EPiServer Certification: What's in a Piece of Paper? A Lot, Actually

One of The C2 Group's developers reflects on the challenging, albeit rewarding, experience of earning EPiServer certification.
Brian Oliver

I’m a certified EPiServer CMS developer.

I’ve been an Ektron developer since 2007, and with the recent Ektron-EPiServer merger, I was looking for a way to prove my skill on a new platform.

Enter the EPiServer Developer Certification Program. Take a test, and then if I pass, I receive a piece of paper stating I am a certified EPiServer CMS developer. That’s certified – not certifiable. Seriously, though. What does a piece of paper give me that I didn’t have before?

It’s not just any piece of paper. It’s a framed certificate mailed to me from the EPiServer headquarters in Sweden. How often do you get actual mail these days, and with a foreign postmark?

It’s a very rewarding piece of paper, too. The process for getting certified by EPiServer is quite grueling, and totally worthwhile. I started by downloading the EPiServer CMS Visual Studio Extension. This gave me access to the Alloy sample site, which is pretty amazing. I fell in love with EPiServer as I worked through the sample site. This content management system fully embraces the concepts of Inversion of Control and Dependency Injection. Plus, it is a true ASP.NET MVC development – controllers, razor views, master layouts, and all the other goodies. There’s also a fantastic community of developers committed to EPiServer.

But at a certain point working with the Alloy site, I hit a wall. I could tell there was much more to the system, but I wasn’t getting deep enough into the how/why/where of it all. Enter EPiServer Training. The trainers at EPiServer are fantastic, and the documentation provided as part of the training course is top-notch. These training sessions took my understanding of EPiServer to another level.

Even after training, I still wasn’t ready for the certification exam. It’s a demanding, comprehensive test designed to measure not just an ability to code in EPiServer, but also a developer’s complete knowledge of the system. This is something you must learn by rolling up your sleeves and really diving into it. In my case, I was working alongside another developer and building a complete site – from scratch – using principles and strategies from the Alloy site as well as from the training course.

Ultimately, it was an intense combination of training, reading the admin manuals cover to cover, building real websites, and good, old fashioned studying that put me in position to be able to pass the exam. In other words, it was no walk in the park. Does that mean I couldn’t build an EPiServer site until I received my certification? Heavens, no. What it means is that I have a solid understanding of how the entire CMS system works.

One of Ektron’s slogans was, “What do you want your website to do?” The implication was that with Ektron, anything was possible. After going through certification, I am able to apply the same question to EPiServer. I am confident that whatever business logic or user scenario comes my way, I can make it happen in EPiServer.

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