My Journey towards Certified Jenkins Engineer

I recently gave the Certified Jenkins Engineer Exam. This blog post will be sharing my experience on it.

The high-level flow would be

  1. Background
  2. Why take this certification
  3. Pre-requisites
  4. How to prepare & related resources?
  5. Exam structure
  6. How much time to prepare?
  7. Exam experience
  8. Concluding thoughts

Background

Jenkins is a fairly commonly used tool for CI/CD and related activities. In addition, my day-to-day work involves using Jenkins on and off. Therefore, I wanted to learn best practices for Jenkins & its ecosystem for some of the recent projects I worked on. With this in mind, I start researching good resources for learning about Jenkins in-depth and in a practical way.

Cloudbees is the company that provides training for Jenkins(both free and enterprise version).

Why take this certification

If you ever want to learn Jenkins in-depth, this is your goto certification(I am not aware of any other). Knowing a platform like Jenkins in depth would be a precious skill one could have(based on how commonly Jenkins is used as a CI-CD tool). Also, this might be a structured approach to learning something, validating your learning, and using it at your workplace. So it’s a good one for folks with all kinds of experience with Jenkins, in my opinion.

Pre-requisites

Some basic knowledge of CI/CD might be necessary to understand all the use-cases of how and where to use Jenkins. But don’t sweat it out if you don’t know about it; you can always learn. I don’t think there is any other pre-requisite as such.

How to prepare & related resources?

  1. Cloudbees provide free courses (yes, absolutely free); these might be the best way to prepare for the exam.
  2. Please read the documentation thoroughly from Jenkins; it’s pretty neat.
  3. Found this channel v useful, explaining some concepts pretty well.
  4. Found this course affordable and very practical.

Whatever way you use to prepare, make sure you try everything hands-on. Likely, you will not be able to answer many questions in the exam until you have tried things practically.

Ensure you check all details with Jenkins, like configuration, pipelines, artifacts, plugins, etc. The syllabus for the exam is pretty clear on the requirements.

The syllabus mostly contains

  • Jenkins — Fundamentals
  • Jenkins Pipeline — Fundamentals
  • Jenkins Administration — Fundamentals

How to register for the exam?

Check this

Exam Structure

  • 60 multiple-choice questions in 90 minutes
  • You must correctly answer 66% of the questions to pass the exam.
  • Exam cost: $100
  • The entire exam is divided into 4 main topics

How much time to prepare?

This varies, of course, from person to person. For me, with two kids and a pretty busy work life took around 3 weeks. But something to note I work with Jenkins(on and off) and am not entirely a newbie.

IMO's key is to learn things in a way that you can keep them with you forever and use them at your workplace. So I made sure to go slow and take good notes.

Also, I tried things in detail until I understood the details and did not proceed otherwise(don’t just skim through the documentation, it’s mostly not going to buy you anything).

Exam experience

I logged in 15 minutes before the exam started. I usually take my exams early in the morning; I made a mistake for this exam to book it during the daytime. With kids and other things going on during the daytime, I felt a lot of disturbance during the exam, Would recommend taking the exam during off-hours(early morning or late night).

You can easily book a date/time for the exam as dates are fairly available. Also, you can reschedule any number of times(24 hours before the exam).

The exam wasn’t straightforward & had a lot of tricky questions. But if one has tried things practically, this should not be very difficult. I wouldn’t give the exam until you have tried all things(ones recommended in the syllabus) with Jenkins practically. The re-take is costlier than the original exam(150$), so why risk it with under-preparation?

Concluding thoughts

Please, please, please, get hands-on experience, don’t attempt the exam until then. Exam questions are scenario-based and might not be straightforward, take time to read carefully; you should have ample time during the exam to attempt the same. Overall this is a well-designed certification, keep your cool & you will do great in the exam.

Till next time ciao! And stay safe

whoami >> Slack, Prev — Springpath (Acquired by Cisco), VMware, Build & Release, Test-Infra, Test Automation, Devops and Cybersecurity Enthusiast