I sat down with Cale Gady, Director, Professional Development Program & Education at Dynatrace, to discuss our initiatives and drive to bring an industry-first certification program to the upper-right corner of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for APM.
For the past 15+ years, Cale has contributed in key roles around IT performance. He’s led Technical Sales Engineering and pioneered the APM Professional Development Program (PDP)—an elite corporate school focused on attracting, grooming, and maturing top talent for many roles around APM consulting, support & engineering. Cale has always been responsible for mapping technical and product aptitude to sales and business outcomes.
Just like any profession or sport, there are levels of skilled individuals. These levels are identified by title, and there are certain capabilities that go along with that title. This is probably most recognized in the field of medicine—specialties such as heart surgeon or pediatrician, for instance. Technology is no different. Technology giants like Cisco (CCNA), VMWare (VCP) or Amazon Web Services (AWS) have defined themselves around their certification programs. At Dynatrace, we have a vision to do the same with our APM Certifications.
Whether your company is suffering from a crippling application performance bottleneck and struggling to obtain earnings per share because technology is weighing you down, or you’re an engineer who finds herself scratching her head about open tickets more often than solving them—getting certified gives you confidence that you have the knowledge and skills to overcome any issue. And, that you can reach your career goals—become an administrator, a power user, a master of your APM craft to differentiate yourself from the crowd and claim victory on a daily basis.
Dynatrace’s focus on innovation has led to a gravitational force in the industry that has placed us number one in APM market share. 5,800 customers have chosen Dynatrace to take them to APM freedom, would you like to be the individual leading the charge? Dynatrace is the only company in the upper-right corner of the Gartner Magic Quadrant that has certification for APM solutions and products. No one else has demonstrated this level of commitment not only to helping build and validate your skills around APM solutions and capabilities, but also lay a prescriptive path on how to get there.
You first have to understand who you want to be, and then you can pick the product in which you want to pursue certification. In APM University (APMU), you’ll find blueprints that outline what you’ll obtain upon certification. The exceptional thing about our certifications is that they’re not just about product training. Not only do they validate technology competence, but also they validate your experience and demonstrated capabilities in many core APM concepts beyond just product concepts. So, being certified really proves your value as an APM practitioner.
The guidance is all there. We provide a prescriptive path, a guided learning program leading to certification. The journey starts with understanding, through the blueprint, what’s going to be required of you in terms of knowledge you need for the certification you want to pursue. APM University gives you a lot of options: self-paced e-learning, virtual instructor-led classes (vILT) and access to a virtual product sandbox in Amazon Web Services EC2 platform to practice your craft. This unprecedented access to a live environment with a Dynatrace subject matter expert is unparalleled. Through these tools, you’ll be able to test your knowledge with online quizzes and work hands-on in a lab environment to make sure you have the necessary APM experience and product expertise to take the certification exam with confidence.
That’s actually a more complicated question than it seems. The answer is…it depends! First, this isn’t the airline industry where simply taking more trips qualifies you for higher status. Your experience, expertise and education combine to prepare you for certification. Of course, your on-the-job experience will go a long way towards determining how ready you are to certify. But, with the constant changes in the technology space, more than ever, you need additional training to get up to speed, stay on top of your game and consistently deliver successful outcomes. So, more senior APM practitioners would likely be able to certify more quickly than someone just starting out but, either way, chances are that you’ll need at least some additional training. You can check out the exam blueprints and even take a ‘taste of the test’ in APMU to see where you stand. Your ability to complete the path to certification relies primarily on your drive to obtain elite APM status. This is the beauty of the prescriptive path. Our guided learning programs and supporting labs can confidently qualify you for certification.
Now, as for training, with everyone having to do more with less people, it’s almost impossible to spend the time (and money) flying to physical training classes. We’ve developed a virtual program that delivers an online experience very similar to that of instructor-led training in a real classroom. In this virtual training, you’ll interact with the instructor, ask questions, take quizzes, work with classmates and apply what you’re learning in your own work environment…all in real time. It’s the perfect blend of technology and personal attention! The schedule is flexible and training sessions are four hours a day, over the course of a week. We give you half of your day back for your day job.
We lead by example. Each consultant in the field is held to the same standard and is responsible for their individual product certifications. When customers ask “How do we get our team up to the level of the Dynatrace consultant we just worked with?” The answer is easy! “That was a Dynatrace Certified Professional. That’s what you can expect from your own team when they certify at that level.”
It shows your commitment to the space, to the chosen solution, and to the outcomes that your organization expects from the investment they’ve made in Dynatrace technology. Just like other professions, in APM, a credential around an achievement is very sought after. Whether it’s law, medicine, or even when you’re taking that vehicle that you worked so hard to purchase in for service, you want to feel confident that the person giving you advice or working on your asset is qualified to do so. Having a Dynatrace certification at the level in which you perform will distinguish you and demonstrate to the world that you belong to an elite group of APM professionals.
David has been working at Dynatrace for 4+ years as an APM consultant providing thought leadership to Dynatrace customers. He has been instrumental in mentoring and training the next generation of APM experts through his association with the Professional Development Program. His passions revolve around providing a great end user experience and optimizing today’s modern applications.