CMA, CCA Certification and training

EliasG
Contributor

Has anyone been to these trainings? How are they? How about the test at the end to get certified? Any material out there to study? What is the test format? I am thinking about attending these soon and would like to get certified.

23 REPLIES 23

franton
Valued Contributor III

I'll let you know. I'm doing the CCA later this week.

The CJA I did a couple months ago. The session is fairly relaxed but informative. There is a practice exam that is open book that takes a few hours. The actual exam is the same conditions but much harder. Unless you've done server configuration and builds before, it's difficult.

It's also well worth it. I'm still waiting for my t-shirt!

dkagle
New Contributor III

Hello,

I have taken the CCA for Casper 8 and 9. Both classes were very detailed and lead by great instructors. I would recommend going to Minnesota if you can and take the class at JAMF. The class involved discussion and lab exercises that covered almost everything in the Casper Administrator guide. The cert test is presented to you like a real world scenario where you just became a Casper Admin and you have a set list of requirements. If you are person who really likes studying material, you can download the Casper Administrator's Guide from Jamf but the majority of the knowledge comes from the lab work.

EliasG
Contributor

I am more hands on when it comes to learning.

franton
Valued Contributor III

You will learn by doing.

talkingmoose
Honored Contributor II

The 3-day class for the CCA (Mac administration) and the 2-day class for the CMA (iOS administration) are akin to the 2-day and 1/2-day JumpStarts. They cover roughly the same things.

Whereas the JumpStarts are intended to give you an immersive and more personalized crash course in all things Casper when you're just starting to use it, the certification courses are better for those who have been using Casper for a while in production. The classes have labs and the tests at the end cover what you do in the labs. If you're not familiar with Casper I don't recommend taking the certification courses yet.

To prep for a class I recommend going through everything in your own JSS and trying to apply something to your environment—things like saved searches, configuration profiles, restricting applications. When I give a JumpStart I like to demonstrate how to create an extension attribute, use that in a smart group and use the smart group in a policy to trigger a script. That covers four features right there.

One word of advice about the tests. When something says "demonstrate" that means you actually need to do it. The instructor will review your JSS and be able to tell what work you accomplished.

JPDyson
Valued Contributor

I did CCA and CMA in the same week under 8.x.

I was shown the ropes in a live Casper environment by a CCA/CMA certified admin (superb Mac admin, had really been wielding Casper well for the environment), and I was running it for about 3 months before I took the training. While the training was largely review at that point, I felt like it was helpful to get an end-to-end overview on what the suite can do, as well as some perspective on best practices. Mind you, a lot of these practices are non-starters in certain environments for reasons that have nothing to do with what's actually best. FWIW, I had Miles for my classes, and I can't speak highly enough of how he lead them. It was very hands-on, and there was ample time for discussion.

mm2270
Legendary Contributor II

Something a bit intangible about courses like the CCA is that by being in a classroom with other Mac/Casper admins, you gain some knowledge about how other people accomplish the same tasks. In other words, there are always many ways to accomplish a task with the Casper Suite. Although there is generally a "best practice", there is also usually no one "right" way. It can be invaluable to see how other admins will tackle something. In many cases, you walk away with additional ideas of how to get something done in Casper in the future. And In some cases, you may realize that the way you've been doing something isn't the most efficient way it can be done. In essence, its easy to get into a fixed mindset way of accomplishing tasks, and seeing how other people do it can open you up to alternatives you may not have considered before.

This is all in addition to what others have mentioned up above.

blackholemac
Valued Contributor III

On this one, I want to make a point to give a shout out to the JAMF Education team. I have been through both CCA (Casper Certified Administrator) and the CCE (the new Casper Certified Expert class).

These are not run-of-the-mill training classes. In both, you get real hands on training and I like specifically that both focused on immediate tips and tricks that helped our environment as well as tips and tricks that are possible in settings other than my environment. While I'm with everyone on here that nothing replaces actual hands-on experience in a real world environment, these classes had something to teach both novices as well as seasoned experts. I won't comment too much but I had some "big names" in my CCE class in the Mac orbit and even they had things to learn from and contribute to the class discussions.

