In a previous blog article “A Deeper Look into the Asterisk Training Classroom,” I sat down with our Asterisk trainers to get an in-depth look into the course outlines for Digium’s Asterisk Advanced and Asterisk Fast Start courses, along with the goals of each training class. This post gives you more information about what happens after the training classes: the Asterisk certification process. There are two examinations that students can take following training: The Digium Certified Asterisk Administrator (dCAA Certification) and the Digium Certified Asterisk Professional (dCAP Certification). Here’s some information on both exams, including prerequisites, testing format, and how to get started on becoming a certified Asterisk guru.
All About dCAA Certification
Those who are just starting out with Asterisk- on the junior-administrator level- can take the dCAA exam. Many administrators take it as a self-test prior to attempting the dCAP exam; some use it as a study guide, and others use it as a simple way to get their foot in the door with Asterisk. The dCAA certification is awarded after passing the exam, which is intended to validate basic competency with Asterisk. It requires general telephony and VoIP knowledge as well as specific Asterisk knowledge related to installing, configuring, and administering an Asterisk system. The exam is completely free to take, it is administered online, and it’s comprised of 60 multiple-choice questions.
To pass the dCAA certification exam, it is recommended that you have experience administering an Asterisk system, and are comfortable installing, configuring, and maintaining an Asterisk server using Linux and Asterisk CLI commands. The Asterisk Fast Start training class will fully prepare you for the dCAA exam, although it’s not required as a prerequisite to take the exam.
All About dCAP Certification
The dCAP certification covers a specific released, stable version of Asterisk, and is a verification of your in-depth knowledge of the software. Since it’s based on versions of Asterisk, the certification never expires. The dCAP exam is offered by our Asterisk Training Partners (ATPs) worldwide. Price varies by location, so check the schedule for complete location and pricing options. Unlike the dCAA, which is offered online, users must take the dCAP exam in person, either at AstriCon; at Digium headquarters in Huntsville, AL; or with one of our ATPs at their testing location. The written portion of the dCAP exam consists of 115 questions concerning Asterisk and Asterisk-related technology, followed by a hands-on practical lab exam in which you are asked to configure a PBX according to a given specification. Students are given 90 minutes to complete both the written section and the hands-on practical lab. To pass the dCAP, it is recommended that you have read Asterisk: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition by O’Reilly, have actual working knowledge of setting up and maintaining an Asterisk server, have familiarity with the Asterisk sample configuration files, and have taken the Asterisk Advanced course (although it’s not required as a prerequisite to take the exam).
The Digium certified training classes are designed to provide you with the knowledge and experience required to pass the dCAP exam. Several tech training classes out there are promoted as “boot camps” in which you are guaranteed to pass the certification exam following training. This is not the case with Digium’s training. Taking the Asterisk Advanced course does not guarantee you will pass the dCAP, but it certainly increases the odds.
In addition to what you learn in the training classroom, here are some study tips straight from Digium trainers:
- Know how to configure Asterisk through the terminal. Be comfortable with the command line interface.
- Imagine the most basic things a telephone system needs to be able to do (dial out, join a conference call, dial an extension, access voicemail, etc), and know how to make those things happen.
- Be able to interpret error messages that come out of the Asterisk Command Line Interface. Know which configuration file to access in order to resolve a specific error message.
- DAHDI (another Digium open source project) provides a really great tool that will automatically generate configuration files for your hardware. Know how to modify and apply these automatically generated config files ( ‘dahdi_genconf’ ) to earn extra points on the exam.
- Access these resources for further study tips and information:
Check out the course schedules for upcoming training sessions offered by Digium and our global training partners.