'm very confused...
  • I make 80K/yr designing web pages with FrontPage

    I guess it depends where you live as to what is considered "good pay". In and around Kansas City, most IT professionals earn between $45K and $65K per year (putting Linuxgruven at the low end of the scale). I would imagine in a place like silicon valley, those number would be higher. Much higher.

  • Any potential employer with a commision-compensated human resources department should be a BIG RED FLAG. Perhaps it would be acceptable if you weren't being offered the job pending completion of a several thousand dollar training course. My girlfriend is interviewing with several companies for positions that require certain licenses or certifications, and they all have offered to pay her to take the courses and exams.
  • im really doubting that head-hunters good enough to come up with a system of filtering based on how quickly people learn in this course would miss qualified applicants who hadnt taken the course. this seems more like a slick way of gathering up and coming talent, not the exclusive way of gathering talent.

    as for the irs similarity, im really not seeing it, if this were redhat giving rhce certification to every seceratary/janitor/pizza delivery guy who has worked for them, id see it. this is more like redhat offering jobs to those who get the highest scores on the rhce exams.....


    Drink more tea []
  • I know of 2 ppl that have gone through the trainign and then taken their tests. They said the material on the test was not even covered in training. IMHO, that is a SCAM!!!! I mean, come one.....if it is their test and they are training...,can they at least teach material that is on the test>
  • In June, I had just moved back to the St. Louis area with my MCSE and little experience. After searching for employment I came across Linuxgruven. At first I was skeptical just like anyone else would be. I went to the St. Louis office for an interview. During the interview I was told that I did not have to pay the money and take the class to be hired on by Linuxgruven, that I could do self study (which I seriously considered), and that a contract would be written up that said I would recieve my $ back at the point of 1 year of employment with the company. I did pay the $ and did get a contract. Now, 6 months later I am gainfully employed by Linuxgruven, work 9-6, monday through friday, have a client that I provide support for, and MOST IMPORTANT, I recieve a paycheck, every 2 weeks that comes out to $45,000 a year! I can safely say that Linuxgruven is a real company that provides real support for real companies, there is no funny bussiness going on here, just good ol' fashioned WORK.
  • I interviewed with Linuxgruven in June and was offered a job pending Sair certification. I was told I could sign up for the class or not, I just had to get certified because they needed network engineers. After some self study I attempted the first of the four Sair exams required for LCA certification. After failing 3 times I signed up for, and took the class. As a side note I graduated #1 in my class from the University of Missouri, so I know how to study. Obviously, the content of the class is difficult, but the instruction was exactly what I needed. I proceeded to pass three of the four Sair exams on my first try after the class. I have been an employee of Linuxgruven for 3 months now and have long since recouped my investment. The class is very demanding and certainly not for everyone, but for those who are bright and willing to work hard, Linuxgruven is an excellent path.
  • I first heard of Linuxgruven this summer when I responded to an ad offering network engineer positions and training. Like many people, I was slightly suspicious of the offer but was persuaded by the fact that I could pursue independent study; I was not REQUIRED to pay any money or take any class. I started to study on my own. I found that independent study was not going to work for me; I did not have enough *NIX experience to help me along.After a week of self-study, I couldn't have told you the difference between /etc/ and /var/. I called back and signed up for the course. I won't say that the course was easy, or that it prepared me for all the questions on the certification tests. It certainly didn't prepare me for all the different things I have had to do since I started in October.It did prepare me to study and understand more than basic Linux material.Furthermore, after the class was over, help was available if I asked for it. Since I have started, I have mostly configured VPN's and firewalls - not bad for someone who didn't know a command that wasn't identical to one in DOS. I routinely switch back and forth between about four or five different Linux distributions. I can set up DNS, Apache, ftp servers, print servers, NFS, NIS, Samba, and who knows what else. I am comfortable with almost any aspect of routine system administration or networking, and if it's not routine, I know how to look for help, RTFM, and understand the FM. Usually, I can get whatever I'm trying to do to work. In short, I have quite a few skills I didn't have a year ago because of Linuxgruven's training, and I'm learning more every day. I've even been promoted. In most things in life, you only get rewards commensurate with your effort. Linuxgruven is like that. I worked like a dog studying and getting lots of hands-on practice, and now it's paying off. I'm not saying that Linuxgruven is perfect, because nothing is. However, anyone who feels slighted because they weren't able to get certified should take a long look in the mirror and ask why not.
  • I am an employee of Linuxgruven. I have been employed here for over 3 months. Since I have gotten here, the company has been constantly growing. It has been an excellent experience. My knowledge of the Linux operating system has grown tremendously, and the atmosphere within the company promotes an environment of continual growth. Besides gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience, the salary is far beyond excellent for an entry level position.
  • Without getting into discussion about potential legal issues or Linuxgruven's business practices, here is my experience. I had no Linux experience, took their course, passed 4 SAIR's exams and got hired. I have been with the company for over 6 months. Besides getting paid double what I was making before, I benefited in many other ways: I learned to program in Perl and PHP, learned how to set up and administer anything that works with Linux. Even if I lost my job tomorrow, I could easily find equally good one with the knowledge I posess now. There is nobody who got certified either by SAIR or Linuxgruven and didn't get a job with Linuxgruven. Nobody has to take their course. If you can do it on your own, great. People who are complaining are those who never tried or who are too dumb to get certified. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. I heard a lot of people saying that a company will pay for your training. Yes, it's true but only if you already have experience or some kind of knowledge.
