Walking Towards Drupal 9 Site Builder Certification
Finally I passed the exam
Watching my name listed on Acquia Certification Registry was not even in my wildest dreams. After joining the Drupal community and watching people listing their achievements on their profile I started challenging myself to achieve the same. This blog is about how a 1.5-years experienced Drupal developer approached for the Acquia Drupal 9 Site Builder certification and the experience of the journey.
Why I procrastinated and what held me back
Though it was one of my goals, I was afraid of taking the challenge as I didn't have any experience with online tests and, without one of my colleagues, I didn't know anyone else who sat for the exam. To add with that, the resources provided on drupal.org were too huge to find where to start from. Regarding that, I had several discussions with my coworkers and they guided me in the preparation and about the exam. Later on I connected with a few other Drupal community members and heard about their experience which gave me courage to sit for the certification exam.
What was my purpose to do it
Initially I wasn't much interested in taking the certification as there is controversy regarding whether a certification can validate a developer’s knowledge and skill. I found the Acquia certification different in this case. Acquia assures that they test the capability of implementing solutions in different test cases which requires working experience on different components of Drupal. In addition, they provide a breakdown of the final score in several domains. That means to some extent the certificate can speak on behalf of me and my work experience. As a bonus I got an individual score on each domain which helped me to analyze my strengths and weaknesses so that I can work on improving myself. Everyone wants that, and I wasn’t an exception. As a result I started walking towards my goal.
How SJ Innovation helped
SJ Innovation had a year long goal to prepare and help its employees to get certified in Drupal and a few other domains. As a part of that goal, it provided paid preparation time and paid the exam fee. From preparing the course outline to the end of the exam, seniors and peer members in my team had mentored me and did regular follow up. Along with my personal efforts, contributions from the SJ Innovation team played a vital role to bring the initiative to fruition.
Resources for preparing
As I mentioned earlier, the general syllabus for the exam is vast and that was overwhelming. But after looking on the internet I had shortlisted a few resources. The most important thing to note is that only reading the documents doesn’t help; after reading a topic it must be implemented and practiced on projects. It gives the most outcome in trial and error method. One has to pick a topic and build something on a project using that. While building, the more one gets errors and fixes that, the more one gets ideas of different test cases of that topic, and that's the secret of cracking the exam.
Here I have listed the resources I used for Drupal 9 site builder exam:
- Acquia Academy YouTube Resources
- Drupal 8 Beginner’s Course
- Drupal 8 Site Builder Course
Exam Registration has elaborate answers about the exam procedure and environment. One may choose from an online proctored or an onsite proctored exam delivery option. Due to covid situation I had to take an Online Proctored Exam. Online Proctored Exams are different from the usual academic exams we are used to taking. One should read each and every detail provided on Exam Registration and Acquia webassessor. Kryterion testing solution provides online and onsite proctored exams. Depending on the exam type they have different requirements of system and environment. All of these details are provided on their website and youtube channel. They have a support team who replies rapidly if contacted via their website.
For me one of the most challenging parts of that was keeping concentration consistently and not moving my eyes from the computer screen.
Certification doesn’t only support validating skills, it boosts confidence as well. I am planning to prepare for other certifications on the same track. If it is in your to do list as well, it's high time to start. If you have queries or suggestions, find me on LinkedIn. I would love to hear back from you.