Cloudera’s CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer (CCA175) exam validates the candidate’s ability to employ various Big Data tools such as Hadoop, Spark, Hive, Impala, Sqoop, Flume, Kafka, etc. to solve hands-on problems. I passed the CCA175 certification exam on May 13, 2019, and wanted to share my experience. This article has everything you should know about the CCA175 exam.
CCA175 exam has a time limit of 2 hours to solve 8-12 hands-on tasks on the Cloudera Enterprise cluster. Each task has to be solved using Big Data tools such as Hadoop, Spark, Hive, Sqoop, Flume, Kafka, etc. The passing score is 70% and the exam costs USD $295. There are no prerequisites for this exam. The exam can be taken from your remote location. All you need is a computer with a webcam and a good internet connection.
Official certification page – https://www.cloudera.com/about/training/certification/cca-spark.html
Register for CCA175 – https://university.cloudera.com/content/cca175
Why Cloudera CCA175?
CCA175 requires good knowledge and hands-on experience with technologies such as Hadoop, HDFS, Spark, Scala, PySpark, Sqoop, Hive, Flume, Kafka, and Avro. I enjoy setting goals and working towards them. I wanted to force myself to properly learn and practice these technologies. I tend to look through the User Guide and Documentation only when I face issues during my development. In preparing for a certification exam, I’m forced to learn the topics formally and read through the Documentation pages within the tight deadline. Unlike other Spark certification exams, CCA175 tests not just on Spark but also on other Big Data technologies. Furthermore, certifications help with showcasing that you possess the required knowledge in the domain.
One should be familiar with the following technologies to pass the exam.
- Apache Hadoop – Hadoop, HDFS, Yarn
- Apache Spark – Spark RDD, Spark Datasets, Spark SQL, Spark Streaming using both Scala and Python
- Apache Sqoop – Import, import-all-tables, export, job, eval, list-tables, list-databases, create-hive-table, merge, codegen
- Apache Hive – DDL, DML, Partitioning, Windowing and Analytical functions
- Cloudera Impala
- Apache Avro
- Apache Flume
- Apache Kafka
I believe the main objective should be to learn the topics thoroughly instead of learning the bare minimum to pass the certification. I strongly recommend practicing all the topics from the below URLs. This plan not only helps you complete the certification but also makes you proficient in these technologies.
- Cloudera Quickstart VM
- Install Cloudera Quickstart VM and get familiar- https://www.cloudera.com/downloads/quickstart_vms/5-13.html
- Itversity’s Courses
- Take the following courses if you don’t have any prior experience with Spark, Sqoop, and Hive.
- CCA175 course with Scala – https://www.udemy.com/cca-175-spark-and-hadoop-developer-certification-scala/
- CCA175 course with Python – https://www.udemy.com/cca-175-spark-and-hadoop-developer-python-pyspark/
- Official Programming Guides
- Read and practice the official getting started and programming guides
- Apache Hadoop
- HDFS Architecture – http://hadoop.apache.org/docs/current/hadoop-project-dist/hadoop-hdfs/HdfsDesign.html
- File System Shell – http://hadoop.apache.org/docs/current/hadoop-project-dist/hadoop-common/FileSystemShell.html
- YARN – http://hadoop.apache.org/docs/current/hadoop-yarn/hadoop-yarn-site/YARN.html
- Apache Hive
- Language Manual – https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/Hive/LanguageManual
- Command Line Interface – https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/Hive/LanguageManual+Cli
- Data Definition Language – https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/Hive/LanguageManual+DDL
- Data Manipulation Language – https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/Hive/LanguageManual+DML
- Windowing and Analytical – https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/Hive/LanguageManual+WindowingAndAnalytics
- Apache Spark
- Quick Start – https://spark.apache.org/docs/latest/quick-start.html
- RDD Programming Guide – https://spark.apache.org/docs/latest/rdd-programming-guide.html
- Spark SQL, DataFrames, and Datasets Guide – https://spark.apache.org/docs/latest/rdd-programming-guide.html
- Spark Streaming Programming Guide – https://spark.apache.org/docs/latest/streaming-programming-guide.html
- Submitting Applications – https://spark.apache.org/docs/latest/submitting-applications.html
- Apache Sqoop
- Apache Avro
- Specifications – https://avro.apache.org/docs/current/spec.html
- Apache Flume
- Apache Kafka
- Cloudera Impala
- Arun’s Practice problems
- Arun Kumar Pasuparthi has a good set of questions covering all the main topics.
