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A Minor Rant About The ColdFusion 8 Developer Exam

by Simon. Average Reading Time: almost 2 minutes.

The Adobe ColdFusion 8 Developer Exam arrived earlier this year and it is about time I took it. But like Ben Nadel, the exam scares me! Why? Because there is so much more to know. With the introduction of new AJAX tags, native JSON support, .NET integration, image manipulation, threading, interfaces, not to mention full PDF integration, the presentation builder and across the board enhancements, there are a lot of new things to know.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I am also an Adobe Certified Trainer, I would probably shy away from taking the exam, since, apart from showing that I have gained an Advanced level of knowledge of what’s available in the language/application, is it really relevant?

Now for the moan…

I like to prepare for exams properly. I studied hard for the CFMX6.1 and CFMX7 exams because I wanted to achieve the best result I possibly could. I don’t much like the stigma of mediocrity, so I try hard. But with the advent of the ColdFusion 8 exam, Adobe aren’t making life any easier and this isn’t because of the increased number of features. It’s because they are not supporting their exam with the appropriate study material.

In the past, Ben Forta had been commissioned to create the official developer study guide. However, according to Ben, this appears no longer to be the case (at least for now).

It beggars belief that Adobe release a product, then release a related exam, but do not have the will to produce a study guide. Yes we have the Web Application Construction Kit and Livedocs, but for me, they are either not succinct enough or not available in print. It makes it tough to study.

Clearly there is a cost issue, but Adobe Publishing can be smarter these days with their print-runs. Indeed they could even allow developers to choose between a print and PDF versions, much like Manning and many other publishers.

Perhaps Ben is busy. Surely not! But if it is the case, I’m sure there are a number of his peers that could take up the mantle. Cue…

A ray of hope…

There is a small ray of hope. There is likely to be an updated version of the popular CFMX Exam Buster by CentraSoft. Brian Simmons is working hard on the latest version.

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  • According to Ray Camden, the CF 8 exam is really, really bad.

    http://www.coldfusionjedi.com/index.cfm/2008/6/3/Open-Letter-to-Adobe-on-Certification

    to quote Ray:

    “All in all, I think the test needs a lot of work. I do not think it should be taken in it’s current state. It is not quite as bad as I remember it from the review, but I cannot recommend someone pay for this test unless they have to for a good job. I can stand on my high horse all day and say what I want, but don’t be stupid. If you need the certification to pass, then take it. But outside of that, I’m suggesting folks avoid the test.”

  • I’m in exactly the same position. I really need to re-take the exam too as I haven’t done it since I got Advanced Certified in ColdFusion 5 back in Feb 2002. The study guide was instrumental in my success with that exam and I would definitely be loathe to attempt the CF8 exam without an updated study guide.