Hurrah!, I’ve recently gained a Terraform Associate Certification, to be very precise it was on 21st April 2022. As you all know Terraform is the IaC offering from HashiCorp that lets one to define cloud as well as on-premise resources with configuration files to provision and manage your infrastructure throughout its lifecycle. In this post, I would like to share my personal experiences about seamlessly acquiring this certification in the first attempt by leveraging my learnings. Within DevToppers I’ve been using Terraform for more than year to provision services on Cloud providers. However even with this pre-acquired benefit of hands-on coding experience with Terraform whilst preparing for the exam I discovered I was missing out on many fronts as I instantly figured out the new gaps in my know-how that I was lacking. Although I had a previous hands-on experience prior to clearing this certification, I am of the opinion that my learnings would benefit those as well who are seeking Terraform certification with no prior hands-on. However, it is strongly suggested to them to spend more time in specifically covering hands-on modules of lab tutorials.
Please take a note that time required to prepare for clearing exam is largely determined by your experience with Terraform and your commitment towards preparation.
|Part-time Committed||4 weeks||1 week|
|Fully Committed||2 weeks||3 days|
Beginner is someone who have no experience with Terraform or any other IaC tool. Expert is someone who is using Terraform for couple of years and knowledge of different cloud providers.
We can say that someone who wants to prepare for Terraform certification in their extra time by giving 2-3 hours a day is Partially- committed. Fully Committed is enthusiast who wants to dedicate their whole time for preparation.
So let’s get straight to my learnings. It is imperative to address the who-and-why this certification at the outset! The Terraform Associate certification is for Cloud Engineers specializing in operations, IT, or development who know the basic concepts and skills associated with open source HashiCorp Terraform.
Benefits of Certification:
- Proficiency on leading Infrastructure as code software tool
- Earners of this certification understands which enterprise features exist and what can and cannot be done using the open source offering.
- Acknowledgement for your Terraform Skills with Officials Terraform Associate credentials
- Strengthen your Professional Profile
- Basic Terminal skills
- Basic understanding of on premises and cloud architecture
Having addressed the Who-and-Why it is now important to go through some practical information regarding this certification exam, which is summarised below
|No. of Questions||57|
|Price||$70.50 USD plus locally applicable taxes and fees. Free retake not included.|
Now let’s get familiarised with the type of questions you will face in the exam.
Five type of questions will be asked in the Exam?
- Scenarios based questions
- Multiple Answer Questions
- Multiple Choice Question
- True/False Questions, and
- Fill in the blanks Questions
At the juncture it is important to learn about the exam objectives and important topics speed up your preparation.
- 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
Tip #1 – It is hard to estimate objective-wise percentage of questions asked in exam however it is impossible to pass exam if you skip any topic or sub-topic of 7th and 8th objective.
The next immediate milestone in designing your journey towards certification is to circle upon the right resources to study
You will find a lot of study material on internet when you would use the keywords based on the topics related to the different objectives of the exam that was shared earlier. I did go through most of the links that I’ve come across however I had to filter them out to discard the old/non-relevant posts and focus on the right yet few resources to study.
In the following I am sharing this fantastic study material for you, which is verified and proven so please directly start consuming them without wasting any time in re-searching and filtering.
- HashiCorp Official
- Terraform Best Practices
Tip #2 Terraform official documentation is well written and enough for exam preparation so read it extensively.
For detailed list of objectives, visit Terraform Associate Certification Objectives. Also read terraform best practices in addition to know about standard practices of using terraform.
When you preparing for certification exam, it is advisable to go through mock tests to review your preparation and frame preparation route.
Tip #3 In my experience. I personally think that by and large following 15 topics form a set of important bucket-list
- Input and Output Variables
- Terraform workflow
- Resource Dependencies
- Terraform Commands
- Terraform state and state locking
- Debugging Terraform
- Variable scope within configuration modules
- Finding and Using modules
- Public/Private Terraform Registry and provider/module versions
- Providers and Provisioners
- Terraform built-in functions
- Differentiate resource and data configurations
- Credentials handling in terraform
- Difference between Terraform OSS/CLI, Terraform Cloud(Free, Team and Governance, Business) and Terraform Enterprise
- Benefits of Sentinel, registry, and workspace
Now this is in my honest opinion is the most important section covering six power-tips where you can benefit immensely to jumpstart your certification journey.
- Before official exam, you should be scoring above 85% in practice tests designed by Bryan Krausen on Udemy. If you are scoring above 85% in practice test then you are good to go for official exam.
- Documentation of Terraform built-in functions is lengthy but it is worth reading.
- Don’t ignore sub-commands and flags of commands because it may get asked in fill in the blank type of questions.
- If you have past experience with Terraform then scenarios based questions can be answered easily otherwise they will take more time to solve. If you are beginner then practice to solve scenario based question as many as possible.
- Single choice, True/False and fill in the blanks questions will save your time exam because they are easy to answer, provided that you have read documentation in-detail.
- Multiple answer question may abruptly cut you off from the constant momentum in exam because they are the trickiest one. It is hard to choose specific number of options. In some cases you may not able to differentiate between two options, their outcome seems to be similar. That’s why they are the trickiest ones.
Now you know important topics and tips with some power insights about exam. Prepare confidently and Schedule exam by following instruction of Exam Registration Guide.
At last, don’t forget to revise your notes properly before exam. 250 practice questions for Terraform Associate certification can also help you in revision.
All in all, if you’re a young professional in DevOps I highly recommend you to take this certification as this certification is very practical to apply the learnings in your daily job. Please leave your comments below in case of any questions. All the best!