  • I have been working at Linuxgruven for a little over a week now. When I first approached Linuxgruven, I saw it as an opportunity to get my foot in the door in the tech industry. I too had my reservations, but it was the very fact that it was emphasized that I didn't need to take any course they offered, that I just need to pass the certification exams (either their's or Sair's) that made me decide to go for it. They offer they're own Linux certification exam, and as far as I can tell, it is the only such exam to offer a hands-on portion, something which I think is absolutely critical. Not only that, but they offer this exam for free for the first 2 tries. I had nothing at all to lose. All of my coworkers here are very happy, as am I, and it's a comfortable, casual environment. They've designed their tests to find those who have the drive to push themselves to study, learn, and eventually master a revolutionary operating system. Linuxgruven is very no-nonsense and they pull no punches - they are hiring people who show they have the ability to perform in the field, and they determine this in a very straightforward way (the exams). They are a growing company, and there is a demand to employ enough people to handle the current/projected workload, and I think they are very realistic about their goals and how to reach them. This is a great opportunity for people, fresh college graduates like me or those seeking a career change, to get their foot in the door. []
  • I currently work at Linuxgruven, Inc. I have worked their since July. I have gotten everything that was part of my contract. I took the training class. I got certified. I get a paycheck at every pay period. My knowledge of the Linux operating environment has grown more than three-fold. The company has been growing by leaps and bounds and I am honored to be one of the support legs that help us reach for the future of this company and of Linux in general. Linuxgruven might not be for everybody. It is an environment that requires hard work and dedication. I understand that getting certified is not easy. I know many people struggle, but it is obtainable goal for I am proof of that. Linuxgruven is a valuable opportunity to be part of the Linux future.
  • I would like to relate my personal experience eith Linuxgruven. I took the Linuxgruven course and subsequently the Sair certification tests. I received my Sair certification (LCA). Upon completion of my certification, I contacted Linuxgruven, they told me to come down and fill out employment papers. I started two weeks later and have been with the company for 4 months as a Network Engineer, working onsite with clients and providing telephone support. As far as I'm concerned they have delivered on there promises.
  • Firstly, I am an employee of, inc., and I was hired one month ago. I am going to attempt to remain as neutral as possible regarding the above while composing this. I understand many students' and prospective students' concerns regarding Linuxgruven, as I also experienced similar feelings. However, I did take the Linuxgruven certification course, I was satisfied with the instruction and materials, and I did subsequently pass all four SAIR certification exams after two months of in-depth and organized study. Furthermore, I was offered an opportunity to get my foot in the door in a field where experience is essential in securing employment. Simply stated, I was appalled by the claim that Linuxgruven exists by selling lies. It is unfortunate that many people are upset at a great career opportunity. The company is growing rapidly, and, of course, they will need employees to fill their positions. Sadly, many seem perplexed by the business model which Linuxgruven incorporates. The bottom line for Linuxgruven is: If you receive a certification from SAIR or Linuxgruven, there is a position available for you with Linuxgruven. Now we get into the red tape. Linuxgruven is offering a preparation course for certification. When you interview for the job, you are offered the option to take this certification course (of course, you will have to pay a fee for this course). If, after having taken the course, you pass all certification exams, you are GUARANTEED a job with Linuxgruven. On a side note, you are NOT guaranteed a job if you have not taken the course and have, in fact, passed the requisite examinations (in this case, you must interview for the job just like any other tech job; prove that you know your stuff, and you're probably hired on). Now, why would anyone want to fork out all that cash just to get a job? Nobody pays for a job, right? I thought the same thing. I called my attorney. As you will remember, Linuxgruven guarantees to repay students who have been hired after one year of employment. My attorney reminded me of how much turnover there is in the IT field. I'm sure we all know someone who trained at, say, MCI, and then moved on to, say, AT&T within three months (at least, I know two such people). Well, what is a good way to keep your employees that you have trained? Well, one way would be to offer them an incentive. I believe that this is precisely what Linuxgruven is doing, and has done in the past. What I am stating here is not, to my knowledge, company policy. Nor is it simply bantering. Being an academic, I researched this company in-depth long before I agreed to paying for any type of certification course. Despite much of the negative feedback, which is often skewed and even distorted, I found that at its core, Linuxgruven is 100% kosher. Furthermore, I now have an exciting position in the IT field that did not require at least 2 years of experience! Finally, I am proud to say that I am working for a company that fully supports the open-source movement, has introduced Linux to literally thousands of people, and has innovative plans to further the future of the operating system. Go Linux! Go Linuxgruven! --Matty X
  • I can verify this! I was very close to working helpdesk at Delta, but at the time i didn't have the training money. In reality, I've seen a lot of employers doing this in recent years, because training expenses have become high and employee turnovers are the reason. Not because they job sucks, simply because it's a highly competitive job market! For the record as someone who paid his $2500 (the price has since changed) for the seminar, they never said we will only hire you if...they said your experience and your knowledge (based on a small 50 question general computer repair and networking quiz I was given) shows you can handle the job, and here are your three routes: pass our tests, start your job, , pass the SAIR tests, start your job, take the class and pass either sets of tests, and start your job. I chose the third, reason...while I'm a fairly seasoned linux user, I felt I might be lackign some knowledge. I was! I learned alot! especially about networking and system administration tasks!

    I must admit, it sounded fishy to me at first, but I did some homework, said well seems worth a risk, and I enjoyed the class, and while I feel it could have been MUCH more than it was, It was very good in my opinion. However, it's very hard to fit all the linux information one needs into 1 month!

    No one ever said no class no employment, and I have been told for a month I will probably be put with someone else who is more experienced to polish some skills.
  • Interesting. The last 4 or so posts from happy employees all come from (nearly) sequential User I.D's.

