The Complete Guide to Preparing for the CCA175 Apache Spark & Hadoop Developer Exam

Big data can be a big opportunity for modern professional developers, and one of the most in-demand big data certificates today is CCA 175 certification.  The CCA175 exam is worth considering for any developer who wants to learn how to fully work with and leverage data processing with Apache Spark, and use that to help propel their career.

If you’re looking to get certification as an Apache Spark and Hadoop developer then you need to prepare for the CCA175 exam.  In this article, I’ve outlined everything you need to know about the CCA175 to be fully prepared to pass it on your first attempt.  To make this a complete guide on CCA175 preparation, we’ll look at every subject on the exam, some of the different options you have when studying for and taking the test, and wrap it by looking at all the best resources available on the subject.


Overview of Apache Spark & Hadoop Development

Alright, before we deep dive into the CCA175 exam, we should start with the prerequisite knowledge you’re expected to have.   If you are considering CCA175, the basic assumption is that you’re already familiar with the basics of Apache Spark, Hive, and Sqoop.  In addition, it helps if you already know how to program in either Python or Scala, because the CCA175 exam requires you to code your answers.  However, even if you don’t know either of those languages, we’ll explore some solutions to get you up to speed as long as you have some basic programming experience in any language.

The CCA175 exam will test your understanding of the Apache Hadoop ecosystem and how it relates to data processing, including distributing, processing and storing data in Hadoop clusters.  Using either Python or Scala, you must also code and deploy an Apache Spark app onto a Hadoop cluster, and later show your experience with Spark shell, Spark SQL and Spark Streaming to round out the CCA175 exam.

The CCA175 Exam: Choosing Between Scala or Python

Let’s make this easy: if you’re new to programming then choose Python, if you’re an experienced programmer and don’t know either language choose Scala, otherwise, use the language you’re already more familiar with.  Python is dynamically typed, meaning that it is about 10 times slower in executing code than Scala, so if you’re processing large datasets then Scala is the better-suited language.  Let’s be clear: if you’re planning on regularly processing big data then Scala is the ideal choice.

if you’re processing large datasets then Scala is the better-suited language

If you don’t know either language, but consider yourself an intermediate or better programmer, either option is totally suitable.  In general, Python isn’t used as much as Scala for Apache Spark, but Python is used much more outside of Spark and is easier to learn then Scala.   Like the name implies, Scala is scalable but a bit harder to learn in both theory and practice.  If you want the “easy” path of least resistance, choose Python, but if you’re looking for high performance data processing in enterprise scenarios, Scala is the clear winner.  If you have the time, you may want to consider learning both languages for ultimate versatility.


How to Pass the CCA175 Apache Spark & Hadoop Developer Exam

Currently the price of the CCA175 exam is $295 USD, so it makes sense to do the studying and preparations necessary to pass the exam on your first attempt.  The best way to do that is to follow a learning track that goes over everything you can expect on the exam.  This means taking away the mystery of what’s on the test by following a guide who has already mastered the subject and who has taken the exam themselves.


For instance, if you want a complete crash course on passing the CCA175 using Python as a beginner, then checkout this comprehensive Edureka course which will take you from novice to expert with over 36 hours of online live Instructor led classes and accompanying course-work.  You don’t even need to understand basic programming principles beforehand because this course will get you up to speed with the basics of programming in Python and using PySpark to work with data.  By the end of the course you will be ready to take the CCA175 exam using Python as your programming language.


Perhaps you want to use Scala as your programming language instead of Python, which makes sense.  If that is the case, then this Edureka course on the CCA175 is better suited towards preparing you to pass the CCA175 exam on the first try using Scala.

The difference between Eduerka and other platforms is that each course is lead by a live instructor, you also have access to chat with a tutor and finally you can contact the team at any time after graduation for questions you may have about the material. This hands on approach is why Edureka works so well, since you’re able to get personal help and participate in real human social interactions to learn and communicate more effectively.


What is Actually on the CCA175 Exam & What Skills are Tested?

The CCA175 Apache Spark and Hadoop Developer certification requires scoring a 70% or higher on your CCA175 exam.  The actual test consists of up to 12 practical tasks that you are required to perform on a Cloudera Enterprise cluster using Scala or Python to code solutions to each problem.  You have up to 2 hours to finish the entire test.


The content of the CCA175 test is divided into 3 basic sections:

  • Reading, modifying and writing data to and from HDFS.
  • Using Spark SQL to perform data analysis and other data processing, filtering and modification queries.
  • Demonstrating your knowledge of command line options for your Apache Spark application.


The Value of Taking a CCA175 Practice Exam

Once you’ve done your homework and feel like you’re ready to take the CCA175 exam, the first thing you should do is take some practice tests.  If you pass a series of practice tests then you can rest assured, you’re ready for the real deal.

If you can pass practice tests
then you will have no problem passing the real CCA175 exam.

For instance, here is a Udemy pack containing 4 different practice CCA175 tests.  This is a fantastic value, because it goes over everything you can expect from the real test, but in multiple different ways.  If you pass all 4 of these practice tests, then you will definitely pass the actual CCA175 exam on your first attempt.


The Versatility of Apache Spark Development & Deployment

While the CCA175 exam is specifically for Apache Spark development running on Hadoop, the reality is that you can run Apache Spark on Amazon EC2, Apache Mesos or Kubernetes (K8s) and access data using HDFS, Apache Hive and a ton of other data access sources.  This means that with CCA175 certification, you can expect to enter almost any Apache Spark deployment and still have practical skills that allow you to work on data sets, regardless of hosting environment or server powering the project.


Parting Words of Wisdom for Passing the CCA175 Exam

Big data is only getting bigger, and those with the necessary skills to leverage that data are going to make big money. This makes the CCA175 certification a very attractive cert to pursue if you’re looking to advance your career.


Thanks for reading this preparation guide on the Apache Spark and Hadoop development.  Hopefully I have helped to show you a clear path towards completing the CCA175 exam on the first attempt.  With the proper training and knowledgeable guides, all you need to do is follow through, study, and then ace your test.


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