Why, just why, does cPanel certificates expire?

DennisMidjord

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2016
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cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
I get why some of them expire - some of them are rather technical, and it's useful to have your knowledge regarding a certain piece of the product refreshed.
What I don't get is why every single one of them expires after a year.

Why... Why would I need to go through the very long introduction to cPanel every year. It doesn't go into great details explaining how cPanel actually does things - it just explains what cPanel is and what it can be used for. The rest of the courses goes through explanation in details.
So, why do I have to go through this course every year?
I'm guessing that most people taking those courses are hosting providers who work with the cPanel software for multiple hours every day. It really doesn't make sense to have us go through basic information about the product that we use every day.

I'd much rather be able to just have a test (and not 80 questions long where some questions are duplicates) where I could prove that I still know what each course is about - without having to click through each page in the course.
 

cPanelLauren

Product Owner
Staff member
Nov 14, 2017
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Houston
Hi @DennisMidjord


For a moment I thought you meant SSL certificates, but actually you're talking about the cPanel University Certifications right? I'll get in touch with one of the trainers so that they can give you the reasoning behind that for you :)


Thanks!
 

cPanelRyanR

Member
Staff member
Jul 17, 2014
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Root Administrator
Hey Dennis,

Lauren reached out to me about your question, which is definitely a good one. I've been heading up the certification and e-learning development on cPanel University for a little while now, and the primary reason that we set the expirations to be the same timeframe is what you've already indicated; we simply want to make sure that, despite the fact that a year has passed, users and admins are still brought fully back up to speed on what the product, in full, contains.

I initially worked as a cPanel Support Analyst for a few years, and prior to that gave support for cPanel servers while employed with major server providers. By the time I shifted to training, I felt like I could comfortably declare myself as having mastered the product, inside and out. What quickly became apparent though, as I began putting together material for different components and features, was that my experience with support did not in fact give me exposure to every aspect of the product as I had expected. There were a surprising amount of components that I realized that I had not actually dealt with in any significant frequency, or was not as innately familiar with as I would have expected.

Looking over past tickets and considering it a bit further, it was fairly clear in retrospect that the vast majority of support tickets that are submitted tend to revolve around a few major segments of the software that are most prominent for many customers. Relying solely on this experience gave me a bit of an isolated perspective of what the product was. As a result, when establishing the certification material, one of our goals was to try and represent the product more fully, while still trying to specifically target areas that the most users would find the most value in. With that ultimately being the goal, it made sense to necessitate a periodic refresher of the material.

All of that said, there is definitely a distinctive difference that could lead to the kind of frustration that you're describing, specifically in one of the courses: cPanel Professional. We've gotten great feedback on the use of the video-based learning medium for this content, and it made sense to go that route when looking at the product from the individual account-level interface. However, it is a significant time investment in which self-pacing is not as easily achieved as it might be on the other courses.

What I'd like to do, and what we'll likely be implementing either in Q4 this year or in early 2021, is to create the missing certification exam for the cPanel Professional course, and allow renewal users to simply take the test to confirm that they're still familiar with the areas of the software covered by that course. As you've noticed it seems, though, with the duplicate questions, perfecting an exam that provides us with a fully reliable representation of a user's comprehension is not always straightforward, so we want to make sure we get it right.

We're also in the process of doing major revisions to the CWA and CWSA-I exams (and quizzes, for that matter) to ensure that users don't encounter any more out of place questions, duplicates, or ambiguous phrasing.

With all of the above in mind, I think the value of renewing familiarity with the product on a broad scale is still a valuable thing. It's been an objective of mine, though, to try and take responsibility for users' experiences when going through the material, and if it feels like a chore, then it's our responsibility to try and address that. I suspect that the changes I mentioned previously, involving the exam/quiz revisions, the addition of a CPP certification exam, as well as the platform changes that we're working on, will be a step in the right direction.

I'm not at all closed off to suggestions or feedback on any of this, however. If you have anything you'd like to propose or discuss in regards to this, let me know - it's certainly something I think about a lot, so I've got plenty of opinions on it. :)

Last but not least, if you do notice any odd question behavior in the exams down the road, always feel free to let us know at [email protected]. We often try to address those kinds of issues on-the-spot as they are reported, along with the major review/revision pushes throughout the year.

Thank you!

Ryan Robson
@cPanelRyan on Discord
 
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