The intention has always been that I undertake the Magento 2 Certified Associate Developer Exam. After revising the courses from the Development Essentials, the online material from Magento U and the online study guide, I was fairly confident that my knowledge was sufficient to tackle this challenge.
Let me tell you, the exam is much harder than I ever expected it to be, yes it is multiple choice questions but I was not expecting the range, variety and obscurity of the questions thrown at you. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful on this occasion scoring 63.93% and according to the study guide a pass mark would be 64%. I’m not at all disappointed with result, I have only had 3 weeks hands on experience with Magento 2 and it is recommended that a year of development is required before undertaking the exam. It was very close and the feedback provided reasonably insightful. In most areas I had achieved a 60%+ rating with a clear knowledge gap surrounding the adminhtml back-end customisation, scoring just 42.85% for this section.
Overall Score: 63.93%
- Magento Architecture & Customization Techniques: 70.00%
- Request Flow Processing: 75.00%
- Customizing Magento UI: 66.66%
- Working with databases in Magento: 63.63%
- Developing with adminhtml : 42.85%
- Customizing Magento Business logic : 60.00%
The majority of the Magento provided training (at a cost) says it will prepare you for this exam, although I found that the admin html customisation focus in the courses had a fairly light touch with more importance placed upon customisation of core features and general module creation. So if you have not had much experience with admin customisation I would recommend brushing up in that area and the best source for doing this in my opinion comes from information and examples in the official Magento 2 dev docs.
Some of the things I was not expecting were the random “what table is x data stored in” and “whilst reviewing a third party module you come across the following line of code… what are the implications” these and many more were never covered as part of the training materials, I suppose this is where the hands on year of experience would be beneficial, but I suspect that you could dev for a year and still never come across some of the scenarios presented in this exam.
I appreciate there is little in the way of mock exams out there or official preparation materials and the best I found was SwiftOtter, although I did not pay for the extra 25 questions and opting only for the 8 freebies. Even after sitting the exam I don’t think that paying for the extra mock questions would have helped and actually I feel that if you are paying for the Magento courses / online training a mock exam should be included pro bono.
The positives coming out of this are that I have now identified the gaps in my knowledge and feel that with a few more days of study time I would be able to pass this exam. I spoke to Sarah Dougherty from the Magento training team in the US prior to sitting and from what I gather Magento are not expecting a high first time pass rate, this was reflected in the depth and variety presented in the exam, with my fairly limited exposure to the Magento 2 platform I feel that the results obtained were a good first time achievement, admittedly not a passing result but a strong effort non the less.