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.
- Clustering (EX436)
- Puppet (EX405)
- Ansible (EX407)
- Satellite (EX403)
- 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.
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.