October 2017 Coffee Chat: Certification Test Prep with Phil Weber

Sure, you could become a New Relic Certified Pro on your own, but where’s the fun in that? Join us for this special hour of study prep with author of the test and master of all dad jokes, Phil Weber @philweber ! We’ll make sure you get all your APM questions answered so that you can fly through the exam!

Event Details

Date: Wednesday, October 25

Time: 11:00 am PT

Register Today

What’s a Coffee Chat?

We’re so glad you asked. Grab a coffee (or tea, or energy drink), pull up a chair and join us in our Slack space for an hour of conversation. You ask the questions, we supply the answers. Not in our Slack space yet? Register for the Coffee Chat and we’ll send you an invite the day before.

Preview Dad joke: King Tut and I don’t have much ankhamen.

1 Like

@philweber - This is when I start looking for the down vote button :wink:


:coffee: :coffee: :coffee:

Certification Study Buddy Coffee Chat with @philweber

October 25, 2017 Conversation from #coffee-chat Slack Channel

@hross [10:39 AM]
Hi folks! Certification Coffee chat is getting started in 20 minutes. Go grab your cuppa :coffee: or :tea: and join us back here.

@philweber [10:50 AM]
:beer: ?

@Linds [11:02 AM]
It’s 5:00 somewhere, @philweber!

Let’s get started!

Hello and welcome to our Coffee Chat study time with the one and only Phil Weber—this is your chance to ask Phil questions about becoming New Relic Certified!

@philweber [11:03 AM]
Hi, everyone.

@Linds [11:04 AM]
I have an easy starter question for you Phil: Why become certified as a New Relic pro?

@philweber [11:05 AM]
Our main goal with certification is not to make it difficult to pass the test, or to generate revenue. Rather, we want to make sure that customers can use New Relic APM effectively and get maximum value from the products they’ve purchased.

Plus, it looks good on your CV or LinkedIn profile. :slight_smile:

We allow 90 minutes for you to take the 35-question test, which gives you plenty of time to look up answers in the documentation or to check things in the New Relic UI.

And you get 3 attempts to pass the test, so if at first you don’t succeed…

To help you prepare for the test, here is a list of topics you should know: https://workflowy.com/s/_Ox.kgblYPtZ0p

@ Dniedermayer [11:09 AM]
I haven’t watched the self-guided videos …yet, but is there any focus around supporting different apps/languages. I know if in the past I have attended the FutureStack APM bootcamps and local training events (Chicago) - they have been really focused around supporting apps running on java, ruby, phython, etc. My concern is we are a .Net shop and unfortunately dont support much outside of that

@philweber [11:11 AM]
Great question, @Dniedermayer! The test is language-agnostic, so there are no questions about specific agents or language features.

It’s really just about how APM works, how to use the various dashboards and features, etc.

@Dniedermayer [11:11 AM]
ok - awesome

@philweber [11:12 AM]
In fact, we deleted some questions during the beta that only applied to specific agents.

One topic people seem to struggle with is the concept of metrics vs. events. Can anyone explain the difference? What is a metric?

@philweber [11:13 AM]
Metrics vs. Events

Here is a question from the test.

@philweber [11:14 AM]
No takers? OK, I’ll answer my own question. :wink:

@ Dniedermayer [11:14 AM]
middle 1st row?

@philweber [11:16 AM]
Metric data is what the various language agents send once per minute. It is aggregate data: the average response time, number of transactions, etc. for that minute.

Events, on the other hand, are not aggregated. They are discrete records of individual transactions, browser page views, etc.

So, in the UI, most APM charts are based on metric data; most Insights charts are based on event data.

@ Dniedermayer [11:18 AM]
so…last one on first row

@philweber [11:19 AM]
Another question people struggle with is about high-security mode.

@philweber [11:20 AM]
Where can you find the answer to that question?

Hint: https://docs.newrelic.com/search-results?query=high%20security%20mode

@Linds [11:23 AM]
Definitely HTTP parameter capture…!

@philweber [11:23 AM]
I think a lot of people guess at the answer, rather than taking the time to check the docs.

@Linds [11:23 AM]
Do they guess right?! Did I? :wink:

@philweber [11:23 AM]
That’s one of the answers, @Linds. :slight_smile: It’s “Check all that apply”.

@Linds [11:24 AM]
Oh right right

@philweber [11:25 AM]
We did an internal certification prep training yesterday, and discovered a problem with one of the questions.

It turns out that when you take the exam, it loads in a pop-up window, and the correct answer to one of the questions was outside the pop-up; you had to scroll right to see it. Oops!

