How to study for JIRA Administrator Certification

I recently cleared my JIRA Administration Certification and share briefly about my experience about it. I have been working on JIRA for many years now and JIRA along with other Atlassian tools is my main competency these days. I feel quite privileged that I got the opportunity to work with many known and popular companies. Working for big companies as a full time employee is good but in your career you can never work with all of them, but for me I have been working with them on short term assignments and projects. I get to meet them in person, see their offices and fancy campuses. I also get to travel a lot. It is tiring but at the same time, I am making memories too. I get to travel a lot and I get paid for it as well. I get to stay in nice hotels and eat food from all over.

Atlassian Certified JIRA Administrator

Oh sorry I am talking too much about myself. Back to the original topic. How to study for the JIRA Administration Certification. I will be precise and will give you my thoughts about the test.

1. Atlassian Certification Page

Read everything about the JIRA Certification on this page: https://www.atlassian.com/university/certification

And read it again.

1.1 Exam preparation: https://www.atlassian.com/university/certification/certifications/exam-a...

Just get familiar with the process by reading everything on this page.

1.2 Take Sample test: http://atlassian.articulate-online.com/8679133671

This will probably give you some idea about the questions asked, but I will share below as well about some of the questions.

1.3 On the same page above (1.1) there will be a button that says "Exam Topics", just click on the Download button to check the topics that you need to focus on. Click on the link below for direct link to that PDF.

https://www.atlassian.com/dam/jcr:11b4e24c-f0eb-4b81-869d-3644c3797dbe/E...

One you get this PDF, just download it and take a print out of it. Now here is the important part. For topic mentioned in this PDF, just search for it on the official Atlassian documentation and read it briefly. Of course it might be boring but do go through it and look for anything you are not familiar with. I never really spent dedicated time reading the documentation thoroughly. I just read it as and when required but you need to pass the exam here and just make sure that when you read that documentation page, you know everything about it. Pay attention to any special note.

2. Read my book - Mastering JIRA 7, Second Edition

Doing self promotion here but in case you are new to JIRA Administration world and want to quickly learn about various aspects of JIRA 7 then this book will certainly help you a lot to learn a lot in less time. I have written this book based on my experience working for my clients. I have been also training many people to work on JIRA 7 and I know what kind of questions people ask and how to give them the answer that make them learn a specific topic.

https://www.packtpub.com/application-development/mastering-jira-7-second...

Do buy this book and read it. It should take 2-3 weeks maximum if you read it for 2-3 hours everyday. Finish it early if you want to but I would recommend installing JIRA environment and doing hands-on. For this JIRA Administration Certification you just need to focus on the "JIRA Administration" i.e. anything and everything that needs to be done from the UI only. It is good to know about "Server Administration" but you don't need to know everything about it. Also, in this book skip any part where you may need to do any scripting or coding.

3. Install JIRA 7 and play with it

If you are new to JIRA Administration then it will be difficult to clear this exam as it not only tests your JIRA skills but also your ability to solve a specific problem in the best and efficient way. Install JIRA and while you are going through Step 1.3 and Step 2 above make sure you have an environment to play with.

Get familiar with the terms and admin interface by heart. You can't memorize then and there is no need to remember them as well but you should know where a specific setting can be found.

4. Very important topics to study and kind of questions

UPDATE: I got an email from Atlassian asking me to remove the topics.

Final thoughts

JIRA Administration Certification is not easy but it is good way to evaluate yourself. I have been working on JIRA for many years but in an attempt to clear the exam I also learned many things about the tool which are hidden somewhere in the official documentation or may be I never really got the opportunity to work on those features or use cases. Nobody is expert on everything and same is true for JIRA.

If you have been continuously working on JIRA Administration for a medium to large scale organization for at least 2 or 3 years then you should easily be able to clear the exam. For me, it is my job to manage many JIRA instances and rolling out this tool in several companies. When I sit with the client to understand their requirements I of course write it down and make notes but back in my mind I am also customizing JIRA at the same time like how many configurations I need to create. If you have been supporting any active JIRA for multiple teams then you should be able to clear it.

Exam day and Time Management

Last tips for your exam day.

Attempt the short questions first and mark any question which is bigger than two paragraphs for review later. There will be a check box below the question to mark it. Even if you don't mark it, there is a Review all link that will show you an overview of all the questions that you have attempted, not attempted and marked for review.

So here is the flow that you should follow in the exam.

