Sitecore Developer Certification Experience

A couple of weeks ago, I got my Sitecore 8 Developer Certification.

Here is my experience:

My company sent me to a 4 day Sitecore developer certification program in New York from January 5th – January 8th 2016.

PREPARATION:

Once you (or your company) sign up for the course you get an email from the Sitecore training manager on your setup steps. You need to install the basic core and training core sites as well as configure Sitecore Rocks on Visual Studio. The instructions are pretty detailed so make sure you don’t skip any steps. You will need to have your laptop configured before the first day of your course. They will also provide you a 30 day temporary license key. If you work for a company who already have some Sitecore projects get as much familiarity with the product as you can. This will help you understand the concepts explained in the class really well.

     THINGS TO CARRY:

  1. Laptop (with setup completed)
  2. Power cord
  3. Keyboard/Mouse (optional)

PREREQUISITES:

Here are some prerequisites for the course:

  • ASP.NET/C# – Intermediate (if you would like to use VB.NET in class, please let us know)
  • HTML/CSS/JavaScript – Intermediate
  • XSL/XPath – Beginning/Intermediate

A DAY BEFORE:

I flew down from Boston a day early, around noon to avoid rush hour traffic in Boston as well as in New York.  I would recommend getting there a day early so you get a good night’s sleep and are fresh for the first day of class. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on Water St in NY. It is a 5 min walk to the training center from the hotel. The rooms are extremely small but that’s what you would expect in the city of New York.

FIRST DAY OF TRAINING:

The first day of training started exactly at 9 am. I grabbed a quick breakfast at my hotel and reached the training center at 8:45 am. The trainer/instructor was Roby (last name Robicheuax). There were a total of about 8 people in the class. We were asked to introduce ourselves and state one interesting fact about ourselves.  Make sure you are prepared because it is difficult to come up with one at the last minute 🙂

There are some snacks, water, juices and coffee served at the training center. They do not serve lunch.  The first of training is the most basic but the most overwhelming for the people who are new to Sitecore. They walk you through a lot of concepts which I now feel are very simple but felt a bit overwhelmed the first day. There will be very minimal coding on the first day of training and will be only focused on Basic Sitecore site.

SECOND/THIRD DAY OF TRAINING:

The second and third days are pretty intense and will require you to drink a little coffee to make sure you are awake and attentive. You will be using the Sitecore APIs to build small functionalities. This is really interesting especially if you are a hard core developer. The trainer walks you through a lot of concepts and make sure you are not shy to ask questions. A lot of the concepts covered here will appear in the exam so make sure you pay attention and take mental notes. Give yourself sometime to prepare for the exam in the evening. This will boost your confidence because there is only so much you can remember in one shot. The more you revise the better prepared you will be for the exam.

LAST DAY OF TRAINING AND EXAM:

The last day focuses on the remaining topics like the marketing and permission model , workflows and many more. I felt the last day almost goes in a flash. I also felt the instructor just rushes through these topics and you are not in a mindset since you are already thinking about the much dreaded exam coming up later that day.

THE EXAM:

The exam is an hour long multiple choice test. You have 40 questions and need to get at least 28 (70%) correct to pass the test. Some of the questions are really simple but some are tricky and all 3 options are very similar. The key is that you understand the concepts really well. If you have been attentive in class it shouldn’t be difficult to pass the test. You will know the results within a couple of hours.

You should be done no later than 4 pm on Friday, so if you have a flight back don’t book it too late. I was able to reach the airport in 45 minutes but was flight was at 9 pm. Luckily, the 6:30 pm flight was under booked and they could get me into that flight.

Good luck and hope this helps!

– Aniket

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