February 27, 2020
  |   Ecommerce, Technical Development

Blue Acorn iCi Leaves Their Mark on Magento 2 Certification Exams

Every 12 to 18 months, Magento, an Adobe company, gathers subject matter experts (SMEs) to update the Magento 2 Certification Exams. These experts, along with Magento U leaders and developers from Adobe and Magento, meet around the world to analyze exams and update them accordingly, as well as create new courses. 

“To create scenario-based exams, it requires subject matter experts who perform the role the exam is designed for. Real practitioners leverage real-world experience backed by documentation and sources. What better subject matters to have than ones from the Magento Community!” said Peter Manijak, Head of Certification & Curriculum at Magento.

This year, Magento included experts from Corra, Mediotype (a Blue Acorn iCi company), and Blue Acorn iCi. Lee Safferite, CTO at Mediotype, David Agler, Senior Systems Engineer at Mediotype, and Greg Harvell, Director of Engineering at Blue Acorn iCi were among the group chosen to participate in the workshop. 

Greg previously participated in the Magento U Workshops in Boston and London. “If a subject matter expert performs well in a workshop, we will invite them to return to others, like Greg Harvell with Blue Acorn iCi. Since space is limited, we restrict to ten subject matter experts, and we vet everyone,” added Peter.

During the week-long workshop in Orlando, FL, Greg worked on the following exams:

  • Magento 2 Certified Professional Front End Developer
  • Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist
  • Magento 2 Certified Professional Developer

In addition to those exams, the entire group worked on the Magento 2 Certified Professional Developer Plus and Magento 2 Certified Associate Developer exam updates and wrote courses for progressive web apps and security.

Magento Exam Update Process

For each question, the subject matter experts check how many exam takers got the question right, as well as the correlation between who answered the question right and passed or failed the exam. The extensive audit ensures Magento developers with a thorough understanding of the platform are passing the exams, rather than individuals that memorize answers from practice tests. Additionally, the experts check for relevancy and technical accuracy as some questions become out-of-date due to Magento’s platform updates.

The SMEs quickly turnaround the updated exams. During the workshop, the group audits the exams, adds or changes questions, and tests the exams. By the end of the week, Magento has the updated exams ready to deploy.

“The connections the subject matter experts make are invaluable to them personally as well as the company which sends them. These workshops are an in-person event, usually lasting 4.5 days and each and every time we have been successful in creating the exam or course we had set out to create,” said Peter.

Want to learn more about the latest version of Magento 2? Listen or subscribe to Blue Acorn iCi’s podcast The Funnel on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

The Unique Nature of the Magento Community

When asked what makes the Magento Community unique, Peter answered, “The very fact that community members across the board contact me and offer to help not only with exam development but course development as well, that makes the Magento Community unique. We do strive to make the effort worthwhile, and by the very fact we get repeat SMEs or repeat companies, it shows there is tremendous value in participating.”

Due to the open-source nature of Magento Commerce, the roadmap for Magento largely depends on the community and what they envision. At the 2019 Magento Imagine event, Gary Specter, the Vice President of Global Commercial Business, noted some of the initiatives that originated from the Magento Community: advanced A/B testing, augmented reality, visual search, and emotional robotics.

The Magento Community has over 300,000 developers, and each one has an opportunity to contribute to Magento initiatives. “If someone likes getting things done, raising their profile and getting a chance to contribute to the community in a major way, these workshops are a vehicle to do so!” said Peter.

Shannon Abel
After graduating from Clemson, Shannon started her career in marketing, focusing on content creation and engagement. As Blue Acorn iCi’s Media Marketing Specialist, she keeps clients and customers up-to-date on the latest trends and news in the ecommerce world. She also produces and hosts Blue Acorn iCi's podcast, The Funnel. In her free time, she enjoys running with her dog and checking out the local breweries in Charleston.
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