First cycle: Target time 1 hour
Attempt short questions -->
Leave questions that are bigger than two paragraphs -->
Mark short questions that you have attempted but want to review later

Second cycle: Target time 30 minutes
Attempt bigger questions -->
Mark big questions that you have attempted but want to review later

Third cycle: Target time 30 minutes
Review the marked questions one by one -->
Unmark a question after reviewing it

Just make sure you don't leave any question unanswered as there are no negative markings.

Exam format

XXX questions
XXX minutes, but it is not mentioned on the JIRA Administration Certification page
Multiple Choice Questions
You may be asked to select more than one options

So here you go. I hope you clear your exam. Let me know by clicking on the contact link about your exam :)

Best of luck!

Atlassian Certified JIRA Administrator - Ravi Sagar

So yesterday I cleared the JIRA Administration Certification. Honestly I feel good about it but I don’t think we need a piece of paper to prove that you have expertise on a particular tool. JIRA is just a tool and I have been working on it for several years, implementing it for companies of different sizes. Having this certification might help in getting more business but I know that clients usually look for your experience in similar deployment. They will feel convinced if you have done something like that in a different company of similar domain. It makes them feel good and comfortable in hiring you. Atlassian started this certification because there was a request from the market and there is no harm in that.

Clearing Atlassian Certified JIRA Admininstration exam is not easy. I think only those people who have been working 100% on JIRA as part of their job for the last 2-3 years can clear it, of course there are exceptions but this is just my feeling. So if you are totally new to JIRA and just started learning it, so don’t bother about this certification. You won’t be able to clear it easily and waster money, it is a costly certificaiton. There are exceptions but still it is quite difficult. This test is meant to test your experience and how you would handle a situation in the best possible way. There could be more than one correct answer to some question but you need to select the one which is most efficient and requires least amount of configuration. There are questions on almost every aspect related to JIRA Administration and you can start reading the official documentation to get started or you can also read my boo - Mastering JIRA 7 (self promotion)

Lot of people contact me for trainings and they just want to clear the test. Well first of all they should not bother about the test but if you are confident that you have enough JIRA knowledge and you really want to get certified then I will start a separate blog post on that sharing the tips and topics that will help you for the test. I just cleared the test yesterday and I was anyways never planning to do it but since I have done it now so now I don’t mind sharing my experience. In fact for someone who is already working on JIRA for couple of years, it should be just 2 days of additional effort going through the exam topics and reading the official Atlassian JIRA documentation.

Atlassian Certified JIRA Administrator

This is my official badge with a link to my certificate.

What else, well lot of work these days, I don't like it really. Sometimes I like doing nothing for many days in a row. I miss those days when I did nothing for many weeks. It is good to just relax sometimes. Not sure when will I be able to do that again. I haven't cycle at all recently. I haven't ran at all and I have not worked out as well. Winters are almost over now. It is officially spring time and sun has been really considerate for the past two days.

Sunshine after many many days
Sunshine in London

I hope it stays sunny and clear like.

Holi 2017 - Lancaster University, JIRA Admin Certification (London) and Birmingham (ITSM, ITIL)

I like when things are busy, at least it is better than staying idle. Weekends are really not very fun unless you have a car here in UK and I miss my dear Swift which is probably missing me as well. I am looking to purchase a good car here but could not find a good one yet. I am kind of worried today as there is lot of work and travel coming up in the next few days, it is my nature to get worried when something needs to be done. I do make it a point to enjoy afterwords but I think it is not good way to live your life. After completing one task other tasks will come and it is same story again. Some people can really enjoy their life no matter what. People who know my really well know that I am really a lazy person. I don't like to work a lot as well. I don't like to work late. I prefer finishing my work on or before time and then enjoy rest of the time. Of course I like doing work with utmost quality but I could never spend long hours working. Not everything we do as part of your work is fun. You can not always love your work. Sometimes you just need to do work without thinking about enjoying it. I admit that out of 10 things I do. I probably enjoy doing 2 or 3. Rest is either mundane activities which are not fun but still when talking about work we have to measure it based on the value they bring not fun. There are certain tasks which are very boring and you hardly enjoy them but those tasks could be very important for your clients.

Next week I am travelling to Lancaster University in north for work, it will be good to travel to different place. It is good to get out of London sometimes. Looking forward to visit a campus after a long time. It is different feeling when you enter a university. Feeling of freshness. As part of my life plan, at one time I thought I will do PhD and become professor in university doing research and changing the world in real way.

The week following next week I will appear for JIRA Admin certification test. I hate such tests. They are useless and never judge person's intelligence and honestly I am scared that I might fail. If I pass it will be good to add in the profile :) but I am quite honest about it. You don't really need a piece of paper to prove that you are an expert. Lot of people ask me if I am Scrum certified, I am not and don't plan to do it as well.

