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What Magento Experts Think of Magento Certifications!

Magento Certified individuals are not really pebbles on the beach. They are as rare as they come, and that’s solely because of the competitiveness of the certifications and the benefits associated with them. The exams are designed to single out the very best Magento experts through rigorous testing of the skills.

Magento certifications come in four distinct flavors: Magento Certified Solution Specialist, Front End Developer Certification, Certified Developer, and Developer Plus. The emphasis of the tests is on maintaining the quality of the Magento developers as the core Magento team adds new features and options.

When it comes to hiring decisions, Magento certifications provide a distinct edge. Since the certifications signify competence in Magento development, the employers can make quick decisions.

I decided to ask the industry experts about the value of these certifications. Here’s what the experts have to say.

Lewis Sellers Andrew Pemberton Carmen Bremen
Alessandro Ronchi Rebecca Brocton Miguel Ignacio
Allan MacGregor Sonja Riesterer Brent W Peterson
Shoaib Rehman Marcel Hauri Viktor Khliupko
Joshua Hughes Ben Crook Stephen Goudie
Richard Baik Daniel Sousa Tom Robertshaw
Thomas Burman Gabriel Guarino Dave Macaulay
Vikrant Shukla Ian Cassidy Simone Zuurveld
Maier Bianchi Christian Münch Lars Roettig
Paul Rogers Vijay Golani Mathias Elle
John Hughes

 

Lewis Sellers

lewis sellers

Certifications: Solution Specialist

Bio: Lewis Sellers is a Managing Director at Pinpoint Designs Limited, an ecommerce agency, where Mr. Sellers architects large Magento projects.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

The Solutions Specialist exam is a great exam for understanding the Magento platform, the features contained and what you can and can’t do within the platform. The main reason I decided to take the exam was that I felt it would provide validation for merchants we’re speaking to.

I don’t think the exam has hugely helped my career as such, but I would recommend it to anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of how Magento works and to learn about the features available and where they’re located.

Andrew Pemberton

Andrew pemberton

Certifications: Developer.

Bio: Andrew Pemberton is a Magento Developer at Interactive Web Solutions Ltd and has years of experience in bespoke web development, focussed on Magento.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

I would say simply get stuck in and start building something using the resources out there; Stackoverflow, Magento Community Forums, and the thousands of blog posts are always there if you’re stuck; the chances are someone has already been through the same problem before.

In regards to certification, I think it gives agencies bragging rights to clients and certainly sets them aside from non-certified agencies. As a customer, it must be comforting to know that an agency has x number of certified developers on their team. I don’t think that being certified makes you a better developer though. There are many amazing Magento developers out there who are not certified at all.

Carmen Bremen 

Carmen Bremen

Certifications: Developer, Solution Specialist, Front End Developer.

Bio: Carmen Bremen is a certified Magento expert with noteworthy experience as Magento freelancer.

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Talking to us in an interview, she said:

I really don’t know if someone works with me because I’m certified. It’s been kind of a self-test to graduate the exams and they were more difficult than I expected. I guess it’s a kind of passion to collect things and pass them all. And furthermore they prove that I know what I’m doing without studying computer science.

Alessandro Ronchi 

Alessandro Ronchi

Certifications: Developer.

Bio: Alessandro Ronchi is an active contributor to multiple open source projects with publications pertaining to Magento. He is the COO at Bitbull srl.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

I got certified in 2012, and at that time there were only a dozen certified developers in Italy. It made a big difference because together with the fact that my company was one of the few Italian Magento Solution Partners, it brought us a lot of work and experience. The importance of certification, for me, was that it forced me to delve deep in the core of Magento. At that time there weren’t many official resources, and the only way to have definitive answers was that of looking at the Magento code. Studying to get the certification provided me the basis for some of the topics that I covered in my book some years later.

Rebecca Brocton

rebecca

Certifications: Solution Specialist.

Bio: Rebecca is currently working as ecommerce Solution Specialist at JH.

