Road to RHCA Epilog: How I Became a Red Hat Certified Architect

It has been a lot of hard work, but totally worth it in the end.

In a Nutshell

Main study resources: RHLS, Ansible documentation, Red Hat documentation, including product documentation for Red Hat Satellite 6, RHEL 7 Security Guide and High Availability Add-On Administration.

Hours spent studying: 150.

Hours spent labbing: over 180 (RHLS and homelab combined).

Hours spent driving to the training centre: 20.

How much did it cost? Bloody everything.

Exams Taken

  1. Clustering (EX436)
  2. Puppet (EX405)
  3. Ansible (EX407)
  4. Satellite (EX403)
  5. Security (EX415)

The Most Challenging Exam

I found Puppet to be the hardest exam. You are only given 3 hours to solve the questions. There is a lot of coding involved, and not that much time to waste to be honest with you.

How Long Did it Take?

It took me 6 months with some scheduled breaks in between.


Was road to RHCA hard? Yes. I learnt some things I didn’t know about. I also learnt Ansible. This was one of the best investments I have ever made. Would I do that again? I would.

I believe that time management was the key to success. Red Hat documentation can be overwhelming, and it’s planning that keeps you sane. Spending 1-2 hours a day studying does not look like a difficult task to achieve, but you get drained emotionally over time, and it’s easy to lose focus if you’re not careful. Having breaks in between exams is a must in my opinion.

Being familiar with Red Hat technologies helped me a great deal. I breezed through HA clustering, Puppet and Satellite courses. It is only now that I realise that relevant work experience is paramount to attain RHCA. If you don’t use tech stacks you’re studying for, you will struggle.

What’s Next?

I have a couple of exam attempts remaining on my RHLS, therefore it makes sense to take advantage of the opportunity to the fullest, and attempt to level up, probably later this year.

10 thoughts on “Road to RHCA Epilog: How I Became a Red Hat Certified Architect

  1. Congratulations for the distinction achievement tomas, reading your blog definitely improved my experience with linux systems so thanks a million, and my path to RHCA has just begun. i wish you a successful career, keep up the good work.

  2. Congratulations Tomas!!! that was an awesome hard work.
    Are you planning to do the EX210 RCHSA in Openstack?

    • Thank you. I’m currently working on OpenShift, and I am almost certain that I will take the OpenStack course at some point this year to familiarise myself with technology, but I don’t think that I will sit the OpenStack exam.

  3. Congratulations tomas :) Just want to ask why you are not working on redhat performance tuning ex442 as its very crucial in enterprise environment.

    • Thanks! That’s a fair question. Taking the course is definitelly on my list! I’ve just got other courses that I want to do first because they are closely related to the work that I do (HA, systems automation and provisioning). We have a dedicated performance test infrastructure already in place, therefore performance tuning isn’t a priority at the moment.

  4. Congrats! Is there a resource that allows one to practice things like satellite and tower? I’m able to practice for most things (like Ansible, IPA, performance, …) just using CentOS but I can’t find how one might practice satellite and tower without subscribing to them?

    • Thanks very much!

      All Red Hat products are open source, meaning that you can pick an upstream version and use it in a homelab without having to purchase a subscription. You can use Foreman/Katello for Satellite, AWX for Ansible Tower or OKD for OpenShift.

  5. Congratulations Tomas.
    I plan to start my RHCE journey soon and this blog is a great resource and I thank you for spending your free time and energy so others can benefit.

    One question tough: financially speaking, do you think is it worth taking this learning path? Do you feel it’s easier to ask for a raise?

    • Good luck with your studies. Whether you can get a raise depends on your skills and additional value that you add to the business.

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