Lets Get Certified!

Lets Get Certified!!!….Ummm but how?

It’s that time of the year… a new version has been released, DevCon is right around the corner and hey the weather has been pretty amazing!  What does that really mean?  It’s now time to buckle down and get certified…

A little about me:

I was introduced to FileMaker a little over a year and a half ago. My journey began as a self-starting study and a few months into my lessons I decided to attend a month long training course run by Molly Connolly called JumpStart (highly recommended)! During the course I was introduced to the team at Linear Blue and this is really where it all began for me. I can say without a doubt I have the FM bug.  At the moment it’s all about getting certified.

(I’m paraphrasing FileMaker here)

As a certified developer you’re not only displaying your skills as well rounded, but you’re sharing the range of your knowledge, keeping current with the changing technologies, becoming credible and really showing that you are committed in the FileMaker platform.

All of the above-mentioned are reasons to become certified and to maintain that status throughout your career.  I never thought it was going to be an easy test but I have found it a lot more difficult to prepare for.

Having started as a beginner I have found it hard to organise and prioritise.  I have had a lot of advice and guidance from other developers and numerous blogs but the one thing that I have found missing is the experience.  These guys have been using FileMaker for years.  What about the newbies?  How do we catch up with the developers who have been building since v2?

My answer… Mentorship.

It takes a lot of commitment and time from both sides but this it what I believe to be the key to the success for new developers.  It’s the sharing of experiences and open dialogue between the novices and experts that builds not just a foundation of a new career but a connection.  I have been a part of a mentoring scheme since I have started with Linear Blue and it has increased my confidence in developing ten fold.  I have tackled projects that a year ago I would have thought were beyond my skill set and successfully delivered solutions to happy clients.  I am gaining the rounded experience need to intelligently develop systems as opposed to stumbling through (that happens too but at a much lesser degree).

To get ready for the exam we have been using the guide from FileMaker as a form of syllabus (available for download here).

This is in addition to the FileMaker Advanced training series and various other white papers some of which are listed at the end of this post.   All of these resources I have found to be very helpful but it is the overview document that gives the opportunity of putting everything you’ve learnt together and essentially is your map to guide you through the training series (850 pages is a bit daunting).

Our style has been a mixture of lecture and Q&A but with a lot of practical time.   Getting in there and really using FileMaker is by far the key and it is beyond helpful when you have someone around who knows what they are doing!

Words cannot explain how valuable a shadowing session with an experienced developer can be.  I believe you learn at an accelerated rate when you can look, listen and ask questions when you are right there in the thick of it.  The best part of all this is that there are a lot of developers that are eager to start mentorship schemes. I reached out through forums to people established within the community and was pleasantly surprised by everyone’s willingness to advise and support.  You just have to ask!

So for all of you newbies whose exam dates like mine are getting closer and closer if you can reach out to the community and find a mentor it’s going to help you in more ways than you can imagine.

Best of luck to you all!


Other resources:

FileMaker Community:


Download the FileMaker Training Series: Advanced



Any tech brief on FileMakers Website that references Server, Security and Web Publishing

Simon Ward

Simon has been developing FileMaker databases since the late 90s and joined Linear Blue in 2006. Over this time he has developed database systems for clients in many different industries from Order Processing to Book Publishing. Simon’s BSc in Chemistry from Thames Valley University comes to the fore in his analytical skills and he is certified in FileMaker versions 7 through 12.

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