The Pivotal systems integrator partner program has come a long way over the last five years. Today, one of the most important elements of the program is the Platform Acceleration Lab, or PAL as we affectionately call it. PAL is an immersive, hands-on training experience focused on agile development and Extreme Programming designed to prepare developers and application/ coding architects from our SI partners to hit the ground running with our joint customers. PAL is a fantastic approach for many of our SI partners, but Pivotal recognizes different partners are at different stages of their own transformation journeys and require multiple training and enablement options to fit their specific needs.
With this in mind, we at Pivotal offer a number of complementary training and enablement options to PAL that we want to make sure you, the SI partner community, are aware of. And we are coupling these complementary options with a new certification-based methodology for recognizing SI partner competency that we think will allow you to more quickly grow your talent base to meet the market demand while not compromising on the extremely high standards of service our joint customers have come to expect and demand.
Three Cloud-Native Certifications
First, let’s talk about certifications. We increasingly hear from customers that they want a certification system to help them better decide which systems integrators to work with in addition to PAL grad badging. And as we introduce additional, flexible enablement options (more on those in a minute), we too agree that it makes more sense to transition to a proficiency-based measure of partner competency.
Enter certifications. Pivotal offers three certifications, each attained by taking and passing the associated hands-on certification exam. The intensive exams are what really sets Pivotal’s certifications apart. These are hands-on, in-depth, several-hours-long exams that are designed to assess a candidate’s ability to write and push code using cloud-native approaches or to operate cloud-native platforms. Most importantly, customers that work with Pivotal’s SI partners can be assured that certified developers and architects are highly qualified and ready to help them on their digital transformation journeys!
There is no requirement for candidates to take part in PAL in order to take the exams. Simply pay the registration fee and schedule the test.
The three certifications are:
Pivotal Developer Certification. The Pivotal Developer Exam is designed to test and validate a candidate’s understanding of and familiarity with the Pivotal Application Services (PAS), Spring Boot, Spring MVC, Spring Cloud, and cloud-native patterns and practices. During this performance-based exam, candidates will build a Spring Boot application in Java and deploy it to Pivotal Cloud Foundry.
Pivotal Application Architect Certification. The hybrid Pivotal Application Architect exam is designed to test and validate a candidate’s understanding of and familiarity with the Pivotal Application Service (PAS), Spring Boot, replatforming Java applications for PAS, modernization of systems, and cloud-native patterns and practices. The examine is administered on a Linux virtual machine that has all necessary software preinstalled and candidates will replatform a legacy Java application and deploy it to Pivotal Cloud Foundry.
Pivotal Cloud Foundry Operator Certification. The Pivotal Cloud Foundry Operator Exam is designed to test and validate a candidate’s understanding of and familiarity with Elastic Runtime architecture and how it impacts developers, installing, backing up, restoring, and upgrading Pivotal Cloud Foundry, creating users and assigning roles, managing org and space quotas, monitoring Pivotal Cloud Foundry with component logs and metrics, using BOSH to troubleshoot Pivotal Cloud Foundry installation, using BOSH to create and deploy a release, and understanding capacity planning and multi-site deployments.
We’re moving in this direction because we think its a better reflection of an SI’s cloud-native competency and because we are hearing from more and more customers that they only want to work with certified partners.
Preparing for the Certification Exams
As mentioned earlier, there is no prerequisite required in order to take any of the certification exams. However, we highly recommend that certification candidates take steps to thoroughly prepare for the exams. One option, as always, is to attend an instructor-led PAL course. But there are several less immersive, self-paced training and enablement options for those candidates who feel they don’t require the full PAL experience.
Here are your options:
- Certification Exam Study Guides and Briefs. We have developed and published study guides and exam briefs for each certification exam and they should be considered must-reads for anyone taking one of the exams. Together each study guide and brief includes an overview of the certification, a detailed description of the exam itself, logistical information for exam day, and links to helpful documentation and other resources for study. They are available for free download and allow certification candidates to study up on their own time at their own pace. You can find links to the study guides and exam briefs below.
- PAL Developer and Enterprise Content Subscription. The PAL content subscription is a site-wide license for an unlimited number of individuals to access current and future PAL course materials. It comes in two flavors, developer and enterprise. The content subscription enables SI partners to recreate the PAL experience within their own four walls supported by their own practitioners who have themselves completed an instructor-led PAL course. This option is sometimes referred to as train-the-trainer. It’s a flexible model that gives you the ability to consume the same content and tools used in the PAL program without having to book and travel to a formal class with Pivotal. The PAL content subscription is recommended to those SI partners with over 200 engineers and developers in need of training.
Education and Platform Architect Webinars & Workshops. The Pivotal education team conducts webinars and workshops to help individuals prepare for Pivotal’s certification exams. Workshops run monthly and we’ll also be running workshops at SpringOne Platform 2019. (You can even take certification exams at SpringOne!) Advanced partners can also work directly with their Pivotal platform architect, who can help guide and supplement their Pivotal enablement journey. Your Pivotal platform architect can, for example, facilitate workshops to review key areas of the certification exams and certification candidates can ask technical questions related to topics that will be tested.
Pivotal Content and Partner Resources. And as always, everyone has free access to all the content regularly published on pivotal.io! While the blog posts, podcast episodes, white papers and webinars you’ll find on the site don’t necessarily align with the specific certification exams, they provide a great foundation of knowledge that will serve any cloud-native developer well. In just the last few days, we’ve published a blog post on blending Java and .NET teams, another covering everything you want to know about Spring Cloud Services 3.0, and podcast about chaos engineering. In addition, Pluralsight offers in-depth, technical courses that are designed by industry experts and aligned with the latest Pivotal products. These curated channels will help get candidates skilled up fast, with courses to help them become proficient in Pivotal Cloud Foundry development and operations.
We believe providing a menu of flexible training and enablement options couple with a certification-based measure of competency is the best way to help our SI partners ramp up their Pivotal-related skills and practices and, in turn, the best way to ensure customers are getting the highest quality services from our ecosystem of trusted SI partners. As always, we welcome your feedback on Pivotal’s training and enablement options, and we’re excited to continue the cloud-native journey with each of you.
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