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Day 21 - What next?

What is this madness – surely the course was for just 20 days?

Yes, but hopefully you’ll go on learning, so here’s a few suggestions for directions that you might take.

Play with your server

You’re familiar with the server you used during the course, so keep working with it. Maybe uninstall Apache2 and install NGINX, a competing webserver. Keep a running stat on ssh “attackers”. Whatever. A free AWS will last a year, and a $5/mo server should be something you can easily justify.

Add services that you’ll use

You should now be capable of following tutorials on installing and running your own instance of Minecraft, Wordpress, WireGuard VPN, or Mediawiki. Expect to have some problems – it’s all good experience!

Take a look at Server World for some inspiration.

Extend your learning

Stop browsing articles on Gnome, KDE or i3 – and start checking out any articles like “20 Linux commands every sysadmin should know”. Try these out, delve into the options. Like learning a foreign vocabulary, you will only be able to use these “words” if you know them!

Check out Linux Journey if you haven’t already, specially if you are still pretty new to Linux and would like to see a different learning approach. Linux 101 Hacks is also a good resource.

Practice what you’ve learned with some challenges at SadServers.com. There you’ll find a collection of scenarios where you have to do, fix or hack something in a Linux server. It’s great to exercise your troubleshooting skills without messing with your own server.

To get crazy fast in the command line, try Command Line Challenge, practicelinux.com, learnshell.org and commandlinefu.com.

If your next level goal is to get into DevOps, take a look at the DevOps Roadmap.

Certifications

If you’re looking to do Linux professionally, and you don’t have an impressive CV or resume already, then you should be aiming at getting a Linux certification. There are really just three certs/tracks that count:

  • CompTIA Linux+ - one and done exam, distro independent but doesn’t hold much value in the market. Do this if you don’t want to get too deep into Linux, or you have other CompTIA tracks going on and an employer is paying for them.
  • LPI LPIC-1: Linux Administrator – Very extensive description of the coverage of their various certs/courses. You can go very deep with this exams, they cover everything you can think of pure Linux. Not so popular with employers but the knowledge certainly holds it value.
  • Red Hat – You could spend a lot of time and money here, but it might well pay off! Geared to RedHat Enterprise Linux distribution and its particularities, it is a practical exam (the others are multiple question) and it’s well known in Enterprise circles, it really pops up in any resume.

Even if you don’t want/need certs, the outline of the topics in these references can give you a good idea of areas to focus on in your self-learning.

Affordable professional training

Show your appreciation!

Steve Brorens (@snori74) was a collector of postcards and enjoyed greatly all the “Snail Mail” he received from the students.

But since his passing there’s nowhere to send postcards anymore. You can show your appreciation for the course by letting everyone else know how awesome it was! Recommend the course to other people, invite your friends to do the challenge together, have fun! Show the world you finished the challenge by posting about it on social media.

Contribute

Livia Lima is the one currently maintaining the material. But she’s only one person and appreciates any help to keep this challenge running consistently every month, and available to everyone.

If you’d like to contribute, here a few things you can do:

  • Answer other students questions in our channels. Help a friend through the challenge.
  • Correct typos, dead links, etc by submitting a correction request to the source material.
  • Suggest improvements by submitting a feature request to the source material.
  • Help moderate Lemmy, Reddit or Discord. Are you a whiz in one (or more) of those platforms? Help admin them.
  • Support the infrastructure by donating or sponsoring. The challenge is free but the website servers and the domains costs money, so we appreciate if you can spare a buck.

Thanks for all and happy linuxing!