Get Legit: Acquia Developer Certification Program
Having recently become an agency partner with enterprise Drupal hosting provider Acquia, we are, naturally, heavily vested in supporting Acquia’s efforts to creating a diverse and sustainable and developer community.
Part of that effort involves the new Acquia Certification Program, which is the first effort to bring a universally-accepted standard for Drupal developers, similar to Google’s Adwords Certification or Microsoft’s Certified Professional Developer (MCPD).
About the Certification
The test is a 90 minute, 60 question, supervised exam with no access to reference material. The questions range from high level concepts to site configuration, theming, template modification and module/back-end development.
At Drupalcon 2014 in Austin, our five developers in attendance took the exam, preparing shortly before hand with a provided study guide. Their reactions were unanimous: it was tough, not 100% applicable to day-to-day development, but would definitely weed out site-builders who didn’t necessarily have the true developer chops to work on complex enterprise projects.
Good for Agencies
As a selling point, being able to tell a client we have Acquia Certified developers on staff is an incredible advantage for an agency like ours. We can leverage Acquia’s reputation as a best-in-class Drupal hosting and support provider to help clients feel at ease in choosing a development partner. Like other development communities like Java or .NET, certification programs help give clients confidence in their chosen developers.
Another important aspect for us as an agency is hiring. Similar to Google Adwords, the Acquia Certification program helps allows us to immediately see if a developer candidate is at least somewhat legitimate, enough to pass the exam, anyway. While not a definitive proof of abilities, an Acquia Certification does help us determine a baseline and focus our hiring efforts. The certification also provides a framework for junior/novice developers to understand the basics around what they need to be successful developers in the future.
Good for the Community
With the luanch of Jobs.Drupal.org immiment, the Acquia Certification will be a powerful tool for freelancers and full-time job seekers alike, allowing them to stand out amongst the developer community. Also, new developers will have a goal to work towards in order to build a foundation of needed skills that businesses and agencies like us need.
While some developers may consider becoming certified an unnecessary exercise, given that any development problem could be solved many different ways, having more certifications is never a bad thing. The Acquia Certification certainly doesn’t imply that Drupal must be developed the “Acquia way.” In fact, most of our developers had differing opinions on the methods and reasoning of least one or two questions, but they understood the thinking behind it.
As an agency partner of Acquia, we’re excited to bring the rest of our development team onboard with the Acquia Certification program, hopefully to become one of the first all-certified development agencies in the country.