Becoming an Accredited, Atlassian Technical Sales Professional in 4 months

Transformation and Automation Blogg
03.10.2018

Becoming an Accredited, Atlassian Technical Sales Professional in 4 months

What is Atlassian Accreditation?

Atlassian Accreditation's is a key part to become an Atlassian Partner. Any company that desire to raise in Atlassian's partner levels need employees with the technical know-how to sell and provide the services to the end clients. To reach the silver partner level one need to have one sales accredited employee and one technical sales accredited. Advancing further in the partner levels requires more and more of these accredited employees. 

The Technical Sales Professional Accreditation is the hardest one, as it not only requires the accreditation training (which in itself takes roughly one week to complete) but also that the person retains two active certifications in Atlassian's administrator’s suite.

https://www.atlassian.com/university/certification

This is my experience and path to becoming an Atlassian Technical Sales Professional.

 

Experience and Planning your study-path

Before setting out on this road I would suggest that you base your path on your own experience. My own knowledge of Atlassian's product suite was extremely limited. I had some user experience of Confluence and once or twice of running a project in Jira but never as the administrator. What I did have to off-set that specific inexperience was 20 years of working with multiple service desk tools as well as being the administrator for quite a number of different other software tools, ranging from project management to application tracking suites.

So, I divided the learning process into four steps

  1. Theoretical product knowledge and first setup of system
  2. Designing and testing use-cases
  3. Server setup and Advanced administrator functions
  4. Final preparation and Testing

 

Month 1 - Theoretical product knowledge and first cloud setup

The first step focused on just getting the basic understanding of the Atlassian product suite.

Why is it being used and who uses it?

Atlassian has many different products which constantly interact with each other. So getting the general knowledge is important before going forward and specializing on the ones that you expect to certify on.

I started with the accreditation courses which are provided by Atlassian to partners. First the technical sales professional accreditation material for one week and then additional courses over the next couple of weeks. If you are not a partner then paid training courses are available through https://training.atlassian.com/

After the course I had decided on the software I wanted to work on, namely Jira, Confluence and Jira Service desk. So next step was to get some hands-on training. Starting with a cloud environment as it was easily available and contained the basics of the software. Having installed it I proceeded by testing all the pre-configured projects that Atlassian provides. 

 

Month 2 - Designing and testing use-cases

This next step is the one that I most enjoyed in the training process, the purpose of the step is to get more advanced knowledge of the functions in the system, and this is more easily done by having a focus thus: 

Describe a problem and use the software to assist in resolving it! 

I created a number of use cases

  • Innovation - Pushing Ideas to production
  • HR - trying to combine the Applicant Project with an Employee Project
  • Enterprise Level Metrics - Pushing Jira Service Desk to get more metrics than standard

Of the three, the Innovation project did quite well, the HR project did awful and I am still continuing with the Enterprise Level Metrics project.

The important part here was not the end result, the important part was to take one project and modify everything in it to match an entirely different purpose and workflow. The mistakes made during this process and the parts where I did not arrive at a satisfactory solution was at least as important as the parts which was resolved successfully.

 

Month 3 - Server setup and Advanced administrator functions

In the third month the basic foundation and knowledge of the software was there, so next step was to build on these and get specific knowledge of each function. There is no way that one month is enough to find and test use cases, covering every possible setting, that exists in the administration panels. But you need to know something about all the parts, this is where reading the administration guide comes in. Some parts can be read once, and some parts, like Global permissions is something that you should study at least once per week until it really sticks. 

In this month I also took the next step of installing a local server of the software. Server is different from cloud in both form and function and knowledge about similarities and differences is a key part to take the test.

Practical Tip: I took to writing down questions and answers during the entire process, using Confluence. This gave me increased knowledge about the product, hands on training and it proved to be really handy when studying for the tests. 

 

Month 4 – Final preparation and Testing

This was the time for final preparation and finally taking the tests. Each test takes three hours and contain roughly 70 questions. Each question is quite long, averaging in at something like 150 words. This creates several difficulties which you should plan for:

Pacing - You should set the pace to clear a third of the questions in 45 minutes, if you are unsure of a question you can mark it for later review. Do NOT stop and think at the hard questions, set your best guess answer, mark it and continue, then use the remaining 45 minutes to review it. 

Personal Note: “Even though I set this as my goal, I ended up with just ten to twenty minutes left for my review process. The first third is quite easy, after this it becomes increasingly hard to remain focused, this in turn leads to an increasing number of questions which requires you to re-read them and this in turn leads to increased time per question.”

Reading all text - Do not jump to conclusions from a small part of the text. For example, a text might refer to both a process and a function, the function might be right, but the process is not, or vice versa, making the entire answer incorrect. Just reading the function would give you an incorrect answer.

Backwards resolution - In many cases I found it easier to identify the incorrect answer and eliminating them than to find the correct ones.

As a final note, do not get discouraged if you miss a test, instead think of it as a learning experience and retake it as soon as possible. Use the time in between to study the parts which you felt unsure of. 

 

//Krister Broman 
Atlassian Technical Sales Professional
krister.broman@advania.se



        


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