punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

How did the exam go?

I knew you'd ask. Poorly. It was like they knew what I hadn't studied. You spent 4 days mastering that? Well, I won't test you on that. You have 6 years of real-world experience on what? Oh, then we'll make that only 10% of the test. Wait, you never did understand this concept because it's not practical in the real world, it's new, and poorly documented? Okay... here's a paragraph of setup you have to do for it...

... bleah.

I know I didn't make the RHCE. I didn't finish all the prerequisites in part 1 (and probably part 2, I didn't pay attention). I did, however, finish enough to possibly make an RHCT, which is kind of like getting a copy of their home game, a year's supply of Turtle Wax, and Rice-a-roni, the San Francisco treat. I don't know for sure, and I won't until possibly Monday evening (although last time, I did get the mail Saturday morning).

Was the RHCE unfair? No, not really. Am I bummed? Of course. I am depressed as hell. I knew I'd be depressed if I got stumped, and I got stumped. Things I want to blame it on, but can't:

  • They delayed the exam: Hah. That gave me more time to study.
  • I didn't study enough: I studied my ass off. I had an extra week. This is the most depressing, since I worked and studied harder than I had for anything, and I still failed. That's pretty depressing.
  • They changed it from RHEL3 to 4 on me: Wasn't relevant to the questions I got (YMMV).
  • My computers at home had severe issues with RHEL4: Boo hoo. Some people don't have spare computers to tinker with at all!
  • My EXAM computer had Kernel=>Memory errors: I was familiar with this, see above. They put me on a new computer once this was determined to be a hardware issue, and not part of the test. I could cry foul, but I lost maybe 10 minutes to freezes and reboots, and I doubt I could have used those extra minutes for anything; I honestly was failing some parts due to lack of knowledge and experience.
  • Sunspots: The trial is still out for those solar bastards... I wore tin foil and everything, though...

Ugh. Some parts were super easy, and some were so hard, I am looking the problems up on the web as I type this, and they don't have answers, either. In the version they gave me, I had 2 parts to part 1. I had to get 5 things done in part 1A (the RHCT part), then I had 3 extras, of which at least 1 was required to get an RHCE. I didn't get any of those. Part 1B I got all of them in 5 minutes. I was shocked that I went from "Oh, Gawd, I am a l00z4r!" to "Hey... I have done this lots of times." Sadly, had I known that part B was that simple, I could have... no, I still wouldn't have passed. I flat didn't know how to fix any of those last 3 1A parts. That's why I am not really complaining about the computer RAM being flaky.

Then there was lunch, which was catered, although the kitchen was real small to cram 10 people and platters of food. That was a pleasant surprise. Then Part 2.

Part 2 had a "Must meet RHCT minimums" and an extra "The RHCE Extras." I met all but one of the RHCT stuff, which still might get me a passing RHCT grade. I focused again and again to make sure I got all my stuff right. I must have rebooted twice and repeated them to make sure. One of my fixes was a total kludge, though.I can't tell you what I did because of the NDA, but here's a totally unrelated (and short) example that will make a lot of you go, "Oh, man... that's lame."
Fake Question: Make a directory that user Larry has access to, but user Bill does not.
Real Answer: Easily fixed with permissions.
Lame Answer: Create a bash script that when Bill logs on, changes the name of the directory, and then when he logs off, changes it back. In the real world, this would work unless Bill and Larry are logged in at the same time. But you know how they test your answers, because they'll have either have scriptLarry or scriptBill log in one at a time. So technically, you met the criteria as literally stated, but in reality, it's a total dumb-ass solution.

See? I bet some of you sysadmins are groaning and muttering, "No no no... gees." I pulled something similar to this, and would totally understand if I got zero credit for it. But even if I do, the rest of it I should get a pass for an RHCT.

[ pray... pray... pray... pray... pray... pray... ]
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