Linux in Government: Planning for Open-Source Application Deployments
Government agencies can get a head start on open source demand this year by hiring candidates with strong Linux skills. The market will surprise you when you start looking for people with essential Linux system administration skills, because they demand lower salaries than one might expect.
Good Linux people tend to have trained themselves and know how to work on other operating systems, such as Windows and UNIX. They also tend to know more about networking, desk-side support and trouble shooting than a typical Windows engineer does. Linux people also can mentor and train staff. In short, Linux gurus save you a lot of money, because they know where to find free software and how to use it.
One caveat: good Linux administrators typically do not have certification. If you specify certification in your job descriptions, prepare yourself for a letdown. Linux people rarely seek to prove their skills by taking exams. If you do find applicants with certification, you might take a cautious approach, as they often lack the depth of experience you probably need.
In future articles, we explain open-source alternatives in greater depth and show you how Linux can provide a low-cost and secure solution for government offices and agencies wishing for more security and increased productivity.
Tom Adelstein lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, Yvonne, and works as a Linux and open-source software consultant with Hiser+Adelstein, headquartered in New York City. He's the co-author of the book Exploring the JDS Linux Desktop and the upcoming book Essential Linux System Administration, to be published by O'Reilly and Associates. Tom has been writing articles and books on Linux since early 1999.
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