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Linux Foundation Certifications: A Primer

By February 8, 2021Announcements

We frequently receive questions at Linux Foundation Training & Certification about which certification is the best fit for a given individual. You may be unsure if a given certification will advance your career, help you break into a new one, or even if you have the skills needed to be successful on the exam. This article aims to provide a primer, giving an overview of each exam, who it is for, what topics are covered, how to prepare and what it demonstrates. 

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Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate (LFCA)

LFCA is the first entry-level IT certification from The Linux Foundation. Unlike most entry-level certifications on the market, it includes elements of modern IT infrastructures such as cloud computing, which is essential in most IT roles today. The 2020 Open Source Jobs Report found that the top three skills sought by employers are Linux, cloud and security, all of which are covered here. Additionally, the most in demand job role is DevOps, skills for which are also tested on the exam, making this certification the ideal way to demonstrate you have the skills to hit the ground running in a new IT career.

About this certification

A Certified IT Associate will confirm early proficiency and aptitude in the IT field. The exam is intended to integrate with other qualifications and provides a stepping stone to more advanced credentials.

Who is it for?

The LFCA is a pre-professional certification intended for those new to the industry or considering starting an IT career as an administrator or engineer. This certification is ideal for users interested in advancing to the professional level through a demonstrated understanding of critical concepts for modern IT systems including cloud computing. This is a beginner-level certification and requires no prior experience.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • Technical Support Specialist
  • Junior System Administrator
  • Junior System Analyst

What does it demonstrate?

LFCA will test candidates’ knowledge of fundamental IT concepts including operating systems, software application installation and management, hardware installation, use of the command line and basic programming, basic networking functions, security best practices, and other related topics to validate their capability and preparedness for an entry-level IT position.

What is covered on the exam?

  • The exam is delivered online and consists of 60 multiple choice questions.
  • Candidates have 90 minutes to complete the LFCA exam.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.
  • Results will be emailed 36 hours from the time that the exam is completed.

Topics covered in the LFCA exam and their weights include: 

  • Linux Fundamentals – 20%
  • System Administration Fundamentals – 20%
  • Cloud Computing Fundamentals – 20%
  • Security Fundamentals – 16%
  • DevOps Fundamentals – 16%
  • Supporting Applications and Developers – 8%

View the full LFCA Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

Unlike many Linux Foundation certifications, LFCA does not have a single course to cover all aspects of the exam. This is by design as the exam covers a broad range of topics necessary to be successful as an IT administrator today. Many of the free Linux Foundation Training courses do explore these skills, which means it’s possible to prepare for the exam without paying for a course.

Among the free courses that help prepare you for LFCA are:

View our LFCA resources page for a complete list.

Note you can audit each of these courses for free for seven weeks, therefore it is recommended to enroll in and complete each one at a time so you do not run out of time on a future course before completing your current one.

Outside of Linux Foundation resources, there are many third party training providers offering paid courses to prepare you for the LFCA (Linux Foundation Training & Certification cannot endorse or verify the validity of information provided in any third-party courses). 

Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS)

LFCS is ideal for candidates looking to validate their Linux system administration skill set. It is an intermediate-level certification, and a good starting point for those wishing to work as a Linux sysadmin. This exam can also be a useful certification to hold if you plan to move into work in cloud administration, as almost all cloud instances run on Linux, and to be effective in such a role you need a strong foundation in Linux. 

About this certification

LFCS was developed by The Linux Foundation to help meet the high demand for Linux administration talent. The exam consists of performance-based items that simulate on-the-job tasks and scenarios faced by sysadmins in the real world, conducted in the command line. Candidates can select either Ubuntu 18 or CentOS 7, so it is best to practice with these distributions prior to sitting for the exam.

Who is it for?

LFCS is ideal for candidates early in their Linux system administration or open source career. Candidates should have solid experience with, or have completed training in, Linux system administration before attempting this exam.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • System Administrator
  • Linux Administrator
  • System Analyst
  • Database Administrator
  • DevOps Engineer
  • IT Technician
  • Network Technician

What does it demonstrate?

Certified Linux systems administrators can work proficiently to design, install, configure, and manage a system installation. They will have an understanding of key concepts such as networking, storage, security, maintenance, logging and monitoring, application lifecycle, troubleshooting, API object primitives and the ability to establish basic use-cases for end users.

What is covered on the exam?

  • The exam is delivered online and consists of performance-based tasks (problems) to be solved on the command line running Linux.
  • The exam consists of 20-25 performance-based tasks.
  • The exam is expected to take 2 hours to complete.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.

