Puppet Certified Professional 2014 Exam

A little while ago in a twitter conversation, many hops away a few of us discussed the Puppet Certified Professional exam and topic coverage. Specifically how much of it was focused on Puppet Enterprise (PE) and if it would either dissuade users of purely FOSS Puppet or heavily impact their chance of passing if they’d never used PE.

While I stand by my views I began to worry that my knowledge of the syllabus was only based on hearsay, the practice exam questions and that I was being overly harsh and possibly spreading misinformation through my own ignorance. So I booked a place and took the exam a couple of days later.

The exam is multiple choice and most questions are quite direct. While there were tricky questions I only encountered one that could be either a very subtle trick or a mistake, and I’ve reported that upstream and received a positive response about it being investigated. The questions I had heavily pointed towards topics that you’d have to use puppet on a semi-regular basis to know the answers to.

In terms of candidate preparation, other than the obvious choice of taking PuppetLabs training courses, I think that being comfortable with all the material in Pro Puppet and having a decent six-twelve months of hands on experience of Puppet, MCollective and Puppet DB will cover most of the scope. This also requires knowing how puppet fits together and understanding how it works, not just being able to write modules and work with the DSL. In hindsight I’d have scored higher by downloading the Puppet Enterprise VM and spending a few hours working through the GUI features. Instead I went in having never used PE and still had a decent pass. I’d also note that the practice questions mentioned above are an accurate illustration of the real exam questions format and difficulty.

As I’ve only just taken the exam, and the fact I have more than enough puppet experience on my CV already, I don’t think the cert will add my to my employability but for people with less years of puppet and looking to validate their skills it’s not a bad way to spend an hour. Doubly so if you can take the test for free at a local puppetcamp; in case you needed any more reasons to attend one.