Adobe Flex/AIR Certification?

March 3, 2009By 24 Comments

So I’ve been contemplating studying for and taking the Adobe Flex 3 with AIR exam to become an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) and thought it would be good to solicit some feedback from the community. I would love to hear any details about how it may have helped you if you’ve already earned your certification (or if it seems to have made no difference), or any other details on the exam as far as how difficult or easy you found it, how you studied etc… I have always had mixed feelings on the whole idea of being certified, since you are essentially memorizing a lot of information that is readily at your fingertips, however in this economy it seems like a good idea to do as much as you can to set yourself apart in the industry. I suppose you really do have to understand some concepts a bit more thoroughly to pass an exam like this, and it ensures a breadth of knowledge beyond what you may have gotten from specific project-based work. Thoughts? Comments and feedback welcome!!!

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  1. I too have considered getting my Flex 3 certification but I really don’t think it would make a difference on my resume or in my consulting work. I think for the most part certifications are overrated. Just because somebody has a Flex 3 certification doesn’t mean they can build reliable web applications and if the certification isn’t a good indicator of that then why get it.

  2. iBrent says:

    I think getting certified is a great idea. I’m planning on taking the test in the next few weeks.

    Sure you can get work without it, and yes I agree that experience and a portfolio make the difference, but I believe being certified, separates you from the pack. When it comes down to it, most people looking for a Flex developer won’t know the difference between a good or bad developer if their portfolios are similar, and being certified says “I’ve got skillz”.

    Not to mention you can ask for more money, because presenting yourself as a professional lends more credibility. Sure you have hacks who could pass for “professional” developers, but those types don’t get very far. Besides you get to add a cool logo to you site. ;-)

    iBrent

  3. creacog says:

    I took and passed the exam a few weeks ago. Mostly relying on my existing experience. However it covers some areas of Flex which just hadn’t come up in any of my past projects, and I chose to get an oreilly safari-books online account and studied those areas using “Programming Flex 3″ in particular – time well spent as it opened my eyes to some aspects of Flex that I had glossed over in the past.

    My reasoning for going for certification was that much of my work is not publicly viewable. I therefore felt the need for something which publicly demonstrates some level of competence in this specialised area. If you already have a glowing public portfolio, then i suspect there is less value in going for certification.

    (@Michael Ramirez) The exam is no pushover. Personally I think someone who has the level of detailed knowledge required to pass this exam is more likely than not, to be building reliable Flex AIR applications.

    • prince says:

      It will be good if you can brief about your experince and level of exam.Please provide some refrences for flex certification.

  4. Rob says:

    When I’ve hired programmers and engineers in the past I have to admit the presents of any certification was a slight negative. I’m not sure where my bias comes from, though. I value people who can solve problems, not people with detailed knowledge/skills in one area. I try to determine in an interview how the person approaches problems and I like to hear examples from their past projects.

    I guess it’s my eclectic 30 year career. I’ve seldom done the same thing twice or used the same tools twice because I was usually dropped into the middle of a project well underway. This technology changes so fast that we’ve all got to keep running just to stay current. All a certification proves to me is that the person took the trouble to be test-knowledgeable at one point in the past.

    In my current work I was interviewed about C++ but once I came on-board, I’m writing Perl 5, which I hardly knew at all.

    Now if the certification was on gathering and writing requirements, project management, software architecture, data structures, algorithms, data communication, development methodologies and life-cycles, configuration management, UI design, software testing, managing expectations, project estimation, collaboration, public speaking, sales, customer support, etc., then I’d take some more notice. Anybody with a good smattering of experience with the above can learn Flex if it’s the right tool to use in the project.

    Well, that’s one man’s opinion.

    Warmest regards,

    Rob:-]

    P.S. By the way, I’m reading this blog because I’m just now trying to learn enough about Flex to see if we want to use it on an upcoming project. You’re covering just the right topics for me. So thanks. Rob:-]

    • Mario Vieira says:

      well, writing any code is often better not to write, or at least cheaper…
      The Flash platform reaches a 96% percent of at k all PCs, and if you are a Certified Expert (not certified professional) you can guarantee you know what you up to in this platform

      when looking for people to work in the Flash platform, there is no doubt of giving priority for either Certified Experts, or awesome portfolios (which doesn’t show untied architectures :)

      But then, again, each case is case…

  5. Richard says:

    I just passed the Flex 3 with AIR exam. I studied very intensively for it as I was coming to the platform fresh. I’ve been a Java developer for 10 years, and so the language fundamentals were easy. But what I felt very beneficial was to study the framework broadly. It’s very large and involved and I would rather have this broad awareness going into the game. It gave me a chance to look at the API at a detailed level and follow my curiosity and interest without having to be project-specific. I believe that Flex OO for Flash with its server-side capabilities, animation capabilities, ease and automation of so many features, is going to continue to make it a dominant web, desktop, and, hopefully, mobile, development platform, and I was happy to wade in and spend some time really getting to know it. Ok, I had some extra time on my hands, but I now feel I have a strong base from which to tackle complex projects.

