I just received my BSDA exam results today and I'm relieved to have passed :)

I would encourage others to give it a shot as well.  Even though it's supposedly targeted towards junior admins, even developers and senior admins will probably find aspects of it challenging.  In the course of study, I discovered some new tools and better ways of doing the same job I've been doing for the last decade. 

The exam lived up to most of its promises–the questions were straight-forward and clearly worded and it definitely separates those with real-world experience from those without.  Beware Linux admins — the BSDA exam has some Linux-y wrong answers so you'd better be sure of the differences in BSD before attempting it.  For FreeBSD admins, a little bit of exposure to the other BSDs is a must, especially the installers, pkgsrc, and upgrade procedures.  I don't think I could have passed without having installed each operating system a couple times and learned some of the basic differences between them and FreeBSD.  That's not to say that I had to become an expert in those operating systems, however–I think it's sufficient to just be aware of what's different and what what those different things are called.

I almost skipped BSDA entirely because I felt BSDP would be more appropriate and I was holding out for that exam.  In point of fact, there are relatively few BSDA certificate holders out there and so it is still a relatively exclusive club.  There are no BSDA boot-camps or leaked questions from the exams and the exam itself is psychometrically valid, so I think it's a good goal for BSD administrators looking to validate their abilities and experience.  It's a good run-up to the upcoming BSDP exam, which I think will in some ways be easier than BSDA since it will be less broad and more focused on specific real-world tasks.

One thing that keeps surprising me is that out of the huge number of people who registered IDs to be able to sign up for exams, only a very small fraction have actually followed-through and attempted the exam.  What's holding people back?  The exam is cheap enough that it's practically free, it's challenging and exclusive enough that it's a worthwhile goal, and the inconvenience of taking it at a convention is offset by the positive experience of meeting and interfacing with other working professionals. 

Certification doesn't matter in my workplace, but I'm still proud to be certified.  I'm proud to have an outside group validate my own personal achievement, I'm proud to be doing my part to advocate BSD and promote BSD awareness, and I'm proud to be doing my small part to support certification–especially for my fellow admins in other countries (and now even here, too), where jobs and education are scarce and any kind of professional training or certification can give them a leg-up.