Topics covered in the LFCS exam and their weights include: 

  • Essential Commands – 25%
  • Operation of Running Systems – 20%
  • User and Group Management – 10%
  • Networking – 12%
  • Service Configuration – 20%
  • Storage Management – 13%

View the full LFCS Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

The most direct way to prepare for LFCS is to take the Essentials of Linux System Administration (LFS201) training course. This course covers the topics and skills necessary to pass this exam, and also prepares you to be successful in a career as a Linux sysadmin. The course was developed, and is maintained by, the same team that created the exam at The Linux Foundation, so you can be assured it is relevant and up to date. 

Some free courses that help prepare you for LFCS are:

Note you can audit each of these courses for free for seven weeks, therefore it is recommended to enroll in and complete each one at a time so you do not run out of time on a future course before completing your current one.

Outside of Linux Foundation resources, there are many third party training providers offering courses to prepare you for the LFCS (Linux Foundation Training & Certification cannot endorse or verify the validity of information provided in any third-party courses).

Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE)

LFCE is designed for the Linux engineer looking to demonstrate a more advanced level of Linux administration and engineering skill. It can be a great step towards becoming a kernel developer or maintainer as well.

About this certification

LFCE was developed by The Linux Foundation to help meet the high demand for Linux engineering talent. The exam is performance-based on the command-line, and includes items simulating on-the-job scenarios. Candidates can select either Ubuntu 18 or CentOS 7, so it is best to practice with these distributions prior to sitting for the exam.

Who is it for?

LFCE is the ideal certification for the Linux engineer with at least three to five years of Linux experience. It is designed for the engineer looking to demonstrate a higher level of skill set to help qualify for a promotion or land a new, more advanced job.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • Site Reliability Engineer
  • Senior System Administrator
  • Senior System Analyst
  • Systems Engineer
  • Senior DevOps Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • Linux Engineer
  • Linux Developer

What does it demonstrate?

Holding an LFCE demonstrates that the certificant is able to deploy and configure the Linux operating system at enterprise scale. It shows they possess all the necessary skills to work as a Linux engineer. Passing a performance-based exam demonstrates the candidate’s ability to perform challenging real world tasks under time constraints.

What is covered on the exam?

  • The exam is delivered online and consists of performance-based tasks (problems) to be solved on the command line running Linux.
  • The exam consists of 20-25 performance-based tasks.
  • The exam is expected to take 2 hours to complete.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.

Topics covered in the LFCE exam and their weights include: 

  • Essential Commands – 25%
  • Operation of Running Systems – 20%
  • User and Group Management – 10%
  • Networking – 12%
  • Service Configuration – 20%
  • Storage Management – 13%

View the full LFCE Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

The most direct way to prepare for LFCE is to take the Linux Networking and Administration (LFS211) training course. This course covers the topics and skills necessary to pass this exam, and also prepares you to be successful in a career as a Linux engineer. The course was developed, and is maintained by, the same team that created the exam at The Linux Foundation, so you can be assured it is relevant and up to date. 

Among the free courses that help prepare you for LFCE are:

Note you can audit each of these courses for free for seven weeks, therefore it is recommended to enroll in and complete each one at a time so you do not run out of time on a future course before completing your current one.

Outside of Linux Foundation resources, there are many third party training providers offering courses to prepare you for the LFCE (Linux Foundation Training & Certification cannot endorse or verify the validity of information provided in any third-party courses).

Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)

The CKA exam, launched in 2017, has risen extremely rapidly to become one of the most in demand cloud certifications globally. With the rapid adoption of Kubernetes by organizations of all sizes, the need for more cloud administrators and engineers with Kubernetes skills and knowledge has been of paramount importance. In fact, the 2020 Open Source Jobs Report found that knowledge of cloud and containers has the biggest impact on hiring decisions. CKA provides assurance that individuals have the skills, knowledge, and competency to perform the responsibilities of Kubernetes administrators.

About this certification

CKA was created by The Linux Foundation and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as a part of their ongoing effort to help develop the Kubernetes ecosystem. The exam is an online, proctored, performance-based test that requires solving multiple tasks from a command line running Kubernetes.

Who is it for?

This certification is for Kubernetes administrators, cloud administrators and other IT professionals who manage Kubernetes instances. This is an intermediate level exam and experience and/or professional training is recommended before pursuing it.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • Cloud Administrator
  • Kubernetes Administrator
  • Kubernetes Engineer
  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Engineer
  • Cloud Network Administrator
  • Cloud Support Specialist
  • Cloud Computing Specialist
  • DevOps Engineer

What does it demonstrate?

A certified K8s administrator has demonstrated the ability to do basic installation as well as configuring and managing production-grade Kubernetes clusters. They will have an understanding of key concepts such as Kubernetes networking, storage, security, maintenance, logging and monitoring, application lifecycle, troubleshooting, API object primitives and the ability to establish basic use-cases for end users.

What is covered on the exam?

