In studying for the Atlassian Certified Professional Exams there are multiple paths you can take. In this guide i will list what has been an effective path for myself (and a few others) in earning each of these Certifications. In the future we will go more in depth into each of these and take a look at the exam topics Atlassian has posted on each of the certification pages. This will be the first in a series of discussions around the ACP certifications.
The exams that we will cover in these guides are listed below.
The first option i am going to tell anyone is that they need experience with these tools. If you have not looked at the pages for the certification exams above one of the prerequisites is anywhere from 6 months (Project Administrator) to 2-3 years (JIRA Administrator) of experience. If you don't have access to an environment to learn, make your own! Take a look at the Atlassian Dragon Slayer tutorial! JIRA, Confluence, and all of the others can run on your machine and are pretty easy to install and learn the basics. We all started somewhere and this will let you install, configure, and run your own instance for anything you want to do. Trial licenses are free for 30 days and Atlassian offers a Starter License for only $10 with all of the proceeds going to charity! I personally own a copy of every product through a Starter License just so i can keep up to date on the latest versions. I use my starter licenses for running projects around the house and I even planned my Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel projects using JIRA and Confluence.
Each certification exam has a PDF of the Exam Topics that will be covered. These can be pretty vague and far reaching topics, but i would highly recommend you go through each of these, write down what you know about them, and then research the ones you don't know. It will give you a very good baseline on where you need to focus more of your studying efforts.
I know... No one wants to RTFM, but the documentation is an invaluable resource when you are trying to find out what specific features or functions do in the Atlassian tools. The documentation can help fortify some areas that you might not be proficient in, and I guarantee you will learn something new when you start reading the documentation around specific things like JIRA Workflows or Confluence Macros.
Yes, study groups. I am sure you despised these in College. If you are involved in an Atlassian User Group (and if you aren't i highly recommend them!) get with some other AUG members and get a study group going! This is probably the single most valuable thing I did when studying for my certifications. We were able to go over the Exam Topics provided for each exam and just speak to each of them. What you will see on a lot of the follow up articles/discussions come from these sessions I had with other AUG members.
Atlassian offers some great training for the ACP tests here. These classes do a good job of helping you know what to expect on the test. They offer lots of sample questions like the ones you would see on the certification test and the instructors can offer insight into why each answer is correct or incorrect.
I hope this helps someone prepare for the certification exams as it helped me. Please be sure to comment and leave your thoughts. I will update/edit this once i have completed each subsequent Study Guide for each particular exam. Check back in a few days (probably longer honestly) for the ACP-100 Study Guide!
If you would like to help with any of these future guide please reach out to me!
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