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Thoughts on certification from the UK’s 1st Drupal 8 Grand Master

Mark Pavlitski

Sept 14 2017

Grand Master

As Drupal specialists, we’re proud to be the largest Acquia Certified team in Europe. And last month our development manager Mark Pavlitski became the first person in the UK to achieve Drupal 8 Grand Master status!

This special recognition is awarded to best of the best Drupal Developers, and requires the participant to pass three exams: Acquia Certified Developer, Back-end Specialist, and Front-end Specialist.

In this post, Mark shares his insights into the certification process.

The exams

I started with the Drupal 8 Developer test, which is more general than the subsequent two, and covers Drupal site building, theming, module development and fundamental web concepts.

Then I sat the Drupal 8 Front-end Specialist exam which, as the name implies, is focussed on front-end development and Drupal theming concepts. I found this the most challenging of the three, having had more back-end experience. But most of the questions are written in a way that will be familiar to an experienced Drupal developer.

Finally, I sat the Drupal 8 Back end specialist exam. I found this one more straightforward, given my experience, though still challenging at times.

My tips for other developers

Acquia’s certification tests take place on Kryterion’s WebAssessor platform. Officially it supports Macs, but I found I had various issues with the software. Although their support was very helpful, I ended up switching to a Windows laptop to take the tests.

All of the questions are scenario based, describing a Drupal development problem with multiple choice answers. There were a couple of typos and one or two ambiguously worded questions, but overall the tests are presented in a way that will make sense to any seasoned Drupal developer.

The results

I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the test results appear on the Acquia certification registry. The test portal says the results will take a couple of weeks to appear, but in my case it was as quick as a few hours.

Overall my experience with the Acquia Certification programme was great. The tests were well structured, and challenging but not confusing. I’d definitely recommend certification as a way for Drupal businesses and professionals to validate their skills and experience.

Want to be part of the largest Acquia Certified team in Europe and get paid time to support your open source projects? We’re hiring.

Mark Pavlitski

About the author

Mark Pavlitski

Development Manager