Posted: 22 Dec 2016 14:58 EST Last activity: 14 Mar 2017 16:14 EDT
CLSA Part II Exam Suggestions
The CLSA Part II exam is successful in testing a candidates ability to architect and develop a PRPC application however it does have limitations. We are currently exploring changes to the exam to ensure it is a viable evaluation method going forward. If you have any feedback, suggestions, or alternative testing methods which may improve on the current testing format, please post them here.
Pega has a very involved and expensive hiring process with the "interview day" which involves a whiteboard presentation for PS. Some people are not a fan of this, but I am. It made me feel like I was joining a team of highly qualified and motivated people when I came to Pega. The lead who interviewed me has become a mentor who guided me in my Pega journey. He has taken the time to guide me because he influenced the hiring of me. If we could use the success of hiring process as a guide, I think part II of the CLSA exam could work with similar success. It is important that any changes to CLSA do not negatively impact its high quality.
This is the vision: When ready, a CLSA will walk through an actual client developed application with two other CLSA acting as the client. A list of questions should be asked by the CLSAs and additional questions should be added (impromptu) to explain any violation of best practices and/or complicated solutions in the build. The CLSA should be prepared to demo one or more of the core concepts, like adding a piece of functionality on the fly (dup check, DCR, something like that). Ideally, the two CLSAs should not know or have worked with the candidate.
This method will give the candidate the ability to show their knowledge of Pega, their ability to influence a client, and their relationship building skills. Product knowledge is very important and should not be overlooked. The questions should expose the candidate’s knowledge or lack thereof and the rest of the interview would expose the other skills that are just as important for a LSA to possess. The downside to this is that it relies on people’s opinions. To alleviate some of the backlash, the sessions could be recorded and reviewed by management if there is a dispute. Another downside (depending on how you look at it) is that a candidate would not be able to take Part II until they have been involved in an implementation enough to be able to explain every aspect of it. The upside to this method is that it will reduce the possibility of cheating and ensure certification is not achieved if a candidate does not possess the soft skills necessary to be a high performing LSA. An additional upside is it removes much of the overhead and time involved in training and the build. I just got out of immersion training and my understanding is that this is a goal. I am a new SSA and would not have the experience to sit for a Part II of this kind at this point, but I figured this idea was worth sharing.