Learning Path for the OCI 2019 Architect Professional Certification

Oracle Cloud is a world-class technology I can only encourage you to get familiar and proficient with! If you don’t have any training environment for hands-on experience, register for your Oracle Always Free account.

In this blog post, I’m sharing my own experience, recommendations, and the learning path I went through. Feel free to create your own path that is more suitable for your needs and knowledge level.

The Architect Professional Certification is the next advanced level certification after the OCI Architect Associate one.

Part 1: pass the 2018 (1Z0-932or the newer 2109 (1Z0-1072) Architect Associate exam.

Part 2: pass the 2019 (1Z0-997) Architect Professional exam.

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Step 1: Foundation Training (Level 100)

This is the foundation training for Architect Associate. If you already have this certification you can skip this step or do a quick review of the topics you think you need to recap.

Step 2: Advanced Training (Level 200)

  • Watch the video series on youtube to get the first idea about the topics covered.
  • Go throw the slide decks provided and try to reproduce as much as possible in your training environment. Learning by doing!
  • Do the hands-on labs! More learning by doing!
  • Even better is learning by teaching! If your colleagues are interested in one of the topics, prepare a lesson for them.
  • The best would be a real-life experience. If it is possible to get involved in real-life work, seize the opportunity!

Step 3: Hands-on Labs

Step 4: Oracle Documentation

Review at least the following topics in Oracle doc:

  • Database, Compute, Storage, Networking
  • Load Balancing, Health Checks, DNS and Traffic Management
  • Notifications, Streaming, Functions, Events, Registry
  • Key Management, WAF
  • IAM, Monitoring, Tagging

Step 5: Technical White Papers

The technical white papers shed light on the advanced topics needed to understand and apply the architectural design in OCI. I highly recommend reading them very carefully and understand the concepts described very well. Review at least the following white papers:

  • Best Practices for Disaster Recovery in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
  • Best Practices for Deploying High Availability Architecture on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
  • Building Highly Available Applications in a Region with One Availability Domain
  • Migrating Application Data to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
  • Virtual Cloud Network (VCN) Overview and Deployment Guide
  • Connecting to a Private IP Serial Console Through a Service Gateway
  • Connectivity Redundancy Guide
  • IPSec VPN Best Practices
  • Encrypted FastConnect: Public Peering
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Security Overview
  • Best Practices for Identity and Access Management (IAM) in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Step 6: Exam Preparation

Register for the live webinars provided by Oracle:

The Exam

Here is a comparison between the two exam levels:

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As can be seen, for the Professional one you have for FEWER questions MORE time. And very probably you will need it!!! You have to answer questions about designing different solutions using different OCI services. It is very important to keep in mind what the scenarios’ requirement is: disaster recovery, high availability, security, or cost-effectiveness? and choose the best answer to meet THIS requirement, and not the best answer possible.

It is not about memorizing facts like “what is the maximum number of …?” or knowing the purpose of a simple component like “which statement about … is true?”, but more about understanding and applying solutions and strategies using one or more OCI Services to meet one or more specific requirements.

My Background

I have a very strong (Oracle) DBA background. After joining Oracle about one year ago as a Solution Engineer for Database Cloud Services, I started to expand my knowledge to be not only the “Database nerd”. I got more and more involved in Cloud Computing, Storage, Networking, and Cloud Security, so I gained hands-on and real-life experience in OCI every (working) day in the last year.

My Exam Experience

  • Level of Difficulty: Passing the Associate exam 5 months ago was a bit tough. But the Professional exam last Friday was really challenging.
  • Time: For some questions, I needed an eternity to read the whole scenario and pick the answer. But in the end, I had about 15 minutes left and could review at least some of the answers. I have to mention that I tried to read and answer really quickly. If you need more time for a question, don’t panic! But keep an eye on the overall time remaining at specific intervals.
  • Context switch: the most challenging thing was to entirely switch the context (forget about the old scenario and think about a new one) every 2 minutes, 50 times in a row. Afterward, I would advise having a 5-10 seconds break after each question, maybe just closing your eyes and breathing deeply a few times.
  • Test-taking strategy: A good strategy could be to find the most likely wrong answers first and exclude them to focus more on the remaining ones.
  • Passing score: I only have to say PASSED! And I’m really happy about it 🙂

Have fun during preparation, “luck” in the exam, and success in life!

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