The book of spells
A quarter of a century
It has been almost 25 years since the first time I met Linux – I’m having my first gray hair indeed. I’ve been enchanted by it and I wanted to become a professional.
When I started we could install it from scratch, although the first distros were beginning to pop up … Slackware, Suse, Red Hat – not Red Hat Enterprise Linux, only Red Hat.
Me, as many others, was bold enough to use file systems such as ext2: it was risky not to use a journaled filesystem, but it was what we had, and we were stubborn enough to keep on until ResierFS and ext3 popped up. Printing was a nightmare and the layered design to support hardware devices, especially audio, was a mess (Ok, audio is still a mess, but this does not really matter on servers).
And what about the X-Window system – keep in mind that security has been designed according to the sensitivity of the mid of the ’80, but the overall design was impressive – you launch an application and it is rendered on the connected graphical display, … wherever it is.
Me, as many others, hung on because we were sure that Linux would have become one of the most used operating systems for mission critical workloads.
An operating system fully open, that we can just use, or deeply explore if we wanted to. That was exactly what I wished.
For most of us Linux means freedom, the same way the Black Pearl sounds like freedom to Captain Jack Sparrow.
Sysinit, Upstart and now systemd, … what a long way we had together; we both were young, but now I consider both of us mature: that’s why I think that it has come the right moment to share some of my notes on what I did with Linux during all of these years.
Over the years I started considering them as spells – some of them are really powerful, and I put them into my own grimoire.
Of course I do not consider them the only way of doing things, but they are what let me gradually grow as a modern Linux professional.
Of course there are other grimoires out there with other spells: this is mine, and I hope you’ll love it.
A modern Linux professional
A modern Linux professional should not only be able to operate and troubleshoot Linux: he should also have all of the soft skills required to design and implement mission critical infrastructures applying commonly used frameworks in compliance with regulators.
He should know how to operate under environments subjected to change management, as well as be able to cooperate with other team members to fulfill a project, tracking the progress to ease the governance.
And of course, he should master legacy technologies, as well the most modern ones: a lot of modern technologies relies upon old concepts and tools under the hood: there's a huge difference from operating a technology and be conscious of everything about it, be aware of its limits and know the features that can be exploited to integrate with other technologies.
But most of all, he should be positive and humble so as to contribute to the creation of a nice working environment where everyone should be proud to belong to the team, eager to meet its colleagues to share experiences and ideas.
Is Linux the best operating system in the world and do the others not worth anything? Naaa, mate, flame wars are for newbies, and religions are for priests and sorceress. We are professionals: it's another matter.
These are the topics I want to talk about in these blog pages. I hope you will enjoy them, and why not, connect each other professionally on Linkedin
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This is the list of the more recent spells of the grimoire:
- Python Serialization as JSON or YAML exploiting YAML TAGS - Python enables you to easily serialize objects as either JSON or YAML: very often it is very convenient to leverage on these features exploiting them to enhance your own object. YAML serialization comes almost for free if you derive your classes from the YAML object, whereas automatic instantiation of objects from a YAML document requires […]
- LVM Tutorial – A Thorough Howto On The Logical Volume Manager - It is almost impossible not having heard about or not having used LVM: it is one of the pillars of every Linux distribution from decades ago. Almost everyone using Linux has used it to create or modify the basic storage structures of its Linux system. The trouble is that very often people are focused on […]
- GIT Tutorial – A thorough Git Howto About Using Remotes - Git is certainly the most popular Source Code Management (SCM) software: it is broadly used in almost every recent open source project, and even a lot of emblazoned legacy projects switched to it over the years. In the previous post we thoroughly learned how to use it to version control sources, working only on personal […]
- GIT Tutorial – A thorough Version Control with Git Howto - DevOps (and of course DevSecOps) are getting more and more adopted by companies: these methodologies rely on several frameworks and software skills, and working with a modern Source Code Management (SCM) such any kind of software implementing Git is certainly a must for every DevOps professional. This post is the first of a set of […]
- A quick, easy yet comprehensive GPG tutorial - GnuPG is a freely available command line encryption suite based on OpenPGP encryption library, and it is probably the most used encryption suite in the world. Every IT professional sooner or later face use cases that require to know how to handle it, but the point is that, despite a trivial usage of this suite […]
SKILL SET EVERY PRO SHOULD HAVE
Well, ... a little bit of space to introduce myself: Marco Carcano, pleased to meet you. I cut my teeth working as a developer, but I quickly realized that I preferred working as a system engineer and so I gradually moved to this field. I worked on both Linux and Microsoft environments until 2012, then I decided to specialize on Linux only: anyway the high skill level gained on Microsoft platforms too during the years let me still easily design and implement cross-environment solutions.
I have a preference for Red Hat: this is the list of Red Hat certifications I succeeded into indeed
- Red Hat Certified Specialist in Advanced Automation: Ansible Best Practices
- Red Hat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation
- Red Hat Certified Specialist in Configuration Management
- Red Hat Certified Specialist in OpenShift Administration
- Red Hat Certified Specialist in Gluster Storage Administration
- Red Hat Certified Specialist in High Availability Clustering
- Red Hat Certified Specialist in Server Security and Hardening
- Red Hat Certified Specialist in Deployment and Systems Management
- Red Hat Certified Specialist in Virtualization
- Red Hat Certified Engineer
- Red Hat Certified System Administrator
Besides Red Hat Certified Engineer, the specialization exams entitled me as:
- Red Hat Certified Virtualization Administrator,
- Red Hat Data-center Specialist
- Red Hat Certified Architect (Data-center concentration)
Besides this I also have been Cisco CCNA, and I'm ITILv3 certified too. Currently I'm working in the financial field as a senior professional, both providing support to less “seasoned” colleagues as well as designing and implementing mission critical solutions, often with the bleeding edge technologies.