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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:

And read it again.

1.1 Exam preparation:

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

1.2 Take Sample test:

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.

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.

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!

Upcoming JIRA Training in Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai

Life is full of ups and downs. Last two months especially December and January were not very exciting for me. I was no able to work productively and I need some break time. However in late January and so far in Feb things are super exciting for me. As I am moving ahead in my life I somehow feel that I am getting closer to what I want. At of the day if I feel happy and satisfied then everything is good. When I started my own company I had this tendency to try different kind of work, being in service industry it is tempting to try to get as many clients as you want. I did this mistake of doing any kind of work that brought money in the company, but everyone is difference. We started trainings on Drupal and then on JIRA since the beginning of our company inception but just recently we have decided to focus primarily on trainings.

We are currently not accepting any new Drupal website development work right now. That is a tough decision to make but it doesn't mean that we will not do Drupal. We have over 40 active projects to support with over 15 internal projects. We are happy serving these clients and since our trainings are bringing more cash than development work so we are happy to stay that way now. Trainings are tough business but more rewarding. We are now working on re-branding and putting life in some of our dead portals that were famous some year back.

Drupal development is costly and most of the Indian clients can't afford us any longer and we don't have the capacity to handle mediocre work now.

Now the exciting news is that recently we have been able to provide JIRA in various companies across India. It is amazing experience to travel these cities and meet different people. We always need to deviate a bit from our course. I personally never thought that this will happen. In fact when I first started using JIRA I didn't like it much.

In the month of February and March I will be traveling to Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Pune for JIRA trainings. It is going to be quite hectic for me but after every successful training, it feels amazing. I always get nervous and little scared before every training. Various doubts and questions come up in my mind whether people will like my training or not but I guess it is good to get scared and later overcoming your fears makes you more confident and stronger for next challenge.

I am trying to blog more often now, I feel good after writing.


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