Planning on Taking the Kentico Certified Developer exam? Read this First.

The Kentico Certified Developer exam is a worthy challenge for anyone skilled in designing applications and websites on the Kentico platform. Earning your certification is a mark of prestige that distinguishes you from other developers in the Kentico market.

If you are considering taking this exam, you should know it’s not for lightweights. I have passed the exam twice since 2015 and before joining BlueModus I worked for Kentico as a Support Engineer. I think it’s fair to say, I have some expertise in this area and I can help you prepare.

In this post, I’ll explain why you should become certified, what the exam covers, and I’ll also share some tips from my own experience.

WHY SHOULD I BECOME CERTIFIED?

The Kentico Certified Developer exam is intended for individuals with experience designing applications and websites on the Kentico platform. Passing the exam demonstrates competence and a desire to learn, grow, and become an integral part of the Kentico community. Unlike many other IT certifications, passing the Kentico Certified Developer exam requires more than simply studying the documentation; experience in developing, deploying and maintaining Kentico projects in the current version is definitely required.

If you pass, you will have not only successfully proven your Kentico skills, it is also a mark of approval and distinction that builds your credibility, makes you more marketable, and gives you a competitive advantage over other developers.

THE EXAM BASICS 

The Kentico 10 Certified Developer Exam is securely administered online and consists of 50 questions, in multiple choice and single answer format, to be completed within 60 minutes. It's an open-book test – you may use any resource that you find helpful (have Kentico running, have the documentation open, etc.) except another person. You must take the exam individually.

To receive the Kentico 10 Developer Certification, a minimum score of 70% is required. The testing and scoring process is designed to be confidential. Completed exams are not returned and the answers (whether correct or not) are not provided to tested candidates. 

Exam concepts you should understand include, but are not limited to:

  • Data storage options 
  • Data structure design
  • Kentico Development models
  • Kentico features
  • Data presentation
  • Development environment
  • Kentico API
  • Kentico customization
  • Troubleshooting tools and techniques 
  • Kentico deployment
  • Kentico optimization 
  • Kentico maintenance

(The official Kentico Preparation Guide, discussing the above topics in depth, can be found here)

TIPS AND TRICKS

Experience Matters: 
You aren’t going to pass this exam by studying the documentation. You need experience in developing, deploying and maintaining Kentico projects in the current version. In addition, you will need an in-depth understanding of ASP.NET and the .NET development framework. Since Kentico is much more than just a website, you will also need to know all the tools associated with the platform.

Obtaining this required knowledge is often no easy feat. Maybe your work restricts your access or uses a limited license. If you can’t learn on the job, the next best thing is to be active in the Kentico community by helping other developers on DevNet and StackOverflow.

Coming from a Kentico Support background, I can confidently tell you helping others is one of the best ways to gain experience. Not only does it give you insight into various implementations of Kentico and the approach different developer take, you actually get to go beyond theory and help people with real-world projects.

Know the Latest Documentation: 
Each exam covers the new features in the current version, and that's especially the case in the v10 exam. Review the V10 Release Notes to ensure you are familiar with the latest features and improvements.

Performance is a bigger and more important topic in the V10 exam. Make sure to review all of the performance recommendations that are available both in the Developers Guide and on DevNet

Final Preparations:
Once you are prepared and feeling confident about your Kentico skills, it is time to take the final steps before clicking the "Start" button. Before beginning the exam, I take these steps to set up my environment, and I highly recommend you do the same:

  • Start Visual Studio, SQL Management Studio, IIS, KIM, and the Kentico Installer
  • Install a fresh instance of Kentico running as a website and include one of the sample sites
  • Run the site, log into the administration UI, enable all debugging tools
  • Open the Kentico Developers Guide, API Reference, and a Google Search window, all in separate tabs

I know Kentico’s Preparation Guide nearly by heart, but I still go through the current and previous editions to help me get in the zone. (Be careful with this though - the features available in the older versions may have changed or may no longer be available.)

Version 10 of the preparation guide is here, and Version 9 is here. You can find older versions if you Google them.

During the Test: Relax!
The exam is tough but don't be intimidated by it. If you get stuck on something, skip that question and come back to it. Once you speed through the questions you can easily answer, you'll have a better sense of how much time you have left for the tough ones - and more confidence to answer them.

Some questions are intentionally phrased in a way that raises doubt. Do your best, then come back to review the tricky questions if you have extra time left.

During the Test: Relax!
The exam is tough but don't be intimidated by it. If you get stuck on something, skip that question and come back to it. Once you speed through the questions you can easily answer, you'll have a better sense of how much time you have left for the tough ones - and more confidence to answer them.

Some questions are intentionally phrased in a way that raises doubt. Do your best, then come back to review the tricky questions if you have extra time left.

IN SUMMARY

Pass or fail, taking the exam means taking the next step in your career. No matter the result, you will learn and grow as a professional. My advice is to focus on learning, not on passing the exam, and during the process, think about how this knowledge could be used in the real world.

I am a hands-on learner, so for me, that approach makes the abundance of Kentico information easier to absorb. Each of us has a different approach to studying and preparing for exams - find out what works for you and stick to it; and maybe I'll be reading your "Kentico Exam” blog post one day. Good luck!

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