Openstack COA Exam experience

First of all  I would like to thank Amy , Stephen for being an awesome tutor  and Anthony for providing us this wonderful learning platform . Without you guys , I wouldn't have the time and motivation to become what I am today. 

I took the COA exam today evening and would like to share  the test taking experience:
- The exam format is the same as mentioned my Amy in the Boston Summit , this November. Prospective test takers MUST go through this . https://github.com/spotz/allnewCOA/blob/master/WhatsnewintheCOA.pdf
- There were 32 questions , similar to the difficulty level of what you find in the final practise lab of the course here , but keep in mind the test taking environment makes the exam harder to crack than the actual difficulty on the questions. More on this later.
- There is a "notepad" option on the top right under "exam details" , you may use this instead of fighting with a text file in /tmp through the command line.
- Proctors take the exam very seriously and I highly recommend reading the handbook and tips to fully undertand the rules.

Exam Environment experience:
- Everything happens on a browser , inside a single tab
- The remote terminal and the dashboard are tabbed on a window inside a chrome tab.
- Highly recommend practising Horizon in a constrained window ( Ex: the width of a mobile device ) Sorry I can't reveal more than this.
- Ctrl + Insert for Copy and Shift + Insert for paste and trust me you will be using a lot of copy pasting.
- Use of a screen multiplexer such a tmux is highly recommended . Tmux comes installed by default. I used multiple panes for listing,showing UUIDS and --help
- Again , --help is your friend , use the openstack docs only when you are completely stuck
- Always pipe the --help or any output from the openstack cli to "less" or "more" as you can't scroll and you will be operating on multiple panes in tmux in a very limited real estate.
- As you might know , sometimes names wont work , use UUIDS on those occasions .Ctrl + Ins and Shift Ins UUIDS , don't even try to type them
- The Openstack resources are named in an obscure way to avoid naming conflicts . For example : Create a public network cpr-control-06231 .( not an actual question , Not violating NDA :P) . So be very careful while entering names , my guess is a script will be grading your exam and you may loose marks because of a typo, eventhough you have conceptually completed the task.
- Some of the tasks may be interdependent.
- Try to do with Horizon as much you can . The CLI will be slowing you regardless of how much of an expert you are because of limited real estate and latency.
- Do not refresh the browser tab , instead use the reset and refresh option under the "Exam Details" menu.
- Work a lot on troubleshooting , understand the underlying linux technology for each openstack service . This will make you a better Openstack admin and also help clear some of the portions in the exam.

I am 1 certification away from becoming an RHCA and have a fair bit of experience with linux technologies , yet I find this exam to be little hard . It's tough , not because of the questions but because of the constrained exam environment . 

I couldn't attend 5 important questions as  I ran out of time fighting the terminal and terrible latencies. Hope I pass :) 

Edit : 
I passed with 87% , Thanks again Amy :) . Looking forward to higher level vendor neutral certifications from Openstack and LFS.

  • post-author-pic
    Stephen S
    11-24-2017

    Thank you so much for the kinds words!  Thank you for sharing with the community your COA exam experience and good luck!

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    Trevor D
    11-24-2017

    Thanks, which exams have you completed for your RHCA? - Good Luck!

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    Amy M
    11-24-2017

    Thanks for the feedback and the thorough write up without crossing the NDA line:) Crossing my fingers for you! It's not an easy exam and the interface can be a challenge, but that makes passing it all that more special! Please let us know how you did.

  • post-author-pic
    Balaji S
    11-25-2017

    user_211824_5a19b5c2efc23.PNG

  • post-author-pic
    Balaji S
    11-25-2017

     @tdodds Hey , I took the RHCA Cloud line up , with 2 Openstack , PAAS , RHCVA and Container Administration. Not exactly the mix of things I desire to excel but works for becoming an RHCA . 

  • post-author-pic
    Amy M
    11-25-2017

    Way to go o the COA!

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    Elle K
    11-27-2017

    Amazing job, Balaji!

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    Chad M
    11-27-2017

    Thanks for the feedback, Balaji, and congratulations!

  • post-author-pic
    Balaji S
    11-28-2017

    Thanks Elle and Chad :)


  • post-author-pic
    Vijay G
    11-28-2017

    Congrats !

  • post-author-pic
    Gangadharan D
    11-28-2017

    Congratualtion Balaji



  • post-author-pic
    Samiul A
    01-22-2018

    Hi, Thanks for sharing the experience. Can you please suggest how to copy names like 'cpr-control-06231' easily? When I double click, it only selects partially, when I drag then there is a chance of copying more or less. It wastes a lot of time trying to copy such names. Any short cut?

  • post-author-pic
    Amy M
    01-22-2018

    The only way is to use the cut and paste on your system. Now if it's a file you can always tab complete.

  • post-author-pic
    Samiul A
    12-15-2018

    Thanks Amy. In my last attempt tab complete  was not working at all. What should I do?


  • post-author-pic
    Srinivasan N
    12-16-2018

    Congrats Balaji.. If anyone is aspiring to get COA Certification then http://openstackcoa.com will help you prepare for it.

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