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With great pride I announced that I’m now a Certified Sitecore XM Cloud Developer! And it for sure wasn’t an easy exam to pass.

In this blogpost I would like to share some of my experiences and walk you through what I think are must do’s to pass for this exam, since for me it has been one of the most difficult ones to pass on and achieve the Certified Sitecore XM Cloud Developer status. Even for me as a 14x Sitecore MVP and as an experienced Sitecore Headless developer (both with Nextjs/JSS and the ASP.NET Core Rendering SDK experience) it was a difficult one.

This blogpost is not intended to discourage you or tell you how hard it is, but guide you on the steps you need to earn that Sitecore XM Cloud Developer certification.

Sitecore E-Learning XM Cloud Developer

The Sitecore E-learning portal is the first step to get started with preparing for your Sitecore XM Cloud Developer Certification Exam. The Sitecore E-learning team has provided a thorough path on this, which can be checked out at the XM Cloud Developer Learning Path.

Step 1 – E-Learning XM Cloud for JSS Headless Developers (must do)

Even though Sitecore is focussing completely on XM Cloud development with Nextjs/JSS it wouldn’t hurt doing the .NET Core e-learning as well, just to repeat your knowledge what you’ve learned during the first e-learning. The first e-learning training you should do is the following:

This should get you trained with all the knowledge you need to do proper development for XM Cloud with JSS headless. It contains a learning structure that will handle the following:

  1. Introduction to Experience Manager Cloud
  2. Introduction to Developing with Sitecore
  3. Introduction to Headless Development with Sitecore JavaScript Rendering SDKs
  4. Sitecore 10 Development Features Overview
  5. Introduction to Sitecore Content Serialization 10
  6. Site structure and data architecture
  7. Create items from data templates
  8. Developing with Sitecore JavaScript Rendering SDKs
  9. XM Cloud Command Line Interface (CLI)
  10. XM Cloud Deploy Application
  11. Introduction to Administration with Sitecore Experience Platform 10

Depending on your experience with Sitecore Headless development in general following these 11 modules should give you a good understanding of all the new capabilities of Sitecore’s SaaS flagship product.

Step 2 – E-Learning XM Cloud for .NET Headless Developers (optional)

This E-Learning course will basically teach you the same, but instead that it focusses on the Javascript Rendering SDK it focusses on the ASP.NET Core Rendering SDK. A little repetition wouldn’t hurt for your knowledge… so I would advise to take this E-Learning as well.

Step 3 – Sitecore XM Cloud Developer Fundamentals ILT (must do)

Sitecore XM Cloud Developers Fundamentals ILT beta course

Last July 2023, I participated in the Sitecore XM Cloud for Developers ILT beta course (one of the perks of being a Sitecore MVP is that you get preliminary access to beta training sometimes ;-)), which was given by Andrew Vieau. The Sitecore XM Cloud Developer Fundamentals course is designed for anyone who wants to learn the basic concepts of Sitecore XM Cloud development.

The course covers the following: Introduction to XM Cloud, Sitecore Pages, Data Modeling, Presentation Layer, Publishing & Workflow, Security, Setting-up Local Development Environment, Page Designs, Creating Components, Rendering Fields, Deploying Solutions.

I would highly recommend taking this course if you have zero-knowledge on XM Cloud, and even if you’ve taken the E-Learnings above, then I would still recommend it, since it teaches you so much since you’re doing actual development during the training, you’re setting up docker, running your containers, connecting to XM Cloud pages and much more. Check out the ITL training:

If you want to know more about this training and someone else’s experience, check out Jeroen Breuer‘s blog: Sitecore XM Cloud for Developers ILT beta course.

Step 4 – Study Guide: Sitecore XM Cloud Developer Certification Exam (must do)

In order to be proficient in the exam competencies, Sitecore has setup a free Study Guide: Sitecore XM Cloud Developer Certification Exam. I highly recommend you to walk through the study guide, which guides you what competencies you should focus on and guides you to the right resources for each competency.

Step 5 – Study and read the Sitecore XM Cloud documentation

Sitecore offers extensive documention for both Users & Developers. So make sure to check out the Sitecore XM Cloud documentation here.

Step 6 – Take the Sitecore XM Cloud exam

Once you’re all comfortable and got enough confidence to take the exam, then just take it! Register or login to your Kryterion Webassessor account and take the exam!

Remember at the beginning when I said the exam was a pretty tough one? Being honest here, I did FAIL my first exam (I took the Beta exam 2 months after the ITL training) at 76 percent, which was below the 80% barrier. Should you be ashamed if you fail on your first try? Absolutely not! I actually really like the fact that it’s an exam where you have to prove that you actually have enough knowledge on XM Cloud to be awesome with it. There’s so many things you have to learn and therefore I was extremely happy that my 2nd attempt was succesful ;-).

Multiple Sitecore MVP Martin Miles also stated this:

I want to admit: this exam is probably the best and well-balanced of all the Sitecore certifications I came across (and I passed them all). The authors did an exceptionally great job of evaluating the average professional working with the new platform and setting the bar significantly enough to ensure the level of their expertise meets the desired standards of certification.

And that’s it….hope the above was helpful to you, so with this I’m wishing you very good luck on the exam!

Happy Sitecore-ing…