We often write about our team describing them as skilled and highly professional. But what is there behind these loud words?

Well, these are months of hard work combined with intense studying, persistence, time and efforts our developers and support specialists put into their professional growth. And all this is to ensure smooth work of our Magento extensions and top quality customer service.

In this article, we are going to provide some vivid life examples to back these truthful words.

Agenda:

Stas Pomaleyko Became a Zend Certified PHP Engineer
Magento Solution Specialist in Amasty Support Dept
A Freshly Baked Magento Certified Developer in Amasty Team
Another 2 Amasty Developers Have Passed Magento Certification

Stas Pomaleyko became a Zend Certified PHP Engineer

 Date: 12.15.2017

We’re happy to announce that Amasty’s Magento developer Stanislav Pomaleyko successfully completed the Zend PHP Certification exam and became a Zend Certified PHP Engineer. Congrats to Stas on his achievement! We caught him for a flash interview about his experience with acquiring the badge.

The Rogue Wave Zend Certified PHP Engineer is an industry-wide standard that recognizes PHP expertise and is a measure of distinction that employers use to evaluate prospective employees.

 – Stas, could you please explain why you decided to pass the certification test, and this particular one?

 – Mainly I did this because I wanted to improve my expertise and competence level. I can’t say that I was looking for any other option specifically, Zend certification is a popular career asset, and we do have Zend certified developers here at Amasty.

What is more, I looked through the description of the test and decided that I had some blind spots in my knowledge of PHP which needed to be eliminated.

 – How did you prepare for the exam?

 – I’ve gone through Zend Certified Engineer Exam Study Guide, Shafik D. – Zend PHP 5 Certification Study Guide, 3rd Edition – 2015, http://php.net, and Google, of course! Also, I did a lot of running, debugging and dissecting the code examples which weren’t absolutely clear for me at first sight.

 – How long did it take to prepare?

 – I started researching the exam and areas I needed to be more confident in approximately six months ago. The active preparations and revising took about a month.

– Now that you’ve completed the test and received the certificate, how can you describe what’s special about the certification?

 – Well, to pass the exam, you have to know a ton of details and small nuances when it comes to PHP. Just being a PHP developer is not enough here – I think that some PHP developers with 10 years of experience won’t necessarily be able to complete the test without additional education and efforts.

What is more, some answers of the exam should be typed manually. In other words, it’s not always radio buttons or multiple choice selection. And here all these details come to the stage (setcookie or setcookies?) – and you have to be serious about each one of them.

 – Did you face any particular challenges during the text completion?

 – I would say that the main challenge was with complex questions that cover several areas of knowledge, and when you don’t understand a single detail of the question, you can’t answer it altogether. That is, you require both system vision and knowledge, and understanding of tiny details at the same time.

What is more, to pass the test you also should possess knowledge in related domains, such as server configuration. And last, but not least: you have to focus all the attention you can get to read and answer the questions properly.

To avoid these troubles, my advice is to study the exam materials thoroughly and to dig into each and every point you don’t understand completely. Dig it until you’re absolutely and 100% sure you get the idea top to bottom, or read, run and debug the code again and again. Don’t let yourself leave any spots behind!

That’s a wrap for today! We thank Stas for this brief interview and wish him good luck on his career path.

Magento Solution Specialist in Amasty Support Dept

 Date: 03.23.2017

We have some great news. A member of Amasty Support Department has passed the exam and now is a Magento Certified Solution Specialist. Congrats to Siarhei Hromau!

A Magento Solution Specialist is an expert user of the Magento ecommerce platform. Drawing on a deep background in business and ecommerce, the Magento Solution Specialist can efficiently align business objectives with Magento functionality, optimize use of native features, and avoid unnecessary customization. Whether as a merchant, a manager, a consultant, or an analyst, the Magento Solution Specialist knows how to make the best use of Magento technology.

We asked Siarhei a couple of questions about the exam and how the certificate will help his career in Amasty.

 – Why did you decide to get certified?

I was willing to establish myself as a professional. I think that this certification is a good way to verify your skills. In Belarus, there are only a few people that got certified as Solution Specialists.

What is more, I wanted to improve the image of the company and the support department as well. I am pretty sure that my success will stimulate my colleagues to get ready and pass the exam, too, which is going to lead us to a completely new level of customer support.

