Recently I achieved the „Certified Jenkins Engineer” certification to add to my CV. Although it is not the most interesting certificate out there, I wanted to write a short article about it anyway.

Firstly you may wonder that there is a certification for Jenkins at all. I also learned about this certification only recently. Because I was curious, I wanted to give it a shot and try it out as part of my learning journey in the context of DevOps.

The official certification page can be found here:

Cloudbees doesn’t seem to be doing a lot of marketing and there also isn’t too much information about the exam available without registering for an account at Cloudbees university. In a nutshell I will sum it up for you:

  • Exam name: Certified Jenkins Engineer
  • Price: 99 dollars (including tax)
  • Format: Multiple-choice questions, proctored
  • Amount of questions: 60 questions
  • Amount of time: 90 minutes
  • Passing rate: Varies
  • Validity: Lifetime? (Let me get to this later)

Cloudbees provides a free training course to help you to prepare for the exam. I went through the whole training course (consisting of four parts) and found both good points and bad points.

On the positive side, the course itself is pretty comprehensive and introduced me to a lot of Jenkins topics that I didn’t know existed, such as Blue Ocean. I even found it embarrassing that despite having worked with Jenkins for years, I didn’t know there was so much more to it. This is also the value of the course, introducing you to the types of jobs, pipelines and walking you through a series of labs to set up pipelines yourselves. For this purpose, Cloudbees provides an image that you can install and run on a virtual machine to run a Jenkins instance. In my experience the virtual machine was very straightforward to set up and manage using the Vagrant tool, and I found it convenient to work with.

On the negative side, although the course is comprehensive, it isn’t exhausting and does not cover each topic required for the exam. Also the labs sometimes missed instructions so you would have to figure out for example which pipeline was meant to perform operations on. The course guide also states that only the first three courses were relevant for the exam, but I thought that the fourth course was also relevant. Therefore I would recommend to take all four courses.

The exam itself was a bit weird. Of course I cannot go into details on the questions themselves, but as I mentioned, the course is not entirely exhaustive. You may come across topics that you haven’t prepared for. You are going to need some hands-on experience. It should be emphasized that this does not mean working with Jenkins in your daily job, you will have to work on the topics covered in the course in practice as well by doing some experiments of your own. You should therefore know specific details about setting up a build, managing settings and some plugins. And even if you don’t know a particular question you need to use your intuition.

After submitting the exam, you will be told right away whether you passed and you will receive your score per email. Interestingly, a minimum passing rate is not given and Cloudbees states somewhere that the passing rate actually differs per exam. Although I won’t mention my exact score, it was relatively low and I was a bit surprised that it was sufficient.

In your email it is also stated that the certificate is valid for three years and you need to refer to the exam handbook to read about recertification requirements. However, I couldn’t find anything within the Cloudbees website about the certification expiring anywhere. And on the website where you obtain your credential it is also stated that the credential doesn’t expire. Therefore it seems to be practically valid for a lifetime after all. (In my personal opinion, even if it were to expire, I probably wouldn’t bother to renew it because I dislike certification maintenance).

Conclusion: I certainly found it a worthwhile experience to study up about Jenkins and take the exam. You should however not expect the highest quality training and exam. It seems that both the training and the exam aren’t really maintained. However, since the training is free and the exam costs only $99 with a credential that is valid for a lifetime, it could be worth it.


If you are looking for some tips on how to pass the exam, I will give you some tips

  • Register at Cloudbees university and take the four courses (all free)
  • Install the VM and do all practical assignments
  • Read the linked documentation in each section
  • Make sure that you understand every option when creating a new freestyle job, a new pipeline job or when making a configuration change.
  • Make sure you know very well what you can under ‚Manage Jenkins‘ and what you cannot do there
  • Have a look at this blog:

To finish everything you will likely need 1-2 weeks of full-time studying and optionally going through any additional material and doing exploratory practical assignments of your own. The VM provides a full environment to experiment around so I do encourage you to try it and e.g. create an own repository to link up to Jenkins and create jobs with different settings to see what they do.

Furthermore, I assume you already have some experience when it comes to software development in general, DevOps, CI/CD and using Git. You do not need any cloud or networking knowledge. However, if you have no technical background at all, this exam is probably not for you.

Good luck!