Passed EX405 Configuration Management with Puppet

It was the most challenging Red Hat exam to date.

From Ansible to Puppet

If you read the previous entry from my RHCA blog, you’ll know that I started studying for the Ansible exam pretty much straight after finishing working on Red Hat clustering. Unfortunatelly, my clustering exam got cancelled and I had to re-schedule it. While I waited to sit the exam, I started learning Ansible.

Now, I’ve been using Puppet for several years, and naturally, I got to the point where I found myself comparing the Ansible way of running playbooks with my Puppet manifests. At some stage I realised that (as a result of this) I went through all EX405 objectives, and I could take the exam. I pressed the pause button on Ansible, and spent a week re-writing my homelab Puppet manifests to use templates, variables, relationships and ordering, and working with Foreman/Katello.

My homelab is already Puppet/Foreman based, therefore I didn’t need to set anything else up for EX405.

About Red Hat Kiosk Exam

After having really good experience with the EX436 individual exam, I decided to take EX405 as a kiosk exam as well. I drove to the same place as the last time, the UKFast Campus in Manchester. There were no problems with the laptop, its performance or networking.

EX405 Exam Experience

It took me nearly 3 hours to complete all tasks. Although I’ve passed the exam with the score of 300/300, this one was the most challenging exam that I’ve taken to date.

When I think about it, there was nothing particularly hard with regards to the exam questions, but it’s a lot of coding. Take your time when reading the instructions, and be precise when naming everything: modules, classes, parameters, manifests etc. Always check for syntax errors before you do anything else.

Remember: your Puppet manifest may still work if you make a typo when naming a resource, but you are likely to lose points because of this.

What’s Next?

The last week was really busy for me as I spent nearly 30 hours homelabbing with Puppet and Foreman.

I’m going to take a couple of weeks off from RHCA, and then get back to Ansible.

12 thoughts on “Passed EX405 Configuration Management with Puppet

  1. hello Tomas ,

    Have a quick question,
    Can we do ssh from the kiosk laptop to ansible control node, this is just to copy/paste and avoid spell mistake during the exam.
    What I heard is just an icon to connect to the VM and its like console and copy paste do not work,
    Please suggest.

    • Hi, I cannot discuss the exam environment I’m afraid, however, if you’ve taken a Red Hat exam before, then the setup will the exactly the same.

    • Thanks. Yes, after passing five exams you will receive RHCA (note that you must hold an active RHCE certificate).

  2. Hi Tomas,

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing your journey.

    I just passed RHCE Ansible and going for the RHCA devops track, what level of puppet experience is needed for ex405? Assuming zero experience, should I go for Puppet certification exam before 405?

    • Congratulations on passing RHCE!

      I’d say that for EX405 you need Puppet experience that is similar to the EX407 Ansible exam: write manifests, install and create modules, utilise existing classes etc.

  3. Hello

    Did you take the EX294 yet, how did you perform ? and how hard did you find it in comparaison with the EX405?
    i have been hearing lots of negative experiences with EX405 and in addition to that, redhat is not really up to date when it comes to puppet version.
    all of this makes wonder, is it worth the effort ?

    • Hi Tarik, I passed both Ansible and Puppet exams, and the latter was more challenging for me. I use Puppet daily therefore my exam experience was positive, didn’t really have any issues.

      The version of Puppet that Red Hat use for the exam is indeed outdated. It would be nice to use latest version, but I don’t think they are going to put any effort into updating the exam. Red Hat acquired Ansible for a reason.

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