A little too much “help” from online friends…

There’s an old saying that goes “with greatness comes great responsibility”– typically this adage is applied to political leaders, philanthropists, and corporate tycoons. However, this time, I’d like to apply it to the Internet. 

It’s a great big world-wide-web out there, and it amazes me when people get caught up in the anonymity associated with a screen name or an open interface. You’ve seen it before on shows like To Catch A Predator, where unsuspecting pedophiles get nabbed for being online pervs, but now witness it within a professional atmosphere: when applying for a job.

One user, thinking he’s clever, posted to Ubuntu Forums, asking for help on his job application/survey. Little did he know, the very recruiter that sent him the survey, visited the site, resulting in a bit of an HR/hiring nightmare: 

Re: Calling All Linux Experts

Originally Posted by bradcarr View Post
If I could ever so kindly ask the Linux world for some help.   

I have applied for a job that is in a heavy Linux environment and I have been sent a questionnaire about my knowledge. I know my way around pretty good and just want double check my answers. Some of the questions and a gim-me, some take some thinking and some are just down right hard. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

For those who have commented, it is indeed an entry level network administration position with some Linux skills required as most of our network management tools run on Linux. I would also like to say thank you for the very sensible comments you all have made about the call for answers. And “bradcarr” while you haven’t broken the rules of my questionnaire you have definitely broken the spirit of the exercise. I did indeed say you could use any resource available to you, but didn’t it cross your mind that this might be the wrong thing to do? I want to see the “real world” ability of a potential employee, not what they can recite in an interview but what they can come up with using their normal information sources to solve a problem or research a subject.

This has shown me that you won’t take the initiative to research a problem, even when it might land you a job. I “googled” most of these questions before making the list and most of them are very easily discovered. It didn’t seem to me that I was asking too much for people to use mailing lists, forums, IRC whatever to compile the answersthemselves. I actually expected to see some questions show up on forums but I didn’t expect someone to paste the entire thing and expect the forum users to do all the work that would qualify you for an interview. I think at this point you could save us all some time and not turn the answers back in, I already have the information I need on your answers.

As far as the rest of you, if there are any of you reading this thread that live in the Nashville area that want a network administration job with some Linux work feel free to shoot me your resume at paul.tinsley (at) lightningsource.com. Oh, while you are at it, go ahead and send me the answers to the questions 

So in a world where answers are literally at your fingertips, how do you distinguish the difference between cheating, appropriating content or information, and good ‘ol Yankee ingenuity? 

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