  • The exam is delivered online and consists of performance-based tasks (problems) to be solved on the command line running Linux.
  • The exam consists of 15-20 performance-based tasks.
  • Candidates have 2 hours to complete the exam.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.
  • Results will be emailed 36 hours from the time that the exam is completed.

Topics covered in the CKA exam and their weights include: 

  • Storage – 10%
  • Troubleshooting – 30%
  • Workloads & Scheduling – 15%
  • Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration – 25%
  • Services & Networking – 20%

View the full CKA Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

Due to its popularity, there are a wealth of materials available to prepare for the CKA exam. The most directly relevant structured training course is Kubernetes Fundamentals (LFS258) which was developed by CNCF and The Linux Foundation – the same folks who created the CKA exam – and covers the same subject areas tested on the exam; this course can be purchased as a bundle with the CKA at a discounted rate. Since we develop both the exam and course, we guarantee the latest version of the course is always designed to prepare you for the latest version of the exam. If you are a complete beginner, you may also want to consider the Cloud Engineer Bootcamp which provides foundational Linux and cloud knowledge, culminating with the CKA as a “final exam”. 

Among the free courses that help prepare you for CKA are:

Note you can audit each of these courses for free for seven weeks, therefore it is recommended to enroll in and complete each one at a time so you do not run out of time on a future course before completing your current one.

Outside of Linux Foundation and CNCF resources, there are many third party training providers offering courses to prepare you for the CKA (Linux Foundation Training & Certification cannot endorse or verify the validity of information provided in any third-party courses).

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)

Modern applications today are built as cloud native by default. This requires knowledge of cloud tools including Kubernetes, which is why The Linux Foundation and CNCF developed the CKAD exam which certifies that users can design, build, configure, and expose cloud native applications for Kubernetes. 

About this certification

CKAD has been developed by The Linux Foundation and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), to help expand the Kubernetes ecosystem through standardized training and certification. This exam is an online, proctored, performance-based test that consists of a set of performance-based tasks (problems) to be solved in a command line.

Who is it for?

This certification is for Kubernetes engineers, cloud engineers and other IT professionals responsible for building, deploying, and configuring cloud native applications with Kubernetes. This is an intermediate-level certification and experience and/or professional training is recommended before pursuing it.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • Kubernetes Engineer
  • Kubernetes Developer
  • Cloud Engineer
  • Cloud Network Engineer
  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Systems Engineer
  • Cloud Developer
  • Cloud Applications Engineer
  • Cloud Applications Developer
  • DevOps Cloud Architect

What does it demonstrate?

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer can design build, configure and expose cloud native applications for Kubernetes. A CKAD can define application resources and use core primitives to build, monitor, and troubleshoot scalable applications & tools in Kubernetes.

The exam assumes knowledge of, but does not test for, container runtimes and microservice architecture.

The successful candidate will be comfortable using:

– An OCI-Compliant Container Runtime, such as Docker or rkt.

– Cloud Native application concepts and architectures.

– A Programming language, such as Python, Node.js, Go, or Java.

What is covered on the exam?

  • The exam is delivered online and consists of performance-based tasks (problems) to be solved on the command line running Linux.
  • The exam consists of 15-20 performance-based tasks.
  • Candidates have 2 hours to complete the exam.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.
  • Results will be emailed 36 hours from the time that the exam is completed.

Topics covered in the CKAD exam and their weights include: 

  • Core Concepts – 13%
  • Configuration – 18%
  • Multi-Container Pods – 10%
  • Observability – 18%
  • Pod Design – 20%
  • Services & Networking – 13%
  • State Persistence – 8%

View the full CKA Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

The Linux Foundation and CNCF offer an online training course that helps prepare you for the CKAD exam. Kubernetes for Developers (LFD259) comes directly from the same organizations that created and maintain CKAD, so you can be assured that the training will always cover the topics most relevant to the exam. 

If you do not already have experience with developing cloud applications, it is important that you gain foundational knowledge and skills with the cloud before pursuing this certification, or even the related training. We offer a variety of cloud and containers training courses, including many free ones such as Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies (LFS151) and Introduction to Kubernetes (LFS158) that provide much of this knowledge.

Among the other free courses that help prepare you for CKAD are:

Note you can audit each of these courses for free for seven weeks, therefore it is recommended to enroll in and complete each one at a time so you do not run out of time on a future course before completing your current one.

Outside of Linux Foundation and CNCF resources, there are many third party training providers offering courses to prepare you for the CKAD (Linux Foundation Training & Certification cannot endorse or verify the validity of information provided in any third-party courses).

Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)

As production environments become more decoupled and agile, keeping the entire environment secure has become more complex. This challenge will only become more acute as cloud adoption accelerates. Additionally, we saw from the 2020 Open Source Jobs Report that cloud and security skills have the biggest and third biggest impact on hiring decisions respectively, further highlighting the talent gap for these skills.

