HashiCorp recently announced the general availability of some of their Cloud Certifications like Terraform and Vault (and others to come like Consul). As I’ve been working with Terraform for a while and due to the fact I’ve published modules at the Terraform Registry I decided to take the exam.
You can verify the validity of the certifications using Acclaim platform. For example for my certification visit my badge here.
There were 57 questions to answer in 60 minutes, with a proctor which verifies your are alone during the exam.
How did I prepare?
Unlike other exams that I had already taken the preparation for this was different. Since the general availability was announced just few days ago and there weren’t many resources online like courses at A Cloud Guru or Linux Academy I had to follow HashiCorp’s recommendations:
I found more useful the Exam Review, which leds you to other resources you can check to complete any gap you may have. In the case you are starting to use Terraform the Study Guide would suit you better, and then follow the Exam Review.
The Sample questions are just a guide on how the exam format is with some questions alike. Don’t assume these question will be asked in the real exam.
But what to study?
First take into account the contents of the blueprint HashiCorp provides for the exam:
- Understand infrastructure as code (IaC) concepts
- Understand Terraform’s purpose (vs other IaC)
- Understand Terraform basics
- Use the Terraform CLI (outside of core workflow)
- Interact with Terraform modules
- Navigate Terraform workflow
- Implement and maintain state
- Read, generate, and modify configuration
- Understand Terraform Cloud and Enterprise capabilities
This blue print is detailed in the Terrraform Certification Exam page and the Exam review is a match with this.
On the other hand I also recommend:
- Learn the basic commands (init, plan, apply, destroy) and their possible extra options. Use each command help to get used to their extra options.
- Learn the Terraform workflow.
- Know the tfstate file and the possible backends to handle it.
- Understand what a Workspace is (both for the Open Source and the Cloud / Enterprise versions).
- Know the difference between the Open Source, Cloud and Enterprise versions of Terraform.
- Practice before the exam (really, don’t overlook this!).
Other resources for learning Terraform
There are other resources you can use to learn Terraform:
- Terraform Up & Running. This book was written from a series of posts available at A Comprehensive Guide to Terraform.
- Learn to provision infrastructure with HashiCorp Terraform. This a series of videos and resources provided by HashiCorp you can follow to getting starting with Terraform (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Terraform Cloud)
- Katacoda scenarios by HashiCorp. In particular the Terraform Cloud scenario
My recommendations for saving time on this exam are:
- Answer the easy question quick, don’t stay long thinking whether is right answer because probably it is.
- Only mark for review those question where you really have a doubt, so you can check them later and if there’s time left be able to review them all.
- If you have a doubt, for example in how terraform works just remember what have you done in practice or real life. Simple!