State of the Education

Categories: Community, Education & Certification, Education created by Marc Willmann
After my first 100 days in office, it is a personal concern to inform you about the changes and the current tasks in the Education Committee.

First, let me emphasize, that the Education Committee is a team of highly committed, professional and motivated members. And - all of them are working wholly voluntary and without any payment. Regarding the high workload, this is outstanding, and I'm grateful for every single team member.

But, let's go in medias res, and illuminate the most important tasks we are currently working on in the Education Committee. 

First of all, we are currently working on the long overdue updates of the different TYPO3 certifications. The first TYPO3 certification was the Certified Integrator certification, now known as TCCI. In the last years, the exam questions of the certification exams were updated too late and without a master plan, which leads unfortunately to a kind of "organizational dept".

To cut this Gordian Knot, we have first developed a workflow for renewing existing certifications, which involves all stakeholders. This sounds marginal, but it's a huge step to a better and current certification program! Florian Weiss and SkillDisplay have done a big part of this task - and a big "thank you" goes to Vienna for this!

At this time, all four certifications are based on the TYPO3 7LTS version, although the TYPO3 8LTS version was released almost a year ago. Our goal is to catch up and release the TYPO3 8LTS based exams not later than CertiFUNcation 2018 AND the TYPO3 9LTS based exams contemporary with the release of TYPO3 9LTS by the end of the year for all four certifications. With the update to the TYPO3 8LTS exams, we are currently testing our new workflow. This includes a commitment to the syllabuses from the TYPO3 GmbH to improve the quality of the certification. 

Another big problem we had to handle was the fragmentation of data sources of the certification data in the past. We've found A LOT of databases, lists, spreadsheets and poorly only a few of them were consistent. In a considerable effort, we have defined a much better solution - and again, we found a reliable partner in the TYPO3 GmbH.

We have now a single database with relevant records as the one-and-only source for current certifications and the typo3.org certificate listing. In conjunction to this database, there is also a new workflow to send out the printed certificates automatically, which we have installed in late 2017 and are now quite satisfied (even if we have some ideas for further improvement). But with this automatic workflow, we are now able for the very first time in TYPO3 history to fulfill the certification shipping periodic, quick and in high quality. As a bonus this central database allows us to send out determined information in the future (e.g., notifications about expiring certifications),

Yesterday we achieved another big step - the typo3.org certification listing is now also automated exported from the named database, and we are now able to update the certification listing (half-)automated and release the current listing simultaneously. For now, we will update the listing (and send out new certificates) at the first of each month. And yes - we have plans to become even quicker (nearly real-time) but have to wait for external dependencies for that.

As we have canceled the possibility to take the TYPO3 certification in the Pearson VUE test centers by the end of 2017 for several reasons, the Education Committee is willing to offer live exams on all events where we are desired. We already were in Dresden and will be in Stuttgart, Rotkreuz (TYPO3Camp Zentralschweiz), and Berlin (and we're in contact with other organizers as well). We will announce all dates on typo3.org. 

The Education Committee has much pace, and we have big goals we want to achieve. Therefore we have organized our very first big team sprint early in the year. In this sprint, we have distributed tasks and created task forces with respecting responsibles. These task forces are organizing themselves and report their proceedings in a bi-weekly call to the complete team. This helps us a lot to keep speed and get things done. Some of the task forces had already small sprints this year, much more will follow - the next will take place in Hamburg next week with the update of the TCCI certification in mind.

We have also made some decisions. One of them, and maybe the most important: Old TYPO3 certificates which are bound to the 4.x branch are not valid any longer. The reason is simple: TYPO3 4.x is not supported anymore, not even with an E-LTS plan. 

TYPO3 has improved and changed A LOT in the last years, and the conditions for being an expert integrator has too. So, regarding the expired support for TYPO3 4.5 LTS and the vast changes of the system, we are convinced that the invalidation of the old 4.x certificates is the only way to ensure, that customers can rely on a valid TYPO3 certification. Please be aware that integrators which have only such an old certificate are also not permitted to use the TCCI-badge or call themselves a TYPO3 CMS Certified Integrator anymore.

Further tasks we are working on is the creation of an online certification platform, the TYPO3 trainer network, the organization of the CertiFUNcation 2018 and much more. 

If you would like to join us, you're very welcome. Please get in touch with me. This offer is valid also if you have any questions regarding the Education Committee or the TYPO3 certification program. 

Yours faithfully, 

Marc Willmann
Leader TYPO3 Education Committee