After 6 months of daily sessions after work and long weekends spent studying, I finally passed the Magento Certified Developer exam. I have been working with Magento for over 3 and half years and while I knew my knowledge of the platform was pretty decent I thought it was about time I knuckled down and learnt it inside out.
The course is really comprehensive and covers all the areas of Magento you need to know in order to customise and extend the system as well as the inner workings of the framework which are really useful to know. Although in depth, the course content is not over the top and is certainly not just a memory test of functions and classes. Magento have done a really great job with the course content and exam, it’s certainly a proper test of your working knowledge and understanding which is often not the case with these kinds of exams. Even after 3 and a half years of experience I soon realised that I had big gaps in my knowledge, even in some of the basics (there were a lot of light bulb moments while studying!)
For those looking to take on the certification there are some really awesome resources available online that cover various sections of the course. In particular I found Belvg, Magestore, Alan Storm and the Mage study guide to be of real use, especially for the areas that aren’t so easy to tackle on a practical basis.
My top tips for studying….
Download the Magento Study guide – this will be your bible! It outlines every section covered in the course. Each section is broken down into key areas to study and includes questions to ask yourself to check you’ve covered the content fully as well as which bits of code to examine. When you get to the point where you can answer the majority of these questions in depth, you are more than likely ready to take the exam
Sign up to the 40 hour Fundamentals of Magento Development video lectures on Magento U. The course covers many of the certification topics and are explained really well, with some great examples.
For each section make sure your new knowledge is backed up with practical examples. I set myself coding tasks for each section which cover all aspects of that part of the course. There really isn’t any substitute for hands on experience with Magento and I found that it helped cement the ideas in my head.
Code, code, code. I am fortunate enough to be able to work with Magento pretty much all day every day at work. This gave me plenty of opportunity to apply the things I was learning which was good for me and also good for the clients’ websites which included functionality that I would have struggled to do before.
Allocate a large portion of time to cover the Checkout section. It’s the biggest section on the exam and I personally found the questions to be the hardest and most in depth.