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What is the best textbook for Jira Administration?

I am looking for a good textbook that can help me gain more skills and also help me prep for the ACP 100 exam.  Ideally a book would also cover Scriptrunner, but so far I've only seen one book, Mastering Jira, and that didn't exactly have the best review.  Any ideas?

7 answers

3 votes

Many new and experienced JIRA Administrators find the JIRA Admin Strategy Workbook to be quite helpful. It's written by Rachel Wright, a well-seasoned JIRA adminstrator (who is currenty touring the country speaking to user group meetings and conferences) for other JIRA adminstrators and is full of "from the trenches" information. I don't believe Rachel's book covers ScriptRunner.

I feel Jira Admin exam is not only about "how much you know Jira admin" but rather "the best way of doing Jira admin in different situations". I don't think the existing books (including mine) were written with a purpose of providing a guide to clear the exam. We are anyways not allowed to share sample questions asked :)

Each book is based on experiences of author when they were working as Jira Administrators. You will learn something different from each book. Comparing them is probably not a good idea. 

Someone who is already a Jira admin and wants to clear the exam. Here are my tips.

1. Some preparation before you start a proper preparation

  • Do sample exam, it is short but will help in assessing where you are.
  • Make sure you already know Jira customisations, if not delay your exam.

2. Based on features of the tool (You don't want to loose marks just because you forgot something).

  • Get a test instance of Jira Server. No add-ons.
  • Download the exam topics and print them.
  • Open Atlassian documentation and read those topics word by word (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT). Everything asked will be somewhere in the documentation.
  • While you are reading those topics, practice on Jira instance (VERY IMPORTANT). You want to remember different things on the UI. The questions will try to confuse you but if you recently did a hands on then you will remember what you practiced.
  • Make plenty of notes on paper for each topics (VERY IMPORTANT). This is just to fill your brain with terms, keywords, possible options that appear on the UI. This worked for me, If I write something, most likely I remember it for the next few days.
  • Before the exam, I prefer reading my notes.
  • I prefer going to the centre hour in advance, nervousness of the exam, going to the centre helps in keeping my focus.

3. Based on your experience

  • If you have been working as a Jira admin then you probably know when not to create another set of configurations or better ways of doing things to save time and optimising existing configurations.
  • Just use your best judgement

4. For exam

  • Round 1: Spend one hour answering simple questions, that requires no further thinking. That you can answer straightaway. Less than 1-2 mins per question max.
  • Round 2: Answer questions that requires some thinking, in those cases reading answers will give you some clue.
  • Round 3: Review
  • Answer everything (last time I checked there was no negative marking)
  • Bonus tips: Don't drink too much water before/during the exam ;), wear relaxed clothes and be your best to feel confident.

Thanks,

Ravi

Hi Ravi,

Having successfully endured ACP-600 and ACP-120 I have to say with pure sincerity that there is a nearly unforgiveable lack of prep material.

Sorry, but experience is not enough.  The prep courses are not enough.  Seriously, the prep classes are not prep material AT ALL.  They should be available to all at no charge in their current form.  There needs to be written study material with images and exampes.  There need to be detailed labs with documented solutions.  There need to be practice exams.  Multiple, full-length exams with documented answers.

Like Ravi Sagar _Sparxsys_ likes this

Well Atlassian do have courses but you are right those courses are not free.

Like Rob Horan likes this

But @Ravi Sagar _Sparxsys_  to be perfectly honest, I would argue - vehemently - that they are NOT courses.  At best they are lengthy, extended outlines.  Courses provide guidance - they teach.  This was beyond minimalist, and seriously rushed.  That's fine for free, but for the $ charged there should be so much more content.

@Ravi Sagar _Sparxsys_  - not to put you on the spot but I do feel I got an enormous amount of info from your videos on YouTube, for which I really do thank you.  Also I didn't make the connection until after I entered my last post. 

The level of detail, the time you take to properly explain complex ideas, and the care you take while crafting your instructional material - I wish the official prep material was crafted in this way.

Like Ravi Sagar _Sparxsys_ likes this

Hi @Rob Horan Thanks a lot saying that. Means a lot. I try my best to share whatever I could in my limited time.

