Let the Training Begin!
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was on a journey to getting properly trained and reacquainted with the more technical nuances of F5 solutions with the goal of achieving F5 Professional Certification sometime this year. In fact, most of F5’s DevCentral team is also shooting for certification and we’ve set up our study path.
As a refresher, F5 has a number of educational programs to help you get acquainted, get fully trained or become a Certified Professional with F5 gear. From free online courses to instructor led classroom seminars to challenging your knowledge with a certification, F5 can help you, as it is helping me, understand the inner workings of BIG-IP. I began at F5 University with the Getting Started series and was able to get through a number of modules at my own pace.
This week, the DC team is in Seattle at the Mother Ship and we decided to kick off our study prep while we’re together. This is for the initial 101-Application Delivery Fundamentals exam and we’re using Eric Mitchell’s excellent Study Guide as our guide. There is also an Exam Blueprint available that goes through the objectives of each section and gives examples of the types of questions asked. Um, what's the purpose and functionality of MTU and MSS again?
The 101-Application Delivery Fundamentals test is the first exam required to achieve F5 Certified BIG-IP Administrator status. All candidates must take this exam to move forward in the program. Successful completion of the 101 exam acknowledges the skills and understanding necessary for day-to-day management of Application Delivery Networks (ADNs). The 101 exam is not so much, how do you do this on a BIG-IP but more about the basics of the OSI model, networking, protocols, common traffic management/load balancing concepts, cryptographic services and application delivery platforms in general. The essential knowledge needed to deploy any application delivery controller.
We’ve decided to each take and prepare a section of the study guide and present to the team. We’ve set up weekly meetings and each week is an exam section. This week is the OSI model and (theoretically) in 5 weeks, we should be ready to take the exam. If you are prepping or planning to get certified at our Agility event in Chicago this summer, you and your team may want to consider that approach. All the learning benefits, with slightly less stress.
So that’s our most recent update as we continue on the certification path. If you’d like a step-by-step guide, including how to register and schedule your exam, check out Austin Geraci’s article Becoming F5 Certified - BIG-IP Administrator Certification - 101 & 201 Exams and/or join the F5 Certified! Professionals group on LinkedIn. Good stuff.