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Talking to us in an interview, she said:

I guess having moved away from development, I wanted to prove to myself that I was still relevant to the Magento world. So, I set myself the task of becoming certified. My advice would be to study, practice and play with Magento but don’t forget to rely on your instincts as well. Being a Solution Specialist is about having the knowledge, but it’s also about being able to react and apply that knowledge in the best way for the merchant.

Miguel Ignacio

miguel

Certifications: Solution Specialist.

Bio: Miguel Ignacio Balparda has over 6 years of experience in eCommerce and is a Senior Magento Developer at Nexcess.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

Yes, and no. Certifications are just a piece of paper saying you have met the minimum standard of knowledge on a subject. It doesn’t matter who gives you this certification. On the other hand, the amount of time and effort you put into the work is critical. Even more important than the exam itself. When you take out the time to study, stay curious, and challenge yourself, you arm yourself with the tools necessary for success.

Allan MacGregor


allan

Certifications:  Developer and Developer Plus.

Bio: Allan MacGregor is the Director of Engineering at Demac Media where he has also worked as a Senior Magento Developer.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

Jeez, this is kind of a difficult question. There are so many resources available nowadays but I would highly recommend starting with the official Magento documentation. MagentoU also has some great courses on Magento2 that I would recommend checking out. And, of course, there is also MageTraining.

I would advise people to learn from trusted sources like one of the Magento Masters because there is still way too much disinformation or incorrect answers floating around forum sites like Stackoverflow.

Sonja Riesterer

Sonja Riesterer

Certifications: Solution Specialist

Bio: Sonja Riesterer works as a Marketing Manager at integer_net GmbH and has vast knowledge of Magento.

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Talking to us in an interview, she said:

At least for Magento 1 certifications you can find a ton of information out there. Start with official information from Magento and move to community resources afterward. If you have worked with Magento’s admin panel for some time and brushed up your knowledge to match the official exam guide, you should be fine. The Magento 2 Solution Specialist certification will probably be available this summer. They will be a different story: less experience with Magento 2 and fewer resources available online. I’m looking forward to that challenge.

Brent W Peterson

Brent Petersen

Certifications: Solutions Specialist.

Bio: Brent W Peterson is a Magento Evangelist at Wagento and Mage Training. Brent is renown in the Magento Community.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

I think the certification is important in the sense that it gives everyone a baseline of knowledge that can be interpreted in the same manner. You can easily say “I know all this about Magento,” but if everyone takes the same test, then you have to know more than enough to pass the test.  Any of the Magento certifications tell you something that is objective in regards to the person who took the certification.

Shoaib Rehman

shoaib

Certifications: Solution Specialist.

Bio: Shoaib Rehman is a Lead Web Developer at Receptional, where he has also worked as a Web Application Developer.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

Magento certification is always helpful and it is a proof of one’s dedication towards the platform. Having Certified Specialists in a company can give clients an extra peace of mind, and in my opinion, it does help to strengthen the relationship with the clients.

Now that Magento 2 is out in the market, I’m very keen to acquire my Magento 2 Certifications. I’ve also completed MagentoU courses on Core Principles for Theming in Magento 2(v2.1), Managing Your Magento 2 store(v2.1) and ‘Fundamentals of Magento 2(v2.1) Development’.

All of these certifications have helped us win more work because it proves our authenticity and knowledge of Magento 2.

Marcel Hauri

marcel

Certifications: Developer.

Bio: Marcel Hauri works a Magento Developer at Stämpfli AG.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

For me, the certifications are rather a confirmation of the experience and knowledge of your development principles of Magento. They also help to see if there are areas where you have to improve and work on.

The main advantage of being a Magento Certified Developer is of course that you’re recognized as a professional. It also helps to build trust and to assure clients that their work is in capable hands.

Viktor Khliupko

viktor

Certifications: Developer.

Bio: Viktor Khliupko is a consultant and the founder of Fire Bear Studio. He has notable experience in the field of Magento.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

It is extremely important to not only understand, but to prove your knowledge, and certification offers a great opportunity to do that. Thus, everyone is waiting excitedly for the Magento 2 Certification program to be introduced!