We fixed that yesterday. :slight_smile:

@philweber [11:27 AM]
Database N + 1 problems

@philweber [11:27 AM]
^ See the blank space on the right? :wink:

@Linds [11:30 AM]
It’s great to see examples from the actual test, @philweber! What resources do you recommend to these folks for when they get ready to take the test? You mentioned above enough time in-between questions to look up answers if need be?

@philweber [11:31 AM]
I posted a link above to a list of topics covered on the test. Here it is again: https://workflowy.com/s/_Ox.kgblYPtZ0p

That’s the actual outline I use when I teach our certification prep course.

(Which, by the way, there’s one of tomorrow.)

@Linds [11:32 AM]
Super helpful—can all of this be found in the docs?

@philweber [11:32 AM]
Also, yes, don’t be afraid to check the docs, or log into your New Relic account and check things in the UI.

And we have lots of great self-study material on the New Relic University web site: https://learn.newrelic.com/courses/intro_apm

@Linds [11:34 AM]
discuss.newrelic.com also has a Certification category—we have seen some great conversations happening in there around becoming certified.

@philweber [11:34 AM]

@Linds [11:34 AM]
@Dniedermayer What is your main motivation to become a certified pro?

@ Dniedermayer [11:34 AM]
^ registered -

Honestly I am in the Infra space - and New Relic falls under my responsibility. We have been using the product for a couple of years. I just saw the info for certification and thought, why not ? :slight_smile:

I like the product a lot - just we are a small shop and I kind of am the evangelist in house to our developers to pump more and more info in new relic -

@philweber [11:37 AM]
Great! We love in-house evangelists.

@Linds [11:38 AM]
We see that kind of thing a lot. Being the “New Relic Guy/Gal” at the company is something you should put on a resume!

@philweber [11:38 AM]
Here’s another question a lot of people miss…

@philweber [11:38 AM]
Cross-application tracing

@philweber [11:39 AM]
If you use APM to instrument both sides of a service call, you can quickly jump from the client to the server with one click.

Apparently a lot of people don’t know that. :slightly_smiling_face:

APM has so many features, it’s easy to miss them, and it’s difficult for us to cover them all during training.

@Linds [11:42 AM]
Jumping from the client to the server with one click is very nifty—where exactly do you click, Phil?

@philweber [11:42 AM]
Hint: See the red bar near the bottom? Look closely at that line.

@Linds [11:43 AM]


@ Dniedermayer [11:44 AM]
ok i was going the long way - learned something today :slight_smile:

@Linds [11:44 AM]
I do love a shortcut!

@philweber [11:44 AM]
If you were to hover over that icon in the UI, a tooltip would tell you what it means.

@Linds [11:46 AM]
~10 min warning! Any last questions for Phil?!

@philweber [11:46 AM]
Here’s one more that people struggle with…


@philweber [11:47 AM]
People assume that GET requests do not require an admin key, and POST requests do, but it’s not that simple.

Get in there and play with the API Explorer: https://api.newrelic.com/

If nobody asks me a question, I’m going to have to tell a joke.

@Linds [11:49 AM]
Please do :joy:

@philweber [11:50 AM]
Q: Why do cows have hooves instead of feet?

A: Because they lac-tose.

@Linds [11:50 AM]
HA! That one actually made me laugh out loud…

Any last tips and tricks to share @philweber?

@philweber [11:51 AM]
A passing score is 80%; that means you can miss 7 questions, so don’t stress too much.

@ Dniedermayer [11:52 AM]
So guidance is - watch videos, attend workshop. Any other resources?

@Linds [11:52 AM]
https://discuss.newrelic.com/c/customer-on-boarding/proven-practices-certification (edited)

Ask questions! Phil hangs out here a lot ^^

@philweber [11:53 AM]
^ @Dniedermayer Yes, those, and use the product! The more you use the various features, the easier it will be to pass the exam.

@ Dniedermayer [11:53 AM]
fair enough - now that i am slack member -

@philweber [11:53 AM]
I have no life. :slight_smile:

@ Dniedermayer [11:53 AM]
lately i have been living in Insights

@philweber [11:54 AM]
Insights is awesome! We hope to create additional certifications in the future, and Insights is high on the list.

@Linds [11:54 AM]
Awesome! Well thank you all so much for being here! And thanks to Phil Weber again for sharing his nuggets of wisdom and his dad jokes!

@ Dniedermayer [11:54 AM]
@philweber @Linds - thanks again -

@Linds [11:54 AM]
Keep your eyes peeled for our next Coffee Chat and don’t forget: if you certify this month, you will get special swag!


@philweber [11:55 AM]