Our resident Digium Certified Asterisk Professional (dCAP), Jonathan Rusk, was asked about the certification process in the wake of Astricon. I thought his response was too detailed and too good not to publish as its own entry. So if you’ve ever wondered what the dCAP is all about, here you go:
“There are two parts to the dCAP: 1) practical, 2) written. The practical requires you to configure a fully functional but tiny PBX. You start with Linux and must compile and install Asterisk, etc. Then you configure two or three phones (my test included one Polycom, one X-lite SIP phone, and one analog phone connected to an FXS port on a TDM410). You must also configure trunking (SIP or DAHDI), a simple dialplan, and a simple menu (auto attendant). Overall the practical test was easy for someone with Asterisk experience but the limited time (90 minutes) proves to be the largest challenge. The best best approach is quick and dirty configuration. There was no Asterisk GUI for my test; all configuration was done using text files (extensions.conf, sip.conf, etc.).
The written test was about 114 multiple choice questions. The time limit is also 90 minutes which was more than enough for me. The challenge for the written test is the breadth of subject matter. For example, I don’t typically work with H.323 but there are H.323 questions on the test. The Asterisk Advanced class helps very much with the practical test and helps with some of the the written test but does not cover everything seen on the written test. If you know typical Asterisk PBX configuration and design, and you read the O’Reilly Asterisk book, then the written should be passable.
You need to pass the practical and written parts of the test with 70% or better and each part stands on each own. In other words you can potentially pass the practical with 100% but get a 69% on the written and thus not receive the dCAP certification. My understanding is that you can retake just the practical or written if you only pass one of them.”