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Breaking down the LFCA exam

The entry-level LFCA exam is a certification for beginners who wish to pursue a career in IT as a practitioner or manager. Here's a breakdown of what's involved!

Jun 08, 2023 • 5 Minute Read

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  • Cloud
  • Learning & Development

With the growth of new technologies, high demand for skilled employees, and not to mention a global pandemic, remote work is becoming more and more standard. This is true in many professions but even more so in the IT industry where the work, by its very nature, is done by interfacing with computers and networks.

So, if you are like many others who feel like they could benefit from a career in IT and the flexibility it offers, the obvious question is, “Where do I begin?” Well, let me recommend the Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate (LFCA) exam.

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The LFCA is an entry level certification that is geared towards those with little-to-no experience in information technology, but wish to pursue a career in IT as a practitioner or manager.

It covers many of the key knowledge areas that are fundamental to a career in IT. This includes:

  • The basics of the Linux command line and operating system
  • Cloud computing and concepts
  • Security
  • Tools and methods that are needed to support application development

By passing this exam, you will demonstrate the knowledge and aptitude needed for an entry level IT position. Now, let’s dive deeper into the domains and competencies that are covered in the LFCA exam.

Linux Fundamentals (20%)

This section begins with the basics of the Linux operating system. It tests your knowledge on the structure and key processes that keep the system functioning properly, as well as the Linux command line. Knowledge of basic commands for manoeuvring around filesystems, managing files and directories, and interacting with the system are important aspects of the section. The final competency involves a basic understanding of networking and network-related commands. 

System Administration Fundamentals (20%)

This section of the LFCA exam builds upon the previous and dives deeper into tasks related to system administration. This requires the use of elevated permissions and knowledge of the root user. These permissions are used to:

  • Manage and configure key system services
  • Alter the state of the system
  • Restrict access to the host

There's also a focus on the files and tools used to troubleshoot issues on the host in regards to applications and system resources. The final area covered is network configuration and tools. 

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Cloud Computing Fundamentals (20%)

Cloud Computing Fundamentals begins with the basics of cloud computing - virtualization, service models, deployment models, etc. This section also includes an overview of cloud service providers, the services they offer, as well as cost and budgeting. It also has a strong focus on serverless computing which includes key concepts and services.

Security Fundamentals (16%)

This domain begins with the basics of IT security and some common best practices. Then, the object of security becomes more specific starting with data security. This is followed by security at the network level and ultimately the system. For each of these security focus areas, you need to know the common strategies and tools that can be leveraged to implement the appropriate level of security.

DevOps Fundamentals (16%)

DevOps Fundamentals focuses on the core aspects of DevOps philosophy and tooling. This includes the CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) pipeline and the utilities and tools that support it. The Git utility is covered in detail and includes important concepts as well as commands. This section also covers the various aspects of container technology including popular platforms for implementation and orchestration.

Supporting Applications and Developers (8%)

This domain shifts away from the technical and focuses on the higher level view of application development. A large part of this involves software project management which includes different responsibilities and methodologies. One aspect of this is functional analysis, which involves the creation of functional requirements which drives application development.

Another major responsibility is selecting the architecture that an application uses, which ultimately dictates how it is developed. The final area for this section involves an understanding of open-source software, as well as the different types of licenses that they implement. 

As you can see, the LFCA exam covers a wide range of topics and can seem pretty daunting, especially for those who are new to the IT field. For anyone interested in taking a deeper dive into these topics and preparing for the exam, please consider checking out my Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate (LFCA) course at A Cloud Guru. The course is designed to not only prepare you for the exam, but to also give you real hands-on experience with the domains and competencies laid out by the Linux Foundation. In addition, it also serves as a great primer for anyone who is interested in a career in information technology. Best of luck on the exam!