And, surely, our clients will be glad to know that they receive help from Magento experts in word and deed.

 – Please tell us about your preparations for the exam. How much time did you need? Which recourses did you use to get fit and ready?

The initial idea to pass the exam appeared a year ago, when one of my colleagues brought my attention to the fact that there is a Magento certificate that can be received not only by a developer. From that moment, I started the preparations several times and had to pause it because of the high workload. But this time I was ready to finish the project. For two months, I had been studying heavily: each evening after work and on weekends I had been inspecting the guides and the back streets of Magento CE/EE admin panel. I can’t say I hadn’t been skilled enough before, as I has been working with Magento every day for a significant period of time, but still I got to know a lot of new things, which is always great.

The official Magento User Guide and two local Magento installations were my main sources of knowledge. Also, there’s a Magento Certified Solution Specialist Exam Study Guide, where you can find a decent list of the topics which the specialist should have solid knowledge on, and some test questions as well.

There are three sources that attempted to give answers for the questions from the Guide:

https://www.demacmedia.com/magento-commerce/magento-certified-solution-specialist-study-guide/

http://thedigitalpm.com/magento-solutions-specialist-exam/

https://chrin.com/category/mcss/  – the best one so far.

But I should mention the fact that these sources inevitably have mistakes or inaccuracies.

And, as for any skill, only theory is not enough. To pass the exam, you need to own practical skills as well.

 – How did the exam go? Was it complicated for you? Please do share some advice for those who are planning to become a Magento Certified Solution Specialist.

For some reason, you can’t pass the test neither in Minsk, nor in Belarus, which is a bit strange, because we have an impressive number of Magento related companies.

The closest exam center was in Vilnius, so I had to apply for a visa, and I took a day off to travel there from Minsk, because you can sit the exam only on workdays.

Well, I won’t lie: the exam was hard enough. There were a couple of easy questions, but the most of them made me think properly, and during the exam I made several come backs to think the particularly hard questions over, too.

Do not neglect practical knowledge! For some questions, it is impossible to find an answer in any of the guides. Apart from that, you should have a good grasp of some other fields connected with Magento (mentioning the Exam Study Guide again – you’ll find them there).

– What’s the result of the successful test completion for you personally?

Because in Amasty support department the responsibilities are divided, and each support manager has several Magento extensions under his or her wing, we work with certain features every day and may miss some details from the other area. While getting ready for the test, I managed to even my understanding of Magento as a whole system and learned about some rarely used or misused features.

I’m sure now I am able not only to help our clients, but to understand them better and to provide them even more professional, advanced and solid solutions.

A Freshly Baked Magento Certified Developer in Amasty Team

 Date: 08.26.2016

Today we sending our congrats to Stanislav Pomaleyko, who has recently passed the Magento certification exam. All in all, we have six Magento certified developers in our team.

Let’s talk to Stas about his newest achievement!

— How long have you been working as a Magento developer?

— I’m in software development since January 2014, and I have been working with Magento at Amasty from November 2014.

— Why did you decide to pass the certification exam?

— First of all, I wanted to test myself. It is very important to have your work accessed by someone outside of the warm place at your company.

Also, even if you’re a skilled developer, you always learn something when you’re getting ready for the test.

And, of course, this certificate gives your better career opportunities, as any significant exam, I would say.

— How much time did you spend getting ready for the test?

It’s hard to say exactly. In general, the most active part of the preparations was around a month, but, of course, I have been learning during my whole Magento development career.

— Which part of the test was the hardest for you?

Well, it was harder to cope with the parts about which I knew only from theory and didn’t meet with while developing extensions. For example, I haven’t worked much with API and had to be careful to be sure I went through the theory.

 

The only thing you need is practical training. No theory can help if you didn’t see how it works on a real Magento website.

 

— Which resources did you use while getting ready for the test?

These are some websites that I used often: MageCert.com, MageStudyGuide.com, Certified Developer Exam Study Guide book, How to pass Magento Certification Exam in 30 days, Alan Storm articles, practice tests, and thorough Googling for some specific questions.

— Which activities helped you while preparing for the certification?

