I recently passed the Red Hat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation exam (EX407) and I would like to share my experience so that it may help others.
Background - I have been using Ansible at work for about seven months and probably writing playbooks for the last two months of that period. I was fortunate enough to get on the DO407 course (Red Hats' official offering) which is a great course in its own right. That being said, the EX407 prep course offered by Linux Academy is more than enough to pass the actual exam and I found the pace and content to be excellent. I can thoroughly recommend the Linux Academy EX407 Exam prep course.
Exam Prep - Apart from the usual "go through all the videos, labs and quizzes", there are several other strategies I found to be immensely useful:
1). Use the flashcards as much as possible. The questions provided are pertinent to the exam itself and is useful to reinforce important concepts. 10-20 minutes a day over the course of a few weeks is a solid start.
2). After you have completed all available labs on Linux Academy, create some of your own. For example, I wrote several playbooks to deploy Postgres/Nginx docker containers and configure the instances with passwords etc that are stored in an ansible vault. I find the more challenging the lab and the more modules you interact with, the greater the level of knowledge retention there is.
3). The single best resource I have come across is the practice exam. Do it and keep doing it until it is like second nature. This is the closest thing I have seen to the actual exam. If you can do this without too much trouble then you are ready for the exam.
Final thoughts - The exam is four hours long and in my opinion, if you know your stuff, this is ample time to finish and re-check your work. On the big day itself, a couple of useful tips:
1). Take your time when reading the instructions. Misinterpreting instructions is a sure way of losing marks.
2). Be precise in naming your playbooks, files, and variables.
3). When developing your solutions, run them against a single host first. That way, it is easier to revert the changes should something not work quite as expected.
4). Try to leave a bit of time at the end of the exam so that you can go through all of the tasks and check things like syntax, file/variable naming and ensure that everything runs as expected.
5). Don't forget to leverage ansible ad-hoc mode to verify/validate your work as you go.
I scored 286/300 and would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thanks to Stosh and Linux Academy for providing such a brilliant course. Perhaps the CJE next...