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Experiencing the New Sitecore Developer Certification Exam (MVC)

I passed the new Sitecore® Professional Developer Certification exam, and I’d like to share some of my experiences. It’s a two-hour exam but you are likely to finish it in one hour or less. 70 multiple choice questions in total, no notes allowed. The exam questions are not very hard, but they are very comprehensive. They cover all the topics (shown below) listed on the Exam Study Guide page, and the accompanied percentages are quite accurate. The Sample Questions on that Study Guide page were a big help on the exam, and so were the review questions at the end of each module in the training material.

Competencies % of Questions
API 6 %
Architecture 2 %
Creating and Editing Items 9 %
Development Environment 6 %
Fields and Field Types 9 %
Installation 2 %
Marketing 10 %
Media 2 %
Module Packages 2 %
Multi-Language 3 %
Publishing 6 %
Search 10 %
Security 6 %
Sitecore Documentation and Support 2 %
Templates 11 %
Versioning 2 %
Workflows 3 %
xManagement 9 %
TOTAL 100%

It’s been about four months since I first got on Sitecore. I was staffed on a Sitecore project after the first month of learning and now the project has just been completed. If you could fully focus on just preparing for the exam, one month of time should be enough, assuming you have some prerequisite knowledge in ASP.NET and MVC. Here are some of my personal experience and recommendations:
– Watch all the Sitecore® Experience Solution Developer eLearning training videos. This is the most helpful resource for the exam. Take notes and screenshots throughout the course because:

  1. The course expires after a few months and you won’t be able to come back to it.
  2. Reviewing the notes and screenshots when it gets close to the exam day proved to be very helpful to me. Many exam questions come directly from details that I have taken down in my notes.

– Complete all the labs in the Workbook PDFs that come with the training. The labs are very hands-on and well designed. I did the labs after I went through all the training videos, because:

  1. I couldn’t help but first cover all the aspects Sitecore has to offer; doing the corresponding lab right after each module slows me down.
  2. Many, many topics are covered in the training (and surely in the exam), and I tend to forget some knowledge that I’ve learned as I go along with the training. Starting the labs after completing all the training videos gives me another chance to refresh and enhance my memory. There were some exam questions that I was able to answer because I did the labs, coded in Visual Studio and configured in Sitecore.

– (Optional) Get on a real-life Sitecore project. I have heard talk that the old Web Form training was not super helpful in terms of practical usage, but that’s not the case with the new training. I got up to speed with the project development quite fast because I was prepared from the training. More than a few times I used my notes and the book mentioned below as reference to resolve the problems I had at hand. On the other hand, the project experience familiarized me with Sitecore development and thus I could fly though the labs later without much need to debug.
– (Optional) Read the Professional Sitecore 8 Development book by Phil Wicklund and Jason Wilkerson. This book should be read after you complete the training material (said from someone who didn’t – I read the book first), or else you might often get confused reading it. This book will help you more in your development experience than the certification exam; it includes some discussion and projects on topics such as Helix, Inversion of Control, Design Patterns, the Sitecore PowerShell extension etc. If all you have is the book and you don’t have access to the $1500 training, this free course, Sitecore® Developer Foundations, can get you started with some basic concepts.
I’m very happy to share my experience with the hope that it can help prepare you for the exam. I encourage you to write any feedback about your experience or questions about the exam. Good luck!

Thoughts on “Experiencing the New Sitecore Developer Certification Exam (MVC)”

  1. Thanks for this article, I\’m just about to go through my SiteCore exam – unfortunately I had a bit of a delay between doing the labs and organising the exam so hopefully it\’s still fresh enough. I take your point about the videos being the most helpful part – I\’m currently stuck with just the module workbooks that I printed off (over 600 pages in total). As my training license has expired I have no access to the videos any more, so I\’ve mailed the training dept. at SiteCore to see if they will give me another month\’s access to help me prepare for the exam. Your notes are very useful though, especially as you\’ve just been through it recently.

  2. Pasan Samarakoon

    I am Sitecore Developer. i aso paln to do the exam.When I check the sites there are two exams Sitecore Certified Platform Associate Developer and Sitecore Professional Developer. Do you know what is the deference of these

  3. @Pasan Samarakoon: Thanks for the comment. Sorry I don’t really know much about that other exam. In fact it’s the first time I’ve heard of it.

  4. Thanks for the tips
    Just took and passed the exam few days back, the online proctored exam is 70 multiple choice questions, poster who mentioned the exam is 60 questions might be taking it in a test centre and not via webassessor.
    been a few days since i passed the exam however i am still unable to download any update from dev portal, account in the Sitecore developer portal still isn’t updated with my certification detail. just wondering how long it take for you to gain that access?

  5. Thanks for this article, The information you provided was so helpful. I have a question regarding the exam, Did you get the same questions provided at the end of each topic in the training material during the exam?

  6. Abhishek Shrivastava

    Sitecore Certified Platform Associate Developer is the latest Sitecore 9 certification. This should be the one to target going forward.
    Sitecore Professional Developer is the certification that validates the credibility/competency of the old version prior to Sitecore 9.

  7. Lokesh Kashaboina

    Hi Shu,
    This is Lokesh. I come from Java background and very new to Sitecore and ASP MVC. How much time do you think I would need to prepare for certification considering these things.

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Shu Jackson

Technical Consultant at Perficient, certified Sitecore developer, UGA M.S. of Artificial Intelligence & Master of Fine Arts.

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