Recertify Like the eCommerce Ninja You Are

In summary
  • The bad news: there are currently no separate recertification exams.
  • Having to recertify a great time to upgrade to the next harder test.
  • The standalone Cloud Developer certification will soon be retired. In its place, there will be optional ‘with Cloud’ versions of the Professional and Expert Developer certifications.
  • There have been updates to the certifications and tests, and the SwiftOtter materials should be fully up-to-date before the end of the year.

In 2021, Adobe announced that all Adobe Commerce certifications will now have a limited lifespan, and you will need to recertify every 2 years. For the first time in Magento history, many of us had certifications set to expire by the end of 2022. By mid-2022 the dreaded “Your certification will expire” emails began to arrive in our inboxes, and thus, we had to start thinking about re-upping.

In the September 2022 Ninja Training, Joseph Maxwell and Chris Nanninga, who we are very excited to have on the team, looked at recertification: what it takes, and how to achieve it efficiently.

September 30, 2022 Update:

After some unofficial news started going around about upcoming changes to this first round of recertification, we received an official statement from Ayana Nickerson at Adobe.

“We’re excited to announce that certification renewal program for Adobe Commerce will be available in January 2023. Certificate holders will be able to use Adobe continuous learning activities and assessments to renew their Adobe Commerce certifications—free of charge and on-demand/unproctored.
If you’re an Adobe Commerce certificate holder who was credentialed on or before December 31, 2019, we’re extending your expiration date through June 30, 2023. We’ll be updating your record in the Adobe Credential Manager to reflect your new expiration date—you’ll be notified in early November once your expiration has been updated.
The Adobe Credential Program continually strives to improve our program to meet the needs of our partners. We appreciate your flexibility and the feedback you provide! If you have any additional questions please contact us at certif@adobe.com.”

This is really great news after thinking that we would need to not only pay for the full test, but also take the time to retake the full test to get recertified. Unproctored continued learning is a perfect update to the recertification program, and we applaud Adobe for extending the expiration date so that we can take advantage of the continuous learning option to come.

The Bad News

When Adobe originally announced that our certifications would begin expiring every two years, there was mention of a shorter recertification exam. In fact, their announcement page still states “Certified individuals will be able to recertify by successfully completing a renewal certification exam, which are shorter and take less time to prepare for than a regular certification exam.” Unfortunately, these renewal exams don’t quite exist yet. At this point in time, you must take the full test over again to recertify.

Lady with newspaper over her head

New Tests and Titles

Adobe has recently made some changes to the certification tests and titles. We have two new titles, and two new addendums. The Cloud Developer title was previously a separate exam. This exam is going to be retired, and instead there are now Developer with Cloud exams at both the Professional and Expert levels. Cloud will account for 20-30% of the questions on these ‘with Cloud’ tests You can still take the standard Developer tests at either of these levels if you don’t want or need the Cloud track. Also, new to the Professional level are Business Practitioner and Frontend.

At the master level, we still have the Architect exam, but this has recently been updated with a new version of the test. BA (Before Adobe), this was Professional Developer Plus. When Adobe updated the names, they called it Architect. The title was sort of shoehorned in and the content on the test didn’t exactly fit. This new version, AD0-E718, of the test should be much more aligned with the architect mentality

Silhouette of person jumping across stream

The Jump From Professional to Expert

When comparing Professional and Expert Developer with Cloud topics, one thing really stands out, and that is some of the terminology. The Professional (AD0-E717) topics will say “describe branching using UI,” or “describe how to access different types of logs.” The Expert level (AD0-E716), on the other hand, says “demonstrate understanding of branching using UI,” “identify how to access different types of logs,” or “demonstrate the ability to deploy a project.” The differences in terminology here shows the different levels of expectation between these two levels.

‘Describe’ implies that we’re likely looking at some more memorization-type questions, and that they expect you to know the basics of these concepts. ‘Demonstrate’ is asking that we not only know these topics, but we understand them and know how to put that knowledge to work in different scenarios. The Expert level is also where you’re more likely to see questions with wording like “keeping maintainability in mind...” These types of questions really test the depth of knowledge because there may be multiple correct answers, but only one is correct with ‘maintainability in mind.’