In the last week of March I will be going to Birmingham to participate in SDI Conference: http://servicedeskinstitute.com/events/sdi17/ It will be good for me to attend such event and hopefully it will bring in more business. We would mainly talking about our company's competencies on JIRA Service Desk and how it can be used to implement ITSM and ITIL processes in JIRA. There will be JIRA Training sessions as well and it is great place to get more leads.

Holi will be played tomorrow in India. As a kid I always wanted to play it with friends. People used to play lot of Holi where we used to live but unfortunately during this time of the year in March it was always our final term exams and as a kid in school I hardly played Holi. I used to promise myself that after my school get over I will start playing it, but when you grow up, you tend to forget about your dreams and get busy in other stuff and start chasing things like others. After school I did not play Holi till I get married. After marriage as per Indian customs I went to my in laws first year to play it and after that I have been going there almost every year. It is fun. I am missing it really today because I am not in Delhi. I actually wanted to visit during this time but due to projects I could not but I am going next month.

Holi 2015

This is me in 2015 playing Holi.

I really like the month of March and April. Not because of the spring. Weather wise it is worst time of the year when it starts getting hotter and it is sad to let go your winter wear and you know there is another 9 months of cruel heat in front of you. As a kid post final term exams March is the only time of the year when you have nothing to do in those 10-15 days. At the start of every new session in April we used to get new books, new clothes and I used to promise myself that that year I will study properly, that never happened of course but I realised much later in life that making solid plans is enough to make you feel good. The month of April used to bring lot of hope and it was more than enough. That feeling of hope, optimism is something embedded in my mind and I always relate the month of March and April with similar feeling. In fact I picture the whole year as a calendar in my mind with a grid like the one below.

Jan, Feb, March: Tough days, study, exams, pressure

April, May June: Good days, new session, fun days

July, Aug, Sep: Okish days, exam starts but no pressure

Oct, Nov, Dec: Good days, festivals, better weather

I don't know why I picture the whole year as a group of three months. This is since my childhood and hard coded in my mind. Now I am not in school, it has been almost 20 years now but the feeling associated with each month is still the same in my brain.

I wish all my friends to have fun this Holi. Drink a lot and enjoy. See you soon.

Back to posting picture on flickr

Many many years ago I used to post pictures on flickr which was also linked to this blog and all the pictures were posted as a blog. It worked fine until I stopped doing it. Many years passed and it doesn't work anymore and honestly I don't want to do it now. I used to post stupid pictures of cats and dogs and it was really meaningless. Now I am a matured person and will act like one as well (or pretend).

London Paddington

This is London Paddington station, one of the biggest train station I have seen in my life. It has 14 platforms. It connects not just the national railways (GWR) but also the airport line and the infamous London Tube also know as underground.

Holborn

This is Holborn, heart of London and this building is a masterpiece. It looks really nice in sunshine, which is quite rare in London. This building reminds me of CST, Mumbai.

My flickr photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ravisagar

What else, not much. Life is same as earlier. Mid life crisis I guess but yeah lot of travel and interesting projects to work on. Things are on the right track or seems like they are. I got sick last week after a long time. Bad cough, can't even speak properly. Little fever is also giving me trouble. Whenever I get sick, it reminds me of all the days when I got sick. As a kid I used to get sick a lot. May be my immunity was not that great. After growing my immunity suddenly got a boost and I now don't get sick that often. Just once a year but I don't like it at all. I used to scared as a kid of getting sick. It meant taking those bitter medicines and probably an injection which I am still terrified of. Anyways, I hope I will be fine in few days.

Lot of things have changed in the past few months. I no longer do Drupal project. Not really I don't love it anymore but mainly there is no good money in Drupal or in creating web applications. I might do it again provided it is good project and money of course. Now I am completely focussed on Atlassian tools and that is where the money is. When I started working on Drupal long long back I never really though that I will ever do something else. I was so much into Drupal. In fact I was able to start my business because of Drupal. That really gave me the push and the technical knowledge I built upon Drupal was the main reason that I was able to sustain that business for so long. When we started doing Atlassian consultation mainly on JIRA and Confluence we already had a running business and processes. It was not difficult for me. Had I started Atlassian consultation company from scratch, it would have been extremely difficult. So my only suggestion to anyone starting a new company. Be open to change and divert your path. Keep your options open.

Currently it is Atlassian consultation for me but who know what is next!