Like Rob Horan likes this

I've personally read (cover-to-cover):

For me, I used the Cookbook more as a reference guide, almost like a 101 for admins, while the Workbook was definitely more practical, with battle tested examples of what to do in specific situations.

If you're looking for one book, I'd learn towards JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook

2 votes
AnnWorley Atlassian Team Apr 26, 2017

Here are a couple of recent releases:

JIRA 7 Administration Cookbook, 2nd Edition

JIRA 7 Essentials, 4th Edition

For Atlassian certification, don't ignore the product documentation: JIRA Core documentation

JIRA Software documentation

JIRA Service Desk Documentation

AnnWorley Atlassian Team Apr 26, 2017

I am curious what other folks in the Community suggest.

Have you read either of them?  I'm just wondering which would be better.  The Atlassian documentation... I find it to be lacking.  Badly.

Atlassian's documentation is like a cookbook where they give you copious amounts of detail about specific ingredients and leave out the recipes, and the exam is all about the recipes.  (the exam is all about best practices and solving scenarios, none of which are covered by the official documentation as far as I can tell)  How to make a cake: get some flour and oh but what kind of flour? "There's wheat, but you might be gluten intolerant so theres all sorts of other flour like oat and rice and" - 50 pages later after exhaustively talking about the ingredients "Now that you've gathered all your ingredients you can make a cake.  Byeeeeeee!"

The Essentials book looks like a good resource for end users, but perhaps not as much for admins.  

Thank you for the links!

Oops, didn't mean to reply on a thread - see my "answer".

Hi Lasse,

Congrats on your ACP-100 certification. I am planning to appear for the same in the coming months. I am confused with which book to buy:

1) JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook

 OR

2) Mastering Jira 7 by Ravi sagar 2nd edition. 

I have few questions if you could answer:

Were you able to attempt all the question in the given time?

How useful was the Atlassian documentation?

Did you use any dumps for practice or did you take the atlassian training course for the same?

Please , do let me know.

Thanks,

Vikrant Kadam

Hi Vikrant,

I would recommend JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook. Rachel approach is Jira best practice.

Yes, I was able to answer all the questions. Not all were correct :). I had a strategy for the exam.

  1. Use the first hour to sweep all questions in the exam in order to cherry pick the easy ones that could be answered right away. Mark all the tough questions for the next iteration of question sweep.
  2. For each question remove answers you that are not correct. This would leave you with fewer answers.

I took the Jira Certification Administration prep course. https://training.atlassian.com/elearning/jira-administrator-certification-prep-ondemand. This was very useful. This is free if you are a solution partner. There are a lot of sample questions which will give you an idea what to expect at the exam.

 

I used the Atlassian docs for quick look ups when practicing. It was OK. But I do recommend you practice a lot and think best practice all the time.

Regards

Lasse

How can I think best practice when there is literally NO SOURCE of best practice documentation ANYWHERE?

Seriously, I have Rachel's book.  I studied it.  HARD.  I have been an admin for years.  I took the test, and all I got was a loss of money - BECAUSE THERE ARE NO ACTUAL STUDY GUIDES THAT SPEAK TO HOW THESE QUESTIONS ARE FORMULATED. 

Sorry, I'm just beyond frustrated at this point.

Like # people like this

Hi Robert,

 

You are right, there is no Jira Best practice guide. But I have used the Atlassian Community A LOT to see how problems are solved and questions have been answered regarding Jira. So this have been my way of thinking Jira and getting the idea of what is best practice.

The Jira Certification Prep course has a lot of example questions that are very close to the real thing. I think I went through these questions three or four times in order to understand what to expect.

The exam is tough and I really had to focus on reading the questions fast and understand.

I failed the first time I took the exam. I had been a Jira Admin for six month at that time and only 5-8 hours of professional Jira work each week, so I kind knew I would fail the first time. I mostly develop software but as an Atlassian Solution partner our company Netic had to have some Atlassian specialist, so I signed up for the certification program.

My best advice is to sign up for the Jira Certification prep course. Study the questions.

 

Good luck

 

Regards

Lasse

@Lasse Langhorn Thanks. That was really helpful

Robert Horan Marketplace Partner Aug 22, 2019

Just passed the ACP-100 today. Read the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook. Very well written book.
Do the case studies provided by Atlassian. The exam is not easy.

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