10 мая 2016

Quick info and tips for Certified OpenStack Administrator exam (COA)

In addition to Mirantis and Red Hat OpenStack certification I got Certified OpenStack Administrator from OpenStack Foundation yesterday. Now I am in process of writing Certified OpenStack Administrator Study Guide. It should be ready in November, I believe. This post is a short description and some tips for the exam.

Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA) is the first professional certification offered by the OpenStack Foundation. As OpenStack's web-site tells, it’s designed to help companies identify top talent in the industry, and help job seekers demonstrate their skills.
The COA certification is available to anyone who passes the exam. No mandatory learning is required. However, the Certified OpenStack Administrator is a professional typically with at least six months OpenStack experience. It is very important to gain practical skills of work with OpenStack before taking the exam. Practice, practice and practice is the only way to successfully reach the exam goals.

Quick facts about exam:

•    Duration is 2.5 hours.
•    Price is $300. One free retake per Exam purchase will be granted in the event that a passing score is not achieved.
•    Exam is performance-based. You may use graphical interface or command line.
•    Exam is vailable anywhere in the world through Internet.
•    Candidates are monitored virtually by a proctor during the exam session via streaming audio, video, and screensharing;

Tips for COA exam preparation

If you think you are ready for exam, you should start from reading "The OpenStack Foundation Certification Candidate Handbook for OpenStack Foundation Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA)". This guide is available from COA website - https://www.openstack.org/coa/. It contains all instructions and conditions that you need to know before exam. Some other tips are below.

It's very importent to test your PC for meeting minimal requirements at the exam provider's website. Pay attention to a screen resolution. At the moment of writing this post the minimum was set up to 1280x800. It is really a minimum value and it will be probably non comfort to work with exam consoles with this resolution. I would recommend you to use a monitor as big as it is possible.

Handbook tells you may launch http://docs.openstack.org/ to access technical documentation. Please find some time and investigate where to find information. You do not need to memorise everything, but it is good to know where and what documentation website contains.

It is probably better not to type long names of projects, volumes, directories, etc. but copy them from the exam task list to command line during the exam. You can avoid mistypes errors if you do so. Use Ctrl+Insert to copy and Shift+Insert to paste in Microsoft Windows operating systems. Shortcuts Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V are not supported in the exam terminal currently.

It is highly recommended to use one of terminal multiplexers because the exam terminal has a single console. You can use screen command or more advanced tmux. Take your time to practice with one of them.