- Problem Scenario 1 – http://arun-teaches-u-tech.blogspot.com/p/cca-175-prep-problem-scenario-1.html
- Problem Scenario 2 – http://arun-teaches-u-tech.blogspot.com/p/cca-175-prep-problem-scenario-2.html
- Problem Scenario 3 – http://arun-teaches-u-tech.blogspot.com/p/cca-175-hadoop-and-spark-developer-exam_28.html
- Problem Scenario 4 – http://arun-teaches-u-tech.blogspot.com/p/cca-175-hadoop-and-spark-developer-exam_5.html
- Problem Scenario 5 – http://arun-teaches-u-tech.blogspot.com/p/cca-175-hadoop-and-spark-developer-exam_9.html
- Problem Scenario 6 – http://arun-teaches-u-tech.blogspot.com/p/problem-6.html
- Problem Scenario 7 – http://arun-teaches-u-tech.blogspot.com/p/problem-7.html
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE – Practice each topic until you are very comfortable. Refer to the documentation whenever you have any doubts.
Things to remember before taking the CCA175 Exam
- Have a computer with a webcam and a good internet connection.
- Make use you have Google Chrome installed along with ExamLocal’s add-on. Verify your computer is compatible to take the exam by using the self-check – https://www.examslocal.com/ScheduleExam/Home/CompatibilityCheck.
- Keep an identification card like a Driver’s license or Passport to verify your identity to the proctor.
- Keep the desk and room void of any electronics and papers. The proctor would ask you to show the desk and room with your webcam to verify this.
- If you’re planning to take the exam on a laptop, connect it to an external monitor as the laptop screen may be too small to view the remote desktop.
- Ensure no one else is in the room before starting the exam. Keep the doors locked if possible to prevent any disturbances.
- If you’re taking an exam from your workplace or library, make sure the firewall is configured to allow connections to ExamLocal.
- Drink water and eat food before the exam as you’re not allowed any drinks or food during the exam.
- Use the restroom just before the exam starts as you’re not allowed any breaks during the exam.
Things to remember during the CCA175 Exam
- Be patient and remain calm. There’s no need to panic.
- Read all the questions before starting on the solutions. Start with the easy ones.
- Verify each solution after solving them. Check the output location and format of the output. You may not have time at the end of the exam to verify again.
- Be cognizant of the time. Skip the problem and come back later if you’re stuck.
- Keep in mind that you don’t need to score 100% as the passing score is 70%. It’s okay to miss a problem. Don’t let one hard problem impact your ability to solve other problems.
- Don’t wait until the program is running to generate the output. Let it run in the background and start working on the next problem.
- Always look towards the monitor and do not chew, talk, or cover your mouth during the exam. Proctor may disconnect you from the exam if they feel suspicious about your activities.
Things to remember after taking the CCA175 Exam
- Make note of the things that you found challenging during the notes. You can come back to this list later and close out your gaps.
- Relax and be patient. You will receive the exam results within 24 hours. I received mine within 2 hours after the completion of the exam.
- If you pass the exam, you’d receive your digital certificate and license within 48 hours. I received mine after 40 hours.
- If you didn’t pass the exam, remind yourself that this is not an easy exam and it’s okay if you didn’t make it. Practice the topics that you found challenging and come back stronger. DO NOT GIVE UP!
CCA175 is not an easy exam. Preparation requires at least a couple of months if your intention is to learn the topics thoroughly during the process. Keep reading and practice every scenario. If you follow the above plan, you’ll not only complete your certification but will also become proficient in these topics.
Please feel free to post your questions/thoughts below and share your success stories. All the best!