Keeping Your Drupal Expertise Up To Date

Keeping your Drupal Expertise Up to Date

By combining our hands-on work experiences of fine-tuning real websites with real issues along with our up-to-date theoretical knowledge, we’re best equipped to efficiently triangulate possible problematic code, the reasoning behind its implementation, and to create a solid, timely solution for our client. 

Even in areas in which you already feel entirely confident, training and certification will always result in a deeper foundational understanding of the subject matter. And with the fast-evolving nature of technology and web design practices, continual education is a great way to catch up on new developments and practices that happened while you were perfecting other skills. For this reason, at Amazee Labs each employee has an annual education budget that allows them to pursue any certification to advance their expertise and competency. 

To exemplify the benefits of this practice, for the remainder of this article, we’ll focus on one of our developers, Maita Kambarami, and her past experience preparing for the Drupal 8 Site Builder Certification. 

How did you start with the exam preparation?

Having worked on 60+ websites at the time, I didn’t think I would encounter anything that I wasn’t already familiar with while studying for the exam. However, I ended up finding the preparation process to be very illuminating! First, I looked for exam papers in order to get a feel for what to expect. Sadly, I couldn’t find any free exam materials for D8 Site Building Certification, but I was able to find some example questions from the exam.

If you want to check out those questions for yourself, you can look at Authentic Dumps - Certified Site Builder D8 Exam Questions. 

Just from the example questions, I was able to see how the exam was structured and how questions were presented and worded. The good news – they are all multiple-choice questions. The bad news, however, is that for a lot of the questions, the answers might look like they are all correct. Make sure you carefully read and really understand the question before clicking.

What other study resources did you end up finding helpful?

For the actual studying, I used notes from WidgetsBurritos and the Study Guide which pointed to the Drupal 8 User Guide. The User Guide gives insight into each topic mentioned in the Study Guide. 

Their Self Assessment helped me figure out the areas I needed to dig deep and focus on, and which subjects I just needed a refresher course for. 

I also used some of our D8 sites at Amazee Labs as case studies to answer the questions that I found in the last section of the Study Guide. 

For each project, I had to answer the following questions:

  • What are the Content Types for the site?
  • What are the fields and field settings for each Content Type?
  • What are the Displays configured for each Content Type? Are there any Custom displays? If so, how and where are they used?
  • What Vocabularies are defined? Are they controlled or uncontrolled? How is the Taxonomy system used?
  • How many Custom blocks are used on the site? Are there any Custom Block Types defined? Are there any custom fields in the blocks? How are they used on the site?
  • How many Menus are defined? Are there any Custom Menus? How are the Menu items managed? Where are the Menus used on the site?
  • List all the Views used on the site. For each View, check the Displays, Format, Fields, Sort Criteria, Filter Criteria, Contextual Filters and Relationships. Check how views are used on the site.
  • List all the Custom Modules enabled on the site. Check the functionality added by each module.
  • Go to the Configuration Settings page of the site. Check the settings made under all the available options. Check the settings made under People, Content Authoring, Development, Search and Metadata, RSS Publishing, System, Media, Regional and Language Settings.
  • Go to Extend. Enable modules under the Multilingual section. Check the different configuration options newly available under Language settings and Content type configurations. Play around with the settings to build a bi-lingual or a multilingual website.
  • Why are the configurations the way they are?
  • What can be changed or improved?
  • What are the issues or support requests raised by the client?
  • What changes were made to the initial configuration and why?

After that prep, how was taking the exam?

After all that preparation, I actually ended up having more challenges logging in and registering than I did actually taking the exam! In the end, I passed the exam and got my Badge! 


Drupal Badge

What are your final thoughts on your experience?

There are a lot of things I thought I knew but didn't know enough. After completing the exam, I was more confident working with Drupal. Just like driving you might know how to change gears and hit the gas, but without theory, you miss out on the actual rules of the road that makes you an excellent driver.

Some people may ask, was it worth it? And my answer would be yes. Preparing for and taking the exam not only helped me become more confident in my work, it also helped me familiarise myself with some new concepts introduced in Drupal 8 so that now I can see their importance and apply them to my day-to-day work.

Make sure you’re backed by up-to-date expertise!

Maintaining your website is more than keeping your core system and modules secure and updated. It also includes new developments, extensions, features, and refinements, that keep your site relevant and your target audience engaged. 

So, make sure you're backed by up-to-date expertise. Reach out and talk to one of our web maintenance experts today!

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