    Salting much?
  • I think we can safely say that Linuxgruven employees are not a bit familiar with &ltbr&gt tag.

    Dancin Santa
  • My guess is that it's a very good troll :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30, 2001 @01:19PM (#469318)
    My, oh, my...isn't it a grand coincidence that all of the positive ("Linuxgruven has been very, very good to me!") posts come from nearly consecutive /. user numbers, none of which show their email addresses.

    I'm a *nix Admin from Saint Louis, and this suspect behavior bothers me!

    Fixafone on 16:52 Tuesday 30 January 2001 CST
    (User #311271 Info)
    jc33 on 16:53 Tuesday 30 January 2001 CST
    (User #311254 Info)
    jmuse on 16:55 Tuesday 30 January 2001 CST
    (User #311256 Info)
    aowens on 16:56 Tuesday 30 January 2001 CST
    (User #311261 Info)
    maestro69 on 16:57 Tuesday 30 January 2001 CST
    (User #311265 Info)
    JavaJoeLinux on 17:07 Tuesday 30 January 2001 CST
    (User #311263 Info)
    scheat on 17:08 Tuesday 30 January 2001 CST
    (User #311268 Info)
    by Matty X on 17:10 Tuesday 30 January 2001 CST
    (User #311262 Info)
  • Hello to all, My name is Tim and I am an employee of and I am here to tell you this is a legit company. I did the Sair Certification via self study and was hired on with no problems. If you have any questions feel free to email me at
  • If it really is a LinuxGruven employee(s) then they are not very good at hiding their blatant spamming. My guess is that it is someone who was burned by LinuxGruven and wants to sling more suspicion.
  • I would like to issue a challenge...

    If anyone has completed the Sair Certification and been turned down by Linuxgruven for employment, please reply to this. My guess is that no one will be able to reply, because the only people complaining about the company are people who could not handle completing the certification tests.

    I would also like to reiterate that most of the people that take Linuxgruven up on their offer for training, are people with LITTLE or NO prior Linux skillsets. If you were an employer for a Linux company, would you train jo-schmo off the streets?...
  • I agree. I seem to notice this too. How peculiar...Could it be.... SATAN..
  • I would also like to reiterate that most of the people that take Linuxgruven up on their offer for training, are people with LITTLE or NO prior Linux skillsets. If you were an employer for a Linux company, would you train jo-schmo off the streets?

    Maybe LinuxGruven shouldn't offer to hire these people then. If they are dense to computers in general, then why would you want someone like that working for you, even if you could train them... Just because you can pass a test doesn't make you a smart person.
  • Everybody deserves a chance. Don't you think so?
  • We did not have user accounts prior to this. Don't you think there are people with better things to do than to bitch on
  • It has not been said that they were dense, only that they did not posess previous experience in Linux.
  • They still have time to pass exams. And nobody ever said that everybody would pass. If everybody could pass, the certification would be meaningless.
  • I have been working at Linuxgruven for a little over a week now.

    When I first approached Linuxgruven, I saw it as an opportunity to get my foot in the door in the tech industry. I too had my reservations, but it was the very fact that it was emphasized that I didn't need to take any course they offered, that I just need to pass the certification exams (either their's or Sair's) that made me decide to go for it. They offer they're own Linux certification exam, and as far as I can tell, it is the only such exam to offer a hands-on portion, something which I think is absolutely critical. Not only that, but they offer this exam for free for the first 2 tries. I had nothing at all to lose.

    All of my coworkers here are very happy, as am I, and it's a comfortable, casual environment. They've designed their tests to find those who have the drive to push themselves to study, learn, and eventually master a revolutionary operating system. Linuxgruven is very no-nonsense and they pull no punches - they are hiring people who show they have the ability to perform in the field, and they determine this in a very straightforward way (the exams). They are a growing company, and there is a demand to employ enough people to handle the current/projected workload, and I think they are very realistic about their goals and how to reach them. This is a great opportunity for people, fresh college graduates like me or those seeking a career change, to get their foot in the door.
    And yea, most of us are creating accounts just now in order to write responses. []
  • Look buddy, Just because you couldn't handle reading the IPChains Howto, why is it that someone else couldn't do it? Did it take you six months to kill telnet and replace with SSH?
  • Not the same person, writing style different. Jt
  • Not if you call yourself a Linux guru.
  • What was that thing about a fool and his money?

    This sounds like a new version of the old employment agency scam. Pay us and we'll get you a job. The trick is that you pay and maybe you get a job - usually something you could have culled from the want ads. Now, we have the techno-twist on the old scam - pay us for a "training class" and we'll give you a job.

  • 45k with no or little experiance is outstanding for this area. Starting MCSE with non to little experiance makes 30kyr. JT
  • What's the matter? Can't you handle the truth when it hits you in the face?
  • I have a nearly completely non-tech background. I was a retail sales manager for about 17 years. My only tech experience was working with my own box at home for a few years. I left retail and worked as the Director of Data Processing for a small company and determined that I'd much rather be in a tech related field that in the retail grind.

    I saw the ad from Linuxgruven, submitted a resume, took the aptitude test and had a couple of interviews. I admit it took a lot to overcome my skepticism. The explanation I received for the payment of the training fee up front and other aspects of the company's business model satisfied me enough to fork over the money.

    I passed the SAIR exams (taking some more than once) after going through Linuxgruven's four week training. It wasn't easy, especially with my lack of a technical background, but if it was easy it would have little value.

    I began my employment the first of the year. I am making what I was promised. We are doing the sorts of things I was told we would be doing.

