In this post, I want to share my experience on how I passed successfully the MCD - Integration and API Associate certification exam. This is one of the entry level certifications for the Mule platform.
This is not a complicated exam, but you must have a good software developer background in order to understand the topics.
I highly recommend that in all of the practices, you use the debugger tool to see how the variables change between the application components. This will help you to identify why and how these changes happen, and this type of knowledge is fundamental to pass the exam. The exam contains the following topics:
MuleSoft offers two courses for training: the instructor-led Anypoint Platform Development Fundamentals course - onsite and online delivery - and the self-paced MuleSoft.U Development Fundamentals course. Both options cover all the topics for the exam, the difference is that in the first one you have to attend regular classes with an instructor for five days, eight hours a day; and in the second option you are given the training material and you study and practice it on your own. The official MuleSoft.U site says that the self-paced training may take you up to eight weeks if you study the material 3 hours per week, but if you are very dedicated, you can prepare it in a shorter time. Both training options are great, you can decide which one to take based on your available time, the way that you feel more comfortable, and last but not least... the price. By the time of writing this post, the instructor-led training has a price tag around the $2,500 USD. These are the links to get more details of the two training options:
In my case, and based on the support of my employer and manager, I decided to take the self-learning option since I could study around six to eight hours every day during weekdays. I found myself confident to take the exam in less than 2 weeks to do the exam, and you know the result… I passed! At the end, it all depends on your available time and dedication.
Unfortunately for this certification there aren’t practice exams out there as in other certification programs, but the course material provided by MuleSoft is very complete and easy to follow. If you feel that you need more information you can use this other training resource:
The MuleSoft official site provides you a complete guide to its products, there you can find a more detailed information about the tech specifications and code examples of all Mule modules and components. http://docs.mulesoft.com/mule-user-guide/
If you know someone that was obtained the certification before, try to ask him/her, if not, you always can go to the MuleSoft forums looking for answers, try to search it first before post, it is highly possible that someone asks the same question before. http://forums.mulesoft.com/index.html
Here are some tips that I recommend that you take into consideration before taking the exam:
If you don’t pass the exam, don’t worry, you have another two chances to take it, at the same modality, so if this happen to you, check the results page and see in which modules you need to improve, go back to the material, study and take notes of these parts and bring it to you in the next chance.
This is an online unproctored open book exam, that means that you have the possibility of bring books and notes, even to search on internet, but I highly recommend that you bring notes of the modules that you really think that not completely understand, you didn’t want to waste time searching the answers that you already know only for “be sure” if you have time at the end go back to the question that you are no sure and compare it with your notes.
I mentioned it before, but I want to say it again. It is very important that you take time to use the AnyPoint Studio Debugger in the most of the practices, this way you get to see how the variables change their values and the way the flow components interact with each other.
Be careful at the moment of answering the questions, read all the description of the question and all the possible solutions; some answers can be tricky.
You use visual components and xml documents to develop Mule applications, but all is based in Java. Also, in the final training modules, you learn how to create components for your applications based on Java. It is important that you know this programing language in advanced to understand how the Mule applications run. You have to use a JVM based language like Java if you want to build custom Mule extensions.
Many Mule components are concrete implementations of the Enterprise Application Patterns. This is not a must for the MCD exam, but they are very handy if you want to build robust, reliable, extensible, and fault tolerant Mule applications. I recommend that you take a look to http://www.enterpriseintegrationpatterns.com
I hope this post can be helpful for your preparation for the MCD - Integration and API Associate certification exam. No matter what option you choose, instructor-led or self-pacing study, be constant, study and prepare your notes. This is not a complicated exam. Don’t worry if you fail in the first time, you have other opportunities (the certificate doesn’t show how many times you take to pass the exam). Thank you for taking your time to read this article, I really hope my shared experience could be helpful to you. If you have some comment to complement this post, please share it with us! We would love to hear from you. Happy studying!