Need to catch a train now. Bye!

Kapil's little accident and Batman (1989 movie)

In the year 1990 when I was in 3rd standard my father took me to Chanakya cinema to watch the Batman movie (We used to watch movies a lot together. We watched several Chunky Pandey and Neelam films in later 80s). I loved that movie a lot. May be that is the reason that I like Batman a lot. I used to watch Batman and Robin old series that was aired on television too and I used to drew batman cartoons. I think Batman is still my favorite super hero. I was of course excited to watch that movie, back then watching movies on theater was a big thing, at least for me. We didn't have color television by that time, cable tv had just arrived in India. Doordarshan was the old source of entertainment for us. Watching DD was boring back then, but now we reminisce Doordarshan a lot. I announced in school a week before about this movie watching event. Little kids get excited about these things easily, I was too. Most importantly I was excited to watch an English movie in hall and wanted act cool among my friends that I have seen an English movie in English. Chankya was the only hall in Delhi that used to show international movies.

My father and I went to the cinema in south Delhi on scooter, we had LML vespa. We reached Chankya puri, which is a posh south Delhi area where all the embassies are located. This area is better maintained and general clean as compared to other colonies in Delhi. It was amazing ride from home till there. I still remember watching that movie. The batman movie back then was more fun than dark and that movie was quite funny. The batmobile used to fly in that movie and I still remember the climax scene where batman follows the joker on a tall building. That memory is still clear in my mind. After the movie all I was thinking is to go back home and tell someone about my experience. I wanted to share what all things I saw in the movie. I wanted to tell my friends that I went to this really cool and big cinema hall in south Delhi, but destiny had different things planned for me.

In the evening when I came back home it was not dark yet so I decided to go to Kapil's house who used to live just across the park. We went outside and decided to play something. We had our own games. I wanted to tell him about my experience but he wanted to play first. In that games I was just supposed to catch him and he would run first. So he started running on the streets and I ran after him. He was quite ahead of him when I noticed that he crossed the road and stood on the other side near the petrol pump in A-1 block. He just stood there and prompted me to follow him. I was just standing on the other side and asked him to come back but he did not. Actually I was not allowed to cross the road. I was scared too. So I decided to make him think that I am going back home and thought I will catch him when he come back to my side of the road. So I turned and started going back home. He saw me and attempted to cross the road. He crossed half the road and when he almost crossed the other half I decided to turn back quickly and catch him. When he saw me coming back, instead of crossing the remaining second half of the road, he started running and then suddenly out of no where one ambassador car came and hit him. The car driver already pushed the brakes but could not stop completely. He was hit and he fell on the road in front of the ambassador. He was little unconscious and started crying. The driver of the car came out, picked him and took him to the Bedi's doctor's clinic which was exactly opposite our house. I was witnessing all this and followed the driver from distance. Kapil was crying "Mummy, mummy" and was not in full senses. I was hoping that he is not hurt and frankly I was more scared of what will happen if my parent find out about this incident.

After following the car driver, I just entered my house and tried to listen to his cries. I heard him shouting only "Mummy, mummy" and I was hoping for the best. After sometime the noises stopped coming and I assumed that everything is alright. All this made me forgot about the Batman movie completely and I was sad that I had no one to share. Later that day my cousin brother Pappu bhayia came to our house and I told him about the movie. He is around 16 years elder than me and probably didn't take lot of interest in what I was saying but anyways listened to me.

I did not tell anyone in the family about Kapil's accident. My mother came to know that Kapil is not well and went to his house to check him and there Kapil told my mother that "Ravi was running with me", that was his statement. Later that day I received lot of beating from both my mother and father. Nobody believed me that I was innocent and it was not my fault. I was not running on the road!, I shouted to everyone but all in vain. Kapil and I are still friends and but I still have not forgiven him for that. I received lot of rant from family, friends, tution aunty and my teachers for that lie. Everyone scolded me that I was responsible for Kapil's accident, I was frowned upon by society, but that was long time ago and I got over it. He was intelligent, used to get good marks and everyone liked him and believed him.

We all have certain important events in our life that kind of change the course of your life journey. These two incidents Batman movie and Kapil's accident both happened on the same day and I learned something very important that day. The lesson was that there will be times when people will not believe in you but should not feel bad and always believe that you are the best in the world. I became little more stronger when I came out of this and by that time the next Batman movie was already out and it was not that great ;)

I am writing about my memories from my childhood and early life. I am doing it because I want to. You can follow this page to find links to the new blogs that I will write about my life. Click here to find previous blogs related to my life memories.

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