    For someone changing careers as dramatically as I did in the middle of my earning years, this is a great opportunity, and I have no regrets.
  • If you think that we won't defend ourselves, then you're even dumber than you sound.
  • Maybe it's just me, but here in the UK, and in Scotland in particular, I get the impression training is a dirty word. When I see the a job advertisement saying "Full training given," I ask myself whether that means a couple of hours reading the Health & Safety policy and then doing a questionnaire. I'm trying to get into IT, but with limited experience find it difficult finding anything other than call centre opportunities. Irate telephone enquiries isn't my bag, however. Even if training someone for a position costs a few grand, surely that could be recouped by paying a lower salary for a year or two. Companies seem to want everything up front.
  • Not exactly showing friendly community spirit, now are we?
  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ ( 11968 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2001 @02:10PM (#469339) Homepage
    Is Tux GPL'd?

    In essence, yes. (Actually, if it were "software licensed" I guess it'd probably be more like the BSD license.) The information is here on Larry Ewing's page [] about it...

    "They have strategic air commands, nuclear submarines, and John Wayne. We have this"
  • by DarkClown ( 7673 )
    hate to say this... but... 45k ain't shit if you can: a) breathe in _any_ state in the U.S.... and b) demonstrate a sembelance of unix skills......
  • This Linuxgruven thing is one hell of a great opportunity!

    Judging from how much time everyone seems to have on their hands, there must be thousands of unemployed people surfing slashdot every day.

    This is your big chance!! Just sell that kidney and sign up for Linuxgruven's wonderful training course.

    Yikes. How many Linuxgruven employees have a new set of encyclopedias and a brand new electrolux vacuum at home?

  • Yes, I'm a Linuxgruven employee...and, for those of you that seem to care, you might notice I don't have a sequential Slashdot ID#, I've had this account for awhile. To help clear things up, let me say that as a company we provide excellent training to all of our students. We also keep our agreements. I was offered employment, contingent on becoming SAIR LCA certified. I went through the training course which helped me immensely, and I became certified. I was promptly hired, and I am making the salary (and benefits) that I was promised. Not only that, but I have been given a number of opportunities within the company to further myself, and since being hired some four months ago I have learned many valuable things about linux. Before working for the company, did I know how to build a Linux cluster? No, but I do now. I have been rewarded for my efforts, and am thrilled to be working for such a rapidly growing company that will clearly benefit the Open Source movement as a whole. Is our company perfect? No, I suppose it isn't... But I challenge you to show me a company that is. I can guarantee my job is a LOT better than what I would be doing if Linuxgruven didn't exist...I certainly wouldn't be employed by a company that even knows the meaning of Linux/GNU or Open Source, let alone base their business model on it.
  • Does mine look like a sequential user number? Give me a break...personally, I normally just read Slashdot "for the articles" since most of the posters don't bother to read the articles before posting. When I do read the comments, I prefer browsing above the trolls (which is one reason I have an account)
  • I am a LG candidate who is hard at work studying to pass the Sair exams. I have had this exact same discussion with several of my future co-workers (ie other people who are learning/training with Linuxgruven). There are a couple of things that need to be considered. A key fact that people are missing is that Linuxgruven(LG) is looking to hire Linux certified administrators (LCA's). If you are not an LCA, they won't hire you. If you aspire to be one, you can either self-study or they will put you through a training course for a fee ($2500). This course gives you a good overview of what to expect from the job and what you need to know to pass the tests to do well at the job. If you take the training course and pass all of your exams, you will be hired and have a job @ $45,000/yr. ***If you stay with the compnay for a full year, you will be reimbursed for your training in full***. Also, when you get hired, (after passing the exams) the $$ that you spent on the LCA exams is reimbursed to you (4 tests @$99 apiece = approx $400). So, Think with me here: If you are going to hire someone, why not pay for their training? Well, from the class that I attended back in November, I am 1 of 2 students who are still serious about doing this. Everyone else has quit! This is out of a class of 15. If LG HADN'T charged all of us the training fee, they would be out the money that it costs to train 13 people!! I want my $2500 back so I am going to stick by the company and get my it back this time next year. This is not simply what I think, I HAVE ALL OF THIS IN WRITING!! A quick comparison: If you want to get a job, you need to have training. Some people choose to self train through books and experimentation, others choose to go to training classes. I went to class, I've taken the tests, I'm going to have a job. It's as simple as that. If you think that you can get a job without documentation of your knowlege either through a cert, a documented track record or some other way for the company to check and see if you know what you SAY you know, then brother, you are dreaming! A CERT like the SAIR cert is a good way to start establishing you credibility as a person who knows how to work with Linux. Please know all of the facts before spewing forth with these worthless comments. If you know about the situation from personal experience and have a different viewpoint, please share it. But, don't forget that everything I've said in this long-winded post is backed up and documented on paper by Linuxgruven. Cheers, Alex
  • Like many others, when I went in for an interview with the company I was informed that I am by no means obligated to pay for their training course. I could have chosen to self-study or get training elsewhere. Bottom line is, I had to be SAIR LCA certified. Would I have done it in a month and a half without their training class? Probably not, so I chose to go for it...and I'm glad I did! I've had a great job with the company now for about four months, and wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
  • I am a Linuxgruven employee. I know that may taint some ppls opinion of what I have to say from the start (plus, I am what, the 15th employee to post), but I'll just have to deal with it.

    I was one of those people who simply did not have the experience to easily get a good-paying IT job, though I did (and do) have the drive and desire to learn, which is, IMO, the foundation of the open-source movement. I went ahead and paid the money for the course after some discussion with friends and family who would have a better idea than me as to whether this company sounded legit. The class was as extensive as one can be for only being 4 weeks long, and it, along with a month of intense study aided me in passing all four Sair tests on the first try.

