Becoming an ACE in 2023

Becoming an ACE in 2023.png

Happy Wednesday, Jira Guys and Gals! So, last week...yeah. I was going to write a review on the "App Usage for Jira" app I featured during the 100th episode of Morning Coffee. But, to be frank, there isn't enough meat on that bone to justify a review. In the Jira Labs version of the app, only one feature is working: Custom Field Analysis. And I only found that out after struggling for hours to bring my Jira DC auto-install ansible script up to working status after neglecting it for a few months. After that plan fell through, I lacked time, energy, and motivation...yeah, last week sucked. But I'm back this week!


So, what are we talking about this week? With Team '23 coming up, the topic of Certifications has come up internally at work among my team. Two of our team currently hold Atlassian Certification, but others are considering getting it. Our manager is okay with certification but believes the path to it is far more important than the paper itself. Which, on the whole, I can't disagree with. What I learned while studying for the Atlassian Certs has been invaluable in both my career and this blog.  


That being said, I looked at my Certification status and noticed a few things. Firstly, my Jira Admin for DC Certification expires in a few months. That's not great, but I should be able to bring it up with a skills badge, so not the end of the world.

 Screenshot 2023-03-22 105742.png

However, three of my five certifications are expiring along with the end of the Server Products - my Agile Development in Jira Software, my Confluence Administrator, and my SysAdmin Certification. With those will go my Atlassian Certified Expert Standing. So, let's talk about that, explain what an ACE is, what you need to become one, and my plan to maintain my ACE standing.


What even is an Atlassian Certified Expert?

An Atlassian Certified Expert is Atlassian's top Standing for Certified Individuals. This Standing was initially called "Atlassian Certified Master" but was changed in the Atlassian University team's recent rebranding effort. Previous to the rebranding, the way you got this Standing was by holding four (or more) active Certificates at the same time. To be clear, that's easy enough to say, but getting four Atlassian Certs is no small feat.


However, with the introduction of Atlassian Cloud-specific Certs, the Univesity has recently opened up several pathways to earning this Standing. So let's look into that.


How do you become a Certified Expert?

So, on the whole, you still need four Certifications. The only difference now is what combination of the four now matters. Looking at the documents, you can go all Cloud, All On-Premise, or a Hybrid of the two.  


The requirements when using All Cloud Certifications are not available at this time, as it still depends on a new Certification coming out soon (the ACP-AOA or the Atlassian Cloud Organization Admin Certification). That being said, you need to start with these three Certifications:


Additionally, you are also required to hold one of the following:

If you were an Atlassian Certified Confluence Admin, it should be noted that you got the APB-CSA Skills Badge automatically as a "We're sorry we are taking away one of your Certs." Otherwise, it's available to earn now as a Skill Badge. Given the difference in cost between a Skills Badge exam and a Certification exam, getting the APB-CSA would be my recommended approach to getting your Expert standing. 


Likewise, given Atlassian's heavy emphasis on Cloud products, I recommend that anyone who hasn't started their Certification journey give this pathway the most attention. This path should be the most sustainable long-term with the fewest changes. Atlassian will continue to prefer Cloud over all their other products, so I see them doing everything possible to promote Cloud Certifications long-term. 


If you already have some existing Certs like me, you should check out the other two paths to Expert Standing, which Atlassian calls "Path A" and "Path B." The core of these Certification paths is the Jira Administrator Certification. Therefore, your pathway to Expert Standing depends heavily on whether you have just one or both of the Jira Admin Cloud and Jira Admin DC Certifications, the determinator of whether you are on Path A or B.  


Let's Look at Path A. First, you need One of the following:

On top of that, you also need One of these four:

And to round out your Four, you need two of these:

  1. ACP-AOA Atlassian Certified Organization Administrator (Coming early 2023.)
  2. EITHER: ACP-JSD Atlassian Certified Jira Service Desk Administrator* OR ACP-MJSP Atlassian Certified Jira Service Project Manager for Cloud
  3. EITHER: ACP-CA Atlassian Certified Confluence Administrator for Data Center and Server* OR APB-CSA Confluence Space Administration Pro Skills Badge
  4. ACP-SA Atlassian Certified System Administrator*


I marked some of this in Bold as this is currently how I hold my Expert standing. As I've effectively gotten a replacement for my ACP-CA (in the form of the APB-CSA) and my ACP-JSW (as the ACP-MJDP), that leaves the only trouble spot in my Standing being my ACP-SA, which has no replacement or equivalent. Because no one runs their own Jira system anymore, right? </sarcasm>


So I could maintain my Standing on this path with either the ACP-AOA or the ACP-MJSP.  


But let's look at the requirements for Path B. As I said above, the critical difference here is whether you have one or both of your Jira Admin Certificates.  


Given that, the first requirement of Path B is having both of these:

Then you must hold one of these:

And hold one of these, too:

Again, I highlighted my certificates here to understand what I'd need to do for this Path. Like Path A, I could achieve this path with just one additional Cert: the ACP-JCA. This setup means if I pass either the ACP-AOA, the ACP-MJSP, or the ACP-JCA, my Standing will survive past the end of the Server Product line. 


