Welcome to the all-new
“I am so excited to welcome you to Pega Academy! I believe this new approach to learning Pega will change the game for individuals, clients, and partners . . . and this is just the beginning! We have so much more in store for everyone!”
More than just a new look...a completely re-imagined experience.
I was able to give you a sneak peek of the new Pega Academy in these recent TechTalk episodes with Justin Galui, Director of Pega Community, and Holger Zwickau, Director of Pega Curriculum Development. However, there are just so many more details about the new system that are important for learners and those of you who are staffing a project!
While I’m sure the new, modern user experience has drawn your attention, there are many more strategic changes with this new Pega Academy. First is the content itself and how it is structured. The approach to curriculum and training has completely changed to a modular learning approach. A modular approach gives you fast access to the knowledge you need when you need it, which also improves the effectiveness of the learning as it can be immediately applied. You can learn as you go. Pega’s certifications will continue to be extremely valuable to organizations and individuals building their careers. But now that isn’t the only way for you to get enabled or for your organization to staff a project. You can consume and become an expert on specific capabilities, which demonstrates your specific areas of expertise. Your organization can then staff teams with the specific skills needed for its unique projects.
Within the modular approach, it isn’t just about following step-by-step instructions to utilize a feature, but also about why and when you should utilize those features. Real world scenarios and problems are mapped to the right Pega technology, making it clear to you when and why you need to use specific capabilities. Then, the modular content is laid out in clear learning journeys so that you can self-identify your path across Pega’s products and capabilities.
Content is easier to find and easier for you to start learning. Every piece of content is surfaced on dashboards and landing pages. All content is searchable across all of Pega’s sites.
The terminology used in Pega Academy to describe the content types and learning journeys has completely changed. It is important for you to understand the changes.
You will no longer see courses in Pega Academy. Instead you will see Missions which consist of Modules, Challenges, Tests, and Exercises.
Missions are learning paths that cover a specific learning goal. They typically contain Modules, Challenges, and a capstone Mission Exercise and Test. Complete all content within a Mission to earn a new badge for your profile.
Modules are a series of topics that include text, images, videos and interactive experiences. You will learn what features to use, when and why you should use them, and how to apply the technology correctly. Module quizzes ensure you have absorbed the material.
Challenges are hands-on exercises performed in the Pega technology that allow you to practice the knowledge gained from the Modules. They are very prescriptive so you will have precise direction at every task.
Mission Exercises are capstone hands-on exercises found at the end of a Mission. They combine all the concepts covered in that specific Mission, and are far less prescriptive than Challenges.
Mission Tests are capstone assessments found at the end of a Mission. They test your understanding of all the concepts covered in that specific Mission.
The recognition of enablement at this more granular level is done with a robust badging system. Every successfully completed Mission results in a badge. While certifications will continue to be the gold standard, badges will become increasingly important as Pega Academy expands to cover more unique roles and project needs. Given that every Mission requires learners to pass Module quizzes, hands-on Challenges, Mission level Tests and Exercises, every single badge earned is proof that you have internalized the knowledge and can execute that knowledge in the product. Badges are surfaced in your My Pega profile. They can be used by everyone who wants to distinguish themselves by their unique skillsets and expertise, as well as be used by organizations to staff their unique projects. In the future, enablement badges will be expanded to include recognition for Community engagement and contributions!
As the Pega technology evolves, so does the associated enablement content. As a learner, it is important to stay current as the content keeps up with the technology. The new Pega Academy makes it easier than ever to keep current. When new versions of the Pega products come out, the Missions that enable users and developers on those products will be updated. But not every product release affects every piece of functionality, so only the Modules and Challenges that are affected by the release will be updated. Those delta changes will be tracked, so you will only see the delta changes that you need to retake based on the latest version you previously completed for each piece of content.
As mentioned before, each Mission results in a badge. That badge will never be taken away once earned, but it will be marked as not current if there is updated content in the associated Mission that is not yet complete.
The Student Experience
So what does all of this mean for students?
Your first-time experience will most likely be to go through a new Mission through the guided experience. You will start with the first Module or Challenge, then work your way through each in the recommended order. You will end with the Mission level Test and Exercise. Then you get your badge and move on to the next Mission!
