There is a perception out in the industry that only holding certifications from a single vendor makes you less well rounded as an IT professional. There may be some truth in this perception. A great IT professional utilizes a wide variety of tools when solving complex problems. The more solutions that you understand, the greater the number of tools you have to solve problems with. If you’ve limited yourself by only understanding one particular platform and the solutions it offers, you may be missing a better solution offered by an alternative platform.
Learning about how a familiar problem is solved on an unfamiliar platform can also provide you with greater insight. You’ll learn far more about DNS if you configure DNS on both Windows 2K3 and on Linux or Mac OSX than you’ll learn just by configuring DNS on a single platform. Similarly you may gain a better understanding of how web servers work in general by configuring both IIS and Apache rather than only understanding how to configure a web server on a single platform.
Finally, you may currently work in a single platform environment and only need to know one operating system, but your employment future isn’t set in stone. You may decide, or be forced, to move on. One of the secrets to remaining employable is being adaptable. A candidate who demonstrates expertise in multiple platforms through multiple vendor certifications appears, at least on paper, to be more adaptable than the candidate who has only demonstrated expertise in a single platform.
Taking an introductory level certification in a second platform can be rewarding and will also give you some insight as to how the “other side” deals with the same issues you do.
Windows IT Pro magazine has set up a site and some conferences that are devoted to cross platform issues. If you are interested in learning more about how to get different operating systems to complement each other, head over to http://www.techxworld.com