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Linux Scams? Hmmm......

By BlackHoleSurferX in Technology
Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:53:20 AM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Technology

I have been looking for a "real" linux sys admin job in the Chicago area. Using "The Tribune" I came across this add:

Network Engineer - <$45,000/YR> Entry level position. Responsibilities include installation, administration, and updating system security. Positions available nationwide. If interested please submit your resume as plain text in the body of your email message. All attachments will be deleted.
along with an 800 number to call. Upon calling, I was set-up with an immediate interview and given directions to the office suit as well as the URL of my prospective employer, Linuxgruven.com.


After arriving on site, I was eventually greeted by a good-looking man named Ted; although I was told over the phone I'd be interviewing with Mike. Ted looked more like a banker than a geek. I thought, "Wow, this is gonna be a breeze; no stupid crond or majordomo questions."

What I got was far worse than I could have imagined...
I was pulled into a small, albeit nicely furnished office. It was a faintly lit room with an expensive lamp sitting on a cherrywood desktop with a new laptop off to the side; very lush. I say "off to the side" because it was in an unusable position, put there to make me see the (gorgeous) GNOME session running on it. It was a decoy, I doubt he ever used it, and no other 'puter in sight. Do you see where I'm going with this? After sitting me down and in a lush chair he grabs me resume and starts "warming" me. Two things become abundantly clear: A)Ted knows nothing about computers. B)Ted starts me on a "close" I used over ten years ago during a stint selling windows.

Now don't misunderstand me here... I never sold MS anything. I sold windows, it's even worse. If you have no idea what I mean, go rent Tin Men with Danny Devito. Contract "closing" for a window company or even for a linux company is dispicable.
Ted had sat me down to feel me out; and when I told him I had recently taken a training class his first question was "How much did that cost you?" The answer was nothing, of course, my employer paid for those; but when the queston was asked the /var/log in my head emailed me a security warning. There was danger afoot.

He finally started selling me the job, this is what I was waiting to hear; but he started with "we will make sure you make at least $45,000/yr." Hmm... not yet, not yet... BAM!

"We train you for our particular certification, which costs $2,550 for two weeks."
To make a long story short* I threw a few explitives Ted's way and ranted all the home, well ranted until my favorite bartender gave me my favorite beer for FREE (as everything should be).

Have more of you come across this type of thing, and what can we do as a community to stop companies like this from raping our life-work? I care about open-source. I know you do to. I don't want to see all of the business end to go to the top 7 distros either; but if the smaller companies are ingaging in policies like these we are all doomed, or are we? Maybe I'm wrong? What do you think?

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Linux Scams? Hmmm...... | 27 comments (16 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
This reminds me of a job I once almost had... (3.08 / 12) (#12)
by evro on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:35:49 AM EST

I think it was after my freshman year in college, I was looking for a decent job for the summer and I came across one that said "$12 / hour" which is a lot of money for someone with none, like I.

Anyway I call and ask what the job is and they basically don't tell me nothing, but I ask "Is this door-to-door sales?" and they say no.

So I go to the "interview" which is attended by 10 other people in a rundown office and it turns out that it's "up to $12 per hour" -- depending on how fast you sell their knives for them. I would be working on commission. The best part, however, is that I would have to buy their set of knives -- "at a 67% discount!" -- for $166. Either that or leave $166 as a deposit that I would get back after the job was over. Anyway the guy offered me the job and I said no. I hate being lied to.
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
Re: This reminds me of a job I once almost had... (1.00 / 1) (#16)
by evro on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 11:30:33 AM EST

don't tell me nothing

Ugh, I don't usually have such crummy grammar.
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
[ Parent ]

Always a scam out there (3.75 / 12) (#13)
by El Volio on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 10:19:26 AM EST

There's always some kind of scam out there; when I was a young college student (back before I had reached the crotchety old age of 24 :) ) there were a number of such folks looking for a sucker. Six years ago, I ran into similar scams with web design firms. Some people just have a poorly developed sense of ethics.

This isn't particular to the free software community, or even the tech community. It's a sad reflection of human nature, that there are always those who want to take advantage of the naive for their own personal gain. It could be worse; in some countries (like my wife's native Mexico), these type of individuals are actually dangerous, preying on the uneducated. Some folks will offer a way across the border into this country (often for prices surpassing US$5k), but load a delivery van with 25 people, drive through Arizona, and at the first sign of trouble, abandon it and leave the passengers to roast or dehydrate.

