I am not someone who “tests well.” I don’t like standardized tests, and they don’t like me. I look for the nearest exit as soon I see a multiple-choice selection. A timed test is infinitely harder. I can’t spell my own name when I see that timer ticking down.
I think this is pretty common for developers. While some developers come from education backgrounds that involve standardized testing, others don’t. I, for example, was mostly home-schooled without tests until college. I got into computer programming by hacking on my dad’s Commodore 64 at the age of seven, and was never quizzed on this stuff.
The diversity of backgrounds in our field contributes to the value of professional certifications. These certifications offer a way of demonstrating familiarity with a certain software, and show that you, your company and your community all agree to being on the same page. They show “you work well with others” — which is not always a given amongst devs. ;)
“Getting certified is a great way to not only test your knowledge of Contentful but to also demonstrate and share your expertise with the greater community,” says Nikoo Yahyazadeh, a senior instructional media producer at Contentful. She’s a member of the learning services team and helped create the exam.
Last week I took the Contentful Certified Professional Exam — against every single one of my instincts — and I’m here to report my experience for your benefit, dear reader.
About the Contentful Certified Professional Exam
The Contentful Certified Professional Exam is a timed, multiple-choice test designed to gauge the test-taker’s expertise of our platform. It consists of fifty multiple-choice questions covering the full range of Contentful’s features and best practices for implementing them. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, you automatically get a chance to retake it after seven days. You have 75 minutes to finish the test in both instances.
Confession time: I did not study for the test. I did not cram the night before, nor did I prepare in any way. I finished with about fifteen minutes to spare. While I did pass, I certainly could have gotten a higher score. No, I will not tell you my score. Confession time over.
Instead, I’ll give you a broad overview of what is covered in the test, why you should take it and what you can do to prepare.
What the exam covers
The exam covers the basic concepts, techniques and best practices to employ when using Contentful. You’ll need to understand the benefits of using Contentful’s content-as-infrastructure approach, and how it compares to legacy CMSes. You’ll also be asked to describe the capabilities and integral components of Contentful. The exam includes terms used by Contentful—not because we want to confuse you with jargon, but because we need to be able to communicate and understand each other.
The exam doesn’t test you on every single thing the documentation contains, but it covers the big areas, such as:
APIs and SDKs
Roles and permissions
If you are able to pass this, you are on a really good path to mastering Contentful!
How to prepare
While I did pass the test without preparing, I would recommend using the resources provided in preparation. We offer a Contentful Certification study guide and a collection of self-paced courses. The study guide covers key Contentful technical concepts and best practices. The courses provide educational materials in a fun and engaging way. They include videos, interactive modules, annotated graphics and more. They have a lot of personality. The study guide is great, but the courses are more fun. Good job learning services team!
The courses have content for three different types of users: content authors, content architects, and developers.
You can browse the various courses that are available to you in the course catalog.
It’s important to remember that your experience with Contentful everyday is all part of studying for the test. If you work with our product, odds are you know the ins and outs of how it works and you can pass this test without preparation, as I did.
And if you know that, the only thing left to do is to breathe deep, forget your grade-school trauma and get yourself certified!
Amelia Winger-Bearskin is a developer evangelist for Contentful. She has worked on creative technology, VR/AR/XR and machine learning for over 15 years in emerging technology research and development labs in academia, FinTech and startups.