Thank you @dustydorey and Mike Paul (can't find your handle) for my time in these classes.

donmontalvo
Esteemed Contributor II

I got my CCA in April 2010, lead by Mr. Leacy, and it was one of the best cert classes I ever sat through. Lots of good exercises, really helped fill in gaps from having roughly a year working with the product. Worth the time/expence. Cert is good for 2 versions (7.2 > 9.2) so it's time for me to recertify.

--
https://donmontalvo.com

mvu
Valued Contributor

I took the CCA/CMA courses in Atlanta this past February. Loved it.

Experienced or not, you'll come to learn new things, best practices, and confirm what you already know. Test is open book/Internet -- you just can't call JAMF support. LOL.

The best part is meeting the people there. You'll be able ask questions, and even help others with their needs. In the end, you get cool pens, notebooks, and a t-shirt (mailed). And they fed us pretty well, too.

Highly recommend.

ctangora
Contributor II

I forgot which ones I got (but my badge will tell me after I reply), but they were both good for what they did. However, you don't need everyone in your org to do them all. It is a good showcase for what Casper can do, but each is limited to the scope of the class.

If I were to find a downside to them, it is this. What they do in the classes is show you what the Casper Suite can do, not necessarily what you want your devices to do, but what Casper can do. There are weak points in the JAMF suite and you can find some good remedies in the class, but it is not focused on making your solutions work, rather making what Casper can do work.

I didn't do the iOS one, but imagine it would do be the same.

ctangora
Contributor II

And I would also like to give Dusty and the Education crew there a tip o' the hat.

Excellent courses. Would recommend 10 out of 10 times.

Wakko
Contributor

Attending both classes CCA & CMA. Really put a lot of things into perspective. Like some have mentioned, it's great when the instructor(s) throw out scenarios. You get to see how everyone reacts to it differently and solves for the issue. They quickly gauge where you are at and quickly adjust to it. I had great instructors and they like when you ask them questions. I would definitely recommend the courses if you can attend them. I personally will return to get my CCE as time permits.

Matt
Valued Contributor

I did CCA and CMA. They do an amazing job helping people on every level. When I did my second CCA obviously I knew quite a bit so I was able to have the trainer show me some more stuff on the side, whereas the first time I took CCA I knew nothing and was able to walk out feeling confident and ready to go.

jhbush
Valued Contributor II

I just finished up renewing my CCA and CMA for version 9 and definitely recommend Chris Smalstig if you can attend his class

Not applicable

I earned my CCA for version 6 in NYC and then renewed for v8 in Chicago - I definitely learned quite a bit from other sysadmins the first time, and then was able to reciprocate and share some insight when I recertified. Highly recommended.

bentoms
Honored Contributor III
Honored Contributor III

Did my CCA for v7 with @milesleacy teaching, probably around March 2010 in London.

Was awesome, learnt a lot & am looking forward to my CCE in May in Amsterdam.

Definitely worth it!

jonathan_spiva
New Contributor

Highly recommend CCA/CMA combo. CJA is fun but way to focused JSS configuration details that aren't that useful unless you are a MSP, or integrator. I did the CCE recently and got a lot out of it, It's pretty serious but well worth it.

donmontalvo
Esteemed Contributor II

franton
Valued Contributor III

Day 2 of the CCA here in London and it's going well! It's exactly as I described in my first post, although i'm finding it a little "easy" mainly because what's covered has been my day job for the last couple years now.

For the record, @robpotvin is doing one heck of a job!

Chris_Hafner
Valued Contributor II

Just to post my $.02 (Read as, I've not read this thread).

I've done the CCA and CJA classes with a cma planned. By far these were my favorite trainings EVER. Everything is hands on and focused around real world issues, not test issues. Trust me, you will build and work your way through and the tests are on live systems. JAMF doesn't just pass folks along after having listened to speeches.

EliasG
Contributor

@franton how did the CCA go? I am going to Boston in June. How is the exam format?

franton
Valued Contributor III

Pretty much as described above. I passed. 1.5 days of theory with practice and a practical exam at the end.