back to article Survey: Bosses are DESPERATE and GAGGING for Linux skills

Demand for IT professionals with Linux skills is stronger than ever, but a new worldwide survey of more than 850 hiring managers and 2,600 Linux professionals indicates that companies are having a hard time finding qualified hires. Among the findings of the survey, which was conducted by careers website Dice and the Linux …

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Anonymous Coward

Hang on while I get my neckbeard on

I do make $90k. And I am looking, and scarily enough there are positions out there that I'm interested in, and offer to match or exceed my current salary.

But then I took current location from 0 linux hosts to over 1500 in 7 years. I started off in the unix pool, supporting HPUX and Solaris, and added linux. Its been a learning experience the entire path. I've tried to hire to fill the role. IT IS NOT easy. Enterprise skills and linux skills don't appear to be a common pairing, basementware is just not the same, and the number of middling good unix admins who have just "bolted" linux on to their resumes without comprehending the subtle differences makes me sad.

I'll agree - there are a LOT of linux positions out there, but the vast majority of them also want advanced windows skills in the same package. This is, I will note, not one of my strong points. But then I know a number of excellent windows admins who cannot wrap their heads around the relative simplicity of linux. And if they aren't actually looking for Linux +Windows they are expecting the Linux admins to have advanced skills in Jboss/Weblogic/WebSphere or php coding and perl/python/ruby coding.

The job market is changing, and folks who have their heads up their asses and think that their specialization makes them special belong on the short bus these days. You need LOTS of good general computing skills to get into any position, and **that** is where I find the gaps in my interviewees. Windows, Linux, AIX, Solaris, HPUX, these are all meaningless without good strong networking concepts, storage concepts and lifecycle concepts. If you don't have the tools on your belt, you will find it hard to get hired.

-- support the OS, you might want to think about digging into the app layer as well, Databases, application engines, infrastructure tools (dns/ntp/virtualization/ldap) clustering anyone? HA on linux? ANYONE? -- so hard to find... (tuxedo?? anyone out there can do tuxedo on linux PUHlease?)

Lee, if you think bolting together a hodge podge of hyper tweaked components makes you a valuable linux admin, you would loose the battle in a heartbeat with a large corporate enterprise where the word standardization was used. I've pointed this cliff out numerous times. Once you have an optimization in place that is crafted by a single individual, your entire platform is at risk, to a bus coming down the street. No matter how well documented, the next fellow that has to pick it up and run with it will have to undo the work and redo it HIS way for it to work well. That is a business expense that no corporate wants to eat. And I will admit, a lesson I learned a bit late. But I've learned it. And paid the price.

Anon since I AM looking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hang on while I get my neckbeard on

So that's £58K in real money. Thats on the top end for Linux.

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How Do You Know ?

Is it stated on your Redmond Propaganda Sheet ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How Do You Know ?

I know because i have hired lots of sys admins and infrastructure experts. The vast majority around the Microsoft space, but there is still plenty of legacy UNIX, Linux and Solaris out there that needs supporting....In my experience Linux admins are paid the lowest of all of those categories.

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Re: How Do You Know ?

So Unix is "legacy" and certainly Windows is "standard" ? Muharr.

They currently implement all the long-time features of Unixoid operating systems on Windows server (proper command line, GUIless operation, software installation without reboot and so on).

I hear the Linux admins at Google make top dollar. I hear that (almost) all massive-scale datacenters from Facebook to Eurex (#1 in derivatives trading) are running Linux these days.

Finally, I simply suspect your are here to badmouth anything else than Windows.

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FAIL

Re: How Do You Know ?

That's the top end for linux IN THE UK. For the nth time - this is not a UK survey. In other countries decently experienced people wouldn't get out of bed for that much.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hang on while I get my neckbeard on

So that's £58K in real money. Thats on the top end for Linux.

Are we talking monthly?

£58Kpcm would be nice, where do I sign?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How Do You Know ?

@Altes Schlachtross: "I hear the Linux admins at Google make top dollar"

You hear wrongly then, by all accounts Google don't pay or remunerate well. You're supposed to do it for the love of it.

http://techcrunch.com/2009/01/18/why-google-employees-quit/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How Do You Know ?

Yes, UNIX / midrange is disinvest in many enterprises these days. Just look at the majority of SAP installs going onto SQL server for instance:

http://www.istockanalyst.com/finance/story/6267663/oracle-corporation-ibm-threat-is-down-microsoft-threat-is-up

The key Microsoft advantage is its SQL-based servers deliver cost advantages for customers. The trend is evident from the latest second quarter results of Microsoft. Server & Tools revenue rose 9 percent to $5.19 billion, driven by double-digit percentage revenue growth in SQL Server and System Center.