But what if you have done a few Missions? Or, what if you are an experienced person that has implemented many Pega projects over for years?
The first difference will be the reuse of content and the tracking of that reuse. For example, if you have taken some core Modules in previous Missions that are reused in other Missions you would like to take, you get credit for those! This gives you a head start on new learning paths!
Next, is the ability to “test out.” Wouldn’t it be frustrating to have to go all the way back through a basic math class if you knew it all, rather than just taking the final to pass? That is what the Mission Test and Exercise are for. If you know the material given your project experience, take the Mission Test and do the Mission Exercise to earn your badge!
As mentioned previously, keeping current will be easier than ever because the content delta is tracked for each individual. Once you earn a badge it will never be taken away and only the delta content needs to be retaken to keep current. This also applies to Certifications! The first step of the journey is to achieve a specific certification (for example: Pega Certified System Architect, Pega Certified Data Scientist). Then the currency model mentioned kicks in. You do not need to go back to Pearson VUE to retake your exam when a new version of the exam is released. Instead, stay current by consuming Mission content. Doing so keeps you current on your specific Certification. For example, you earned your Pega Certified System Architect (PCSA) on version 8.4. When version 8.5 comes out, all you need to do is take the delta content recommended to you in the System Architect mission. Voila! Your PCSA becomes 8.5 equivalent! And you will never lose the history of all of the versions you have completed!
Badges will also be awarded for Instructor Led Trainings (ILTs). For those that have equivalent self-study Missions in Pega Academy, there will be a mapping between the ILT and the Pega Academy Mission. This is important for the currency model above, so that you establish your version baseline and then keep current with the delta content.
As previously mentioned, all technical Missions will have Challenges. Some will be auto-graded and others will not. For those that are graded, this is how it will work. Once you have completed all of the Challenge steps in your individual AWS cloud instance, you can “check your answer.” You will immediately get your results. You will know which steps were done correctly. When one is not correct, you will know and can try again. Correct not only means the final result is correct, but also that you followed all of the latest and greatest best practices! Please note that the Challenges are highly prescriptive and those that are auto-graded rely on all text to be accurate, so watch out for those typos! Over time you will see auto-grading introduced for the less prescriptive Mission level Exercises. And you can always sign up for Community Edition for more of a developer playground.
Many of the Modules in technical Missions will include conceptual topics that discuss the use cases, the why and when of a subject. Following the concepts will be several how-to topics describing the steps on how to implement specific tasks in the product. These may seem like instructions, but they are intended to orient you to the “how” before you get to the Challenge, as well as provide reference material for later. Over time these how-to topics will be more clearly distinguished in the UI.
In the midst of learning Pega already?
If you previously completed, or even partially completed, any Pega Academy course, there are several things you should know.
First, if you have completed any of the Pega Academy courses that are based on any Pega product on version 8, you will automatically earn the associated badges for the Missions that are mapped to those courses. The existing courses will end up being one Mission that consists of multiple sub-Missions (because of the modular approach), so you will get all of the badges associated with your completed courses. These retroactively earned badges include both self-study and instructor-led trainings. Then once Missions get updated in the new Pega Academy, the new currency model kicks in so you will be able to track your progress and work towards keeping current.
If you are in progress with a v8 course, you will become in progress for those associated Missions as those Missions will be added to your new Pega Academy dashboard. For 90 days, you can continue to consume the content on either the previous course or the new Missions. But to get your badge, you need to complete the Mission Test and Mission Exercise in the new Pega Academy. After 90 days all of the mapped v8 courses in the new Pega Academy will be removed from the former Pega Academy. Courses for older versions of the software will continue to live on the former Pega Academy for reference, but there will not be any hands-on exercises that are supported.
Our pledge and commitment to you
If you are still reading this, thank you :) . It was long, but I wanted to ensure that every single one of you got enabled on your enablement. For any other questions, please check out our FAQ.
I believe this new Academy will change the game for individual Community members like you as well as Pega’s clients and partners. With the modular approach, Pega Academy is able to address each individual skillset and expertise at a much deeper level. All of the content is not there yet. This is just the beginning! But know that me and my teams are working very hard to address the needs of all roles on all projects, and to expand the products that are covered in Pega Academy. This, with the integration with Community engagement, will lift our ecosystem to even higher levels of success!