Congratulations Ray – we knew you could do it!

10 October 2017

Siobhan Hancock

What a year this is shaping up to be for! This year alone we’ve grown significantly, adding five new apprentices to our team, allowing our more senior members of the team to pursue their passions. For some of us that’s exploring new areas of the business and gaining new skills, doing more public speaking and branching out to UK tech communities. For Ray this year has been somewhat life changing. He has worked tremendously hard and studied well for his recent Red Hat exam; cracking the books and practically living systems and technologies.

Today we are proud to pass on a huge congratulatory pat on the back to our friend and colleague Ray. He passed his exams with flying colours and will now be proudly joining our systems team as a Systems Specialist along with fellow Red Hat engineers Pete and Keith. Well done Ray, it’s well deserved!

We asked Ray a few questions about his recent studies:

How did you find the studying for your Red Hat qualification?

Life can get pretty hectic for me so I’ve been studying for this for what feels like forever. There was a lot of things initially that were completely alien to me but over time they’ve all come together; it helps dramatically to be in a position where you can be applying the things you’ve learned in a live environment and my diagnostic capabilities have significantly improved.

A lot of what I was learning was able to be applied on a day to day basis at work and in many ways, that was the factor that really helped to solidify things. Of course, the reverse is sometimes also true! Years of doing things a certain way and then trying to relearn those skillsets to use them in such a way that they meet the Red Hat requirements was a lot more challenging than you might expect!

How did you feel doing your Red Hat exams?

The worst part of the exam was getting started! Something came up very early on that I was not expecting to see until later and that completely threw me off. It’s been years since I last sat an exam, so to say I panicked would not be an understatement.

With that said, once I managed to calm down, I actually found the exam quite straightforward. As a practical exam, it was very much a case of applying existing knowledge and simply making certain that I understood exactly what each question wanted from me in full before making any moves to apply the necessary steps.

I hit my stride and was very confident in my answers and even had enough time left over to make sure to go over the beginning of the exam, ensuring I hadn’t made any daft mistakes in my early fluster and was able to leave the exam room with a degree of optimism overall.

Was there anything specific you took from your Red Hat training & can apply to your job?

Absolutely. A lot of what was learned is the kind of thing I have been applying on a day to day basis but now have a much greater understanding of. You’ll forgive me for being vague! The exam itself is under NDA.

Any advice for future staff who might be taking the exam?

Go through the texts you’re studying from and bookmark key topics. Spend the week before your exam dedicating an hour or two a day (not necessarily in one sitting!) on reviewing every single one of them and ensure you completely understand what they cover and you aren’t just regurgitating commands.

As a practical exam, remember that it is set to test your ability to be a system administrator, not to repeat answers!

Be confident in your knowledge and your ability so that when something doesn’t work as you expect, you know it’s not because you’re doing something wrong!

Which leads me to my last and most important piece of advice; even when there doesn’t seem to be an error message, remember to check the logs! This too is a crucial system administrator skill and something they may expect you to do without actually asking you to!