Current Adobe Commerce Certifications

Professional
  • NEW: Business Practitioner (AD0-E712)
  • Developer (AD0-E711)
  • NEW: Developer with Cloud (AD0-E717)
  • NEW: Frontend (AD0-E719)
Expert
  • Business Practitioner (AD0-E708)
  • Developer (AD0-E709)
  • NEW: Developer with Cloud (AD0-E716)
  • Frontend (AD0-E710)
  • Cloud (AD0-E706) (This will be retired soon)
Master
  • Architect (AD0-E718)

Recertification

We know there are no shortened recertification exams at this time, but what about plans for the future? After a conversation with Ayana Nickerson at Adobe, we learned that there is something in the works. We’ve been told that the plan is to begin working with Adobe Experience League for recertification. While the details are still a little fuzzy, it’s expected to be 10 hours of videos plus quizzes to recertify. This is currently expected to roll out in 2023, so those of us with certifications expiring this year, we’ll just have to wait until the next round of recertification.

Strategies to Recertify

With no shortcuts at this point, how should you prepare to retake these full tests? After all, we’re busy developers, so utilizing our time wisely is important. We don’t want to have to spend our days and nights studying if we can help it. The official SwiftOtter recommendation is to just take the real test as your ‘practice test.’ Cost may be a limiting factor for some people, but if you are confidently working with Adobe Commerce regularly and can afford a little bit of a gamble here, taking the full exam as a ‘practice’ could save you a lot of time. If you pass, you’ve saved yourself some study time. If you fail, you know exactly what they’re expecting on the exam; the questions won’t be the same on your next take so you can’t just memorize, but you’ll know

The gamble here is if you take the exam and fail it, you’ll have to pay for the exam voucher again to take the test again. There are no discounts for retakes. But these exams are meant to test your practical, working knowledge, so if you’re confident in your ability and working with Adobe Commerce regularly, chances are this strategy is worth the risk.

Black and white photo of chess board

Additional Strategies

Maybe you’re not the gambling type, or you want to refresh your memory before committing to the official exam. There are a few other recertification strategies you can use.

Study Materials and Practice Tests

Work through the Adobe documentation. There should now be documentation and practice tests for most of the tests, plus the Adobe Certification Exam Prep Portal. Additionally, there are the SwiftOtter practice tests that can be used. We’ve heard that the Adobe practice tests are a little easier, so that is something to keep in mind as you’re preparing.

We also offer SwiftOtter study guides and courses. The goal of our courses is to– as quickly as possible– educate you on the important concepts that you need to know in order to take the test, and give you practical exercises. We also do go a step above and beyond with portions of these courses so that you understand best practices, as well as how and why this is important. We want to prepare you to “Think in Magento” so you can work in Magento effectively.

Upgrade to the Next Harder Test

This may be the perfect motivation you need to take that Professional knowledge to the next level and go for Expert! Take your time, schedule consistent study time, and go for that next level. Plan to devote 15-30 minutes per day to studying to be sure you’re ready. The jump from something like Expert to Architect is pretty significant, but that shouldn’t hold you back if it’s something you want. Work consistently and use the study materials available.

Drop Irrelevant Tests

Previously, there were badges for each exam and some people would strive for a full collection– gotta earn ‘em all! With the changes that Adobe has made, there are essentially only three badges to earn now– Professional, Expert, and Master. Some people are still going to want that full collection, but all you really need for your LinkedIn profile is one badge. Unless you’re a badge collector, you shouldn’t be afraid to drop the tests that are no longer relevant to you or your career path.

SwiftOtter Updates

We have been busy Otters, especially Chris since joining the team, working to get our practice tests and study materials up-to-date with the current iterations of the tests. All of our practice tests and study guides are up to date, with the exception of Architect. Our updated Professional Developer course was recently released, and Expert Developer isn’t too far behind. Then Master Architect is our next priority once Expert Developer is updated.

SwiftOtter, Inc.
It relates to <a href="https://swiftotter.com/technical?tags=7" class="plain-tag">Magento 2</a>, <a href="https://swiftotter.com/technical?tags=21" class="plain-tag">Project management</a> and <a href="https://swiftotter.com/technical?tags=22" class="plain-tag">Quality Assurance</a>.
Joseph Maxwell - president / senior developer at Swift Otter

President / senior developer at SwiftOtter - @swiftotter_joe