Road to RHCA–Preparation Meets Opportunity

This article is the second in my series “Road to RHCA”, where I’m
charting my journey to the Red Hat Certified Architect designation—a
designation that’s difficult to come by.
As an advocate and enthusiast of Linux and open
source, and more important, as someone who works as a Linux professional, I am eager to change the current state of affairs around the number of
women and people of color who know Linux and open source, study Linux and
work in the Linux and/or open-source space.

Things haven’t changed much in general when it comes to the
numbers of women and people of color who enter the IT field, but those
numbers drop significantly when it comes to Linux and open source.
It’s my goal to convince other women and people of color to
study Linux and pursue open-source projects, because diversity of thought is
invaluable in the world and in the enterprise. This world is not
homogeneous; nothing else ever
should be either.
So I’d like to see
more professionals who look like me in Linux and the Open Source community,
and I’m starting
to see a few, but there’s still more work to be done.

Joining the RHCA ranks requires significant time and effort. Nothing
worth anything comes easy, nor should it, but I can say with work, family,
mentoring and now writing a book for Packt publishing, finding time
to study will be more and more difficult for me, but it’s my highest priority.
At the time of this
writing, I am five exams away.

You can choose from five areas of concentration, or you can
select any combination of eligible Red Hat certifications to create a custom
concentration. Those five concentrations are:

  • Data Center
  • DevOps
  • Application Platform
  • Cloud
  • Application Development

I decided the best route to my RHCA is for me to customize my
concentration to include these five certifications in the order I plan to
take them:

  1. Red Hat-Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation
  2. Red Hat-Certified Specialist in High Availability Clustering
  3. Red Hat-Certified Specialist in Red Hat OpenStack
  4. Red Hat-Certified Specialist in Linux Diagnostics and Troubleshooting
  5. Red Hat-Certified Specialist in OpenShift Administration

If you ask Red Hat the company, it obviously would recommend paying for
and using one of its subscription options. The
standard option costs $5,500, and the basic option costs $7,000.
Having
the subscription definitely would be beneficial, especially if you are working toward an
RHCA, but it’s not something that everyone can afford.
You
might be able to get your employer to cover the costs, but that’s not always
possible. So how does one without such resources become an RHCA? True grit, determination and a little creativity.

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