Here is a little summary of my Docker Certified Associate journey. I hope it will be helpful!
The Docker certified Associate Exam is not an easy one. As you probably know, Docker is a really vast product and knowing everything is unfortunately not possible. Even more when Kubernetes is a part of the exam. Thus, here are some recommendations that, hopefully, will help you to win some time:
1. Find the proper course for you. I've followed Zeal's Vora course on Udemy and had no prior Docker knowledge. However, feel free to choose another one. Just make sure that the course you choose contains all the required sections of the exam (Kubernetes in particular).
2. Set an expected end date for training. As this is a long journey, it's better to plan when it will end. Set an expected end date for training and try to stick to it.
3. Read Docker and Kubernetes documentation. Among all the different courses and practice tests you will encounter, there is a high probability that something will be unclear or wrong. If you have any doubt about the accuracy of the info, always take Docker/Kubernetes documentations as a reference.
4. Do the practice tests. Following a course is nice, but doing the practice tests is better. Run the commands on your computer and check the results. This will help you to memorize the outputs.
5. Register for a Docker Entreprise Trial. Use the 1-month free Docker Enterprise Trial to practice even more. This is a part of the exam. I would recommend starting the trial after having some Docker knowledge.
6. Check the DCA Study Guide. Check the guide and make sure that you know all the required info. There are also some sample test questions that you can use to practice.
7. Practice, practice and ... practice. The previous Udemy course contains 5 sample tests (one of 26 questions and four of 50 questions). Do the practice tests, write your incorrect answers and check the results using Docker/Kubernetes documentations if you have any doubt.
8. Practice for the DOMC questions. As DOMC questions are not supported by Udemy, what I would recommend is practicing until you're capable of giving the answer by only reading the question. You shouldn't need to read the answers to find the correct one.
9. Read Kubernetes documentation. The previous course I was referring to contains some Kubernetes notions. However, unfortunately, at the moment the sample tests don't. What I would recommend here is checking the Docker guide and try to understand which parts of Kubernetes are valuable. Then, a good practice would be to read the proper sections in Kubernetes documentation directly.
10. Schedule your exam. When you think you're ready, schedule your exam and prepare a little training schedule for the remaining days.
11. Rest. The day of the exam, practice a little bit but also rest. It's not a few hours that is going to change the fate of the exam.
12. Celebrate. Congratulations, you've passed the exam! Take the time to celebrate and rest a little bit before moving to the next one. :)
To start with ....
test is super hard. The exam is long and tiring (3 to 3.5 hours) with 75
scenario-based and problem-based questions with long answers which all seem to
be correct. After 35–40 questions your brain starts melting down and it hurts
when you try to think and analyze.
I was supposed to give it by last DEC-2019 but it was postponed
due to my personal loss (I lost my daughter and she passed away with pulmonary
hypertension) so kept on reading on and off but am dedicated to this as I love
being ‘AWSome’ always .. Finally, I took
the exam in APR 28th, 2020 and passed.
Used to read the question and use paper and pencil to
draw a rough architecture and focus on the areas that you need to improve.
Trust me, you will be able eliminate 2 answers for sure and then need to focus
on only the other two. Read the other 2 answers to check the difference area
and that would help you reach to the right answer or at least have a 50% chance
of getting it right.
The only thing is it is brain drainer and need lot of
patience and calm down during the exam not to lose focus. Fun to be challenge and accept them so that
you will be surprised with outcome that you produce.
It covers a lot of concepts and services related to
Automation, Deployments, Disaster Recovery, HA, Monitoring, Logging and
Troubleshooting. It also covers security and compliance related topics. I did score
well out of all the 6 domains except one domain (Incident and event response-
Needs an improvement) and rest all are meet competencies. The % of scored domains are:
SDLC automation (21.5%), Configuration Management and Infrastructure
as Code (18.5%), Monitoring &Logging (15.4%), Policies & Standards (10.8%),
Incident and event response (18.5%), HA,DR section(15.7%)
Be sure to cover the following topics
Whitepapers are the key to understand Deployments
Blue Green Deployments
Architecting for the Cloud:
Applications on AWS
DevOps professional exam
cannot be cleared without the knowledge of this topics
Deep dive into
CloudFormation, Elastic Beanstalk and OpsWorks
Very important to
understand CloudFormation vs Elastic Beanstalk vs OpsWorks
Have in-depth understand of
Know how to indicate
completion of events using CloudFormation helper scripts.
deployment strategies esp. rolling and replacing update with AutoScaling and
update of launch configuration
Understand Elastic Beanstalk overall
– Applications, Versions and Environments
Beanstalk Deployment Strategies esp. the rolling, immutable and
Understand OpsWorks overall –
stacks, layers, recipes
Understand OpsWorks Lifecycle events esp. the Configure
event and how it can be used.
