Community Manager
Community Manager

RHLC March Challenge: What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

We will be hosting a monthly challenge where community members who engage and contribute have the chance to win unique badges in the Red Hat Learning Community!

March challenge: reply to this thread with the best piece of advice you've ever been given. This could be related to your career, life, etc.

Good luck!

12 Replies
Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer


Not only a great HG2G quote but really good advice when something has just gone terribly wrong.

<insert your rm -rf in the wrong directory story here>

Often a mistake is made a lot worse by the action/command taken immediately after it.

Whether that is on a production system or during a Red Hat exam or just your personal computer. When you've made mistake stop, take a deep breath and evaluate your options and the actual results of what just happened before anything else.

You could have an editor open with a copy of the file you just deleted and be able to save the buffer. Or the daemon could still be running with the right config even though you just wiped the config file. A hasty reboot/restart of a service or similar might make the mistake permanent when it doesn't have to be.

During one of my previous RH exams I noticed near the end that I had forgotton to execute one step which was a prerequisite for some of the last steps.

My first reaction was: "I'll fail for sure now!". My second gut reaction was to reboot the machine and restart from the top. But I managed to slow down take a couple of (shaky at first) breaths and found a way to meet the requirements without having to destroy all the work I had already completed. And I passed.


RHCE 100-015-239
Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

Sometimes it's even worse today with all of these screen sharing technologies, this is in reference to your homage to the: 

<insert your rm -rf in the wrong directory story here>

reference. There was a time when I was providing support for a program at work, and I cd'd into a directory for a moment forgetting my current context in one of the worst directories that you could do somehting like this. I believe I had about 6 other folks watching be dive off that cliff. In my mind, I was like did you just do what I think you did? That day I took the advice you're sharing here and that made all the difference.

Even that failure though has helped by providing reasoning for even more so pushing cattle vs. pets. It wasn't easy mind you, but I was able to recover my blunder by tar piping the same directory off  of another system that was built by the same exact specs for all intents and purposes. 

Don't Panic is priceless, thanks for sharing your experience.


Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

One of the best pieces of advice: When studying for anything, change the study area and your posture as soon as that "study fatigue" sets in. Many folks can attest to that study fatigue as soon as you begin to digest some book, some tasks while begin to fall asleep.

Doing some of these thngs removes the fatigue almost instantly: stand up; do something silly like stand on one leg and hold the left ear with the right hand. Still continue reading that book.

Stretch, touch the toes with finger tips while keeping the back straight, bring the nose to the knees, come up slowly with arms straight out.

Change the chair position, gett an uncomfortable chair! it keeps you awake! Move to another table. Pause and recap the last paragraph mentally. All these and other things, get rid of the fatigue.

It works in other instances also not just study time! It helped me through post-graduate school!

Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist

This is good advice, I will remember this.  I've definitely fallen victim to this many times!

Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

"The only thing keeping you in this bad situation is you!"

 I had a very good mentor and was struggling with a decsion on whether or not I should leave my then current employer. My dilemma stemmed from feeling undervalued, underappreciated, and stagnation in planned goals that were happening because of one of my respected leaders. 

I couldn't argue and decided to stop being part of the problem and moved on. To me this was one of the best pieces of advice anyone ever gave to me from a career perspective. I had been working towards a promised promotion for several years and was being overlooked, come later to find out that the leader I mentioned earlier, hired outside bringing in a colleague from his previous job where they both worked together. 

Not everyone is honest, so when things that happen don't seem to make sense, it's probably because we can only see the actual cards we are holding in our own hands. 

Prior to finally deciding to leave (shortly after I received this advice incidentally), I had all of these thoughts running through my head (could be the Former Marine in me), you should be loyal and stick it out, etc. This is where true critical thinking comes into play, it did honestly help to bounce my thoughts and ideas to my mentor. If you do not have a mentor, I would encourage you to look for one, If you are in the position to where you could be the mentor, I encourage you there too. 

Starfighter Starfighter

Do not be afraid to make mistakes; we learn a lot when we do.

Program Lead at Arizona's first Red Hat Academy, est. 2005
Estrella Mountain Community College
Starfighter Starfighter

Very short, very simple, but very, very powerful:  Believe in myself!!!

Those three words have served me very well.

Trevor "Red Hat Evangelist" Chandler

If you are the smartest person in the room, you need to find another room

You should never miss the chance to learn from those around you
Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist

The best piece of advice I have ever been given:

1. look at who your friends are, this will determine where you go in life.  If you wish to excel at something that your friends do not, change your friends.

2. constantly learn.  life is an evolutionary process. learn as much as you can.

3. pay yourself first. Take that money and invest it in stocks that pay dividends so they pay you for owning them.

4. Buy stocks in companies in products that you buy so you get your money back.

Join the discussion
You must log in to join this conversation.