Fortunately, you recognized it for what it was and got the hell out of Dodge. Don't take it personally; now, if you had accepted it, and were writing this as a "don't-make-the-same-mistake-I-did", then that would be something of which to be ashamed. ;>

Still looking? (2.40 / 5) (#14)
by M3 on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 10:32:23 AM EST

If you're still looking in Chicago, I can set you up with what you thought you were interviewing for. I'm no HR, just a code-monkey who feels your pain. Good luck, reply w/comment if you're interested.
ISAPI?? More like ICRAPI
Re: Still looking? (none / 0) (#15)
by BlackHoleSurferX on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 10:52:25 AM EST

Absolutely interested. Always looking to get my hands dirty. Please email me without the embedded SPAMs (obviously). Are you a member of AALUG, CLUG or LUNI?
"Where do you want to go today?"
I want to go to a place where noone can place a letter in my
mailbox that eats my house... Thanks VB!
[ Parent ]
Linuxgruven not a scam... (4.12 / 8) (#17)
by KodaK on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 11:37:26 AM EST

I can vouch for these guys. They buy all their systems from my company and they pay their bills on time. The guys in charge really care about Linux and the FSF, and work hard to get the message out. They're expanding at a phenominal rate. I'll ask them about this the next time I see them and tell them they are being percived as a scam, perhaps they'll be willing to make a public comment. --J(K)

Re: Linuxgruven not a scam... (none / 0) (#18)
by BlackHoleSurferX on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 11:48:32 AM EST

I'd love to hear their side of it. Unfortunately Ted would not give me contact info, and there is none on the site. I want to hear that they made a mistake and simply put the wrong man in charge in the Chi area. I'd love to see this corrected as quickly as possible; but I also needed input from the community on what I saw as a potential travesty. Please, Linuxgruven, you have my email...
"Where do you want to go today?"
I want to go to a place where noone can place a letter in my
mailbox that eats my house... Thanks VB!
[ Parent ]
Re: Linuxgruven not a scam... (2.00 / 1) (#19)
by BlackHoleSurferX on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 11:48:44 AM EST

I'd love to hear their side of it. Unfortunately Ted would not give me contact info, and there is none on the site. I want to hear that they made a mistake and simply put the wrong man in charge in the Chi area. I'd love to see this corrected as quickly as possible; but I also needed input from the community on what I saw as a potential travesty. Please, Linuxgruven, you have my email...
"Where do you want to go today?"
I want to go to a place where noone can place a letter in my
mailbox that eats my house... Thanks VB!
[ Parent ]
Re: Linuxgruven not a scam... (none / 0) (#20)
by KodaK on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 11:51:37 AM EST

Their contact info is on their site: You can mail karlton@linuxgruven.com. --J(K)

[ Parent ]
Re: Linuxgruven not a scam... (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by BlackHoleSurferX on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 02:32:57 PM EST

Thank you for a timely response. Let me be clear, that although you were the brand name at hand, I was not trying to rant about Linuxgruven.com; but about the practice that was going on. Coming from my background I was very disturbed at what I saw. It was never mentioned that I could take the tests without the classes. The classes were the priority to "Ted." I felt that your company got me in the door, under false-pretense, to "close" me. That was the only impression I got from "Ted." Perhaps this is the result of an unintentional glitch in the payment structure for these recruiters. It was not my intention to flame your company so much as to discuss the issue at hand... Now, if you can entertain open discussion, do you think this is a good practice?
"Where do you want to go today?"
I want to go to a place where noone can place a letter in my
mailbox that eats my house... Thanks VB!
[ Parent ]
Re: Linuxgruven not a scam... (4.00 / 6) (#21)
by sevenhdev on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 02:01:27 PM EST

