Like a lot of things in the early days of Web development, many Macromedia users were self-taught.
But as the Web development business has matured, so have the various training and certification options available for Macromedia products, and, in 2001, Macromedia began its certification programs.
Macromedia Certified Professional status is the official certification designation for Macromedia product professionals. Currently, Macromedia offers four principal certifications:
- Certified Macromedia Flash MX Developer
- Certified Macromedia Flash MX Designer
- Certified ColdFusion MX Developer
- Certified Dreamweaver MX Developer
The Flash designations represent the inherent complexity of Flash MX. One certification isn't enough to cover the tremendous interactive potential and the traditional Flash design and rich media interactivity. The ColdFusion certification is the only one that provides a different distinction depending on your score. Above 80 percent makes you an "Advanced" developer. The Dreamweaver certification covers not only the Dreamweaver product but requires a solid understanding of Web layout and strategy as well.
How do you become a Macromedia Certified Professional?
To become certified in any of the four categories, you need to write a certification exam (available through VUE testing centers). Achieving the required passing score results in the title of Macromedia Certified Professional. There is no hands-on evaluation of skills; the tests consist of multiple-choice questions.
Macromedia provides a number of useful study guides with sample questions on its site to give you an idea of the types of things the exam will ask. There are also Macromedia Press Study Guides for each certification, which provide even more exposure to typical exam questions. The questions seem to range from the obvious to really particular things, along with a few items of minutiae that you could probably just figure out with a Help menu. Table A summarizes the certifications as described on the Macromedia site.
|Certification||Recommended experience||Number of questions||Time||Passing score|
|Flash MX Designer||One to two years of involvement in Web design, production, and graphics in the full development process in Web site creation; experience with Macromedia Flash. At least six months of experience with Macromedia Flash 5 and some experience with Macromedia Flash MX, experience with HTML and/or an HTML editor like Dreamweaver, and experience with Freehand and Fireworks or other similar type products. Experience creating professional high quality graphics.||67||75 min.||75 percent|
|Coldfusion MX Developer||Two or more years of experience with one or more programming languages. Experience in the applied use of an enterprise-level database server. One or more years of experience creating applications using ColdFusion.||66||75 min.||65 percent 80 percent to become Advanced Certified Coldfusion MX Developer|
What does it mean to be certified?
In general, Macromedia Certified Professional status means that you have a thorough understanding of the program and know how to make it do the things it's meant to do. In addition, it demonstrates a grasp of the purpose of the program and strategies for successful usage. I usually hate to oversimplify, but in my honest opinion, it really is that straightforward.
When you become a Macromedia Certified Professional, your name is added to Macromedia's listing of professionals and you get the right to use the Macromedia Certified Professional logo (subject to the provision of the usage guidelines). You can use this logo on your business card and resume Web site (similar to the Microsoft designations). Of course, certification also carries along with it the benefits that any type of certification promises: Greater prestige and the prospect of greater earnings.