At the same time, some highly skilled Magento community stars stay oblivious to certifications. They believe that a true professional doesn’t need additional pages or pieces of paper to prove their knowledge. Instead, client feedbacks, product reviews, and open source projects should speak for their professionalism. This is also an interesting approach which I can’t deny.

Joshua Hughes

joshua

Certifications: Front End Developer

Bio: Joshua Hughes is currently working as the eCommerce marketing manager at joshua34.com.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

I believe that the Front End Developer certificate has definitely been valuable in the sense that it validates my experience and skills with the Magento platform. I believe it has been instrumental in placement on higher profile projects.

The Solution Specialist certificate, I think, is less obvious as to what it signifies and so it carries less value to those outside the community. I think I have only seen one or two job postings in the US over the past 5 years which preferred a candidate with a Solution Specialist certification.

Ben Crook

ben

Certifications:  Front End Developer

Bio: Ben Crook is currently working at as a Front End Developer/Quality Analyst at Space 48.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

From a personal point of view, I don’t rate certifications too highly. It’s just a piece of paper that says you passed a multiple choice exam and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re better than a non-certified developer. It isn’t a bad thing, though, and it certainly helps you when you are looking for a job, so if you do get the chance I would recommend taking the exam.

From a commercial point of view, it’s a different story. There is a minimum number of certified devs required before you can become a professional or enterprise Magento partner, and it will have significant importance when trying to gain new clients.

Stephen Goudie

stephen

Certifications: Developer.

Bio: Stephen Goudie works as an eCommerce Development/Enterprise Systems Design at Magescale. He has extensive experience in the field of Magento.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

Certification does not always mean a great understating of the platform. More often than not, coupled with experience, it can serve as a good way to traverse the extensive Magento core.

As the platform has so much scope, being certified certainly assists in taming the steep learning curve making it an enjoyable experience for the developer and a timely execution for the client.

I think starting with skinning the frontend with best practices is a great way to get the feet wet. From there, building extensions, adding new features, backend development, integration & optimisation of the code and caching layer to complete the loop and mastering Magento becomes much easier.

Richard Baik

richard

Certifications: Solution Specialist.

Bio: Richard Baik has long been associated with Magento and works as a Support Manager for Magento.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

The certification validates my experience and knowledge working with Magento. In general, having Magento certification shows that you have put the time and effort to master Magento. As a developer or agency, having certification can give you an advantage in winning clients.

Daniel Sousa

daniel

Certifications: Developer.

Bio: Daniel Sousa is a Magento Developer with wide knowledge and experience in the field of Magento.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

There are a lot of good knowledge bases but I used these ones to consolidate my knowledge:

 

The main advantage of being a Magento Certified Developer is that you’re a recognized professional. That enforces confidence from your clients, managers, and team mates.

Tom Robertshaw

tom robertshaw

Certifications: Developer, Front End Developer, Solution Specialist.

Bio: Tom Robertshaw works as a Managing Director at Meanbee Limited. He is known for his contribution to the Magento Community.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

I believe that they’re a rite of passage for people involved with the platform. We include them as part of developers personal development plan at Meanbee, and it’s a good way to allow new developers of the platform to benchmark themselves and their progress.

That being said, there’s an awful lot more to being a good (Magento) Developer than taking an exam. Not just because the test isn’t foolproof, but because many other qualities make a good developer. Being part of a team that is a safe place to receive constructive feedback from developers and other team roles provides further opportunity for self-improvement.

Thomas Burman

thomas burman

Certifications: Developer, Solution Specialist

Bio: Thoman Burman has several Magento Certifications and extensive development experience. He currently works as a Senior PHP Developer at Lewis Creative Digital Commerce.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

Any certifications on your CV will help you in your career. I’m lucky that I have certifications for Magento with it being such a specific product. Having both certifications have helped considerably in my career. I urge any developer that wants to follow the Magento way to take any certification they can because it shows the ability to learn quickly and your dedication to such a complex system.

Gabriel Guarino

gabriel

Certifications: Developer.

Bio: Gabriel Guarino is a Magento Developer and has several years of experience on the platform.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

By taking the exams, you can see if there are concepts that you need to learn or areas that you have to improve on.

