You can choose the best Linux® consultant by carefully considering the demands of the project you need him or her to complete, by considering the Linux® distribution that will be used in the project, by verifying the consultant's qualifications and experience and by obtaining quotes in writing from at least three consultants. If you will have a fair amount of personal interaction with a Linux® specialist, you might also want to consider his or her personality, patience and ability to explain complex aspects of computer science. This last consideration is recommended primarily for people who have some apprehension when dealing with Linux® experts.
A Linux® consultant might be someone who installs and sets up networks or who installs one of the many distributions of this open-source operating system on a computer. Consultants might specialize in security, setting up servers, developing software for Linux® or even training to work with a particular distribution. It usually is a good idea to choose a Linux® consultant who specializes in the type of project you need to complete. For example, if you need a network to be set up, it might be a good idea to hire a consultant who specializes in Linux® networking, specifically in the setup of the size of network you need. Knowledge of the programming and installation of network equipment is not the only concern, because networks in corporations also always require strong attention to security, which is one of the reasons a specialist is consulted.
There are various qualifications that a Linux® consultant might hold and that give you a good idea of the knowledge he or she possesses. Sharp differences exist in the knowledge and skills that are required to earn these qualifications, so you might want to educate yourself regarding what it took for the certificate to be earned. If you consider the network installation example again, you can see how a Linux® consultant with a certificate in network administration might not be qualified to actually install the physical hardware and equipment needed or handle initial programming of equipment such as routers and switches. Consultants who hold certification in network engineering might be better able to handle such a task, especially if the network to be set up is very large.
You might want to check with the individuals or companies who have used the consultant's services to get valuable feedback regarding the quality of his or her technical and customer services. One thing that some people seeking a Linux® consultant overlook is the importance of working with someone who has experience with the particular distribution to be used in their project, whether they selected it or were advised to select it. All Linux® distributions are based on the kernel or "core" of the system, but they can have important differences in how they perform and in security.
Take the time to interview at least three consultants and obtain their estimates for the job. If you will need the person you hire to explain concepts with which you are unfamiliar, you might want to consider the consultant's ability to communicate them to you as well as his or her patience and friendliness when dealing with you. Following these tips should help you to choose the best Linux® consultant for your project.