    I have worked here two months, and so far I am satisfied with both my pay and my working conditions.

    Finally, if you don't like Linuxgruven's method of hiring, don't take the class. It is that simple. I do know, though, that when I interviewed for the position, I was told that the one contingency for me being hired at the aforementioned pay was passing the Sair exams. Since I and my co-workers are making what we were promised, I would have to conclude that I was not being lied to and that this was (and is) a great opportunity for me.

  • The thing that strikes me the most about a lot of these comments is the use of the term TRAINING when in fact what we are talking about is EDUCATION. I'm not sure but my guess is that Linuxgruven would train you on what they want you to do WHEN you become an employee and they would do it at their expense. However, I believe what we are talking about is EDUCATION expenses that someone might incur in order to get a job with them or anyone else. I don't see to many people lining up to pay off my education expenses. These are expenses I incurred to secure a degree ( a nationally recognized certificate not much of a difference between that and a certification) It does not seem that Linuxgruven is asking anything different than what happens all over the country. The student pays for their own education to get the knowledge to get hired. The company will train for the specific task that they will be doing once they are hired. All they seem to be asking for is that a person have a Linux Certification BEFORE being considered for hire. Do you know how many jobs require degrees or certifications before hire? Ten's of Thousands maybe hundreds of thousands. The only difference is that Linuxgruven seems to provide this training as an option. But it does not seem to be a requirement for employment. However, from reading the comments and the articles, it does seem that they guarantee some people employment if they do get certified using their educational classes or not and that they will pay you back the expenses for your education after one year of employment. I only wish this had been offered to me, I would not now be working to pay off a HUGE debt. (And I had no job guarantee either, I was on my own)
  • I interviewed with them back in July in Kansas City. The interviewer was James Hibbits CEO (that is what's on his card). They never asked for my resume before the interview which I thought was strange. He talked about training and certification but I don't recall him mentioning any cost for it. He asked basic questions about open source and various simple Linux commands. I never heard back from them for any follow up's.
  • I have signed an NDA dealing with giving out corporate info. What I can tell is as follows.

    The company itself currently works most specifically with corporate training and support. I would hope that a person could glean that much from the company's site [], though.

  • I would NEVER work somewhere where they wanted you up front to pay for your training. Also, no insult intended, but what kind of company who pays salaries like that to green employees with no work experience is going to make it. What services CAN they offer?

    No one can just take a cram course, pass a few tests, and be an instant expert. I've worked with Linux as a hobbyist for just over a year now, and I've run it mostly as my main OS. I started with RH 6.1, which won't impress many here on /.

    But only NOW, after a year of using Linux, configuring it, playing with it, etc, do I even feel I'm ready to ATTEMPT to go after some kind of certification (Sair is probably the route I'll go). Fortunately, my last 2 months working for a major company in Durham, NC has accelerated my Linux education, as I've been able to use it on the job.

    I'm FAR from a PC newbie. I've worked as a PC technician for over 8 years now (A+ certified). Linux is very different from the DOS/Doze world, so different that it was very hard even for someone like me in the beginning to grasp it.

    Having worked in the tech industry as long as I have, I've come to be able to spot the difference between the people who KNOW what they are doing, and the ones who have paper that says they know it.

    Certification training is NOT the be all and end all. It's only value is to validate to others that you are able to pass a certain level of tests of knowledge. It only goes WITH your experience to validate that you truly HAVE those skills. People who are only trained to pass tests are virtually worthless in the tech biz. Even worse, they devalue the certification itself (as the MCSE has become).

    Simply put, if you have the ability, get yourself the training. Play with a PC. A PC that will run Linux adequately can be had very cheaply. Find an entry-level job working as a bench technician. You will learn all the fundamentals there.

    If you have the talent, you will be better served by doing 6 months of even low level practical work than you ever will get out of years of book and classroom training.
  • Actually, in the midwest it's a decent salary. In the midwest you can get a decent sized apartment for $500/mo. On the coast, you're looking at $900/mo for a small apartment.

    It's not spectacular pay, but not bad. It'd be crap on the coasts.
  • Oh, it's definitely one person, grammar and writing styles are nearly identical, capitalization is the same, they're nearly sequential UIDs with perfectly successive post numbers. The odds of those four people creating accounts in that order and then all having good experiences with Linuxgruven and posting about them like that are about as good as a troll pouring hot grits down Natalie Portman's pants.


  • "I know several people who are self-taught and completely uncertified, who do small office networking and such, and charge $80-150 an hour. They have absolutely no trouble getting it"

    Exactly what I've experienced. I'm 100% self taught. My computer expereince dates back to the VIC-20 in 1980. I worked as a PC tech for 6 years before getting the A+ certification, which was done because my employer required it (our techs had to be A+ certified for certain contract customers). I didn't study and got 93% on the core and 90% on the DOS/Windows part...

    Now granted, someone can study books, take a training course, and get the 65% required to pass, but who are you going to hire? Someone with the A+ and 8 years experience? Sure I cost a lot more, but a service company that employs paper technicians is NOT going to keep customers happy.

    Having worked with networks, Novell, Linux, and `Doze for the last 2 years, I'm now considering going for a network engineer certification. Not for it's own sake, but to VALIDATE my experience.
  • So a bunch of your nice big happy Linuxgruven family sat down, read this article synchronized, created user accounts, and held a conference call to assure that all posts hit one minute apart? Now that sounds like an awful lot of effort. I don't believe it.


