Qlik offers several certifications at the moment and the most popular by far is QlikView Developer Certification. If you pass the exam, you will be awarded with two certificates:
QlikView 11 Developer and
QlikView 11 Designer.
This exam is not easy and requires preparation and previous experience. Qlik lists the following prerequisites for the exam:
Advanced knowledge of Business Intelligence, reporting and data analysis.
Knowledge of SQL and/or other scripting languages, data modeling, data visualization and advanced QlikView functions.
Practical experience working with QlikView to design and develop applications.
User interface design experience.
Practically you need to have at least 6-12 months hands-on experience developing advanced QlikView dashboards. You will also need to have basic understanding of data warehousing and dimensional modeling. 5-7 questions will be about QlikView Server / Publisher.
Why get certified?
QlikView is one of the most powerful BI tools on the market but it takes a lot of time and practice to master it. In my opinion, certification is a great way to learn about advanced (and not so advanced) features that you do not use every day and this knowledge will help you become an expert on your team. Certification will get you to that level much faster.
While I do not believe that certifications alone will get you new jobs easily, it is definitely a nice feature to have on your resume and something that will distinct you from others who are not certified professionals.
How to prepare for the exam
I will try to keep it really simple and outline my plan that worked for me. Not only did I pass the exam, I passed it with a pretty good score of 87%. Here is my plan:
First, come up with a a little reward for yourself that you will only get if you pass the exam. I had been wanting a new watch to add to my collection and I said to myself that I would buy it only if I pass QlikView Certification exam. Because I wanted that watch bad, it helped to stay focused.
Set a date for youself when you want to take the exam - this should also help you to stay on track.
Take FREE QlikView Developer Practice Questions to assess your current level and skills. Take this test only once and forget about it until you are ready for the exam. Remember your score.
Read QlikView books. My two favorite (and I've read 6 to date!) are:
The first book is more advanced so you might read the second book first.
QlikView Reference Manualthat comes with QlikView. it will be very boring reading but you just have to do it. Set yourself a goal (e.g. read one chapter a day or 50 pages a day) and stick to that goal. But please, do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. Try all the functions, commands and concepts if you do not get them right away.
- Do not avoid Set Analysis - you have to master it. Play with complex expressions till you understand how they work. You won't be successful with QlikView if you cannot write or understand set analysis expression. Set analysis is your friend and one of the most powerful features of QlikView. Keep trying until you get it.
- There will be 5-7 questions about
QlikView Server / Publisher- watch youtube videos or read
QlikView Server Manual. They only ask basic questions so general understanding is more than enough.
- There will be some generic questions about dimensional data modeling and data warehousing concepts. Not a lot of them - I think I had like 4 or 5 questions on the subject. I highly recommend Ralph Kimball's book The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Definitive Guide to Dimensional Modeling - if you are BI / DW professional, you should've read that book by now. If not, read it as soon as you can.
- Finally, read technical blogs on Qlik's community site. If you do not have time to read all the posts, read HIC's posts at least. HIC (Henric Cronström) is one of the Qlik's founders and shares his tremendous experience and knowledge with us. You will understand QlikView internals better if you read his posts. I have a few bookmarked, that I read over and over again.
- When you feel that you are ready for the exam, take FREE QlikView Developer Practice Questions again to see how your score improved after all this hard work.
How to Practice
Practice is a key and every time you stumble upon a code or concept you do not understand, fire up QlikView Desktop client and practice.
The easiest way to get some test data to play with is to start a new project and generate test data right from QlikView - I do this all the time when I am testing some ideas:
- Open QlikView client
- Create New Project Ctrl-N
- Edit Script Ctrl-E
- Click Insert Test Script in the menu:
QlikView will generate a test script for you. Reload your document Ctrl-R and you will get your test data model to play with:
I normally use Dim1, Dim2, Dim3 and Expression1,Expression2,Expression3.
This does seem like a lot, but I was able to prepare for the exam in 2 months spending 10-12 hours a week. I had only 8 months of experience with QlikView but I already had 10+ years of experience with BI and Data Warehousing.
Remember, this knowledge will stay with you and this is your real reward for passing the exam.