At PuppetConf 2012 this past September, Puppet Labs launched its Puppet Certification Program. The first round of certification exams at PuppetConf was highly successful, with more than a hundred participants taking the challenging exams.
Today, we want to recognize the very first person to become Puppet certified: Steve Nielsen of comScore. We were able to get on the phone with Steve and ask him a few questions about his experience in taking — and passing — the Puppet Professional Certification exam.
Q: Steve, how did you get started with Puppet?
A: I manage the open source engineering group at comScore, and my team has been using Puppet since September 2010. We were originally using CFEngine for about seven-to-eight years. Over the course of time, it became increasingly difficult to make changes. I would change one thing and break something else. People on my team became afraid of making CFEngine changes. When we decided to upgrade our Linux environment, we started using Puppet. We now manage most of our Linux systems with Puppet.
Q: How did you start learning Puppet?
A: Initially, I went to a public training course to become a Puppet Master. I came back from the training and set up Puppet. Then a few of us at comScore requested a private training course, where Puppet Labs professional services engineers came on-site to provide much more technical, hands-on training. Everyone on my team was sold at that point. Puppet is pretty awesome.
We continued to stay up-to-date with Puppet by using the online documentation, and participating in the user groups. One by one, we started converting over certain subsystems to move over to Puppet.
Q: Why did you want to get Puppet certified?
A: I honestly just wanted to take the test and see how I would do, and I’m glad I did. It was a challenging test — very difficult, but I’m happy I passed.
Q: Did you feel prepared to take the Puppet certification exam?
A: I felt very prepared. Puppet Labs has great documentation. I also like going to Puppet training. And it depends on your technical level. If you’re technically inclined, try the Puppet developer class. The Puppet Fundamentals class (formerly Puppet Master training), is a great introductory course. Another way you can prepare is reading Puppet documentation.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A: Puppet is an awesome tool. We’re really glad we chose it. I really think Puppet Labs is heading in the right direction. FYI: My group at comScore, based out of Chicago, is hiring! We program for automation and systems.