Collaborative Writing: Creating a New Certification Exam


I love a good collaborative project.

Recently, I had the good fortune to work with a global team of Business Intelligence experts to create a new SAS certification exam for “BI Content Development”. Our team spanned 4 continents, worked in 6 timezones and represented a cross section of job functions including Technical Education, Technical Support, Consultants and Professional Services.

We shared ideas about the key job skills for the BI Content Developer job role. “How much OLAP skill does the content developer need to have?” and “Does a developer need to know how to build information maps or just how to use them?” were common discussions. Over the course of a few of weeks, the skills that best defined a certified BI Content Developer were compiled, and the final result is shown on the exam content webpage. The recommended training for this exam is the SAS Business Intelligence Fast Track course.

With the exam content defined, we held a workshop in Cary, North Carolina to create the exam questions. We divvied up the objectives and wrote the questions. Then the real collaborative fun began when we entered the review! For each question, we debated its merit, revised its language, and ensured its technical accuracy and its relevance to the job. It was an intense review; we used every minute of every day available to us, taking very short breaks and working long hours. Exhausting, but very rewarding.

In the end, we created an exam ready for the beta process. It was a great experience, seeing people from a broad background of cultural and technical experiences come together to complete a project. Are you interested in taking the beta exam? As of this morning, there are still a few free registrations available for non-SAS employees. More information is on the exam registration page.


About Author

Mark Stevens

SR Certification Specialist

Mark Stevens is a Certification Specialist for SAS Global Certification and has been working in training and certification since 2004. A SAS Certified Base Programmer since 2010, Mark enjoys every opportunity to dive into new SAS products and features. When he isn’t working on the next SAS certification, he can be found coaching his kids' soccer teams.

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