After many years of discussion and debate in the Drupal community, Acquia launched the Acquia Certification Program in March 2014. This past year, there were three exams published and offered on a global basis with participants from over 45 countries and several hundred earning credentials. The exams focus on real world experience and the overriding comments we've heard this past year are the exams are tough but fair. There is now a registry posting successful candidates as well.
Most credentials have been earned with the first exam, Acquia Certified Developer, a core exam which cuts across Web Development, Site Building, Front-end and Back-end topic areas. This exam demonstrates an ability to work across these key areas, which in turn helps make successful developers and great team members.
The two following exams, the Acquia Certified Developer - Back-end Specialist, and Front-end Specialist, demonstrate an even deeper grasp of a specialization. Professionals working with Drupal 7 have been testing out successfully as well.
While the current exams are Drupal 7 focused and will continue to be available, we will also have Drupal 8 exams in the coming year.
There is also a new Acquia Certified Drupal Site Builder exam just made available.
Listen to Richard Jones, CTO at i_KOS, talk about his recent experience taking the exam while at DrupalCon Amsterdam, and what it means to him personally, as well as for his business.
Keys to Success: Building Scenario-based Exams
All the Acquia Certification exams are almost entirely scenario based. In this manner, you are testing skills and knowledge instead of just memorization. You are also testing for comprehension in a timely manner, and real world experience is validated through a well constructed and well written scenario-based exam pool.
The scenario for each question is challenging to write, and the test writers draw upon their experiences to do so. The information provided in each scenario is required to answer the related question properly.
To have an exam almost entirely scenario-based is a great accomplishment. We have had an outstanding group of subject-matter experts craft these exam questions based on job task analysis research and they follow sound psychometric best practices.
The latest effort for the Acquia Certified Drupal Site Builder certification exam is no exception.
The Exam Writing Workshop
This month, the Acquia Certified Drupal Site Builder exam was created and the Acquia Certified Developer exam was updated in one combined exam writing workshop. The exam writing workshop is a very intensive and focused effort. The latest effort had a great cross section of the company represented for the workshops, which I facilitated, with Jeff Beeman, Erik Webb, Alex Ward, Adam Malone, Kenny Carlile, and Jonathan Webb serving as Subject Matter Experts.
The exam writers, Subject Matter Experts, are put through a rigorous workshop to write items with supporting documentation. They must agree as a team that each item is relevant, technically accurate and readable.
Several rounds of tech reviews are conducted throughout the workshop and each item must be able to stand up to scrutiny. Test writers have reported that they even dream of test items at night during the course of an intense multi-day workshop, as total immersion to the process is needed to be successful. Team dinners usually end up turning into great debates on something from earlier in the day.
Peter Manijak @PeterManijak: Peter is an experienced Certification and Learning Professional, responsible for creating and managing successful global programs.