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Introduction to the SOASchool.com Self-Study Kits

The SOA Certified Professional (SOACP) program from SOASchool.com is a de facto industry accreditation program dedicated to service-oriented architecture (SOA) and service technology platforms, such as cloud computing, REST, Web services, and so on. This is an international program with a network of training partners and thousands of certified professionals around the world. Exams are available world-wide via Prometric testing centers.

The founder of the program is no other than Thomas Erl, the world’s best-selling and most successful SOA author. To learn more about the SOACP program and curriculum, I suggest you listen to my interview with Thomas:

InformIT: Interview with Thomas Erl on SOA and SOA Certification 

To obtain any of the certifications, you need complete a specific combination of exams. Have a look at the handy matrix published at www.soacp.com to get an overview of certification tracks and corresponding exams.

You can prepare for these exams in any way you want, the two most common options being: attend an instructor-led workshop (these are held around the world – see the calendar at www.soaworkshop.com) or get a hold of self-study kits. These kits are part of the SOASchool.com Self-Study initiative (learn more about this at www.soaselfstudy.com).

The folks at SOA Systems (which operates SOASchool.com) were kind enough to send me a set of self-study kits; in this blog post, I’d like to introduce you to what they are and how they work...

What Are These Kits?
What is cool about SOACP Self-Study Kits is that they provide a means for you to study remotely, at your own pace and when it’s convenient for you. There is one kit for each Prometric exam and you can purchase various bundles to get discounts. For instance, if you wanted to earn the Certified Cloud Computing Specialist certification, then you could purchase the following self-study kits to prepare for the corresponding exams:

What’s Inside the Self-Study Kits?
As I mentioned earlier, the self-study kits essentially give you a “turnkey” preparation package for passing associated certification exams. The contents of the kits can vary somewhat, but generally, each self-study kit includes the following components:

  • course booklets (these are the same booklets you would receive if you attended the instructor-led workshop)
  • Audio Tutor CDs (these contain recordings from Thomas Erl and other Certified SOA Trainers who guide you through the course booklets and also simulate exam questioning)
  • flash cards (these sets of flash can range from 40 to 90 and basically provide you with an easy method for Q&A)
  • pre-paid Prometric exam voucher (you can use this voucher for your exam when you’re ready to take it)

I found the inclusion of the Prometric test voucher to be a particularly compelling part of these self-study kits, because with it, you literally have everything you need to study for, register for, and then ultimately pass the associated certification exam. Thoughtful, but also a good deal when you consider the cost of the exam charged by Prometric.

How Can I Order a Self-Study Kit?
Glad you asked! Just visit the online store at www.soaselfstudy.com where you can purchase the kits via fax, phone or online. Be sure to read the options on this page carefully because they give you the ability to buy individual kits and still apply those purchases toward the bundle prices (which are generally based on a 20% discount). The only thing is you need to register kits individually to get this deal. When register a kit or take an exam or attend a course, SOASchool.com automatically sets you up with your own SOACP Account and Login Credentials. With this account you can manage your profile, and view your exam history, certification status, purchase history, credits, and so on.

In Conclusion
I am deeply impressed with the SOA Certified Professional program. It’s the industry standard in SOA accreditation and has the largest curriculum (26 course modules!) and the greatest amount of certified professionals. If you are in the SOA industry, or if you are working with new service-related platforms (such as cloud computing), you need to seriously consider this important certification. And, if you can’t make it to the workshops, then there’s no better way than to work through the self-study program for the certification track that you choose.
Look for future blog posts where we examine other aspects of the SOACP certification program.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, curiosities, etc. about SOA and/or SOA certification, send me an e-mail message and I will get your questions answered. Thanks for reading.

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