EPiServer Certified Developer for CMS 6
Last week I travelled to London to do the EPiServer CMS 6 Developer Certification exam and, I must say, it’s a relief to get it over and done with. Leading up to the exam I was getting pretty nervous, there is a lot to know.
There is no point in beating around the bush, the exam is difficult. It’s not difficult in a way that it requires a lot of thought to your answers, but the range of areas it attacks you from is very wide. I was revising for a few days before the exam (on and off) with the expectation that the questions could be about anything in EPiServer. I must say I truly underestimated just what anything meant.
I didn’t do the advanced EPiServer developer course, only the introductory one and that was back at the beginning of 2010. I had done a couple of projects before the exam but just doing projects won’t get you a pass, not unless they expose you to lots of the CMS. After doing the exam I can see all the blog posts telling you that the exam is tough are not exaggerating. In order to get as close to 100% as possible you need to know everything from what all the buttons do in the editor to knowing how to write extensions for EPiServer like scheduled tasks and MVC gadgets for Online Center.
With the excitement of working with a new product I have had given myself a few side projects that have helped me acquire some insight into additional features of the CMS that were not a part of the client projects I had been involved in. Content channels, creating custom property data and property controls classes for example, these are areas any EPiServer developer should have a fair knowledge of. If you aren’t doing complex websites for clients, giving yourself tasks to build your knowledge is a must. Read up on everything and anything. Try it out yourself, break things, fix things. I've always learnt best this way. Also, remember that even if you think something is easy double check you you know it inside out - a couple of things really caught me out because I just didn’t know it well enough to the detail required.
As a bonus I explored the assemblies using Reflector, browsed the API and learnt namespace paths and class names - the namespaces didn’t come in handy in the end, but if I had different questions they may have.
I suggest creating a check-off list of areas to learn, I found this helpful to keep track of what I had and hadn’t covered. With a list of areas you can split up the list into chunks and plan your study time before you start, I find this allows for better use of time and eventually gives better results as you’re not sitting there trying to decide what to do next.
I had a study buddy in the form of fellow developer Joel Williams, it was good to have someone to talk to and ask each other questions, if one of us didn't understand something then there was a good chance the other one did and could explain it or if neither of us knew then we could figure it out more easily together.
Anyway, the exam was positive and I hope to have the white and orange letters appearing on my EPiServer World profile photo any time soon!
Some Helpful Links
Below are a list of links to articles that helped me out. You’ll find these useful if you want to compile a list of areas you want to concentrate on. Reading over these pages should give you a good idea of just how much you need to study in order to give you the best chances of passing and becoming an ECD.