It’s that time of the year – new OCI Certified Architect Professional exam came out with new questions so I decided to take the test and see what’s changed from last year.
Summary – not much. Honestly, the quality of questions has improved so you are not left wondering so many times what were they thinking here. You still have those odd moments where you want to argue with whoever wrote the question and hear what were they after.
Studying on the exam
If you didn’t see the announcement, all OCI learning content is now free. This is great news for people wanting to learn OCI and raising the overall knowledge with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. If you haven’t yet started, I’d recommend to do OCI Foundations and OCI Certified Architect Associate first. They provide really good basis overall for OCI.
You also have additional exams like OCI Developer Associate, OCI Operations Associate, Oracle Autonomous Database Specialist which you can take.
For the Professional exam, I would just spend most of my time with:
- Official documentation
- Free online learning for OCI Professional
- Technical Whitepapers for OCI
- Actually doing stuff!
If you want to optimize, I would start watching the videos first and then after each service, I would go and read the documentation. Online content for basic services like network, compute, block volume etc. is quite thin so use also the Associate videos to help you and then read further from documentation.
I would also look on FAQs and troubleshooting sections for each service so you learn what are possible errors.
As always, I won’t go deep into questions but I will say you will need to know the newer services / features which are present in the online content as some of them will appear in the exam.
So what should I know?
Everything! I like this exam the most since you really have to know about the services and how you can use them when designing the solution. For example, you need to know what service provides best RTO/RPO for Disaster Recovery or if the customer is looking for the cheapest option, what service provides that.
This exam is as much based on knowledge as it’s reading and understanding the question. My problem has always been that I read the question too fast and in many cases take the wrong answer first. Always make sure you’re understanding the question.. If the question is which service does NOT work with proposed solution be sure to read it the right way.
Once you have good basis of OCI services and features it becomes also easier to rule out wrong answers, typically if you have four answers there are 1-2 clearly wrong answers.. Either they don’t work at all or they aren’t fit for that specific question.
Key things are to understand also how do different database services work and what features they offer, what ways there are to migrate from on-premises to OCI and how can you replicate data between regions?
Learn IAM inside out, you need to have strong basis there so you know everything about authentication, federation, policies etc.
Do create your own VCN, route tables, gateways and do RPC for another VCN just to see what needs to be done for routing.
Why bother with this exam?
For me it’s always been great way to keep myself updated with recent content and also see what Oracle thinks is important with OCI. It also gives you strong basis on architecting solutions, or at least starting point to architect. There’s always do’s and don’ts you need to figure out and what works in real life vs doesn’t.
I’m happy to provide directions on this exam if you plan to go for it, just reach out to me and we can look together what you should look on!