Hello, I am writing to clear up your experience in Chicago. Ted is a character and may not have been clear about our job position in your area, I don't know I wasn't there. Let me describe what Linuxgruven does, and what our goals our and hopefully this will make sense. We provide technical support, software development , and training nationwide. One of the primary differences between us and other Linux/OSS companies is that we provide _on site_ support nationwide at a competitive rate. One of the obstacles to staffing a company to provide that service is that there is not a large talent pool of Linux SA's to draw from. When we do find experienced Linux guru's we do hire them, as long as meet our criteria for field staff. So in order to grow as fast as we need , we have to 'convert' those who have been working on the M$ platform to Linux. One thing that our clients continually ask is whether our staff is certified. So we ask potential candidates to get Linux certified before they come to work for us. We have an internal certification which is only available to our employees. We made this internal so we did not compete with LPI or SAIR. We DO NOT make someone take our training to get the job, they can self study, or go to another training center. The _only_ reason we offer training is that some people aren't built to self study, they get more out of an instructor led class, and our training class is very inexpensive compared to standard industry rates. BTW, it is not $2550 for two weeks it is $2500 for four weeks (80 hrs). Some people have spent $7,000 - $15,000 to get there MCSE. Now that is a scam. Or they memorize study guides or use other 'tools' to help them pass the tests w/o actually knowing anything. With Linux, you can't fake it. ========================= Open Source Courseware ========================= Over and above the fact that we DO NOT require anyone to pay for our training, we have released our courseware on our website under the GNU Free Document License. Not only that , it is an open source project , so everyone is invited to contribute. Right now it is posted as doc files, that is going to change next week. So to summarize: 1. We don't require you to pay for training to get a job. 2. You can get our courseware for free. 3. You don't have to pay to take our certification exam. I don't know any other company that is providing that opportunity to the community. BTW, our certification exam is a two section exam covering 1. Installation and Configuration 2. Networking and Security Each exam has both written and hands on components. I can forward exam objectives to you if you like. And if anyone is looking for a job and think they know enough to take our test , please send me an email. When we first started our company , we ran ads looking for Linux guru's , but there are so few out there, we got very little response. Also, we got alot of 13 year old skateboarders who pretended to know Linux. This is a very unique point in the Linux industry. Two of the major complaints of business is that there is noone to support Linux and there aren't enough applications. So right now it is a matter of - If you build it they will come. As far as the Linux community goes, we are very active. We support our local LUG, sponsor GNU research at Washington University , and are creating a LUG Fund to sponsor activities nationwide. In addition to this , we are licensing all our course ware under the GFDL. This includes all the classes listed on our site ( which will be updated soon ). Next , all software that we write for our clients related to clustering and thin clients ( or any other area for that matter )will be released under the GPL, and submitted to the appropriate site for posting. So I apologize if Ted was not clear, please let me know if you have further questions I would be glad to answer them. Regards, James Hibbits CEO Linuxgruven jmh@linuxgruven.com

[ Parent ]
Re: Linuxgruven not a scam... (not convinced) (1.50 / 2) (#25)
by forrest on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:15:41 PM EST

We have an internal certification which is only available to our employees. We made this internal so we did not compete with LPI or SAIR.

Translation: "If we helped our prospective employees get accredited from a formally-recognized agency like LPI, it would be easier for them to just go get jobs elsewhere, and we couldn't string them along for all they're worth."

Furthermore, I know grammar flames are cheap shots, but would you expect this from a CEO???

... what our goals our...

... experienced Linux guru's ...


[ Parent ]
Re: Linuxgruven not a scam... (not convinced) (3.00 / 1) (#26)
by sevenhdev on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 12:39:39 AM EST

Actually we do help our employees get accredited with industry standard certifications, like LPI and SAIR. When our employees obtain certifications from either of those bodies, we reimburse them for the costs of taking their exams. The folks who work for our company are very motivated , and love what they do.

[ Parent ]
Re: Linuxgruven not a scam... (3.00 / 1) (#27)
by Jah-Wren Ryel on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 01:00:20 AM EST

If you wish to avoid being perceived as a scam, you need to only "charge" for training after the fact. That is, provide the training up front, for free, and then take the cost out of the employee's earnings as they work for you. Sign an employment contract that someone won't bail until paying back the costs of the training. This is the way legit agencies that require up-front expenses handle things.

[ Parent ]
Re: Linuxgruven not a scam... (none / 0) (#28)
by Kintanon on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 10:45:56 AM EST

Over and above the fact that we DO NOT require anyone to pay for our training, we have released our courseware on our website under the GNU Free Document License. Not only that , it is an open source project , so everyone is invited to contribute. Here's my contribution, many of your documents are truncated, specifically 1.2.6, 1.3.2, 1.1.7 appears to be truncated as well, I haven't read the rest but I'm sure some of them are truncated as well. Also at least one command is misrepresented, SU does not mean super user, just Switch User, you do not have to enter a super user or root account when using SU, you can switch into any account that you know the user name and password for. Despite this, I think I'll read through all of your docs, and since you claim your certification test is free I'll take it, get your cert and stick it on my resume, can't hurt. Kintanon

[ Parent ]
Reminds me of a meeting I had with NetApp (3.66 / 3) (#24)
by mxmasster on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 03:56:37 PM EST

I was evaluating SAN products to use with my companies Oracle / VCS cluster. I get a cold call one day from a salesguy from NetApp, trying to sell a filer. Being a nice guy I say your product doesn't meet my requirements because of x, y and z. He responds by saying they now support everything I need and could he schedule an onsite with a SE.

They show up, when asked the SE states that all of that functionality is impossible. So I confront the Salesguy. His responce... "As a salesperson I am required to be creative to get into the door." So I showed him out the door.

Linux Scams? Hmmm...... | 27 comments (16 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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