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.