The preparation for the exams take you on a different level, and passing the exam is a good indication that you are on the right track as a developer and specialist.

I am looking forward to the Magento 2 certifications, and I will be glad to take the exam to see if all the experience I had with Magento 2 up to this moment covers most areas that need to be in my knowledge or if I should continue studying and prepare myself even further.

Dave Macaulay

dave

Certifications: Developer, Developer Plus, Front End Developer, Solution Specialist.

Bio: Dave Macaulay works as a Full Stack Engineer at Magento Commerce.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

The certification program Magento offers is amazing. It allowed me to prove to myself and my team at Gene that I knew Magento and confirmed that my implementation was in line with Magento’s core development principles. I must also mention how Gene enabled me to take all these exams and provided time for revision alongside the financials needed to take these exams.

It also proves to our merchants and extension users that they are in very capable hands and that we knew what we were doing. Gene strived to get all their developers Magento certified as it is recognized industry wide.

Vikrant Shukla

vikrant

Certifications: Solution Specialist.

Bio: Vikrant is the COO and founder of Envision Ecommerce.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

I came to this alien world of computer programming from electronics and got hold of Magento at an early stage. I always knew that this open source solution has enormous power to bring the world of ecommerce to its knees. I have been focusing on Magento only since then. In our part of the world, most of the companies and developers believe (this trend is changing though) that one must know lots of CMS, MVC and programming stuff to have a decent career growth path. I have rebelled to this idea. I have always practiced and believed that you need to be excellent in just one technology and you don’t need to be a jack of all trades. Pursuing the same idea, I went on to do the certification. Certification is important as it proves your dedication towards what you are doing.

Ian Cassidy

ian cassidy

Certifications: Solution Specialist.

Bio: Ian is currently working as a Magento Ecommerce Director at CTI Digital.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

The Magento Solution Specialist certification is primarily aimed at project managers, business analysts, and consultants.

In order to achieve the certification, you must have a solid understanding of the wider ecommerce principles, including, but not limited to project management methodologies, search engine optimisation, security, data protection, and PCI Compliance. You will also need to have a solid understanding of Magento editions including the design patterns and capabilities that each edition provides.

Simone Zuurveld

Simone Zuurveld

Bio: Simone is working as a Magento Developer at Bold Commerce.

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Talking to us in an interview, she said:

Not necessarily. I think it’s a good way to push yourself and test your basic Magento knowledge, but I don’t think it’s a must. I know some highly skilled Magento developers that are non-certified and I’m pretty sure there are a few certified devs out there that are less skilled. It might be a smart choice business wise; for example, when you’re a freelance developer showing your skills with Magento or an agency just starting off. With that being said, I can’t wait for Magento to start doing M2 certifications, haha.

Maier Bianchi

maier bianchi

Certifications: Developer, Front End Developer, Solution Specialist.

Bio: Maier is a Founder of Bemeir LLC.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

Magento certifications are a good measure of someone’s familiarity with Magento and if they know the key concepts involved. This is not everything, though, as there is much more to the story. For me, personally, they have a specific meaning to each point in my career where I obtained them.

In 2014, I signed up for the newly released Frontend Developer Certification and I passed. It was a bittersweet moment as it meant a lot to me professionally that I had learned enough practical knowledge to pass the test, but at the same time was going through a personal loss.

Fast forward to 2016 when I was on paternity leave and things were a little uncertain at work. I was concerned for my future prospects and so I decided to sign up for the Magento Certified Solution Specialist exam because I wanted to put to paper that I was indeed very experienced with Magento. Finally at Imagine in April 2017, I decided to take the Magento Certified Developer Exam on the recommendation of Paul Rogers. I felt I was ready to apply this knowledge, so I did a lot of studying, took the practice tests, and passed the exam. I was now working for myself, running Bemeir LLC as an independent business, and having a third Magento certification that I knew would be a great addition to my profile.