So, what's your plan?

If you've spent enough of your time, money, and effort to get Atlassian Certified Expert Standing, you too would be loath to be told you had to do even more to keep it. That is one reason when developing a strategy for keeping my Standing, I want to emphasize what will get me the most for my time. I don't want to take Certification Exams to keep up with changing requirements constantly - I'm looking for what will likely be change-proof. 


That said, I cannot stress this enough: Atlassian clearly states that Cloud is the future. To quote Thanos in Infinity wars, "Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same." So, when I take exams, I want to choose Cloud over DC. Will it help me right now? Likely not. Will it allow me to be competitive long-term? Definitely. 


Given that, my ultimate goal will be to get where I can hold my Standing with Cloud-Only path. Granted, that will be three more exams, but it's the most stable long-term, in my opinion. For the short term, I can maintain my Standing with the ACP-JCA past February 2024, giving me some breathing room to get the ACP-MJCP and ACP-AOA. I might throw in the ACP-MJSP for good measure to ensure I'm good should they ever get rid of the only Skills badge requirement on this list.


A Secret Path!?

Of course, I can still think of one more approach, which I'd be dangerously close to achieving with my current plan.  


That, Jira Guys and Gals, is the "Gotta Take them all!" approach. That is to say, to get every Certification Atlassian offers. My friend, fellow Atlassian Abyss member, and former colleague Neil Taylor took this path, and he currently holds ten current Certificates to his name. 


To be clear, I fully promote and endorse Atlassian Certifications, but even I'm not that crazy...yet. But it is a good plan if you care about long-term sustainability.


What do you think?

Are you an Atlassian Certified Expert? Are you thinking about becoming one? Is it even worth it? Let me know what you think! Be sure to comment with your thoughts!


The best part of my day is reading your comments on the various platforms. You can find my social media links on LinkTree. So be sure to like, Comment, and follow on social media to push the algorithms!  


But until next time, my name is Rodney, asking, "Have you updated your Jira issues today?"




Inayat Nahvi April 25, 2023

Hi @Rodney Nissen - ReleaseTEAM .  We briefly met at Team last week.  I am happy to be an active Atlassian Certified Expert.  It's a great way to validate your experience and skills.  Also, certifications are really helpful if you ever look for work with an Atlassian Partner.

We should have a gathering of Experts at the next Team. 

Rodney Nissen - ReleaseTEAM
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
April 25, 2023

@Inayat Nahvi Yes, we definitely should.  I'm kicking myself now that I missed the opportunity for this year.  So yes, absolutely should happen next year!

Like Inayat Nahvi likes this

I'm actually in the same situation


ACP-JCA - 07/2023
ACP-JSW 02/02/2024 (retired)
ACP-SA 02/02/2024 retired
APB-CSA 07/2023


If i've understood correctly 

1) i've to renew the JCA with a skill badge course

2) convert he ACP-JSW to ACP-MJDP doing another course

then i'm going to lose the cert expert anyway, any news about the ACP-AOA?

Joanna Thurmann
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
May 24, 2023

Hi @Rodney Nissen - ReleaseTEAM , @Fabrizio Galletti _Getconnected_ and Atlassian community, 

We are pleased to announce that the Atlassian Organization Administrator Certification Exam (which is on the path to becoming an ACE, Atlassian Certified Expert) is now officially available! 

So sign up, go through the Exam Success Course (which has loads of practice questions, exam hints, and learning content), and you'll do great! 

Check out this announcement: 

If you're new to the Admin Hub, look at the Atlassian Cloud Organization Admin learning path at Atlassian University. 

Best wishes,

Joanna and the Atlassian University certification team

Like # people like this
Dan Tombs
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
July 25, 2023

I have been certified with 200 & 400 for a while but have always wanted to get classed as a certified expert. With the upcoming retirements of my certs I really need to get on with this. I think the hardest bit is just knowing the exact courses I need to take. I should stop reading these articles so late at night :)

Fabrizio Galletti _Getconnected_ September 27, 2023

@Joanna Thurmann i forgot to give you a feedback around that. I've done the Organization Admin course/exam. It is really well made and i enjoyed it

Like Joanna Thurmann likes this
Joanna Thurmann
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
September 27, 2023

Yay @Fabrizio Galletti _Getconnected_ Thanks for letting us know. Congrats!

Inayat Nahvi April 25, 2024

Hi @Rodney Nissen - ReleaseTEAM .   So will there be an official gathering of Experts at Team this year?

Joanna Thurmann
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
April 25, 2024

@Inayat Nahvi No official gathering, but there will a certification expert panel 10:45 - 11:15 am on May 1 and we'd love your presence in the audience to help answer questions for others. And just stop by anytime to see us in the Community & Learning Lounge. See you there.


Log in or Sign up to comment
AUG Leaders

Atlassian Community Events