You can get certified on specialist exams before the rhce exam (ex294) , but the rhca will be valid once you have a vaild rhcsa (ex200) + rhce (ex294) + 5 specialist certs.
The mentioned link is not clear and actually confusing me regarding the combinations of certifications needed for RHCA.
However, the number of certs is clear for me now, thank you.
But I have below concerns:
1- Will taking 2 versions of same exam number like EX180V46K and EX180V410K count as one cert or 2 from the 5 specialist certs towards RHCA ?
2- If I have RHCE and taking administration exams, and want to take EX288 for OpenShift development, will it cause any problems when counting to RHCA?
3- In this moment, I did not find (EX380 - Red Hat Certified Specialist in OpenShift Automation and Integration exam) mentioned in the link, https://www.redhat.com/en/services/certification/rhca So, is EX380 retired or something?
Basically you get an RHCA after you have attained RHCE or RHCCD (equivalent of RHCE) and any additional 5 passed exams, regardless of developer or administration track.
Anything above that, the levels of the RHCA will go up, so in essence, you must have five (5) exams to obtain the RHCA after you pass the exams for the RHCE/RHCCD.
It is also possible if things are done backwards, that you have taken and passed seven (7) exams, but didn't receive the RHCA because you hadn't taken and passed the RHCE certification/equivalent RHCDD on the developer side. One the 8th exam is passed and you earn the RHCE, you will then also earn the RHCA Level 2 as you will have earned the RHCA +1.
As mentioned in other posts, taking the same exam, but on a newer version will only renew that certificate of expertise by three (3) years - not count as an additional exam for the required RHCA exams. However, each time you take and pass a certificate of expertise, it will not only provide three (3) years for that certificate of expertise, it will also extend the RHCSA/RHCE dates as well.
In order to have a valid RHCA, it is required that you maintain seven (7) non-expired certificates of expertise. As the exams expire, the RHCA level will decrease (if it is above a level 1). Once you have six (6) or less unexpired certificates of expertise, you lose the RHCA status until you can take and pass enough exams to hold enough (seven) certificates of expertise to regain the RHCA designation.
Hope this helps