Magento Developer Certification

Posted on October 24, 2011 by richard

Last week, Magento (the company behind the World leading E-commerce Platform) announced the launch of Magento Developers Certification. Pitched as a tool to ‘validate real-world job skills and give hiring managers a tool for identifying qualified individuals’, the certification comes in two modules. The first, ‘Magento Certified Developer‘ is required before the second ‘Magento Certified Developer Plus’ can be attained.

The first module covers a wide range of Magento topics, divided into various subject headings. These include Magento Basics, Request Flow, Template Rendering, The Magento Database, The EAV model, Administration, The Magento Catalogue, The Magento Checkout, Managing Sales and Customers and Advanced Magento Topics.
The second module builds on the skills and topics covered in the first, and attempts to elevate the developer onto a higher state of competence and expertise by focussing on the more advanced end of Magento development.
Reading through this list we have to say that it looks pretty comprehensive at first glance. The question is, does the World really need a Magento Developer Certification? From where I’m sitting, the answer has to be an emphatic yes.

Let’s face facts – Magento is a complex and unwieldy beast if not cared for properly. How many designers have come a cropper after tentatively dipping a toe or two into the tempting looking Magento waters only to find them bitten of by the great white shark of complexity?
Most seasoned Magento Developers of my acquaintance will admit to a few shaky projects at the beginning of their careers. It’s not that Magento is difficult to develop with and for, it’s just that the complexity is not always obvious at first glance. I think a well structured training course and certification programme can work well for both developers and employers. At least now Magento have defined what a developer needs to master before taking on a Magento project. Speaking with my employer hat on, it would certainly save a lot of time, effort and pain if we could accurately assess the potential of an individual by requiring one or both of these certificates.
Given the rapid growth of the Magento platform and the seemingly unquenchable thirst for new developers, the $260 price tag of the certification looks to be a bargain (particularly if you get in quick and take advantage of the $110 early adopter discount). This figure does not however include any training – you pay to take a multiple choice exam. Also, it looks like you will be required to pay again if you wish to take the second module after passing the first.

This still looks like a really good deal to me given the strong demand for developers. This is not like an MCSE of yesterday – these are real, marketable and in-demand skills and a certificate is only going to make life easier for developers and employers alike. There is also another group that stands to benefit from this – Magento have provided a Magento Certified Developer logo that may be displayed on company websites to reassure potential clients and set a de-facto baseline standard for the industry.

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