On March 1st 2018, Magento released the new certification “Magento 2 Certified Professional Developer“. Besides being the first developer certification for Magento 2 (see our separate blog post), there was one thing special about this certification: it is now possible to take the exam online instead of at a testing center. The examination process is provided by Kryterion.
How do online exams work?
An online exam has the same security regulations as an on-site exam. This means:
- You may not have any material besides a PC. No phone, no watch, no paper, no books.
- You will be monitored all the time with video and audio.
- You may not talk to others during the exam.
- You may not leave the exam in-between.
You have to set the environment yourself. This was mine during the exam:
Everything prepared for the Magento certification exam including external camera. Now waiting for the start in about 20 minutes.
I switched to the office as the internet connection at home was a bit below the required 1mbit/s upload rate. pic.twitter.com/iWGxAygZjk
— Andreas von Studnitz (@avstudnitz) 1. März 2018
As you don’t get the information about the most important restrictions during the registration process, I’ll list them here.
- A PC with Windows or MacOS and admin rights
- Adobe Flash
- A webcam which is not built-in so you can arrange it freely
- A microphone (can be built into the webcam or the laptop)
- A fast internet connection with at least 1 Mbit/s upload and download
- Only one screen
- An undisturbed location with some space
You can download a full list of the preconditions.
Register for the Online Exam
Take the following steps to register for the online exam:
- Buy a voucher at Magento U. A voucher is at about 260 $. You will receive a voucher code. If you don’t get it by email, you can see it at your account at Magento in the tab “My Products and Services”.
- From the certification page, click the button “Find a Testing Center and register for Exam” or use the direct link. You’ll reach the Webassessor page where you can Register for a new examination. On the bottom, you can choose:
- Select Online and follow the further process: choose a date and time (be careful with the timezones! Currently there are only American timezones available, but you can take part from Europe without problems) and enter the voucher code. You’ll get an email with more details.
I used Windows for taking the exam, so I can’t tell you anything about the MacOS variant.
When you go back to the Webassessor page, you see information about the software which has to be installed:
Step 1 is the installation of the “Sentinel” software which can lock down your PC so you can’t use any other software during the exam.
Step 2, the “Biometric Profile”, is for you identification: You have to type your name a couple of times and let the webcam capture your face. All in all, it works well and it’s easy to follow the process.
You can do those steps well before the exam, i.e. directly after registration.
Also you should check your internet connection speed, your webcam and microphone. There is an online tool which supports you with that: http://test.kryteriononline.com/webcam-checker/:
When the scheduled time approaches, there will be a link in the “Launch” column which you have to click. Your PC will be locked down with the Sentinel software, and the exam starts on your screen. After your identification (by typing your name as before), the preliminary remarks like an introduction and accepting agreements, the exam already starts and you can read the questions and click the first answers. Either immediately or after a few minutes, the exam will be paused, and a window with a chat area and a webcam preview appears with an operator telling you via chat how to adjust the webcam. Also, he/she asks you to count to 5 loudly in order to verify that the sound is working, to show your wrists in order to make sure you don’t have a watch, and to take off your glasses for checking if you wear them. That process took less than 5 minutes in my case, and after that, the exam continues.
After answering all 60 questions, you can review them again, either all questions or only the ones you marked previously for review. When you are finished, you can click the “Finish” button, and after two confirmations, the exam is finished and you directly get your result: whether you have passed or not, and the percentage of correct answers, grouped by areas. This can look as follows:
Overall Score: 70%
Magento Architecture & Customization Techniques: 45%
Request Flow Processing: 85%
Customizing Magento UI: 83%
Working with databases in Magento: 75%
Using the Entity-Attribute-Value (EAV) Model: 80%
Developing with Adminhtml: 50%
Customizing Catalog: 85%
Customizing Checkout Process: 62%
Sales Operations: 100%
Customer Management: 66%
It will also be sent to you by email.
You are finished then. Close the exam window and relax.
For me, the online certification worked really well and saved a few hours of my time as I didn’t have to drive to a certification center. Of course, you must meet the preconditions, but if you do, it works well. It would have been better if the preconditions had been communicated before choosing for online or on-site certification. I’ll use the online exam for my next certification exam again if available.
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 Certified Developer since 2011 (and 2018 for Magento 2) and a Magento Certified Solution Specialist since 2014 (Magento 1) respective 2017 (Magento 2).