  • "You also offer me a class, that is at my own expense, that will help me pass the tests. If I stay a year I get my money back for the class and the tests. In the mean time I get $21.64 an hour plus health insurance for me, my wife, and four kids. TOUGH DECISION!"

    IMO, it sounds to me like Linuxgruven is in the business of taking your $2500, giving you instruction (that Sair seems to be saying isn't up to their standards), then testing you. If you fail, they have your money.

    If you succeed, you have a job making more money than you are worth given your experience and knowledge, that is only as secure as long as their quasi-ponsi bubble lasts?

    Better to deliver pizzas, get yourself a PC, some books and start playing with it. In months if you have the ability, you will be ready to work as an entry-level tech for someone, where you will get the REAL experience you need to make the certs mean something.
  • by Datafage ( 75835 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2001 @03:50PM (#469356) Homepage
    Right, you're the one of these posters without a sequential ID#, and they continue after you, in perfect succession, like an old-timer (sorta) is part of this apparent scam, and generated all these accounts to back it up, then when you got challenged you pulled this one out to give yourself some semblence of legitimacy and then went right back to your old tricks. This account is way too defensive of the others to not be related.


  • An "unnamed correspondent" gets a story posted on /. about Linuxgruven, a known method of attracting the attention of a lot of techies. The story has an air of incredulity, then is responded to by dozens of obviously generated accounts, giving the appearance that half of /. is behind this. One account, and ONLY one, is out of order, probably the poster's original account. This person is probably hoping that no one would notice that, we'd all think this was a great company and go sign up, thereby making him lots of money. I hope all these accounts get Bitchslapped.


  • "Right, you're the one of these posters without a sequential ID#, and they continue after you, in perfect succession, like an old-timer (sorta) is part of this apparent scam, and generated all these accounts to back it up, then when you got challenged you pulled this one out to give yourself some semblence of legitimacy and then went right back to your old tricks"

    Never underestimate the lowball tactics of sleazy sales and marketerdroids. If there IS such a thing as the "Dark Side of the Force" it's marketing...

    I too noticed the nearly sequential and recent accounts that seemed soon after this article was posted, flooded the comments.

    Getting bad press exposure on ./ isn't good for any company that purports to be a Linux company, as everyone who is ANYONE in the Linux industry reads this site...

    Honestly, I feel these guys deserve it. Their scheme sounds more like it's designed to collect $2500 than to educate or hire anyone.

    What service company would have anything to sell that employed only recent inexperienced certified people?

    About the only service Linuxgruven could offer would be cannon fodder suitable for the BOFH's Helldesk (ie people he can intimidate and dupe).

    Not to say that everyone who they have trained is like that, but most of the people who will fall for this are people who aren't going to make it in this industry.
  • They probably continue to learn..isn't that part of the human growth process? Oh, I see what's wrong. You're "miffed" because ALL your hard work towards a cert and a new career hasn't gotten you jack! Or, is it the fact that, your MANY (lol) years of Linux experience has made you diconnected from the rest of mankind to the point you can't stand these new "zelots" jumping on the Linux bandwagon? I'm sure the company would love to hire guru's but, since there seems to be a lack of them looking for "gainful" employment, they do the next best thing...They take people with computer knowledge/experience and train them in the ways of Linux in the hopes of turning out potential employees that are knowledgable AND certified. The continued on-the-job training and learning justifies their income,future increases,and advancement.. reguardless what you may think. The Linux community thrives on new talent and welcomes it with great anticipation, unlike the ney-sayers, such as yourself, who hide behind ANONYMOUS COWARD accounts on this site.It should read IGNORAMOUS ACCOUNT! Have a nice life! "The problem with most people is..they are educated beyond their intelligence"
  • "Or, is it the fact that, your MANY (lol) years of Linux experience has made you diconnected from the rest of mankind to the point you can't stand these new "zelots" jumping on the Linux bandwagon?"

    The tech profession is one of the few left in the world where the cream ALWAYS rises to the top.

    Simply put, you can get all the certifications in the world, but if you can't fix the PC, or set up the network, or fix the server when it breaks, your job security is nil.

    There are LOTS of people who have lately flocked into tech in the last 2-3 years because of the pay. I was working as a technician before the boom began, and now that times are not so great, guess what, I'll still be employed long after the last "paper MCSE" has been let go.

    My point being, there is no such thing as a 2-4-6-8 whatever week training course and test that will EVER make you good enough to start from zip and work as an engineer. Unless you were already so gifted that you actually never need the course to begin with.

    Training and certifications may get you in the door, but it's what you do after you are in there that will count in the long run. Certification validates experience, but does not substitute for it.

    There is no such thing as a free lunch, especially in the tech industry, where your knowledge is tested and pushed every single day.
  • I have been employed by Linuxgruven for several months. My entry level salary and benifits have been widely publicized. I went to the interview, I listened, I asked questions, and came away with a clear picture of what they had to offer. I was told I would be offered employment IF I recieved certification. There is no scam here. Either you can get certified or you can't. Sair certification was not easy, the questions and answers were not published on the internet. I came away with a working knowledge of the Linux Distributions. Everyday I work with a group of highly skilled, Linux professionals, most of whom have their own areas of expertise, it is an atmosphere where everyone gets a little more knowledgeable every day. So just why do we need so many people training and working for Linuxgruven? When Linux finally emerges as the premier operating system that it is, Linuxgruven will be there, with its pool of dedicated Linux professionals, to smooth the transition. Its not a scam. Its a plan.
  • Read the WHOLE message before you as well as the "newbies" had to start some where. I will agree with one point, training isn't the answer, it's a start and experience is the great equalizer,but don't "diss" someone if they have the tenacity to try.
  • How many ppl got trained by Linuxgruven and failed the Linuxgruven test. I only say this becuse i have talked to many ppl in dallas and they said the items on the test were not covered in training.
  • Well, I don't know if I'm an "old-timer" or not, and I don't really care. I've been a /. reader for a long time now, and I usually just read the original article mentioned on /.

