10 years ago I started this blog and journey. One of the overarching goals was to challenge myself to reach the RHCA certification. It's the culimation of 7 exams which range from 3 to 4 hours each. Most were painful and some took multiple attempts before passing. I started this year short by 2 exams.

Here are the exams that brought us to this level:

This year I was going to finish the marathon and I signed up for the RedHat Learning Subscription to help me do it. It includes all the courses RedHat offers along with 5 free exam vouchers and 2 re-takes. I felt like I was setting myself up for success.

Due to the NDA surrounding the exam experience, I'm not going to go into specific details. But I'll say this year was rough. People often do not admit failure. I had to embrace it this year. I started this year failing the EX407 by 6 points. After that I attempted the EX236 thinking it would be "easy". I failed 3 attempts in a row. My third attempt I thought I finally passed but must have missed something crucial. It's hard to admit and I think Gluster itself is sensitive and the grading scripts did not do me any favors.

Starting this year failing 4 out of 5 exams was hard. I took the summer off from my normal training schedule. I dipped my toe back in with the EX220 exam that focuses on CloudForms and acheived the best score I've ever had on a RedHat exam. I followed that up with the EX405 exam for Puppet in the last few days of 2017.

One thing I've not mentioned is the travel involved. I've had to travel out of state (and sometimes out of the country) to take these exams. I was in the middle of driving 12 hours through a light snow storm in Minnesota when I received the email that I had passed the EX405. It felt like a burden was lifted and that I crossed the finish line.

I had made a post on Linkedin and Twitter the day after...

Today I have a piece of paper. I don’t feel any different than I did yesterday, except that I know what I’m capable of and I know growth comes from challenge and failure.