Certifications, Professional, Terraform

HashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate


HashiCorp offers a certification for those wanting to benchmark their Terraform knowledge. The certification covers a wide range of topics. The topics include:

  • Definition of Infrastructure as Code
  • Terraform’s Purpose
  • Terraform Basics
  • Terraform CLI
  • Modules
  • State
  • Cloud and Enterprises capabilities.

The exam is offered by PSI for those wanting to take the exam remotely and you must have a GitHub account to take the exam. It’s around 60 questions and you have an hour to finish the exam.

I’ll attempt to give a high overview on where I felt is worth studying to assist others who might be looking at taking this exam.

Study Guide Outline

  • Terraform type:
    • Casting
    • What is required to define a variable:
  • Terraform taint
    • What it does
    • When it’s used
  • Terraform state
    • What happens a state file is directly changed
    • What happens to state if a resource is deleted from within the cloud provider’s portal
    • What happens if resources are updated outside of the state file
    • Default behavior when creating a state file
  • Reference properties
    • How to reference items in a for_each block
    • Reference individual properties of additional resources
  • Local Modules
    • What limitations there might be
  • Terraform State commands
    • list
    • mv
    • show
  • terraform fmt
  • IaC best practices
    • Why?
    • What benefits are there?
  • Remote state
    • Requirements
    • How terraform init interacts with this?
    • Where can remote state be stored?
  • How is a plan stored?
  • terraform init
    • Functionality
    • What is the output and where is it stored
  • local_exec
    • What it is?
    • What it does?
    • How to use it?
    • When to use it?
  • Versioning syntax
    • = vs ~> vs >
  • Modules
    • When to use them?
    • How to pass variables to them?
    • What functionality is available to them?
  • Terraform Cloud and Enterprise
    • What is it?
    • What is Sentinel?
      • Who can use it?
      • When is it ran?
    • Workspaces
      • What are they?
      • When to use them?


This wasn’t an overly difficult exam. For background I’ve been working in Terraform part time for about 8 months and didn’t find this exam overly difficult. The hardest part for me was understanding the Terraform Cloud and Enterprise pieces of it as it’s something I have never actively worked on and definitely worth learning what is out there.