    I puzzled when I read that some people think certification is a negative. Certainly it cannot be the only factor in getting work, and it may not have much bearing in an interview. But in terms of increasing ones knowledge and level of professionalism, its a good thing to do, as practiced by many other industries (teaching and medicine, for two). Certification demonstrates that you are a motivated and informed professional. But your work and experience is, of course, the ultimate factor.

    Good luck, if you decide to take the exam. I predict you’ll enjoy it and get a lot out of it.

    richard@flexentric.com

  6. andrew says:

    Well i passed the exam. It’s not really that difficult. As for preparing for it, i took the best way: DIY(Do-It-Yourself). Basically, this is looking at a complex web application and trying to build a replica of it in flex then…rebuilding it in AIR. Of course using one’s imagination to apply fancy features like drag & drop etc. helps greatly. This ensured i didn’t need to memorize anything…i just knew the key features of the SDK for implementing what i wanted. With the economy staggering as it is..it’s a plus on the resume.

  7. devgirl says:

    Thanks to everyone for all the really great feedback, it was very helpful!! Since my post I have teamed up with PXL Designs own David Flatley to help him get out the next version of Attest (v1.5), a new AIR app that provides mock exams to help study for this very exam! You can watch the progress of the app and it’s availability at http://blog.pxldesigns.com/. We’re planning on getting it out as soon as next week so keep checking in!

  8. devgirl says:

    We released Attest 1.5 today! Grab it now at http://software.pxldesigns.com/attest/ and use it to prepare for your Flex 3/AIR Certification!!!

  9. I passed the ACE “Adobe Certified Expert” Flex 3 with AIR exam today.

    Passing score: 67%
    My score: 74%

    Section Results:
    Creating a User Interface: 90%
    Flex system architecture and design: 77%
    Programming Flex applications with ActionScript: 83%
    Interacting with data sources and servers: 25%
    Using Flex in the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR): 80%

    The test was tough, but about the same as the Flex 2 ACE exam I passed last year in April.

    I’m very excited to have passed this exam!

    In my opinion, getting Flex certified is a great way to ensure you learn some of the finer points of Flex. I’ve been participating a lot in the Adobe Flex forums, and I think the knowledge I obtained while studying for the exam has helped me help others.

    I used the Attest version for Flex 2, and it was helpful, though the actual test was much tougher. Still it did help.

  10. devgirl says:

    Congratulations on passing Greg!! I completely agree with you regarding getting certified. As far as Attest, Dave and I are actually working on adding more questions (and some more difficult questions) currently so pass the word along!

    • leds says:

      i passed the flex certification just this morning, was off from a sleepless night building – coincidentally – an AIR application. Had to admit, I didnt study for this exam. I just thought i’d take it last friday, and so I did, after 3 years of flex development and wanting to take the exam since flex 2 beta days. I agree with most of the posts here, however i’d like to point out that the exam questions will mostly filter out two kind of people: people who really know flex from experience, or people who studied hard for the exam. In both cases though, it’s still a good exercise to undertake. Some questions are really trivial that only those who has worked with various projects will be able to answer it without doubt – or someone who was able to memorize the docs. hehe. oh, i took the attest

  11. Chris says:

    I think that the value of a certification is really just to signal your competence to the average person. It doesn’t really matter if it is a true indicator of competence. The fact that many people use it as an indicator of competence is enough to justify getting it. I find that people tend to make a snap judgment based on all the signals they get and getting vouched by an authoritative organization is very valuable.

  12. Romit says:

    I am not able to find a good website on Flex certification.Have a look at This site http://www.flexcertification.com

  13. Piotr says:

    Hi, i passed ACE this morning (86%). The test is easier than i thought. Attest was very helpful for me. My preparation took 1,5 week.

  14. Tahir Alvi says:

    Hi,

    I am in Pakistan and want to be a certified flex developer. how i do that?

    Thanks

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  16. It works fine, like all the others stated. I am not sure exactly what you are trying to do in Kompozer but do a search for videos or guides-because they are out there. So this way you can go step by step. Hope that helps.

  17. IT Training says:

    Adobe flex 3 certification is very important for ACE it is useful and meaningful Adobe flex3 AlR exams are very helpful I have already used it is prferable and i hope it will be helpful for you

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