About this certification

CKS is a performance-based certification exam that tests candidates’ knowledge of Kubernetes and cloud security in a simulated, real world environment. Candidates must have taken and passed the CKA exam prior to attempting the CKS exam. 

Who is it for?

Accomplished Kubernetes practitioners (must be CKA certified) who have demonstrated competence on a broad range of best practices for securing container-based applications and Kubernetes platforms during build, deployment and runtime are the primary audience for CKS. This is an intermediate-level certification and experience and/or professional training is recommended before pursuing it.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • Cloud Security Specialist
  • Kubernetes Engineer
  • Cloud Engineer
  • Cloud Network Administrator
  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Systems Engineer
  • Cloud Security Consultant
  • Cybersecurity Specialist
  • Cybersecurity Administrator
  • Cybersecurity Engineer

What does it demonstrate?

Obtaining a CKS demonstrates a candidate possesses the requisite abilities to secure container-based applications and Kubernetes platforms during build, deployment and runtime, and is qualified to perform these tasks in a professional setting.

What is covered on the exam?

  • The exam is delivered online and consist of performance-based tasks (problems) to be solved on the command line running Linux.
  • The exam consists of 15-20 performance-based tasks.
  • Candidates have 2 hours to complete the CKS exam.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.
  • Results will be emailed 36 hours from the time that the exam is completed.

Topics covered in the CKS exam and their weights include: 

  • Cluster Setup – 10%
  • Cluster Hardening – 15%
  • System Hardening – 15%
  • Minimize Microservice Vulnerabilities – 20%
  • Supply Chain Security – 20%
  • Monitoring, Logging and Runtime Security – 20%

View the full CKS Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

The first thing to keep in mind if your goal is to obtain a CKS is that CKA is a prerequisite; you will not be permitted to sit for a CKS exam before first achieving that, so if you have not already done so, you should jump up to the CKA section. Assuming you already have earned a CKA, then you already have the cloud, container and Kubernetes knowledge needed for this exam, but likely will need training around security issues. The Kubernetes Security Essentials (LFS260) course from The Linux Foundation and CNCF provides the knowledge you need to be successful in security cloud native applications, and covers the topics tested in the CKS exam. 

Among the free courses that help prepare you for CKS are:

Note you can audit each of these courses for free for seven weeks, therefore it is recommended to enroll in and complete each one at a time so you do not run out of time on a future course before completing your current one.

Outside of Linux Foundation and CNCF resources, there are many third party training providers offering courses to prepare you for the CKS (Linux Foundation Training & Certification cannot endorse or verify the validity of information provided in any third-party courses).

FinOps Certified Practitioner (FOCP)

FinOps is a rapidly growing practice of bringing financial accountability to the variable spend model of cloud, enabling distributed teams to make business trade-offs between speed, cost, and quality. With the rapid adoption of cloud by organizations of all sizes, it is essential that these topics be explored to ensure a positive cost-benefit is achieved by use of cloud technology. FOCP is ideal for individuals who want to validate and showcase their cloud financial management and cost optimization skills regardless of the cloud platform they use.

About this certification

FOCP is an online non-proctored exam that can take up to 60 minutes to complete. It includes 50 multiple choice questions, some with multiple selections as indicated in the question text, and tests your foundational knowledge of FinOps and its practice. 

Who is it for?

The certification is designed for senior professionals who want to demonstrate a basic understanding of FinOps and how it’s applied to enhance business value from cloud spend. Organizations undergoing a public cloud-first strategy or who are in the midst of a public cloud migration will also benefit greatly.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • FinOps Practitioner
  • Director/Manager of Cloud Optimization
  • Principal Systems Engineer
  • Director/Manager of Engineering
  • Cloud Architect
  • Head  of IT Finance
  • Director/Manager of Finance
  • Technology Procurement Manager

What does it demonstrate?

Those holding an FOCP will bring a strong understanding of FinOps, its principles, capabilities and how to support and manage the FinOps lifecycle to manage cost and usage of cloud in their organization. 

What is covered on the exam?

  • The exam is delivered online and consists of 50 multiple choice questions.
  • Candidates have 60 minutes to complete the FOCP exam.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.
  • Results will be emailed 36 hours from the time that the exam is completed.

