Pantheon’s WebOps Certification: Where It All Began and Why You Should Join | Pantheon.io

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For many in the developer community, being a lifelong learner is an overarching goal that influences many of the resolutions we set at the beginning of each year. This makes sense because developers function in an environment that continually evolves, encompassing the technology tools, trends, methodologies, languages and frameworks that gain popularity in the industry and therefore become essential to learn. Additionally, the business and economic landscape plays a crucial role in shaping the projects assigned to these developers. 

The rapid pace of technological advancements means that today’s cutting-edge development can quickly become tomorrow’s legacy system. This dynamic landscape requires developers to be agile, adaptable and always hungry for new knowledge. As a result, many developers embody the essence of lifelong learning – not just as a passion, but as a necessity.

At Pantheon, we’ve been diligently working towards achieving one of our own long-standing goals – launching a WebOps Certification Program tailored for Pantheon customers. This initiative aims to challenge and empower WebOps professionals to maximize their experience on the Pantheon platform. 

First, though, let me take a step back and introduce myself. I’m Steve Bresnick, currently a Senior Developer Educator at Pantheon and the person who has spearheaded the WebOps Certification Program. I joined the company back in 2019, as a Sales Engineer, in the old days when working remotely was still a novelty for many. The world had not yet shut down for the pandemic, and the global political landscape seemed quite a bit more stable than it is at the moment. I came over to Pantheon from Acquia, where I also worked on the presales team as a Solutions Architect for nearly five years. Before that I had a career in education, first as a high school English teacher in the Boston area, and later as an Instructional Designer at an educational nonprofit. 

I joined the Developer Experience team at Pantheon to work full-time on developing the certification program. In my previous position in presales, I gained a unique perspective on identifying the knowledge requirements essential for launching this certification program. I spoke to prospective and existing customers to assess and deepen their knowledge of Pantheon’s products and services, interfaced with our Product and Customer Success teams to understand what makes Pantheon customers successful, addressed knowledge gaps to help the company provide more value to our customers, and assisted in training new employees, ensuring they acquired the necessary knowledge about our platform to perform their job responsibilities. These distinct vantage points, combined with my experience as an educator and instructional designer, provide me with the unique skill set required to build a certification exam that is foundational yet challenging, targeted yet holistic, and easy to assess but appropriately challenging to pass.

Why Build a Certification Program?

At Pantheon, we recognize the immense value that a well-structured certification program can bring to our users – be it developers, partners or internal team members. A certification program is more than a badge of honor; it’s a concrete, measurable way to ensure that those using our platform have the skills and knowledge necessary to harness its full potential. By doing so, we aim to empower our users with confidence, competence and a competitive edge, as they look to harness the power of the open web for their businesses and projects. 

One of the reasons I knew a certification program would accelerate our customers’ success was my journey in web development. When transitioning from education to tech, I immersed myself in learning – diving into books about HTML, JavaScript, XML, JSON, MySQL and PHP. This self-directed study was vital for a project I undertook during a Masters program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, involving an augmented reality platform for an educational installation in an art museum. The project’s complexity, from structuring data for AR overlays to database management for the Layar application, highlighted the importance of focused learning. Without a specific goal, like my project, I would have found the vastness of tech knowledge to be quite overwhelming.

This experience mirrors the core principle of certifications: providing a focused, structured learning path. Certifications, with their well-defined study guides and specific exam topics, give learners a clear target. This structure is not just about passing exams; it’s about gaining confidence and a sense of direction in a tech landscape brimming with information. My journey in web development, complemented by my training as a teacher, emphasizes the value of structured education. It’s about finding that “Zone of Proximal Development” – the sweet spot where learning is challenging yet achievable. As a teacher, I’ve always aimed to create learning experiences within this zone, and this philosophy has profoundly influenced the questions and structure of our certification exam.

Reflecting on my early days at Acquia and my engagement with AWS and GCP certifications, I realize how a structured learning program, like the one I experienced at Acquia, can significantly impact professional growth. It builds confidence and provides a solid foundation for understanding customers’ daily tasks, enhancing our ability to serve them effectively.

The Pantheon WebOps Certification program embodies these principles. It’s designed not just as a means to pass an exam but as a comprehensive learning journey. It includes a detailed study guide covering the necessary topics to master Pantheon’s platform, ensuring that our customers and partners have a clear roadmap to proficiency. This program is more than just an educational tool; it’s a strategic initiative to empower our users, streamline the sales process and enhance internal enablement. It’s about creating a community of proficient users who are comfortable and confident in using Pantheon, thereby elevating their projects and distinguishing themselves in a competitive market.

In essence, the certification program reflects my own learning journey – it’s about turning a limitless universe of information into a focused path of empowerment and success for our customers, partners and employees.

Why Become WebOps Certified?

Becoming Pantheon WebOps Certified demonstrates a deep knowledge and understanding of Pantheon’s features and functionality, which are built to empower digital teams to realize the benefits of WebOps. Put simply, WebOps seeks to apply the principles of DevOps to applications on the web, where digital marketing teams fight hard to deliver business impact through their most important channel – digital. The Pantheon WebOps Certification exam assesses the test taker’s knowledge of Pantheon’s dashboard, workflow, automation, best practices and more. Passing the exam demonstrates a strong understanding of the platform’s features and functionality, recommended best practices, and the guardrails we put in place to ensure your site is secure and optimized for performance.

Veteran users, including our cherished agency partners and members of our Heroes program, can likely pass the exam with a light review of the material in the study guide. Each chapter is preceded by a list of learning objectives, and there are review questions at the end of each chapter that mirror the format and topics of the questions you are likely to see in the exam.

For developers who are newer to Pantheon, including prospective customers, digital agencies and new hires, we recommend setting aside 4-5 hours to read and take notes on the content in the study guide. Additionally, we offer weekly drop-in review sessions for anyone interested in reviewing some specific topics that will appear on the exam.  

I’m Ready to Get Certified. Now What?

If you’re ready to get started with Pantheon’s WebOps Certification Program, the first step is to fill out the interest form on our Certification page. From there, we will send you a follow-up email with information on accessing the study materials, attending review sessions and scheduling your exam. 

If you have any questions, please send them along to certification@pantheon.io.