Acquia Certified Developer Front-End Specialist Badge

First and foremost i should thank Acquia Certification office for allowing me to take the Front end Specialist exam during pre-release phase itself. Myself and few of my friends have debated enough about the Front end Specialist exam on how Acquia is going to setup questions. But its quite a surprise we did not expect the way how its done. All along we where expecting the exam to focus more of UI component like HTML / CSS and JavaScript / jQuery. While on the exam its evident that Certification office have done justification to the Name of this certification, yes its focus is more on Drupal Theming layer than HTML / CSS.

Questions in this exam have been categorized as below.
  • Fundamental Web Development Concepts
  • Theming concepts
  • Sub-theming concepts
  • Templates
  • Template functions
  • Layout Configuration
  • Performance
  • Security
Yes you read the categorization correct, it focuses on Performance and Security aspects as well. But here the focus is more towards the presentation elements which can improve performance and security.
 
Who is this For ? This certification is for anyone who does everything in Drupal. i.e., for those Drupaler who do Theming as well as Back-End development. But Drupal Themers should be primarily focus on this exam than taking up the regular Developer Certification. Yes, if you have Drupal Themers in your organization you should definitely get them take this certification.
 
The section below would help you get ready for appearing in this exam. Most of them are video’s, just watching those training videos would be helpful in refreshing your memory on all the concepts you are aware of.
 
Fundamentals of Web Development Concepts :  Here they focus heavily on JQuery , JS & CSS. If you are already a Guru in JQuery then you would not need a training / refresh in this section if not why don’t you spend some time and take a look at the below video’s and link to refresh your memory 
Additionally you can refer these course from TutsPlus as well
You can also view these Paid Courses from Lynda.com if you already have Account 
Google have also created a site for understanding the fundamentals of modern web development, even this might be of a little help https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/
 
Theming Concepts  : this section tests your skill in drupal theming concepts. Basically you need to know what’s Drupal theme, how it works , what can be achieved with drug
Sub-theming concepts :  Once you master yourself in Drupal Theming, then its not going to be humongous task. However head straight to the links below to understand Drupal Sub-Theming Concept
Templates & Template functions : This section cover all different aspects template & related functions. 
Layout Configuration You should be focusing on Blocks / Regions on Drupal theme.
PerformanceThis section slightly touches on Site Configurations as well. 
Security :  Understanding how to securely handle text in Drupal and how to handle an user input.
Just the video from DrupalCon Amsterdam is enough to understand about how to Secure your Drupal site. However here are some bonus videos
To Make your life more simple you can head directly to these video’s in YouTube that would help you understand Drupal theming. This is a two part series which completely covers Drupal Theming.
Take away for me  “ this exam made me realize my strength and weakness around theming a Drupal website "
 
chrisshattuck of Buildamodule have posted a video list that specifically targeted on Theming https://www.drupal.org/node/1351116
 
If you are interested in regular Acquia Certified Drupal Developer, then you should refer to these wonderful guide produced by Angie (webchick)  http://webchick.net/node/125 and my friend Tanay Sai http://www.tanay.co.in/blog/cracking-acquia-drupal-certification.html
 
Quoting Webchick  about whether you need to take this exam ? “if you have a great track record of public contributions on Drupal.org, obviously no: your resume speaks for itself. But if you've been prevented by either personal or professional circumstances from having built up a robust D.o profile or client base over the years, this certification seems like a pretty solid way to get your foot in the door at a Drupal company."
 
Issues / Concerns (not on exam, but on the Tool used during exam):  Before closing this post i need to give you guys a heads up on wired issue i faced during this process of taking exam online. Sentinal software had some issue with Yosemite OS, due to which i had to waste about an hour before taking up this exam. Two days before my schedule i was able to register my biometric and did not encounter any issue. But at the day of exam, biometric validation failed due to the software.
 
Update : To make it simple i do have a YouTube Playlist, you can just watch all the important videos directly from here (or) by navigating to YouTube website http://bit.ly/acquiafrontendcertification