Akeneo offers two certifications. These are the Business Implementation Specialist (BI) and the Technical Integration Specialist (TI) certifications. The BI certification focuses on how to properly model the data and set up business processes in Akeneo. The TI certification focuses on using the Akeneo API to access and manipulate data. You must pass a proctored exam in order to get these certifications. The Akeneo certification exams are not easy and you’re expected to have completed a few projects or training before attempting. Even with that, most people that I know have needed 2-3 attempts in order to pass. Because of the difficulty it is important to know what to expect before entering the exam room.
What to Expect
Both the BI and TI certification exams follow the same format. If you’re getting your first certification the exams are 2.5 hours long. The first half of the exam is 50 multiple choice questions and the second half is 2 case studies; open response questions. The multiple choice questions account for 50% of your score while each case study counts for 25%. You need a final score of 80% or better to pass. If you already have a certification you do not need to take the full exam and instead you get a shorter version. The renewal exam is only 1 hour long with 20 multiple choice questions and 1 case study. Again, the multiple choice account for 50% of your total score, the case study accounts for the other 50%, and you need 80% or better to pass. You have the option to take exams at a testing center or online, which is the preferred way since not all testing centers have reopened.
When I got my original BI certification there were not many resources available. You needed to review the Akeneo sites help.akeneo.com and api.akeneo.com and hope you retained enough information. These are both still great resources, but recently Akeneo has done a great job at creating helpful materials in their Akademy. The Akademy is a great place to start if you’re interested in getting either certification. Inside the Akademy you’ll find an overview of the exam, 10 sample multiple choice questions, and 1 sample case study. Both the BI and TI exams have their own sample questions and case studies. These samples are great for giving you an idea of what to expect on the exam. They can also help you identify places where you need to review.
Akeneo also offers courses designed to teach and prepare users for the different exams. These classes are valuable for both beginner and experienced Akeneo developers, though it is recommended you have at least some Akeneo experience before attending. Each class lasts for 3 days and covers a large variety of topics through presentations and workshops. The best part is after the course is over you get to take home all of the materials. Though it is not a requirement that you attend one of these courses before taking the certification exam, the class will cover some specifics of what will be on the exam and can give you valuable information about what points to cover in your case study open response questions. The sign up for these classes is available through the Akademy.
Studying can help you with the multiple choice questions, but usually the case studies require more hands-on experience to answer properly. For this reason my final study tip is to get some hands-on experience with an Akeneo instance and experience all of the available features. Akeneo Community Edition is open source (github.com/akeneo/pim-community-dev) and can be easily set up on your local computer. Akeneo also hosts demo.akeneo.com where you can access a demo Akeneo Community instance with the login admin/admin. Be careful using the demo site. Changes to the data get wiped every night, so any changes you make will not be saved. Unfortunately the community edition does not have every feature available and you need to be a certified Akeneo partner to get access to the Enterprise Edition. If you don’t have access to enterprise it is important that you still understand those elements of Akeneo.
The exam isn’t easy, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t pass on your first attempt. Keep practicing and whether you’re a seasoned veteran of Akeneo or you’re brand new to PIM, using the above tips and resources will help you achieve your Akeneo certification. Good Luck!