    However, I'm taking my personal time right now to read all of the posts on this issue, because it concerns me. I should be doing something fun or interesting, like working on my C programming skills or playing pool. I take this personally because I feel the reputation of the company is being unfairly attacked.

    As for your suggestion that I "pulled this one out to give yourself some semblence of legitimacy" I can simply say that the only thing that relates me to other posts by Linuxgruven employees is that we work for the same company. I personally know many of the other employees that have posted, though I'm sure you won't take my word that they are separate individuals.

    If I come across as defensive, its because I am! I'm defensive of my company, who has done nothing but keep their promises to me.

    I worked hard to gain the knowledge and experience I needed to be able to pass the four SAIR LCA exams. Since becoming an employee, I have worked extremely hard, because I believe in Linux/GNU and want to gain as much knowledge as I can about it.

    So you're absolutely right I'm defensive...after all, what could be better than getting PAID to work with Linux on a full-time basis?
  • LINUXPOOPIN we will throw your money down the shitter!!
  • That is correct, during the time you interviewed with the company, James Hibbits was CEO. At the beginning of this year, Matthew Porter became CEO of the company.
  • "I will agree with one point, training isn't the answer, it's a start and experience is the great equalizer,but don't "diss" someone if they have the tenacity to try."

    I'm not dissing them for trying. But they are setting themselves up for hard reality if they let any company lead them to believe ANY certification alone +no experience will get you that kind of starting salary.
  • HELLO!!! They are getting that salary, haven' t you read the other posts? Reply with fact and knowledge or move on!
  • "Linuxgruven came along and offered me the chance to shine in a (finaly) emerging field. If you think you are good but just can't get a company to believe you and take a chance on you, what are you supposed to do? Entry level help desk at $9.00 an hour ain't for me baby!!!"

    Well, hard work and experience eventually landed me a solid job with one of the top 3 computer companies in the world. And they hired me FOR my uncertified Linux experience, which is growing rapidly now that I actually get to work with it at work.

    I agree that the MCSE is not the way to go. It is nice to have, but not really worth the effort. It is best to get all the experience you can with every OS you can though. I work with Novell, Linux, SCO, and `Doze in my current job. Do I make less than I could make if I took another job? Sure, I could get $5-10K more. But I wouldn't get such broad and practical experience that will eventually get me that 5-10K+more in the future.

    There is no substitute for experience AND working your way up.
  • It is simple. You want to be more marketable, get certified. Linuxgruven will hire you if you are certified. They will also provide training, if you wish. I've looked at Quarom, PrimAmerica, and other MLM companies, linxgruven is not the same. your not asked to tap your friends. Your asked to get certified. I got my MCP in 97 when it was worth something. It is useless now. I've added a CCNA, and now, an LCA. these are worth something. I have a friend with compaq, that tells me about all the MCSE, that don't know anything. I interviewed with compaq, and got turned down, because I did not complete my MCSE. The reason I didn't, the companies I worked for kept me too busy to finish it. Regardless of what you may think Linuxgruven may or may not be, the certification will help those that get it. And there is a job offer if you take them up on it.
  • "HELLO!!! They are getting that salary, haven' t you read the other posts? Reply with fact and knowledge or move on!"

    Really? What company can pay entry level people with no experience $45,000 and make money? They can't. And I bet they don't. I'd bet that more than 75% never pass the test, and of the remaining 25%, most of them don't make it a year. Unless I miss my guess, Linuxgruven is actually using a horribly DARWINIAN process of getting qualified people, at the expense of horrific turnover. And the kicker is they are getting PAID to train their own people! Guess it's good for the company if they can get away with it, but it's sure not a great way to offer experienced professionals to your clients.

    An experienced and certified Linux Engineer will make a LOT more than $45,000.
  • "I interviewed with compaq, and got turned down, because I did not complete my MCSE"

    Cases like that are really the ONLY reason why certifications are useful. Your certification may be one reason why they hire you, but your experience will be what keeps you there and advances your position.

    Most companies care more about what you can do than anything else. Having years of experience on your resume will help. Chances are, a company that refuses to hire you for a position you are qualified for, and have experience to prove it, is NOT where you want to work in the first place. You would end up working with a lot of "paper" MCSE's.

    That said, I highly recommend to anyone with the experience to make it meaningful go get the certification. I'm working on it myself right now. After 8 years as a tech, I'm certainly ready now to move up to an Engineer position, and have the experience to make the cert mean something when I get it.
  • Where did it say they had no experience? They may be new to Linux but, I guess you feel that all other experience doesn't count. These clients that call or ask for assistance, what OS do you think they migrate from? These employees came from that very background and who better to help than someone with HANDS ON experience and knowledge with that system. Sure, their still a WIP when it comes to Linux and in time (according to your life experience) they will be professionals..if we use your scale of standards. Speaking of horrific turnover... it's hard to control human nature, especially due to poor study habits or learning skills. Tests are supposed to be hard. It makes some people study.If they where easy, everyone would be flying planes..isn't that a scary thought? Also, victory by attrition wasn't a "DARWINIAN PROCESS"....get real!
  • "Where did it say they had no experience? They may be new to Linux but, I guess you feel that all other experience doesn't count"

    Other experience does count in some ways. PC and network fundamentals for example. But even that won't make you a Linux engineer after a cram class and some tests.

