Initially, I was cautiously optimistic. I had a proven track record of picking up new skills in a hurry, but after about the first three weeks, I realized I was in trouble. How would I make the transition from Windows to Linux system administration? More importantly, how would I do it while on the job? Afterall, I was hired to get work done, not to educate myself on a new operating system. I had my evenings, but being scheduled to take over the project manager role within four months of my arrival, I doubted evenings would get me where I needed to be. In the end, the project survived my tenure as project manager and what follows is what I learned in the process.
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I wasn’t completely useless. My Windows background gave me some skills in terms of development. Objects, functions, methods, and basic programming logic are transportable concepts even if the specifics of a language are slightly different. Networking and database management were similar. This was important, because it gave me some bargaining power with my boss. It allowed me to go after low hanging fruit, such as our library’s website—also an open source project, but again, the similarities between web technologies made it an attainable task. Impressing my boss with early results of some kind was critical.
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I knew most of my learning would have to be at work rather than just messing around in the evenings, so it would have to be part of my professional development. The argument was easy to make: the time put into learning Linux was an investment. The payoff was opening the library up to the tremendous amount of free and open source software (FOSS) available. That, combined with the work I was actually getting done, made my boss agreeable. He allowed me to take whole days (even a whole week here and there) to dive deep into Linux.
Website Content Generation Software 5 key insights on the transition from Windows to Linux - opensource.com