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CA APM Tech Tip: APM CE Knowledge Levels

Question asked by Hallett_German Employee on Jan 11, 2015

Introduction

Over the years, I have written about APM CE administration best practices including administration philosophies and recommended tasks. But there has been one area that I have ignored purposely. Part of the administrator's day is assessing current knowledge levels and determine the needed training. But how does one do this self-assessment?

 

 

Knowledge Levels
Some years back, I created a list of what I thought were APM CE knowledge levels. This was released internally but not publically.

The knowledgebase article below provides this list:


http://www.ca.com/us/support/ca-support-online/product-content/knowledgebase-articles/TEC1590953.aspx

 

What are these various levels are based on? It includes the following:

 

  • Knowledge to adequately perform basic APM administration daily and weekly tasks.
  • Understanding of and ability to perform integration tasks at various levels
  • Experience in planning/performing trouble-free APM installs and upgrades.
  • Familiarity with using/producing all types of canned and customization reporting.
  • Strong comfort level  in customizing APM though such things as evidence collection, HTTP Plugins, Custom PBDs and Dashboards, and other means.
  • Efficient and effective troubleshooting for one or more APM products or CA Technologies integrations. This may require some idea of how these products work behind the scenes, knowing how to tell a real error from a false positive one, understanding the context behind a problem,  and using tools and techniques to optimize and troubleshoot a situation. This requires a wide range of skills such as reviewing LDAP authentication sessions, understanding database SQL queries in logs, and diving into network packet captures to see if traffic is being filtered out.
  • Ability to do architecture planning, cluster optimization and maintenance

 

How to improve your knowledge level.

 

 

 

So how does one improve their APM knowledge levels? Through the practice of consistent effort. Here are some suggestions below:

 

- There are variety of documents, trainings, and electronic forums available to improve your breadth and depth of APM CE knowledge. Become familiar with them. 
- Build yourself a training plan and try to get something completed each month. Reevaluate the success of your training plan and periodically review what should be

  included/excluded.
- Ask questions in forums and training sessions. One good answer can improve our understanding and help us succeed.
- Take the time to try out various scenarios in new and current releases in a laboratory environment to see what is possible.
  Sadly, some sites still do not have test environments for this purpose.

 

Questions for Discussion:

 

 

  1. Do these assessment levels make sense to you? What do you like and what would you change?
  2. Do you have a training plan that you follow and occasionally modify? What have you learned from this process?
  3. Do you have one unanswered APM question that you wish to have a clear and definitive answer for? If yes, what is your question?

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