Topics covered in the FOCP exam and their weights include: 

  • Challenge of Cloud – 8%
  • What is FinOps & FinOps Principles – 12%
  • FinOps Teams & Motivation – 12%
  • FinOps Capabilities – 28%
  • FinOps Lifecycle – 30%
  • Terminology & the Cloud Bill – 10%

View the full FOCP Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

The FinOps Foundation offers both self-paced and virtual instructor-led training options for those who need help preparing for the FOCP exam. Before enrolling, you should understand the basics of how cloud computing works, know the key services on your cloud providers, including their common use cases, and have a basic understanding of billing and pricing models. You should already be able to describe the basic value proposition of running in the cloud and understand the core concept of using a pay-as-you-go consumption model. We also encourage those who are new to FinOps to first complete the free Introduction to FinOps (LFS175) before pursuing further study. It provides many of the fundamentals of FinOps while the self-paced and instructor-led courses are more in-depth and prepare you for the FOCP exam.

The Linux Foundation’s free Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies (LFS151) is a good starting place. You’ll also need to have a base level of knowledge of at least one of the three main public cloud providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud). For AWS, we recommend AWS Business Professional training or, even better, the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification. For Google, check out the Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals course. For Azure, try the Azure Fundamentals learning path

Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator (CHFA)

Enterprise blockchain is one of the fastest growing areas of technology, with LinkedIn even naming it the most in demand hard skill in 2020. Hyperledger Fabric is a distributed ledger technology intended as a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture. CHFA allows candidates to demonstrate their competence in deploying and operating a Hyperledger Fabric network through the command line.

About this certification

This two-hour Hyperledger Fabric certification exam is an online, proctored, performance-based test that consists of a set of performance-based tasks (problems) to be solved in a command line.

Who is it for?

CHFA certification is for sysadmins or developers who want to demonstrate their ability to effectively build a secure Hyperledger Fabric network for commercial deployment.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • Blockchain Specialist
  • Blockchain Administrator
  • Blockchain Engineer
  • System Administrator

What does it demonstrate?

The CHFA will be able to effectively build a secure Hyperledger Fabric network for commercial deployment. Additionally, the CHFA will be able to install, configure, operate, manage, and troubleshoot the nodes on that network. Passing a performance-based exam demonstrates the candidate’s ability to perform challenging real world tasks under time constraints.

What is covered on the exam?

  • The exam is delivered online and consists of performance-based tasks (problems) to be solved on the command line running Linux.
  • The exam consists of between 16-26 performance-based tasks.
  • Candidates have 2 hours to complete the exam.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.
  • Results will be emailed 36 hours from the time that the exam is completed.

Topics covered in the CHFA exam and their weights include: 

  • Application Lifecycle Management – 20%
  • Install and Configure Network – 25%
  • Diagnostics and Troubleshooting – 15%
  • Membership Service Provider – 20%
  • Network Maintenance and Operations – 20%

View the full CHFA Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

The Linux Foundation offers a companion course, Hyperledger Fabric Administration (LFS272), which provides a good understanding of the Hyperledger Fabric network topology, chaincode operations, administration of identities, permissions, how and where to configure component logging, and much more. The topics covered in the course align to the CHFA exam and will increase the chances of passing. 

Before getting to that stage, you should be familiar with a number of concepts including:

  • Knowledge of basic Linux system administration commands and navigation
  • Knowledge of bash basics
  • Strong knowledge of containerization and Docker
  • Familiarity with NoSQL databases and general understanding of CouchDB
  • Be able to read JavaScript, TypeScript, and Go programming languages
  • Be very familiar with YAML

For those who need to brush up on these concepts, as well as blockchain basics, before pursuing this certification, Linux Foundation Training & Certification offers a number of free courses that are relevant:

Note you can audit each of these courses for free for seven weeks. Therefore it is recommended you enroll in and complete each one at a time so you do not run out of time on a future course before completing your current one.

Hyperledger also offers a variety of resources including tutorials, how-to videos, and webinars that can help learn about Fabric administration.

Outside of Linux Foundation and Hyperledger resources, there are many third party training providers offering courses to prepare you for the CHFA (Linux Foundation Training & Certification cannot endorse or verify the validity of information provided in any third-party courses).

Certified Hyperledger Fabric Developer (CHFD)

Note: We have temporarily suspended scheduling of new attempts for the CHFD exam to conduct an upgrade to Fabric v2.2 and address issues we have experienced in correctly scoring some exam reservations. Our target to recommence exam scheduling is end of Q1 2021.

Enterprise blockchain is one of the fastest growing areas of technology, with LinkedIn even naming it the most in demand hard skill in 2020. Hyperledger Fabric is a distributed ledger technology intended as a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture. CHFD allows candidates to demonstrate the knowledge to develop and maintain client applications and smart contracts using the latest Fabric programming model.

About this certification

This two-hour exam is an online, proctored, performance-based test that consists of a set of performance-based tasks (problems) to be solved in a Web IDE and the command line.

Who is it for?