For me, the certification is just as important as your journey to getting the certification. Most importantly, I know that this journey of learning never stops – as there is the Plus certification and obviously the Magento 2 certifications that are being released, which is kind of de-facto reset button as we transition to a Magento 2 focused world. I look forward to taking the Magento 2 Certified Solutions Specialist exam in October when it comes out.

My advice to everyone interested in getting certified is to get a copy of Magento and use it for practical applications in real-world business scenarios. Don’t just read the guides but study the practice material as it covers the tests well. Try to attempt practice exams. I firmly believe that this can be a differentiator just like with any standardized test.

Lastly, you can have all the certification, but if you never spend time working hands-on with merchants and other developers on Magento sites with real consequences, you are missing out on the real meaning of being certified. I encourage everyone who is employed in a Magento related job to talk to their employers about helping with their education and certification. Having the support of the companies I worked for was a key factor in my certifications journey.

Christian Münch

christian

Certifications: Developer Plus, Front End Developer, Solution Specialist.

Bio: Christian is currently working as a Senior Web Developer at netz98 GmbH.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

I do not think that a Certificate automatically makes a good programmer. One advantage of the Certification is that you have to investigate different parts of the system for the preparation of the exam. In my case, there were some parts which I had not investigated before. Without the certificate, I would have been too lazy to review all of those parts.

Lars Roettig

lars

Certifications: Developer Plus.

Bio: Lars is currently working as an Ecommerce Specialist and PHP Developer at TechDivision GmbH.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

The Magento Certification does not necessarily mean that you are a great Magento developer, but it shows that you have spent at least some time with Magento. And of course, it always looks good on your CV. It motivated me to work hard with Magento and allowed me to show that I have some knowledge about it in general.

Paul Rogers

paul rogers

Certifications: Solution Specialist.

Bio: Paul is currently working as a Solution Architect at Klevu Oy.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

I would say that it’s been really useful – I was obsessed with passing so I spent a huge amount of time learning the real details (e.g. payment options and tax), which have then proved really useful since passing. The actual certification itself hasn’t been hugely useful – I did have one project where it was a requirement, but aside from that, not really helpful to be honest.

Vijay Golani

Vijay Golani

Certifications: Developer, Developer Plus, Front End Developer, M2 Solution Specialist.

Bio: Vijay is the Managing Director of India’s branch of Wagento Commerce.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

Hmmm…. Most developers I know in the world are looking to become a Magento Certified Developer. The certification has impacted me in two ways. First, it recognizes me and my company at a global level. The other thing is, during my preparation for the Magento Certification, I worked hard to learn many core level features, codes and read many different technical documents & resources which helped me in my day to day Magento work. In short, Magento Certification has helped me & my company both economically and technically :)

Mathias Elle

mathias

Certifications: Front End Developer.

Bio: Mathias is currently working as the Senior Magento frontend developer in Mzentrale GmbH.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

The Magento Frontend Developer Certification gave me the necessary impulse to learn how Magento uses the XML layout and how I can modify it. By learning for the exam I tried a lot of XML stuff and finally understood the logic behind it.

The biggest impact that I had from taking the Magento exam was earning the title of “Certified Frontend Developer”. It helps you understand the important aspects of the Magento Frontend. Several companies are then able to see how you handle the frontend of Magento.

In this case, I think it had a big impact in the last years of my career.

But I think the exam didn’t go deep enough. In my case, there were no questions about techniques on how to handle mobile requests with Magento or how to work with the Sass preprocessor, Javascript, and form-validations.

John Hughes

john hughes

Bio: John is working as the technical director at Fisheye Web Design.

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Talking to us in an interview, he said:

I don’t feel it really gives any tangible benefits day to day, but the main thing it provides is a bit of confidence and authority with your peers, and especially with merchants. In essence, it validates that you know what you are talking about!

Conclusion

It seems that almost all Magento experts validate the importance of Magento certifications. This goes well with the popular belief that Magento certified individuals have all the necessary skills required for creating and maintaining effective and efficient ecommerce sites.

About Author

Syed Muneeb Ul Hasan is an expert in PHP and Magento, he prefers to educate users in implementing and learning Magento. When not working, he loves to watch cricket.