Heat, Hats, and Certifications

I’ve been reading “Heat” by Bill Bullford, and I can safely say this book is one of the most interesting things I’ve read in a long time.  His accounts of working in Mario Batalli’s kitchen at Babbo are full of colourful details, painting a very vivid picture in the imagination of what it must’ve been like.  You can practically smell the chopped herbs as you read!  It’s also a very interesting read from a career standpoint – someone who had a successful career as the editor of The New Yorker, who chose to become essentially a kitchen slave, essentially starting at the beginning again.

About three-quarters of the way through the book, it dawned on me how Zen this person was – someone who had, for all intents and purposes, become a master of his field chose to “empty his cup” and start with a beginners mind.  This is, to me, something that we should all strive for – to learn new things, or even to re-learn old things.  By doing so, we grow as individuals, while continuing to contribute to society as a whole.

This beginners mind philosophy was part of the reason I recently undertook the training for the Red Hat Certified Technician.  While in college, I studied Linux a fair bit.  However, it was sporadic, and as a result my skills became dull.  I knew this, and also knew that  my career would benefit from better strength in this area.  Rather than assume I knew anything, I chose to start at the beginning, and attended the introductory course (RH033).  While the material was all review for me, it was a good refresher, and I believe it contributed to my renewed interest in Linux, as well as my success in the certification exam.  Had I not updated my skills with the basics, I doubt I would have been able to pass the exam.

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