— Before starting the active learning part, I have consulted with my colleagues which have already passed the test. Also, I spent quite a lot of time reading, taking practice tests, sat with xDebug and Magento, looked through the databases…

— Do you have any tips for those who are getting ready for the Magento certification?

Well, it may sound trivial, but the only thing you need is practical training. No theory can help if you didn’t see how it works on a real Magento website. There’s no special trick here, I’m sorry =)

— Stas, what are your future plans when it comes to your development skills?

I’m going to work really hard on my English fluency. This is an absolute must for any developer, and your level should be really high so you can read the help guides, talk with customers and colleagues without any language barrier.

Besides, my plans include passing Zend certification.

We’re wishing good luck to Stas – and the team is proud to work with such a determined colleague.

Another 2 Amasty Developers Have Passed Magento Certification

 Date: 02.19.2014

Another 2 members of Amasty Team have passed Magento Certification and claimed their profound knowledge of Magento platform. With Ruslan and Alexey now Amasty Team has 4 certified developers, so now you can be double sure in the highest quality of our extensions. We asked our new Magento superstars to share with us a few secrets on how to pass Magento certification successfully.

Why did you decide to pass Magento Certification?

Magento Certification interview

R: I have been working with Magento for 2 years already and it was interesting for me, first and foremost, to test myself. Besides, when you are preparing for the exam, you always learn something new. So it’s a great thing to do from both personal and professional sides.

A: I decided to pass Magento Certification from the very moment I learnt about it. I received an e-mail from Magento and thought that it’s the right time for me to try myself. It’s a good chance to test your knowledge and make sure you don’t miss anything important in your work.

How long did it take you to get prepared for the exam?

R: Generally all the time I worked with Magento platform should count, since all the knowledge and experience I gained were of high use at the exam and coding for Magento is one big preparation. Intensive preparation took me 2 months, I mean focused studying based on the provided guide.

A: Intensive preparation took me 2 weeks, which is enough to look through the guide and make sure you know all it takes to pass the test. But the total time depends on the experience you have had. Of course to gain deeper knowledge one needs much more time.

So is it your work experience that matters most?

Magento Certification interview - Ruslan

R: Yes, the exam is very versatile and it touches every single part of Magento platform. It might be the case that your work is connected only with a few of the topics listed, so you have to work hard to gain knowledge about other Magento aspects.

A: And this is probably one of the reasons why I decided to pass Magento Certification. I worked only with a limited number of Magento aspects and didn’t touch others. And after I studied them carefully when preparing for the exam and have passed Magento Certification I feel more confident.

What materials besides the guide itself did you use when preparing for the exam?

A: Google. The guide shows what topics, classes and files one should pay attention to. I think it’s important to have a closer look at classes to gain better understanding.

R: Yes, Google was of great help. Magento code is also very useful. Besides, I read a Guide “How to pass Magento Certification in 30 days” written by David Nguyen. And our blog also published an article on one of the questions.

What topic turned out to be the most difficult and tricky for you?

Magento Certification interview - Alexey

A: For me personally Checkout was the most difficult one, since I didn’t work a lot with it. And another reason for that is that Checkout includes a lot of subtopics, such as Shipping, Payments, etc. This topic also concerns payment systems, which makes it more difficult than others.

R: And for me the first chapters were more complicated, since on the one hand everything looks easy, but on the other hand there are some very important nuances. These topics are a little bit vague, which also doesn’t make studying easy.

And which of the topics or questions were the most interesting for you?

A: The ones I regularly work with. I enjoyed more the questions, which I come up with every day and which are familiar to me from my experience. Like Customers for example.

How has your life changed after you passed Magento Certification?

R: I started spending less time on theoretical questions concerning Magento. And gained more respect to my professional qualities.

A: In fact I’ve checked myself, made sure that I know certain things and have some basic knowledge.

Who do you think should pass Magento certification?

R: Anyone, who has been working with Magento for a certain period of time. It is a good advantage and a professional boost.

A: Everyone who wants to test themselves. During preparation one always learns something new or some tricky nuances. So it’s really useful from the professional point of view.

Final Words

As you can see, our team efforts don’t limit solely to work tasks. We always strive for enhancing their skills and knowledge beyond them. The main reason we invest time, money and enormous efforts into obtaining new knowledge and qualifications is delivering better solutions to our customers.