Unlike the previous DevOps Engineer – Professional exam, the
latest pattern has a heavy focus on the Developer tools and be sure to deep
dive into them
Understand CodePipepline, CodeCommit, CodeDeploy, CodeBuild
and their uses cases
Understand how to build Pipelines and integration with other
Understand CodePipeline pipeline
structure (Hint : run builds parallelly using runorder)
Understand how to configure notifications on events and
& Governance tools
Very important to understand AWS CloudWatch vs AWS
CloudTrail vs AWS Config
Very important to understand Trust Advisor vs Systems
manager vs AWS Inspector
Know Personal Health Dashboard & Service Health
Deep dive CloudWatch
Understand CloudWatch logs
Subscription Filters and its integration with other services.
Networking, Security, Storage
and Database domain areas too
website, AWS whitepapers, blogs, webinars, practice
tests and Udemy courses too. Pluralsight.com is also free sometimes they give
us free month. good to read those. You need to practice and draw the
underlaying architecture components for every scenario which will solve the
How to prepare for OCI 2019 Architect Associate exam
I recently prepared for an passed the Oracle Cloud
Infrastructure 1Z0-1072-OCI-Architect-Associate-2019 exam. The format and the
content for the exam is available on Oracle’s education site –
an OCI architect Associate
I would absolutely recommend a refresh
of the OCI fundamentals before jumping into the OCI architect course.
I went through the course once at 2x speed and captured most
of the information in a word document. The exam is supposedly not as difficult
as any other AWS or GCP associate level exams. I am listing the main topics of
the preparation course and some of the key elements you should understand and
remember before you take the #FREE exam offered by Oracle.
All resources shared during the course are available at this training site location - OCI
Architect Associate Resources
Getting Started with OCI
To better understand the OCI interface as well as all the
services please review the Infrastructure as a service documentation available
here at OCI
IAAS Documentation site and services availability across regions
across the world.
Lets now focus on individual services and some of the focus
areas to remember
and Access Management
IAM – There are mainly 4 verbs used in IAM to
define a policy and they are inspect, read, use and manage.
Inspect – provided the ability to list resources
Read – Includes inspect and ability to get user
specified metadata/actual resource
Use – Includes read + ability to work with
existing resources (the actions vary by resource type). This verb does not
allow the ability to create or delete any type of resource.
Manage – Includes all permissions for the
The most common format of an IAM policy is
listed below –
Allow to in
The subject can be an IAM user, group, resource group etcetera
Please pay special attention to managing users,
groups and network
resources. You must specially understand that if you want to provide a
specific role to a compute instance, you need to attach a dynamic group to it
so that it is identified as “principal” and it can make API calls against other
services on OCI.
– Compartments are another way to manage your resources by relating them
together and accessed by groups that are given permission.
It must be understood that each resource can
belong to one and only one compartment. However, resources can be shared
Resources can also be moved across compartments
once they have been created.
Compartments can have sub compartments that can
go six level deep.
COMP1 > COMP2 > COMP3 > COMP4 >
COMP5 > COMP6
These sub compartments inherit access
permissions from compartments higher up the hierarchy
When an IAM policy is being created, it must be
specified which compartment to attach it to.
IAM Policy Inheritance and Attachment
Understand how IAM policy inheritance work when
resources are moved across compartments.
Tagging is an additional method to
identify/categorize your services inside your compartments.
Free form and custom tags are allowed under OCI.
It should be emphasized that you must have understanding of
creating public and private networks and how all private networks use CIDR
ranges identified under RFC 1918.
The major networking components of OCI networking is listed below -
CLOUD NETWORK (VCN) and Subnets
Default route table
Default Security list
Default DHCP options
ROUTING GATEWAY (DRG) – Connect on-premises networking and use it to peer
VCNs across regions with remote peering gateway. Please understand that DRG
connections are always private when used either with Fastconnect for in
premises or with RPC across regions to pair VCNs.
NETWORK ADDRESS TRANSLATION (NAT) GATEWAY
SERVICE GATEWAY – These provide a way to connect
resources in your VCN to other manager services like OCI object storage.
LOCAL PEERING GATEWAY (LPG)
REMOTE PEERING CONNECTION (RPC) – Understand the
user dynamic routing gateway (DRG) with on premises versus using DRG with RPC
in a multi-region configuration.
