I had an opportunity to take both exams related to those two most popular automation and configuration management frameworks.
Here are some thoughts about the Red Hat’s 405 (Puppet) and 407 (Ansible) exams.
I took the Ansible Automation exam first, late last year, and the Configuration Management with Puppet in the first quarter of this year. Both were KOALA (Kiosk On A Laptop) based and I attempted them in the City of London.
The Ansible exam was advertised by Red Hat as 3 hours, but I was given 4. I recently noticed that Red Hat’s website was corrected and advertises it as 4 hours. The Puppet one is scheduled for 3 hours.
From my experience, the Ansible exam was more time consuming and the 4 hour length is understandable, even if the task list was of similar length. EX407 also required more in depth knowledge of many aspects of Ansible (there were some gotchas!) than EX405 of Puppet. On the other hand, on the EX405 there was a requirement to do some tasks with Satellite, maybe to help put the exam within Red Hat’s software estate. The tasks related to Satellite weren’t hard, but experience with Satellite 6 is helpful to complete them. Some questions had tips included. I also noticed that some questions were very quick to perform and easy, while others taken a longer time.
EX407 is based on Ansible 2.0, then the very latest version. EX405 though is based on a rather archaic and now unsupported by the Puppet Labs 3.6 version. This was a bit disappointing, and if you are used to goodies of Puppet 4, it may cause you some problems with syntax, etc. Yet this is the version provided in both EPEL and Satellite channels, so if you want to take this exam, go back in time and try your knowledge on the 3.6.
I found the Puppet exam to be quite easy, but the Ansible one was just-right and very good. If you have to choose between these go, I’d recommend to get the Ansible. As with all Red Hat’s exams I’d recommend you read all the tasks first, to create a plan of action, because it may sometimes save you work (and time!) later on as some of the questions may depend on others.
Good luck on your exam!