CHFD is for developers who want to demonstrate their ability to package and deploy Fabric applications and smart contracts, perform end-to-end Fabric application life-cycle and smart contract management, program in Java or Node.js (or Go for smart contracts) and more.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • Blockchain Specialist
  • Blockchain Developer
  • Blockchain Engineer
  • Developer
  • Software Architect

What does it demonstrate?

A CHFD should demonstrate the knowledge to develop and maintain client applications and smart contracts using the latest Fabric programming model.

Such a developer must also be able to:

– package and deploy Fabric applications and smart contracts, perform end-to-end Fabric application life-cycle and smart contract management

– program in Java or Node.js (or Go for smart contracts)

Passing a performance-based exam demonstrates the candidate’s ability to perform challenging real world tasks under time constraints.

What is covered on the exam?

  • The exam is delivered online and consists of performance-based tasks (problems) to be solved on the command line running Linux.
  • The exam consists of between 16-26 performance-based tasks.
  • Candidates have 2 hours to complete the exam.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.
  • Results will be emailed 36 hours from the time that the exam is completed.

Topics covered in the CHFD exam and their weights include: 

  • Identity Management – 7%
  • Network Configuration – 8%
  • Smart Contract Development – 40%
  • Smart Contract Invocation – 25%
  • Maintenance and Testing – 20%

View the full CHFD Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

The Linux Foundation offers a companion course, Hyperledger Fabric for Developers (LFD272), which provides a good understanding of how to implement and test a chaincode in Golang for any use case, manage the chaincode life cycle, create Node.js client applications interacting with Hyperledger Fabric networks, control access to the information based on a user identity, set up and use private data collections and much more. The topics covered in the course align to the CHFD exam and will increase the chances of passing. 

Before getting to that stage, you should be familiar with a number of concepts including:

  • Understanding of Hyperledger Fabric architecture and components: Ledger, Channel, Chaincode, types of network nodes (Endorser, Committer, Orderer, etc.), transaction flow, Certificate Authority (CA)
  • Experience with GoLang and NodeJS:
    • Ability to install GoLang, run go commands from the cli; knowledge of basic language constructions
    • Ability to install NodeJS, run applications from the cli; knowledge of basic language constructions; familiarity with package management
  • Knowledge of Docker basics:
    • Ability to install docker daemon, run docker containers locally, understand and use basic commands
  • Experience with the command line/shell of a Linux operating system
  • Familiarity with NoSQL databases and general understanding of CouchDB

For those who need to brush up on these concepts, as well as blockchain basics, before pursuing this certification, Linux Foundation Training & Certification offers a number of free courses that are relevant:

Note you can audit each of these courses for free for seven weeks. Therefore, it is recommended you  enroll in and complete each one at a time so you do not run out of time on a future course before completing your current one.

Hyperledger also offers a variety of resources including tutorials, how-to videos, and webinars that can help learn about Fabric development.

Outside of Linux Foundation and Hyperledger resources, there are many third party training providers offering courses to prepare you for the CHFD (Linux Foundation Training & Certification cannot endorse or verify the validity of information provided in any third-party courses).

OpenJS Node.js Application Developer (JSNAD)

Node.js is the extremely popular open source JavaScript runtime, used by some of the biggest names in technology, including Bloomberg, LinkedIn, Netflix, NASA, and more. JSNAD tests and verifies candidates’ skills in using Node.js to create web-based applications.

About this certification

The two-hour exam tests your skills from debugging Node.js to managing asynchronous operations to controlling processes. It tests knowledge and skills that an experienced Node.js application developer would be expected to possess. This exam is an online, proctored, performance-based test that requires implementing multiple solutions within a Remote Desktop Linux environment. Visual Studio Code, Vim and Webstorm (kindly sponsored by JetBrains) are included as editors in this environment. The exam includes tasks simulating on-the-job scenarios.

Who is it for?

JSNAD certification is ideal for the Node.js developer with at least two years of experience working with Node.js. It is designed for anyone looking to demonstrate competence with Node.js to create applications of any kind, with a focus on knowledge of Node.js core APIs.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • Application Developer
  • Developer
  • Web Developer
  • Web Architect
  • Web Engineer
  • Node.js Specialist
  • Node.js Developer
  • Node.js Architect
  • Node.js Engineer
  • Full Stack Developer

What does it demonstrate?

JSNAD certification demonstrates the ability to perform tasks in real world-type environments, giving employers confidence that the certificant possesses a broad range of skills around JavaScript and related technologies. Passing a performance-based exam demonstrates the candidate’s ability to perform challenging, real world tasks under time constraints.

What is covered on the exam?

  • This exam is an online, proctored, performance-based test that requires implementing multiple solutions within a Remote Desktop Linux environment.
  • The exam consists of between 20-25 performance-based tasks.
  • The exam is expected to take 2 hours to complete
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.

