After my recent post talking to Caio Assuncao about becoming certified as a Tableau Trainer, I thought I would continue with the topic of certification by interrogating none other than our in-house Tableau Server Certified Professional specialist Emmet McCormack. He sat the Server exam during the Tableau Conference in June 2017. It seemed like hard going and he was more than ready to enjoy the conference after the day of the exam. Check out his answers to my questions below!

#1 What was your process in preparing for the Tableau Server Certified Professional exam?

I went on the Tableau Server Architecture course. It’s a great course that gives you a good insight into how the various tableau processes interact and how the architecture is designed. I set up my own distributed environment on our dev servers to allow me to practice and familiarise myself with some of the concepts associated with Tableau Server. On top of that, I spent months doing installs for clients and providing support on those installations and other existing installations. I think the combination of the course and the practical experience is probably the best preparation you can do for the exam.

#2 What would be your key piece of advice to people preparing for the Tableau Server Certified Professional exam

I would have to say, try to get a good mix of the theory and the practical. The practical becomes easier the more theory you understand. Try to look at the Tableau Server Professional exam as a real life exercise. Understanding the best practices and why they are the best practices for server setup and administration makes the process of much easier

#3 What was the biggest challenge you faced either in preparing for or during the Tableau Server Certified Professional exam?

The biggest challenge in preparing for the exam was probably getting enough knowledge to understand what I didn’t know. Once you spend enough time learning any subject, you realise just how much more there is to learn on it. It was the same with Tableau Server, every piece of knowledge I acquired revealed more that I didn’t know. Fortunately, there is a great community in Tableau who are always willing to lend a hand and offer advice and guidance.

#4 Any tips you can share in terms of the examination itself?

I would say, be sure to know the functionality of all the Tableau Server processes and how they interact with each other. Practice the various types of installations you can do (single, distributed, etc..) and understand the reason why these installations are effective for their particular use cases.

#5 What does Tableau certification mean to you?

For me the certification gives me the confidence to say that I have achieved an understanding and knowledge of Tableau Server that allows me to help any of our customers when they need support or indeed to advise them correctly when they are looking to upgrade, scale up, scale out, etc… The preparation for the Tableau Server Certified Professional exam helped develop my understanding and skills with Tableau Server and the certification is the validation and the proof of those acquired skills that allows clients to be assured that I am able to provide them the best possible advice and services.

I hope Emmet’s input will help any of you considering this route. Alternatively if you are looking for support with your Tableau Server or for other services then contact us!