New Docker Certification (DCA) Experience

I recently completed this new version of the exam, and ... barely passed it.

I have no idea why this exam is called docker certification, half of it is kubernetes, but whatever, I kind of knew that anyways.

##Exam Overview:
So for my version of the exam (not sure if they have different variants)

- 13 multiple choice questions, the rest DOMC, which kind of suck (You can only go back and review the 13 multiple choice questions)
- Lots of kubenetes, but mostly within the realm of PV, PCV, storage classes, pods, nothing too amazingly crazy
- Quite a few questions of Docker EE stuff (UCP, DTR)
- Not so heavy on the very basic docker functions, but who knows if that was my variant of the test.

##My Preparation Time Spend

- About a month
- Speed roughly 7-8 hours per week.
- Typically study at a coffee shop before work for a solid hour. Then 2 hours each day on the weekends.
- Tried studying after work, but I’m mentally drained after work.

##My Preparation Material
Preparation was tough because most (if not just about all) of the learning resources online are not up to date with the new exam changes. This is definitely not the most optimal way, but it worked for me for my experience level.

- [Linux Academy - Docker Certified Associate (DCA) Course]( (took notes watching, not up to date as of now, but it is what it is) (Flash cards were pretty helpful to go through when I had a minute on the toilet 🙂 )
- [Docker Deep Dive - Nigel Poulton](
- [The Kubernetes Book - Nigel Poulton](
- [Linux Academy Kubernetes Essentials (took notes watching)](
- Official and Provided DCA Study Guide
- [Medium Article - "250 Practice Questions for the DCA Exam"](
- [Docker Certified Accosiate Practice Tests - Jonnathan Middaugh (E-Book)]( (He does provide an additional "practice exam" for kubernetes for free online on medium)
- Scanning through [official online docker documentation]( God, do they have good documentation! Great examples as well.
- Scanning through [official online kubernetes documentation](
- ["Play with Docker"]( and ["Play with Kubernetes"]( helped

##My Experience Before the Exam:
- ~1 year (Nothing complicated, nothing custom or crazy)
- Basic Dockerfile, docker-compose, pull, build, run, etc
- Never touched kubernetes before
- Never touched Docker EE before

##Some Exam Advice:
- Stay organized and have a plan when studying. Don't get overwhelmed.
- Read the questions very carefully and slowly. You have more than enough time to read questions slowly 2-3 times to really get what it's saying and the details presesnted.
- Sometimes they will mix kubernetes and docker concepts/terms, which is good because it lets you eliminate options pretty quick

- You'll probably come along Medium articles that are behind paywall and locked. Add this thing your bookmark bar (instructions on their site): . Any time you come across one of those articles, hit the bookmarked link to get access to the article.

EDITS: Links, time spend preparing

14 thoughts on “New Docker Certification (DCA) Experience”

  1. Where did you find good material around the DTR/UCP? I just installed it and I still don’t think I understand it half as well as I would like.

  2. I can confirm this post to 100%. I did the exam today and failed. Was not prepared for kubernetes questions at all! There were no hints for that at the []( preparation for the exam at all!

    the exam overview matched up 100% with mine!

    i should have visit reddit before doing the test -.-

  3. Wish I read this BEFORE I took the exam. I studied my ass off for the last 2 weeks, took multiple courses, not a single course touched on Kubernetes, and BOOM about 80% of my exam were Kubernetes related. I have experience with containers themselves but not Kubernetes in any way. Needless to say, I bombed the test and started researching to make sure they gave me the proper exam because i know there is a Kubernetes exam…but I guess this ends my quest for the answer…

  4. Yeah I agree. I failed the exam as well. 70% were Kubernetes related. The dumps I learned didn’t have Kubernetes related questions at well. I’m looking to find proper material for Kubernetes to pass DCA. Guys help me if you can.

  5. I just took it and passed it. I’ll add to the observations.

    It’s semi a sales tool for Docker Enterprise Edition/UCP/DTR. Make sure you know how to install DockerEE. Make sure you know how to do tasks like pruning images inside DTR and running tasks inside UCP. All of that has been deleted from the []( site so you have to find it under []( now.

    The list of topics they give you kind of gloss over a bunch of areas you’ll be asked about. As dasCooDawg wrote, expect A LOT of persistentVolumes, persistentVolumeClaims and storageClass questions. But expect a lot with how Kubernetes handles namespaces, labels, CIDR assignements to nodes, things like that.

    Make sure you understand Kubernetes notation for describing location within YAML structures. Quite a few questions referenced “Is this where such and such goes?” and you’ve got to understand the notation and then remember the YAML schema for correct placement.

    Keep in mind Kubernetes is a newer addition to the cert. From what I can gather, they’re trying to give Docker EE more reach by making it work more natively with K8S rather than needing Swarm. As a result, everything you have to know how to do everything in both Swarm and K8S but all the old training videos are Swarm only from before EE got sold off to Mirantis.

    Read up on SELinux. It’s very briefly alluded to as part of “How do you secure Docker?” but I ended up with a bunch of questions about its features.

    A lot of it is annoying semantics. You find yourself looking at the question and thinking, “Well you probably could but \[they didn’t mention this other bit you need/it’s not the ideal way\]” You just have to roll with those and trust you’ll get a high enough score overall.

    The DOMC aren’t quite how I’d assumed they worked. I thought it was “Here’s a question. Now you’re shown the four possible answers one at a time and have to spot the correct one as you’re shown it or you get zero.” It’s actually, “Here’s the question. Now here are 2-4 answers that may each be right or wrong. This is now 2-4 true or false questions, counting as 2-4 points.” Once you realize that, just read each one and answer each like it’s a unique question.

    Also, good luck getting a proctor with a working mic. Listening to them futz with it, while they sound like a kid trying to learn to scratch records in their bedroom, while you’re trying to take the exam is a lot distracting.

  6. Are there other resources you can suggest instead of LinuxAcademy. I see 2 strikes against them in here so far. Thanks for the write up!!!

  7. I’ve passed the exam yesterday, and it was a failure, i would say than 80% of the questions are kubernetes related only,
    and I barely know kubernetes,
    So I would say that none of the linuxacamedy training session nore the udemy one are occurate anymore, -CQM are out dates as well, don’t just follow them, and focus on kubernetes as well.


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