Topics covered in the JSNAD exam and their weights include: 

  • Buffer and Streams – 11%
  • Control flow – 12%
  • Child Processes – 8%
  • Diagnostics – 6%
  • Error Handling – 8%
  • Node.js CLI – 4%
  • Events – 11%
  • File System – 8%
  • JavaScript Prerequisites – 7%
  • Module system – 7%
  • Process/Operating System – 6%
  • Package.json – 6%
  • Unit Testing – 6%

View the full JSNAD Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

The Linux Foundation offers a companion training course, Node.js Application Development (LFW211), which covers a broad set of use cases and using Node.js core APIs with selected ecosystem libraries, this course fully prepares you for the JSNAD. We also encourage those who are new to Node.js to first complete the free Introduction to Node.js (LFW111, launching mid-February 2021) before pursuing further study. 

The Node.js community also offers a website with a variety of free learning resources and guides.

Outside of Linux Foundation and OpenJS Foundation resources, there are many third party training providers offering courses to prepare you for the JSNAD (Linux Foundation Training & Certification cannot endorse or verify the validity of information provided in any third-party courses).

OpenJS Node.js Services Developer (JSNSD)

Node.js is the extremely popular open source JavaScript runtime, used by some of the biggest names in technology, including Bloomberg, LinkedIn, Netflix, NASA, and more. JSNSD tests and verifies candidates’ skills in creating RESTful Node.js servers and services (or microservices) with a particular emphasis on security practices.

About this certification

The two-hour exam tests your skills in the areas of services, servers and security. Specific knowledge and skills tested are those an experienced Node.js developer would be expected to have. The exam is performance-based and includes items simulating on-the-job scenarios. It is an online, proctored, performance-based test that requires implementing multiple solutions within a Remote Desktop Linux environment. Visual Studio Code, Vim and Webstorm (kindly sponsored by JetBrains) are included as editors in this environment.

Who is it for?

JSNSD is for the Node.js developer with at least two years of experience creating RESTful servers and services with Node.js. It is designed for anyone looking to demonstrate competence in creating RESTful Node.js servers and services (or microservices) with a particular emphasis on security practices.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • Services Developer
  • Developer
  • Web Developer
  • Web Architect
  • Web Engineer
  • Node.js Specialist
  • Node.js Developer
  • Node.js Architect
  • Node.js Engineer
  • Full Stack Developer

What does it demonstrate?

JSNSD certification demonstrates the ability to perform tasks in a real world-type environment, giving employers confidence that the certificant possesses a broad range of skills around JavaScript and related technologies. Passing a performance-based exam demonstrates the candidate’s ability to perform challenging real world tasks under time constraints.

What is covered on the exam?

  • This exam is an online, proctored, performance-based test that requires implementing multiple solutions within a Remote Desktop Linux environment.
  • The exam consists of between 5-10 performance-based tasks.
  • The exam is expected to take 2 hours to complete
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.

Topics covered in the JSNSD exam and their weights include: 

  • Servers and Services – 70%
  • Security – 30%

View the full JSNSD Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

The Linux Foundation offers a companion training course, Node.js Services Development (LFW212), which provides a deep dive into Node core HTTP clients and servers, web servers, RESTful services and web security essentials, and prepares you for the JSNSD. We also encourage those who are new to Node.js to first complete the free Introduction to Node.js (LFW111, launching mid-February 2021) before pursuing further study. The Node.js community also offers a website with a variety of free learning resources and guides.

Outside of Linux Foundation and OpenJS Foundation resources, there are many third party training providers offering courses to prepare you for the JSNSD (Linux Foundation Training & Certification cannot endorse or verify the validity of information provided in any third-party courses).

Cloud Foundry Certified Developer (CFCD)

Cloud Foundry provides a highly efficient, modern model for cloud native application delivery on top of Kubernetes. The platform is built for developers by developers at the largest technology companies in the world, including IBM, SAP, SUSE, and VMware. CFCD is ideal for candidates who want to validate their skill set using the Cloud Foundry platform to deploy and manage applications.

About this certification

This is an online, proctored exam that can take up to three hours to complete. The exam includes performance-based tasks and multiple choice questions, to test individual developers on their practical and conceptual knowledge of Cloud Foundry and general cloud-native architectural principles.

Who is it for?

This certification is for experienced Cloud Foundry developers responsible for deploying and managing applications with Cloud Foundry.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • Software Developer
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Architect
  • Cloud Foundry Administrator
  • Cloud Foundry Developer
  • Cloud Foundry Engineer
  • Cloud Foundry Architect
  • Cloud Engineer
  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Systems Engineer
  • Cloud Developer
  • Cloud Support Specialist
  • Cloud Applications Engineer
  • Cloud Computing Specialist
  • DevOps Cloud Architect

What does it demonstrate?

