Spring is the season of new life and right now leading open source company Red Hat is making big changes to its Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification. If there's an RHCE in your future, or if you're already RHCE-certified, then the spring makeover should have a positive impact on your career.
As explained by Red Hat certification director Randy Russell, the Red Hat Certified Engineer changes are linked to the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. Going forward, Red Hat Certified Engineer certification will emphasize different skills and knowledge.
Network services and security have long been at the core of RHCE, Russell said. These remain important skills, but with the upcoming changes we will shift the focus of the certification to Linux automation. We will especially emphasize automation by using Red Hat Ansible Automation.
Russell said that the shift in emphasis will keep Red Hat Certified Engineer aligned with industry trends. As organizations undergo digital transformation, scale, agility, and speeding the time it takes to put new applications and features in the hands of users become imperatives, Russell said. Data analytics and demands of the Internet of Things (IoT) require data storage on a scale that would have defied belief not long ago.
The key to staying abreast of ongoing IT evolution, Russell said, is a comprehensive, cross-functional automation strategy. The key to successful automation is knowledge of Red Hat Ansible Automation, Red Hat's automation solution, which can be smoothly integrated not just with Linux, but across other Red Hat technologies.
The changes to RHCE certification will also drive what Russell said is the front and center overarching goal of Red Hat certification: customer success. As both IT and IT-adjacent organizations shift philosophies and adopt and integrate new technologies, trained and certified professionals can be a key determiner of success.
Tech workers who are already RHCE certified won't be left behind. We value all Red Hat Certified Professionals highly, including RHCEs, Russell said. We never lose sight of their importance in helping customers succeed and hence in our success as well. Consequently, when we make changes we always try to enact them in ways that provide the least disruption to our certified community.
After an individual successfully passes the RHCE exam, their RHCE certification remains current for three years. Those who are close to the end of the cycle can refresh their skills by preparing for and passing the new exam. Russell said that Red Hat Certification will have multiple options to help those who have become RHCE certified more recently get up to speed.
Last year, Red Hat's overhaul of the Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) credential resulted in a shift from one RHCA certification to two. Russell said that RHCE, however, will remain a single certification. Red Hat Certified Engineer credentials earned under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 will be different in scope, he said, but we are not giving them different titles.
The RHCE exam aligned with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 will remain available for a full year after the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and the new RHCE exam. The new exam, like all other Red Hat certification exams, will be performance-based.
We continue to believe that asking people to do things is a better measure of technical skills and knowledge than asking people questions about doing things, Russell said.
The Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) credential remains a prerequisite for anyone contemplating RHCE certification. Beyond that, Russell said, the ideal RCHE certification candidate is someone who wants to build and undertake new challenges. It is not the certification for people who want to do the same thing over and over.