Difference between security lists and network
Connect – Please do take a moment to understand how to establish cost
effective and redundant connectivity with OCI using VPN connect and DRG. I
example very interesting to read and understand.
Overview of connectivity options
Balancing on OCI
Concepts of load balancing on OCI
Benefits of load balancing on OCI
Fault tolerance and high availability
Concepts of a public load balancer
Load balancing policy
IP Hash (sticky connections)
Back end sets
Health Checks – this is a test to confirm the
availability of backend servers. Health check is activated for backends,
backend sets and overall load balancer.
Concept of private load balancer
Dedicated VM Hosts
Creating Custom Images of Boot Volumes
your own image (BYOI)
Para virtualized Mode
a boot volume – Please ensure that you check out the difference between
boot volume backups and clones and how they are mutually exclusive to each
Instance Configuration and pools – configure and
manage a set of instances/images together.
Instance Life Cycle –
Storage on OCI
Storage – Please read through the concepts of creating/managing
files systems, managing
mount targets, snapshots
, using export
options (to provide
granular access to a file system mounted on same mount target and accessed by
two different clients/instances) etc. I found this complete section
of block volumes
a block volume
Metal and VB DB Systems
Where does tnsames.ora reside -It resides in oracle home\NETWORK]\ADMIN directory
How to load
data into Autonomous databases with SQL*loader & Data
data on ADW using SQL*loader
pump & OCI
Some additional resources that I think are extremely useful
to review that were not covered in the course are listed below –
Data Guard for database services
I want to add a few tips from my experience during the exam
I noticed most of the answers are in the
question, so if you are not completely confident, select what you think is
right, mark the question to come back for review and then revisit it as soon as
you are reviewing your exam.
You will notice as you traverse through rest
of the tests, some of the questions that follow latter may also have answer to
what you could not answer earlier.
If you are interested in other
cloud certifications and how to prepare for them, check out our website.
More from same author
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Practical Comparisons of DynamoDB and VSAM
AUTHOR: Mukesh Sharma is a multi
and hybrid cloud enthusiast with a bias for building robust hybrid cloud
systems around mainframes for financial organizations. You can reach him on LinkedIn.
I recently took the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Foundation Exam 1Z0-1085-20. This is the most basic exam in the series of 5 exams (blog coming soon) that Oracle offers. I took the proctored exam online and I was able to pass in my first try. For those of you planning to take this exam, Oracle is offering not only free online training but also free certification on PearsonVue. More details for this are here.
Now for the exam itself. Since this is the foundation level course, if you have prior knowledge of any cloud provider, it should be a walk in the park for you. I completed the online course (~3.5hours long) by Oracle instructor Rohit Rahi. The course talks at a high level about what cloud is in general and all the OCI services. The duration of the course is not too bad for an intro level certificate. The exam is 105minutes long and 60 questions, which means you have roughly 2minutes to get to the right answer. I finished the exam in 45minutes and went over all the answers again. After taking the exam, I feel some of the topics were missing in the online videos like SLA, Oracle db resource manager, what practical solution needs what service. Being an intro level certification, I was not expecting these. In a way it’s good, I went over the online videos twice as it helped me retain the materials better. For the second time, I did it at 1.5X speed and saved some time. It took me 3 days from start to finish to achieve this certification.
Let us talk about the important things you need to remember for this exam. You can be asked a question from each of the following section:
That's it folks. I hope you found this helpful. Message me or follow me on LindkedIn if you have any questions.
I have completed AWS certified Solutions architect associate exam recently in my first attempt.
Because of working, I studied only during in my week offs and completed this certification in 4 months. I took cloud guru Ryan Kroonenburg, AWS architect course from udemy and started learning it, spent hardly 6 hours in my weekly offs. The Content is good with detailed explanations. I have maintained my own notes while preparing along with practice labs which had helped in ease of this certification.
Completed Ryan Kroonenburg course in 2 months, after that I took Jon bonso practice exams from udemy. These practice exams are bit tough and all are scenario based questions on resiliency, fault tolerant, security practices etc. I have practiced it more where I felt lag, I have noted it in my own notes, concentrated more on my mistakes during these exams.
After 2 months of these practice exams,lab preparations. I have decided to enroll a date for the final AWS certified exam. honestly, the main certified exam is not tough at all and it is easy with some moderate level questions compared to the tough practice exams.
From my learning experience over this certification, if you learn and practice more the final AWS exam will be very easy to crack it in first attempt.
All the best and keep always learning!!
You can contact me in my LinkedIn profile, if you require any suggestions over this exam.