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How to become Docker Certified Associate (DCA)?

Physical Servers -> Virtual Machines -> Containers -> UniKernals, these are required to run the Customer APPLICATIONS. VMware changed the physical data center footprint and it’s time for Micro-Services model to transform virtual data centers. SDDC and Cloud consumption models are required to run “Infrastructure as Code” but knowledge of Docker/Containers/Kubenetes is must, to search jobs in Nex-Gen Infrastructure support model. I don’t want to scare you with all these terms but we are going towards shrinking the support teams and build the Infrastructure as needed from the code to avoid the maintenance costs.


Here is my successful journey/path/story to achieve “Docker Certified Associate”. I’m neither core Linux Administrator nor a developer to start my Docker journey. Windows dockers are not fully baked (my perception) and don’t worry about pre-requisites for the course. I started with basic courses followed by Deep-Dive sessions from hosted by Nigel Poulton. I recommend you to buy the soft/hard copy of “Docker Deep Dive” from Amazon to prepare for the exam without a laptop (I prefer paper copy) and reduce screen time. Leave a comment with your e-mail ID for tips to buy the book. There are three stages in this journey starts with basics, deep-dive and finally attempt the exam. Please find the Benefits & Exam details section from Docker official site. You can find the similar courses from Udemy & Linux academy from other authors which can be used to prepare in the same path.


From Docker official site:


Stage 1: (Basics Learning)

You can skip this stage – if you know how to install and configure the Docker instances in both Windows & Linux machines. Also familiar with the commands like docker version/run/search/pull/start/stop.

Course 1:  Getting Started with Docker

Course 2:  Docker and Kubernetes: The Big Picture

While listening the courses finish below labs (Optional)


Stage 2: (Advanced Learning & lot of command line)

If you skip Stage 1 then you need to spend more time in this Stage for better understanding the fundamentals and required commands.

Course 1:  Getting Started with Docker Datacenter

Course 2:  Docker Deep Dive

While listening to the course use below free labs.


Stage 3: (Ready to attempt the DCA Exam)

Once you have completed the Stages 1 & 2 and able to remember the commands like docker volume/push/node/service/swarm/network, which allows you to complete the final courses and deploy home lab with 30 days trial license. Here is the Docker Certified Associate Study Guide (old document from 2017)

Create the user ID and register the exam via Examity. There are plenty of slots available 24×7 and you can write this exam from your home or office (make sure no one walks to your desk/laptop) during 90 minutes exam window. Also, you need to carry a valid ID card as proof like Driving license, Govt ID or passport.

Course 1:  Docker Networking

Course 2: Managing Docker Images


FREE Practice exams questions:

PAID Practice exam questions:

Amazon Exam collections:  Docker Certified Associate (DCA) Practice Tests 2019

Docker Certified Associate Exam Preparation Guide (v1.0.1):


Exam results are immediate and followed by certificate e-mail reach your Inbox in less than 10 minutes. Here is the successful exam attempt: 

Pro tip for the exam: You may see simple questions for volumes but if you don’t remember the command syntax, it will be very difficult to isolate the actual answer from multiple choices. Networking/Storage are good areas to score more marks where as Security/Swarm need deeper study. Also don’t forget the limitations of CLI vs UCP and what activity can be peformed from where like LDAP Authentication and RBAC. Finally unless you practice the required commands from docker documenation, it will be hard to clear the exam in the first attempt.

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