Chasing certifications

In 2020 I started studying for my Docker Certified Associate certification. Big surprise, it never happened.

When I first heard of Docker and Kubernetes I was hooked! Here’s a system that makes running multiple servers and applications a breeze. One night I searched for two things

  1. Is there a certification for Docker?
  2. Where is a good learning program?

Once I found out I could get certified in Docker, I went looking for a curriculum to get me to the point of testing. I ended up at and quickly signed up for their Docker Mastery course.

Just like that, I was off and running! I would spend a couple of hours a night going through the videos, taking notes, and practicing on my own. I was well on my way to my very first certification, and a new career path.

Along the way, two important things happened. First off, I started to get brain fog. I would look at code that I had written months ago and couldn’t figure out what it did. While I eventually figured that out (a post for another time) I was now faced with another issue, chasing certs, or chasing knowledge.

Here’s the scenario. I would go for an interview where they are looking for a specific skill set. While I could most likely do the job, given my broad scope of knowledge, 9 times out of 10 it’s not something I do daily. So having failed that interview, I figured if that’s important to them, it could be for someone else. So I would find a course and start studying that topic. Perhaps if I get more experience with this, then the next job interview will be more positive. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. Instead, it was another topic, and another, and so on, until I had a bank of learning to do with no real reason to learn them other than to add to my knowledge base.

I spent all of 2019, 2020, and 2021 this way. Nearly three years of bouncing from one thing to another, all the while not finishing a single thing. I have a t-shirt that says “I never finish anyth…” which I’ve always thought to be funny, I never in my life thought it would become true.

Towards the last quarter of 2021, I was able to get ahold of my brain fog. The veil of confusion was finally lifting. Now while you would think I would return to the Docker certification, since that was where this all started, you would be wrong. Along the way I realized something. Docker runs mainly on Linux, if not as the host, the majority of the uses for Docker are running Linux-based software. Although I had been “using” Linux since 1998, I wasn’t proficient in it. There were still some things I didn’t grasp.

In 2022 I made the decision to embrace something I’ve been meaning to learn for decades. I decided that not only was I going to learn Linux, but I was going to get my certification, most specifically, the CompTIA Linux+ (XK0-004) cert, hosted by

That brings us to today, where I am still studying, and I’m trying to use Linux as much as possible (I’m writing this on Linux, btw). Now I have a bunch of things I should be learning, but I’m not as flexible as I once was. I need time to digest the topic, to live in the ecosystem in order to thrive. Thankfully there are plenty of books on the subject, as well as free testing exercises to see how I’m progressing.

Don’t worry, I’ll get back to Docker later, in fact, I’m using it for some of my development servers. I feel the only way I’m going to grasp it is to actually throw myself in and start doing. I just won’t do it in production 🙂

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