    "Also, victory by attrition wasn't a "DARWINIAN PROCESS"....get real!"

    It isn't? Sure seems like it to me. Seems to me like throwing people in there to either learn at an impossible rate or fail... Acquiring employees in a Darwinian way such as what Linuxgruven is doing is a very ineffieicnt and cruel way to do it. But it's cheap.
  • by Damon C. Richardson ( 913 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2001 @05:28PM (#469376) Homepage
    I remember my first programming job. I had very little college and I was sitting next to a grad that was earning 2 grand less then me. Lesson 1: Life is unfair.
    I've seen this befour. It was a Java shop they said to me. we will hire you if you take this coarse. Then we will consult you out. After a year we will pay you back. And then I was also offered that If I work a year for nothing they will invest money in me to go to classes. Lesson 2: There is no free ride.
    The only job that would pay for me to go to school from day one asked that I wear a tie 4 days a week. Lesson 3: They scratch your back. You wash their car.
    Now I'm very big. I'm a big important man. and the only thing thats different is underneath my hat. ( TMBG ). Well actually. I'm coming up on 7 years programming and 6 years using Linux. and 2 years working only on linux. ( no MS at my house ). I can go into any place and pimp all kinda skillz. Lesson 4: Expect to pay your dues befour you just go out and get a great job.
    But I know some AS400 people that have thought about linuxgruven. I thought linuxgruven was being nice when they said they would hire her if she passed a exam. Actually I told her to get the RedHat Exam book and cram till i found out how much that was. Lesson 5: Sucks to be deprecated.
    If I was linuxgruven I would expect a bunch of Slashdot Zealot types banging down my door expecting High paying jobs... It does not suprize me that Linuxgruven wants only LCA's. Lord knows I would not send some of the Linux guys I've met to a customer site with out something real under their belt. Also. I hired a "Linux Guru"-"All About Open Source"-"New Techno Rocker"-"Slashdot Flamer" and the joker could not show up for work till after noon. I'm damn glad that the company did not send him off to be trained in something when he first started only to find out that he can't show up for work. On another level I've been in Sun Classes where 35 year old guys skip the first 2 days because they are great programmers only to not be able to do the class work on the last day. Expecting a company to go out and spend money on every Knuckle head that can install apache on redhat in hopes they are not full of Cr@p when you send them to a customer site or training class makes no sense. Lesson 6: No one promised you a Rose garden. All you get is dirt.
    I know a techie that earns over 200,000.00 a year. He is not married. Lives alone and is out of town almost 25 days a month. I know guys that work 70+ hours a week for almost nothing at a .com because of the carot. Lesson 7: You have to want to make money.
    Here's something for you dorm monkeys to go out and put in your pipes. Go find out how you become a Air Traffic Controler. If memory serves me correct thats over 7 thousand dollars for the training and you don't even get the promise of a job just a certification and a list of airports. And I think starting for that job is 35,000 dollars a year. Lesson 8: Something allways sucks more.
    Maybe I'm wasting my breath. Half of you will want to be project management with in 2 years of working anyway. The you will just piss off the other half of us till we quit. Lesson 9: Talent leaves befour dead weight.

  • I said you pulled this account out because there was a sea of sequential UIDs and as soon as someone commented that you commented with this account that this account didn't have a sequential UID and it defended them. This is the ONLY non-sequential UID in the bunch.

    As for being a reader "for a long time," YOUR UID is in the 230000's. I've been reading from shortly before Columbine, that was two years ago. My guess from your ID# is that you've been reading for maybe a year. You're trolling.


  • It has been suggested that the posts from were either organized by Linuxgruven management or are the work of the same person with multiple accounts.

    I would like to suggest it was neither. I believe that Linuxgruven is a cult along the lines of the Hale-Boppers. I believe that current Linuxgruven employees were the students in it's training program that showed the greatest potentional to open suggestion and thus were brainwashed. The popular press already depicts most Linux users as "geeks", "disenfranchised", or "outsiders" which is the perfect pool of humanity in which to recruit from.

    Here is what I propose:
    We need a syncronized raid on all 8 of the Linuxgruven offices to free these poor, misguided, brainwashed souls before it is too late. Linuxgruven has already publicly stated it intends to double the number of locations in which they can "recruit" new members.

    We must act now before it is too late.

  • by KodaK ( 5477 ) <> on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @03:38AM (#469397) Homepage
    I am not an employee of Linuxgruven, though I work with them closely. My company supplies all the PC's for them and we host training space for them. I agree that it *seems* strange, but their model works, and from the people I've talked to nobody has been misled into believing they're going to get a job if they merely *take* the classes, it's understood that they've got to pass.

    As an aside, please see my /. ID. I'm an old-timer. I don't spend a lot of time reading or posting to the comments anymore because of all the crap you have to wade through.

    Anyway, all I can say (as I said when this came up on Kuro5hin months ago) is: they pay their bills on time. And they're big bills. They're making money somehow other than tuition in order to do that.

    FWIW: The sequential ID's bother me alot, and I find it hard to believe that there's no other Linuxgruven employee who has had a /. account before today...

  • Sorry, your last 5 posts within the past two weeks are all on this subject.

    Also, you have to admit, if they were questionable before, this 'Placing favorable posts' bit is seriously unethical.

    Now any real supporters will be automaticlly considered illigit.

    Just from THESE ACTIONS ALONE you guys now seem like a scam operation.

  • Now that's entertaining. I make a legitimate, factual argument, he makes a blatant attempt to get a rise out of me, I point this out, and I get modded down. Ah well, I was at the cap anyway,, it was probably one of his many accounts, do your worst.


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