How I prepared for the Magento 2 Certified Professional Front End Developer exam

05 September 2018

A few days ago I went to Kraków with the goal to pass the Magento 2 exam for front end developers. It was nice to visit this beautiful city, where there will soon be another Meet Magento PL edition. I 100% achieved my goal! Or perhaps I should say 85% as this was my actual score. I can’t tell you what questions I got but I can tell you about how I prepared for the exam and give you some general tips you should remember when taking any exam.

How to tell if you are ready to take the exam?

Some developers just schedule the date and they go for it. Others can have questions like:

  • Am I ready?
  • Should I get more experience?
  • What if I will not pass the exam?

I think anyone with previous experience with Magento 1 like me, and 1 year experience with Magento 2 should think about taking the exam. Magento says:

This exam is for a Magento 2 Professional Front End Developer with a deep understanding of Magento 2 fundamentals, and with a recommended experience of 1.5 years of experience with the Magento 2 platform.

I’ve been lucky because SNOW.DOG started working with Magento 2 in its early stages so I had more than 1.5 years of experience with it.

Don’t be afraid
If you have somewhere around 1-2 years experience, schedule the date! I know having this deadline is the best motivation. I scheduled the date for 1 month ahead but my preparations didn’t properly start until 4 days before the exam ;) Don’t be afraid of not passing – because if you will be prepared you should pass. If not then it’s not the end of the world – you can try again and for sure you will pass the second time.

Do I need to study for it?

Sure. At least check the official Magento 2 Study Guide. If you can easily answer questions about all the topics listed than I think you are almost ready to go. However, the tricky question is how good is your memory? What if you will get a question with similar answers? For that I think it’s good idea to make a review like I did:

  • go through admin panel options (where and what options you can set)
  • review xml files and XML directives and their arguments
  • review LESS files, mixins etc.
  • review js files, the way Magento extends or overrides them, etc.

This is good practice to ensure that in your memory you will have proper images and you won’t make stupid mistakes like checking similar but wrong answers.

Would I pass the exam going in without any preparation?

I would say the chances would be 50/50. Why? For example, here at SNOW.DOG we don’t work with LESS, as we use home build sass solutions like:

So I needed to review the LESS part of Magento 2. I had explored it in the past when I was first working with M2, but if you don’t consistently use and write some code you can easily forgot things. I just reviewed the files and docs to be sure I can answer any question about topics listed in official Magento study guide, such as:

  • Using LESS/CSS to Customize the Magento Look and Feel
  • Explaining core concepts of LESS
  • Explaining Magento’s implementation of LESS (@magento_directive)
  • Describing the purpose of _module.less, _extend.less, _extends.less
  • Showing configuration and usage of CSS merging and minification
  • Magento UI library usage

How did I prepare for the exam?

I started from the official Magento study guide and then went through the Magento 2 Frontend developer study guide by Swiftotter. In this guide you will find most answers related to exam topics listed in official guide plus good links to external documentation and other websites.

Depending on whether I was familiar with it, I spent more or less time on different areas. On topics I didn’t have experience in, I tried to not only to read about them and learn passively, but also code some examples in a blank Magento 2 instance. I wanted to be sure I understood it practically and as we know, doing is the best way to learn.

You can also take the free (limited questions) or paid (more questions) Magento 2 frontend test created by Swiftotter. I think it’s always good to check how are you prepared by answering practice questions and this is a very convenient way of doing it. My primary goal in preparation was to be sure I know topics described in official exam guide.

How long was I preparing for?

It’s difficult to answer, but more or less I spent about 4 days going through the official guide, Swiftotter guide, and sometimes checking official docs and doing some coding/verification in a Magento 2.2 local instance. You can also stretch it into some evenings during the week – however I preferred to focus purely on preparation just before taking the exam.

General tips for taking any exam

  • Don’t be afraid. If you won’t pass than you can prepare better next time and try again.
  • Read questions and answers carefully to avoid silly mistakes.
  • Don’t get stuck on one question for too long. Check some answers and then mark questions for review. Mark every question that you are even a little not sure. Then in the end you can see how many questions can be wrong and how important is to answer the “marked” one properly.
  • I hope it’s obvious but when learning you should try to understand the concept, not only memorize it.
Janusz Janczy
Janusz Janczy