Planning on taking the Kentico 12 Certified Developer exam? Read this first

Planning on taking the Kentico 12 Certified Developer exam? Read this first

Apr 23, 2020
Planning on taking the Kentico 12 Certified Developer exam? Read this first

This article is based on the blog post written back in 2017. I’ve created a new version of the original article, with information relevant to Kentico 12.

If you are considering taking this exam, you should know it’s not for lightweights. I have passed the exam three times, and before joining BlueModus, I worked for Kentico as a Support Engineer. I think it’s fair to say, I have some expertise in this area, and I can help you prepare.

In this post, I’ll explain why you should become certified, what the exam covers, and I’ll also share some tips from my own experience.

Why should I become certified?

The Kentico Certified Developer exam is intended for individuals with experience designing applications and websites on the Kentico platform. Passing the exam demonstrates competence and a desire to learn, grow, and become an integral part of the Kentico community. Unlike many other IT certifications, passing the Kentico Certified Developer exam requires more than simply studying the documentation and going through the courses; experience in developing, deploying, and maintaining Kentico projects in the current version is definitely required.

If you pass, you will have not only successfully proven your Kentico skills, it is also a mark of approval and distinction that builds your credibility, makes you more marketable, and gives you a competitive advantage over other developers.

The exam basics

The Kentico 12 Certified Developer Exam is securely administered online and consists of 50 questions, in multiple choice and single-answer format, to be completed within 90 minutes. It's an open-book test—-you may use any resource that you find helpful (have Kentico running, have the documentation open, etc.) except another person. You must take the exam individually.

To receive the Kentico 12 Developer Certification, a minimum score of 70% is required. The testing and scoring process is designed to be confidential. Completed exams are not returned and the answers (whether correct or not) are not provided to tested candidates.

Exam concepts you should understand include, but are not limited to:

  • Data storage options
  • Data structure design
  • Kentico development models
  • Kentico features
  • Data presentation
  • Development environment
  • Kentico API
  • Kentico customization
  • Troubleshooting tools and techniques
  • Kentico deployment
  • Kentico optimization
  • Kentico maintenance

Not sure if you're ready?

Before you start the exam, you'll have time and resources to make sure you are fully prepared. As you open the certification exam, you will see the list of all the topics the exam covers, and you'll also get some useful links to documentation.

But that's not all. You also get to try some sample questions that can give you a better idea of what you can expect in the test. Unlike in the real test, you can go through the sample questions as many times as you like, and you will also get an explanation for each correct and incorrect answer.

After this, there's only one step between you and your certification - the exam itself.

Tips and tricks

Experience matters:

You aren’t going to pass this exam just by studying the documentation. The official Kentico training is here to guide you from zero to a best practices hero and the official Kentico documentation serves as an infinite resource for all the fundamental details. However, the exam tests your real-world skills. You need experience in developing, deploying, and maintaining Kentico projects in the current version. In addition, you will need an in-depth understanding of ASP.NET and the .NET development framework. Since Kentico is much more than just a website solution, you will also need to know all the tools associated with the platform.

Obtaining this required knowledge is often no easy feat. Maybe your work restricts your access or uses a limited license. If you can’t learn on the job, the next best thing is to be active in the Kentico community by helping other developers on DevNet and Stack Overflow. Coming from a Kentico Support background, I can confidently tell you helping others is one of the best ways to gain experience. Not only does it give you insight into various implementations of Kentico and the approach different developers take, you actually get to go beyond the theory and help people with real-world projects.

Know the latest documentation:

Each exam covers the new features in the current version. Thus, if you want to get re-certified from previous versions, check out the release notes for Kentico 10, Kentico 11, and Kentico 12, to ensure you are familiar with the latest features and improvements.

Performance is a bigger and more important topic in the V12 exam. Be sure to review all of the performance recommendations that are available both in the Developers’ Guide and on DevNet.

With MVC becoming the primary development model in version 12 of Kentico, you can also expect a fair amount of questions on the subject. Work on getting an understanding of how the Kentico MVC model differs from Portal Engine - what its advantages and limitations are, how it is installed and configured, and what kind of infrastructure changes are required to run an MVC site.

Final preparations:

Once you are prepared and feeling confident about your Kentico skills, it is time to take the final steps before clicking the "Start" button. Before beginning the exam, I take these steps to set up my environment, and I highly recommend you do the same: 

  • Start Visual Studio, SQL Management Studio, IIS, KIM, and the Kentico Installer.
  • Install a fresh instance of Kentico along with both the MVC and Portal Engine sample sites.
  • Run the site, log into the administration UI, enable all debugging tools.
  • Open the Kentico Developers’ Guide, API Reference, and a Google Search window, all in separate tabs.

Go through the example questions and the preparation guide. You can find example questions in the introductory part of the Kentico 12 Exam. For versions 10 and 11, the detailed explanation of the above topics can be found in their respective versions of the official Kentico Preparation Guide.

The official Kentico Preparation Guide, discussing the above topics in depth, can be found here. Version 11 of the preparation guide is here, and Version 10 is here. You can also find older versions if you Google them.

During the test: Relax!

The exam is tough but don't be intimidated by it. If you get stuck on something, skip that question and come back to it. Once you have sped through the questions you can easily answer, you'll have a better sense of how much time you have left for the tough ones—and more confidence to answer them.

Some questions are intentionally phrased in a way that raises doubt. Do your best, then come back to review the tricky questions if you have extra time left.

In summary

Pass or fail, taking the exam means taking the next step in your career. No matter the result, you will learn and grow as a professional. Our advice is to focus on learning, not on passing the exam, and during the process, think about how this knowledge could be used in the real world.

I am a hands-on learner, so for me, that approach makes the abundance of Kentico information easier to absorb. Each of us has a different approach to studying and preparing for exams—find out what works for you and stick to it; and maybe I'll be reading your "Kentico Exam” blog post one day. Good luck!