"Countless customers have told us that the cost advantage of SQL Server is so compelling that their deployment of Microsoft SQL Server databases is ramping," BMO Capital Markets analyst Karl Keirstead said in a client note.

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@AC: "Unix is disinvest"

The funny thing about you M$ propaganda operatives is that you can be easily spotted. Your badmouthing of alternatives is just so blatant.

The IBM Power CPU is actually leading-edge in terms of single-threaded processing performance and therefore is a valuable alternative to x86 CPUs. They beat Intel on a regular basis. You can run Linux, AIX and OS/400 (or whatever they call it these days) on that CPU.

But yeah, according to M$ propaganda, a CPU faster and younger than x86 is "legacy".

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Re: @AC: "Unix is disinvest"

PPC is a nice unit. So is Sparc and quite a few other. The questions are "What does it cost", "will that translate to my demands", "Where will this be in 5/10/15 years" etc.

Let's accept PPC is best in "single-threaded performance". How is it in MULTI-Threaded? That is actually of interest in quite a few jobs. And even if it is best there as well - how much does it cost? If for the same price I can get two x86 boxes then the x86 solution is better. The PPC is not "Twice as good" so the two x86 units together will be more powerful. And depending on the job they may offer the benefit of redundancy.

CPU like OS are a tool. Professionals use the one that gets the job done at the lowest TOC. This includes stuff like "do we have the experience in house", "does it fit in our environment" and maybe "how many suppliers for the hardware exist / how fast can I get more / replace units(1)"

(1) I.e getting a Sicomp M-series mini would take 3-9 month depending on typ. One supplier (Siemens) and no alternatives. That was one reason quite a few users looked for COTS bases alternatives in the 1990s despite the disadvantages like needing triple instead of double redundancy.

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Mushroom

Re: @AC: "Unix is disinvest"

"The IBM Power CPU is actually leading-edge in terms of single-threaded processing performance"

An Intel Desktop CPU can beat it in standard single threaded benchmarks:

http://www.spec.org/cpu2006/results/res2010q2/cpu2006-20100426-10753.html

http://www.spec.org/cpu2006/results/res2012q3/cpu2006-20120702-23362.html

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Linux

You Mean

..on the same piece of plastic ? (DSL router etc)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rasberry Pi servers!

I've got a raspberry pi and I love it, but "run linux well" it certainly does not. It's chopped down and slow as shit. Now, this doesn't matter for the sort of thing that I'm using it for (hobbyist electronics with a bit more oomph than arduino) but it's certainly no web server. You may be able to play a hardware decoded video on it at 1080p, but only because it's hardware decoded. Linux does not have super powers, it can't change a £20 SOC system to be anything other than a £20 SOC. If you want to run Linux on the raspberry pi with anything other than piss-poor performance, you've got to chop so much out of the OS that it's only capable of doing that one thing.

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Linux

Re: Rasberry Pi servers!

There are all kinds of web servers. Not all of them need to host the internal app servers for the largest corporations on the planet. The right tool for the job might be something that only costs $30. Not every problem needs a million dollar monstrosity.

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Silver badge

Re: Rasberry Pi servers!

" is a virtue of Linux"

Not to be picky but it's a pretty common virtue since it's true for the BSDs, eCos, FreeRTOS, Inferno, QNX, VxWorks, on and on ad nauseum. Acting as a functional server has little to do with the OS/kernel. In fact if all you want is a simple server it can be written in hardware specific machine code without an OS at all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rasberry Pi servers!

Windows already runs faster on small devices like phones than Linux (Android) based OSs, so I would imagine that Microsoft would have no problems in porting to such a platform were there any reason to do so.

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Anonymous Coward

Get some mad skillz peeps.

Article might as well be called, Linux, Windows, IT Jobs Market, Debate now. :D

I done the windows contractor support desk thing for my first 18 months of IT after uni, had to look everywhere for another job, and it was sort of boring.

Finally took the plunge and attempted to apply for a linux job at a T4 DC. Got it.

Been getting contacted on a weekly basis about linux jobs accross the board for the past year. Also, why are agents orange?

Someone else said get some application support under the belt, db's, middleware, ldaps, clustering, or anything in addition to bog standard linux sys admin gear and you're sorted, I agree with this fellow.

I however disagree at the 58k number. I'd rather see age / exp versus av. salary in the field. I reckon this is so high because the majority of linux admins are oldies (no offence to the oldies <3).

Recently done an RH rapid track course, most punters were older than 25. So tell me, what's the average age / experience of a linux chappie? I'm 23 and been dishing about with linux since 14/15 with real world experience of 12 months. Also had to get one of those networking degrees, did you know people don't take you seriously without one? total joke.

note:

Also if you're up for it, I found compiling and putting together a gentoo cluster for some lamp hosting was a great challenge and taught me a lot before going for a linux job, it impresses the interviewers too, they like a bit of compiling and optimiSing everything from source.

ps. agencies, i'm not currently available.

