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This document is about a program run by CloudBees and exists to clarify the relationship between Jenkins Certification run by CloudBees and the Jenkins project

Introduction

The "Jenkins Certification" program intends to provide a standard by which practitioners can demonstrate their level of Jenkins expertise and also an indication of expertise to employers interested in hiring Jenkins professionals.

As far as CloudBees is concerned, we think that it will bring a lot of positive dynamics to the Jenkins job market, by providing a professional reference for recruiters and engineers. By recruiters, we generally think of enterprises, recruitment agencies or job websites looking for skilled Jenkins practitioners. We (CloudBees) hope it will also bring more fluidity to the consulting and freelance market, for the same reasons as for recruiters. More generally, all software communities, whether proprietary or open source, which have created such a professional-grade certification program, have significantly benefited from it.

Beyond the above benefits, we believe certification programs have significantly improved the perception of those communities in the eyes of mainstream adopters. Getting such a recognition from mainstream companies opens up a whole new set of supporters. Although those supporters might not be as active contributors to the community as others can be, they bring a broader user-base and improve the long term stability of the overall community.

The fact that CloudBees has done the initial investment and is still supporting the operational costs moving forward should not prevent the community to be more actively involved in this program in the near future.

Advisory Board

When this program was program was originally conceived, CloudBees asked for a non-CloudBees affiliated member of the Jenkins community to participate in a "Certification Advisory Board." The purpose of which is to help identify gaps and inaccuracies in the exam questions on an on-going basis. The time commitment is estimated to be around 2-3 hours per month (max) as needed.

For various reasons we were unable to originally fill this slot, if you're interested in participating in the Certification Advisory Board, please contact tyler@cloudbees.com

Costs/Revenue

The certification program is not motivated by revenue objectives but instead motivated by a desire to raise the profile of talented Jenkins practitioners in the marketplace and help employers identify practitioners who are capable of successfully deploying, managing and growing Jenkins usage within those organizations.

Costs

The costs of the program are, to date, fully covered by CloudBees, Inc. For transparency's sake, this includes:

  • Over a period of three months, up to forty CloudBees Jenkins engineers had to create and review exam questions (more than 370 in total). Only taking this one into account represents a significant cost.
  • For the Beta certification exam in 12 cities around the world CloudBees has organized the registration process but also rented rooms, computers, connectivity use of Prometric online testing systems and assigned proctors and tech assistants in each location.
  • CloudBees has hired certification consultants to ensure application of certification best practices in order to provide a professional-grade type of certification to all Jenkins users.
  • CloudBees is working with Prometric, a certification exam provider who helps operate other certifications such as Cisco's certification examples. CloudBees supports 100% of Prometric costs. Their service includes online registration services, test question management system (creation, review), fully secured and proctored exam rooms in 400 cities around the world. This helps offer the best level of certification credibility and availability.
  • Moving forward, CLoudBees will also need to review the exam results and maintain the exam up to date, according to Jenkins feature changes.

CloudBees is supporting 100% of the costs, whether investments costs incurred in the creation of the exam or costs related to the ongoing management of the program, including Prometric costs. CloudBees will also support 100% of the ongoing maintenance of the Certification exam over time.

Revenue

In the end, this initiative represents several hundred thousand dollars of investment and operational costs for CloudBees. We (CloudBees) don’t think we will be able to make any profit from this program. We simply expect the fees to cover some of our investments.

Preparation

The purpose of this Certification program is to offer a professional-grade type of certification. There is no plan at CloudBees to provide any specific training or documentation that will help prepare for the exam. That said, like any program of that nature, we have prepared Study Guides that indicate very clearly the type of topics that are covered in the exams,so that people can clearly see that such an exam requires both training and practice. CloudBees does offer training, which are helping people to better master Jenkins and therefore be better prepared for certification. This is simply not exclusive to CloudBees trainings. Any good Jenkins training can help prepare for certification.

CloudBees is however investing heavily in improving the general state of documentation for the Jenkins project but this does not have any direct tie-ins to the certification program.

Phases of Development

  • Develop certification blueprint (e.g. who should the exams target, what level(s) of expertise)
  • Develop certification exam questions
  • Initial exam alpha testing
  • Exam beta testing
  • General availability of exam
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