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17 July 2020

All About the Docker Certified Associate (DCA) Exam

The Docker certification exam is considered as a gold measure in the DevOps industry. It can increase the chances of getting hired in the booming demand of new, promising positions in recent times. Docker can be counted as one of the most popular enterprise-ready container platforms that facilitate easy creation, sharing, and deploying applications across any system, almost anywhere in the network. Today nearly every corporation, big or small, relies entirely on Docker to reduce the overall time taken in the production workload as they follow the cloud infrastructure and therefore need containerizing applications. 
Docker Certifications scenelinklist
Right from the conceptualization to deployment, the DevOps lifecycle is filled with sophisticated methods and phases that an organization needs to complete before rolling into mass production. Before implementing the DevOps life cycle, there were two main approaches taken in the software application work. They are:

The waterfall model - It followed a linear approach to software development checks and measures to look after the overall management of different phases and tasks accordingly.

AGILE development model - It stands for the use of multiple methods to collaborate between various teams having different scope to come together and build software applications.

However, with DevOps, there are many more factors in play, establishing a clear, transparent communication with multiple businesses like:
  • Consistent and stable operating scenario
  • Quick delivery
  • Effective collaboration
  • Optimization according to timelines, for maintaining stages
  • Continuous improvements
But what exactly is Docker, and why is it necessary to get Docker certified?

Docker is an open-source developer's software platform that helps design containerized applications that are small and quick in execution scenarios. They are generally used in a shared operating system kernel. However, they can also run individually. The container concept helps speed up the creation, deployment, and execution of applications and is popularly known as cloud-native development. This eliminates the need to create different versions of the applications for being compatible with different systems and instead can work across any configuration that has a Docker pre-installed.

More and more companies are leaning towards Docker because of the container technology that gives them 4x-6x speed in the DevOps lifecycle and set up single server application instances. Thus, it removes 99.9% of VM junk and leaves behind a small, neat, lightweight, and self-sufficient capsule with the application. The Docker works on the Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) methodology in the DevOps cycle that comes as a boon for developers since they can easily integrate it into a shared repository early and deploy the code effectively anytime. This helps software development companies opt for breaking up the massive development projects into several smaller Agile teams equipped in Jenkins for automating the container delivery of new software.

On the other hand, the Docker certification is widely recognized for its credibility and adds significant weight to your resume and Docker skills. The official Docker certification credential validates your skills in this breakthrough technology once you complete the process. The benefits include:
  • Upon completion, a successful candidate can easily access the Docker Certified Associate logo, thus putting value into your profile since employers can easily verify the candidate's certificate status.
  • Unrestricted access to the official, exclusive, certified-only Docker events for professionals. You'll come to be a part of a more extensive network that can help you thrive and reach your dream job.
The 'Docker Certified Associate' examination is the first professional certification by Docker, Inc. (the developers of Docker Hub) launched in 2017 and is currently one of the most in-demand certifications in the industry. As many companies are building more and more apps with a cloud-infrastructure, it's only containerized applications that deliver speed, quality, and convenience to deploy anywhere. The Docker certification is not a generic but a vendor certification, much like the AWS certificate. It comprises fifty-five MCQ’s that test one's fundamentals on Docker's complete EE product suite. All of that holds much value for a team that deals with code signing, orchestration, and more. The certificate remains valid for two years, and post to which you have to apply for a retest.

As more and more companies are migrating their signature applications into cloud-based apps or building new ones that can replace the old, they often seek certified professionals. The latter can prove to be an asset in the organization and complete such extensive transformations and look after further development. The scope of the examination includes:
  • Launching and executing applications from pre-existing images
  • Deploying images faster in the cluster networks
  • Installing and using the Docker platform
  • Analyzing and providing solutions to triage stakeholder issues
  • Configuring and maintaining new Docker environments
  • Effectively migrating non-containerized applications to containers
There are no such hard and fast prerequisites to take this exam. However, Docker does recommend candidates to have at least 6-12 months of Docker experience in the industry. We would also recommend having an in-depth understanding of the Linux kernel, namespaces, and control groups. 
You would also require a thorough knowledge of building Docker images using Dockerfiles and Docker-compose files, running Docker containers from those images, and inspecting and articulating the entire operation with command. Since Docker runs on virtual, interconnected networks, you also need to have clear fundamentals on how systems operate in general. It will help if you are also adept in several programming languages, computer networking, Linux, or Windows administration in general for better clarity while appearing for the examination.

There is a specific pattern to the questions asked in the examination, and they include:
  • Multiple Choice Questions - Single correct answer
  • Multiple Response Questions - Multiple answers correct
  • Sample Directions - Reading the statement and selecting the best option which summarizes the information.
There are also six domains that the Docker certification exam is grouped, with their distinct weightage. They are:
  • Orchestration
  • Image Creation, Management, and Registry
  • Installation and Configuration
  • Networking
  • Security
  • Storage and Volumes
Practice and more practice is the key to crack this examination by learning and understanding the intricate concepts of Docker. You can also enroll yourself for the Docker certification online course and lookup for practice questions such as the Docker Certified Associate Exam Dumps to boost your confidence as you sit the real test. Good luck!

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