AC - Because I don't want you to add me on LI. Acronyms?

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Linux

Re: Get some mad skillz peeps.

"I however disagree at the 58k number. I'd rather see age / exp versus av. salary in the field. I reckon this is so high because the majority of linux admins are oldies (no offence to the oldies <3)."

I've said it in several other places so I'll say it here too:

This is not a UK survey, it's an international one. Wages for tech work are *very* depressed here compared to the US where most respondents are likely from. I got a 50% raise just by moving abroad a few years ago. Then they gave me another 10% a couple of months later because they thought I was underpaid and would leave. And I was on an apparently decent salary for London.

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Facepalm

How to become "Experienced"?

I've set up quite a lot of Linux systems over the years... Unfortunately because they don't tend to break i haven't had as many real world hours on them as windows. In fact if they go wrong I'm screwed because my memory no longer extends back that far!! dammit!!!

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Stop

@Eadon. It shows how out of touch you are with MS stuff. Sure for "administering" windows along the lines of adding users, making directories, shares et al then yes, GUI is the way to do it.

Start moving onto IIS, Exchange, clustering even hyperV etc and you need to use powershell. The GUI doesnt expose the heavy stuff. In fact you cannot administer exchange properly without powershell and once you learn to do your own scripts then you dont use the GUI - the same as linux.

Most of my routine jobs are either GPO'd so a script does them for me or a powershell on schedule (auto creation of email accouts or pruning of IIS logs for certain events etc). I do a similar thing on my linux filter server with perl. Only the apprentice uses GUI as he is new.

Powershell is the core of new server tools. Even if you use GUI you will be learning to script. As for paid more, you were telling me linux gurus work for free in an earlier post. I begged to differ.

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Linux

@Danny 14

It's nice to see that MS people (now that they have the choice) understand that the shell is a tool, and a very powerful tool too. The shell does not kill the GUI nor does the GUI kill the shell. But scripting needs the shell.

What annoys me is this talk about being "old fashioned" using the shell or it being somehow so difficult to learn.

According to some Microsoft programmers years ago the Windows shell was killed internally by marketing people who decided it was "old fashion". Quite funny really. Microsoft had a wide open window with the NT to really move Unix to Windows on servers. I took part in it and quite a number of HP/UX and SCO customers moved to the NT. To make that possible we had to use software from some University in Utah. (sed, grep and similar).

The fact that Microsoft was too stupid to understand the value of scripting closed that window and suddenly there was Linux. To be honest I am damned pleased. There was an other rather funny thing in this change from Unix to the NT too. Each and every NT customer was forced to upgrade their hardware as those old and tired Unix machines outperformed the new NT hardware. The reason to this, I think, was that the salesmen of the new hardware had a look at the Mhz on the Unix box and decided that times four or more Mhz would make the software on the NT fly. It never did.

And let me add that I have never seen anybody using the GUI who has not done it repeatedly all over and over again if it's a slightly bigger job. A well made script is so damned fast compared to that. Not to mention asking a customer (in the phone) to click this or that compared to sending her a script to run.

Anyway let us shell and scripting people unite.

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Stop

Re: Misunderstood

yes you did eadon. I'll dig out the post if I can be arsed. I claimed that I couldnt move to a true open source environment as I was unable to source and employ a linux admin with the necessary skills to transition a full site from an MS environment to a linux environment for approximately 15-20k a year (I can find many MS skilled techies who will work for that, the last job had 8 shortlisted applicants for an 18k job). You claimed that linux gurus would love to help set things up for free. If you meant only on a forum then you are even more laughable; can you imagine my project matrix with case transition from MS to linux with the "responsibility scope" of primary support being a forum of unknown individuals?

MS have just as many gurus that help out on forums and tech sites. I regularly help out on the likes of EduGeek, ExpertsExchange etc along with many others.

Many people have already stated (but you do not seem to listen, grasp the concepts or simply understand how real life businesses work); Linux and MS OS are tools for a job. Sometimes linux will work sometimes MS will work. A true admin will use the best solution available. In an ideal world there are always polar options - such as the one you keep trumpetting. Ideal situations never occur.

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Mushroom

Re: Misunderstood

If they are accepting £18K then your definition of 'skilled' is a long way from mine....

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Mushroom

Re: Misunderstood

You clearly don't know what you are talking about here. Powershell is a full object orientated scripting language and is far more versatile and powerful than say BASH.

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One thing about jobs...

...you tend to go to one where they will:

1) Pay You what you believe you are worth.

2) You believe you can contribute to their effort with your skills.

If "Linux" and "58k UKP" are the magic for you, then you should go ahead. If you have other skills, then the matrix will be different. Your choice!

Thankfully we here in the USA have the 13th amendment which helps.

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