Why Project Managers Should Take the Site Builder – Drupal 8 Acquia Certification Exam

A couple months ago, most of my colleagues decided to take the Acquia Drupal Certifications path. Of course, most of them are developers, so it made a lot of sense for them. In my case, I’m a Project Manager, Business Analyst and tester, so it hadn’t crossed my mind until my boss brought it up; he wanted all of us to get certified.

Honestly, at first I didn’t see the point. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made to me. Here are a few reasons that came to mind:

  • We will soon be migrating one of our clients’ site out of D7 into D8, so why not take up my boss’ challenge as an opportunity to learn Drupal 8?
  • As a PM, BA and tester I might not need to code, but knowing D8 basics is very useful. When discussing requirements with the client, it’s great to know the basics so I can have a better idea of what’s possible and the different ways we can achieve them.
  • Similarly, when discussing requirements with developers, it helps a lot since you can have more technical conversations with them and even provide suggestions.

However, as soon as I decided to take the Drupal 8 Site Builder Acquia certification exam, I got scared. Naturally, this fear led to procrastination.

I started by creating the account in Acquia Academy. A few days later, I decided to look up free online Acquia courses that could be useful and add them to my courses. I chose: Introduction to Drupal 8, Building a Basic Site Using Drupal 8, and Extending and Managing a Drupal 8 Site. I even started with some videos that day, but after a couple of weeks I wasn’t even done with the first tutorial. That’s when I knew I had to do something about it.

Finally, 2 weeks ago I decided to schedule the exam for the following week, that way I would have to force myself to study. During that week, I finished all the courses, read my colleagues’ list of recommendations for the exam and even read documentation from drupal.org for the topics I thought I was lacking in.

When the day finally came, I panicked. I thought I was going to be the only one among my colleagues to fail the exam. I’m not a developer! I had created one D8 site while following the courses and maybe spent five more hours playing around with it.

But guess what? After 75 nerve-wrecking minutes, I passed! With a score of 74%, and on my first try too!

So for anyone, specially PMs/BAs, thinking about taking the Acquia Certified Site Builder – Drupal 8, here’s my advice:

  • Check all the topics that will be covered in the test, you’ll find them here: Acquia Certification Program.
  • Reading drupal documentation is useful, but not enough.
  • Find tutorials to cover all topics. I believe the Acquia Academy courses are very helpful, but the ones I mentioned don’t cover all topics. So make sure to look up other tutorials. I didn’t do this, so I was lacking knowledge on Security and Performance, and contact forms.
  • Create your own D8 site and play around with it, a lot, more than what is asked for in tutorials.
  • Read all questions carefully. Some can be answered logically, but most of them can be misleading, so pay attention to Drupal jargon.

Good luck!

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