A Certified Cloud Foundry developer will competently use Cloud Foundry to deploy and manage applications.

What is covered on the exam?

  • The exam is delivered online and consists of 10 performance-based tasks, where you will use the CLI to interact with a Cloud Foundry environment, and 10 multiple choice questions.
  • Candidates have 3 hours  to complete the CFCD exam.
  • The exam requires use of the Cloud Foundry CLI in the provided browser based terminal to execute, and no Cloud Foundry UI should be used to complete the exam.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.
  • Results will be emailed 36 hours from the time that the exam is completed.

Topics covered in the CFCD exam include: 

  • Application Lifecycle
  • Application Management
  • Basics
  • Platform Security
  • Routing
  • Services
  • Troubleshooting

View the full CFCD Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

The Linux Foundation offers a companion training course, Cloud Foundry for Developers (LFD232), which covers how to use Cloud Foundry to build, deploy and manage a cloud native microservice solution. The course has extensive labs so developers can learn by doing, and completing it will greatly increase your chances of passing the CFCD exam. 

Before pursuing this certification, you should be an active developer, comfortable using command line tools and familiar with basic cloud computing concepts. Being familiar with Java/Spring, Node.js and/or Ruby is a plus. Our free Introduction to Cloud Foundry and Cloud Native Software Architecture (LFS132) course is useful preparation for this course, as well as Introduction to Node.js (LFW111, launching mid-February 2021) and Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies (LFS151)

Note you can audit each of these courses for free for seven weeks, therefore it is recommended to enroll in and complete each one at a time so you do not run out of time on a future course before completing your current one.

Cloud Foundry offers a variety of documentation which can also help familiarize you with the platform.

Outside of Linux Foundation and Cloud Foundry resources, there are many third party training providers offering courses to prepare you for the CFCD (Linux Foundation Training & Certification cannot endorse or verify the validity of information provided in any third-party courses).

Certified ONAP Professional (COP)

Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) is a comprehensive platform for orchestration, management, and automation of network and edge computing services for network operators, cloud providers, and enterprises. It is leveraged by several of the world’s largest telecommunications companies to manage the huge growth in data usage, network automation, and the rollout of 5G and edge computing. A Certified ONAP Professional (COP) designs, tests, and runs network functions and services using ONAP.

About this certification

This is an online proctored exam that can take up to three hours to complete. The exam is performance-based and includes items simulating on-the-job scenarios.

Who is it for?

This certification is for engineers at service providers and enterprises who develop, deploy, and scale their networks and next-generation services, especially in light of the growth in 5G and edge computing.

Job titles for those holding this certification could include:

  • Network Engineer
  • Network Architect
  • Telecommunications Architect
  • Telecommunications Engineer
  • Full Stack Software Developer
  • Developer
  • 5G Architect
  • 5G Engineer

What does it demonstrate?

A successful COP candidate will demonstrate the ability to onboard Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), design and deploy network services, and configure VNFs. Additionally, candidates must have baseline understanding of closed-loop automation in terms of closed-loop design and runtime behavior. A candidate will also possess elementary troubleshooting capabilities to find issues with network services and closed-loops.

What is covered on the exam?

  • This exam is an online, proctored, performance-based test that requires implementing multiple solutions within a Remote Desktop Linux environment.
  • The exam consists of between 15-20 performance-based tasks.
  • Candidates have 3 hours to complete the exam.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.
  • Results will be emailed 36 hours from the time that the exam is completed.

Topics covered in the COP exam and their weights include: 

  • Service Design – 20%
  • Service Deployment – 25%
  • Service LCM – 15%
  • Troubleshooting – 20%
  • Closed Loop Automation – 20%

View the full COP Domains & Competencies.

How should I prepare?

The Linux Foundation offers a companion course, ONAP Fundamentals (LFS263), which provides conceptual and hands-on skills around ONAP, including the basics of Network Function Virtualization (NFV); an overview of ONAP architecture, subprojects, and use case blueprints; ONAP modeling overview; interfacing with ONAP; network service design, orchestration, and lifecycle management; the ONAP Policy framework; closed control loop automation; and troubleshooting. These topics directly align with the knowledge domains tested by the COP and will substantially increase students’ ability to become certified.

The exam additionally expects baseline understanding of the underlying cloud platform (e.g. Kubernetes and OpenStack) and minimal familiarity with modeling languages (e.g. Heat and TOSCA). Some free resources to help get up to speed on the fundamentals before digging into the ONAP Fundamentals course include:

Note you can audit each of these courses for free for seven weeks, therefore it is recommended to enroll in and complete each one at a time so you do not run out of time on a future course before completing your current one.

Additionally, the ONAP project offers a wiki with many more resources to learn. You can also visit the LF Networking and ONAP websites for project information. 

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