When you stop learning, you stop growing.
Goodness knows who coined the phrase first but it has been ringing in my ears for the past fortnight. As developers, we're always learning, and that's good! It's a natural by-product of the work we do on a daily basis... we discover new things: an elegant solution to a troublesome problem, a fix for a known issue, a workaround for a programming predicament... whatever it is, it feels good to finish the day on a high. And for the oldies among us, like myself, it's great to rediscover new things we already knew about but had completely forgotten!
What is also super valuable, in addition to quick turnaround learning, is an intense, focused period of learning: the opportunity to deep-dive a subject, to go beyond the surface and to really understand what's going on. At Code Enigma, we have long since valued this type of personal development... everyone in the company is encouraged to schedule two weeks of personal development time per year and this time, I chose to focus on studying for the Acquia 10 Certified Developer qualification.
I signed up for a community account at https://community.acquiaacademy.com/learn and enrolled on the Acquia Certified Developer - Drupal 10 course. The course mostly consists of videos which you're encouraged to follow along with. The material is split into three sections: Site Building, Layout and Theming and Module Development... interspersed throughout are short tests which provide an opportunity to validate your learning as you go. There's also a test exam, a much shorter version of the real exam which you're able to take up to three times to check your readiness ahead of sitting the exam proper.
If you're thinking of doing the Acquia Certified Developer - Drupal 10 course (or any of the Acquia certifications), do give yourself plenty of time to get set up for the exam. You need to install a chat program to communicate with your Proctor (someone who is present throughout the duration of the exam) and also to install the Guardian Secure Proctoring Browser, which only appears to have installers for Windows and Mac OSX. Also make sure that the room you plan to take the exam in meets the requirements set out in the Acquia Academy instructions.
Although I can't talk about the nature of the exam, I'm happy to report that I passed and am, at the time of writing, one of less than 100 people to have achieved the qualification!
Outside the developer cabin
I had a superb day in the Lake District on Leg 2 of what is known as the Bob Graham Round... starting at Dunmail Raise, I did an out and back recce to Pike O' Stickle. Despite the weather being miserable with no views, I had a very good day on the fells. The word recce is short for reconnaissance... I am learning the Bob Graham route for a future day when I will attempt all five legs of the round... because after all, when you stop learning, you stop growing!