In August 2017, three of our team have taken part in the exam for the “Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist” (M2CSS). In October, we got news that all three of us have passed. It was the beta version of the certification exam. Some dozen participants worldwide have taken part in the exam during a fixed period of two weeks.
These team members have passed the exam:
- Sonja Riesterer (Marketing, Consulting)
- Sandro Wagner (Frontend Development, Training)
- Andreas von Studnitz (Backend Development, Training, Consulting)
More team members will follow.
Which are the differences between the beta certification and the final certification?
For Magento Inc, the beta certification exam is a part of their preparation for the final exam. It is used to select suitable questions for the final certification exam and to exclude unsuitable questions. Thus we were given about 150 questions and three hours time – the final version includes the half of each: 75 questions in 90 minutes. For the beta certification, only those questions which make their way into the final certification are valued. Because of that, the beta exam is on equal terms with the final certification.
Which is the target group of the Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist exam?
The certifcation is supposed to prove that the certified person has sufficient knowledge to plan Magento 2 projects. It is aimed at sales managers and project managers primarily, but also at technical architects who should know the features and functionality of Magento 2.
If you want to reach 100% of the points, knowledge in the following fields is absolutely required:
- Project Management
- Technology / Administration
Fortunately, you only need about 75% of the points to pass, so specialists who don’t usually cover all of these topics in their day to day job have a good chance of passing the exam if they have sufficient Magento 2 knowledge, as Sonja and Sandro have proven on our side.
What are the contents of the exam?
- Magento 2 functionality and their use and configuration
- Differences between Magento Commerce and Magento OpenSource (EE vs. CE)
- Differences between Magento 1 and Magento 2
- Technologies used in Magento 2
- General marketing questions
- General project management questions
- Differences between EU and US, for example regarding taxes or laws affecting ecommerce
Of course, this list is not complete, it just reflects our memories.
Does Magento 1 experience help with the exam?
Short answer: yes. It’s not necessary, but if you have been working with Magento 1 for several years and just started working with Magento 2 recently, you’ll have a decent chance to pass the exam. Many questions are very general and also apply to Magento 1, others can be deducted.
Do I need knowledge of Magento Commerce (Magento 2 Enterprise Edition)?
It is advisable. A big part of the questions refer to the part which is also covered by Magento OpenSource (Magento 2 Community Edition). Still, it’s important to know the purpose and functionality of the most important modules of Magento Commerce. Those are especially:
- Customer Segmentation
- Database Sharding
What is the best way to prepare for the exam?
If there are bigger gaps in one of the mentioned areas (project management, marketing, technology), you should prepare accordingly. Our preparation took us a couple hours and was as follows:
- Take the practice test by SwiftOtter in order to identify the weak spots
- Read the Study Guide by SwiftOtter
- Talk through the single topics. For looking things up, we used the following material:
- Magento 2 administration interface
- Magento 2 feature list (i.e. by shero)
It was very helpful that the three of us had experience in different areas of Magento 2; thus we could complement each other. If there were any unclear details, we looked them up directly.
Additionally, we can recommend for your preparation:
- the official study guide
- a training can help with the certification as well. For example, individual trainings can be held with a focus on the certification.
How much experience is necessary to pass?
Without experience with Magento 2, the exam cannot be passed in my opinion – even good preparation doesn’t help with that. Depending on operation area, willingness to learn and effort of preparation, a few months may be sufficient for that. With increasing experience (in Magento 1 and Magento 2 as well as in general with ecommerce projects), the necessary effort to prepare decreases noticably.
How can I become certified?
Since November 2017 the certification exam is officially available. Three steps are necessary:
- Buy a voucher at https://u.magento.com/certified-magento2-solution-specialist. A voucher is at about 260 $.
- Reserve a date at a certification center at https://account.magento.com/certification/login/. There are at least a couple certification centers in the major countries. You’ll need the voucher which you acquired before for that.
- Take the exam at the selected certification center. You’ll hear about when you should be there and what you should bring in good time. The exam itself takes place at a PC in the certification center. It includes 75 questions in 90 minutes.
Contrary to the beta certification, you’ll get to know the result directly after the exam.
Author: Andreas von Studnitz
Andreas von Studnitz is a Magento developer and one of the Managing Directors at integer_net. His main areas of interest are backend development, Magento consulting and giving developer trainings. He is a Magento 2 Certified Professional Developer Plus and holds several other Magento certifications for both Magento 1 and Magento 2. Andreas was selected as a Magento Master in 2019 and 2020.