Got Spring Professional Certificated at Aug 2019

Got Spring Professional Certificated at Aug 2019

What is Spring Professional Certification

The Spring Professional certification exam is designed to test and validate your understanding of and familiarity with some topics of Spring Framework:

  • Spring IOC
  • Spring AOP
  • Spring Data
  • Spring Testing
  • Spring Boot
  • etc..

Why do you want to pass it

There was a discussion on “Is Spring certification worth anything?”.

My answer is: the certification itself is worthless but the knowledge is invaluable. You don’t have to pass this certification to gain knowledge. This certificate is just a test that you have gained this knowledge.

How to prepare for it

After I did some research on other people’s study notes, I believe it’s getting harder and harder to get this certification. You need to prepare more than the people who do the Version 4.2 test.

Old Version VS New Version

  1. Version 4.2

    You can find a summary about version 4.2 exam from Vojtech Ruzicka’s Programming Blog.

    And study notes from Vitalie: Core Spring 4.2 Study Guide answers by Vitalie)

  2. Version 5, before May 2019

    Some useful resources:

    1. Passed Spring Professional 5.0 certification with 94%.
    2. Spring Certification 5.0 study notes from MrR0807
    3. Core Spring 5 – Training and Certification
    4. How I became a Pivotal Spring Professional Certified 5.0
  3. Version 5.X, after May 2019

    Before I took the exam, I found that the study guide has been updated. It’s not a huge change, but it’s enough to fail you if you didn’t prepare perfectly. I took me a while to do an extra study on the new topics. It pays. In my test, it has at least 4 questions are about actuator, which is a newly added topic.


    1. Less content on AOP topic. From 14% to 8%.
    2. More Spring Boot content, from 14% to 32%.


How to prepare

I recommend you to make your notes according to the latest official study guide from Pivotal.

  1. Try to answer questions based on official documentation.
  2. If cannot, try to read other people’s study notes.
  3. Then try to find the answer from listed books.
  4. After all the readings, read the official guide again.

The reasons are:

  1. People have a different understanding of the same question. However, the only one you need to answer to is Pivotal.
  2. Some answers are out of date, or the book you read is about the old version of Spring. For instance, Spring In Action 4th edition has something wrong about Spring Data JPA method name convention. This question will definitely appear in the exam. So, be careful.

How long it will take

Hah, it may change a lot depends on your working experience, isn’t it?

If you’ve had a look at the links I gave above, a guy spent 5 months on it. A 12-years experienced senior Java developer spent only 40 hours.

It’s not easy. So make your plan.

As for me: around 3 months.

Books I command

The official references are the most useful ones, because it’s accurate and update to date. for example, Spring 5 and Spring Boot 2 are released not very long ago. If you still study old version of Spring or Spring Boot, it’s just a waste of time.

My notes

I don’t recommend my notes if you’ve got time to write your notes. They’re just copy and pasted from all the books or materials I mentioned. I list it here because:

  1. It’s up to date.
  2. All out-of-date contents are removed. E.g., XML configurations.
  3. All questions are answered in a structured way.

Here you are:



  1. Pro Spring 5: An In-Depth Guide to the Spring Framework and Its Tools
  2. Spring in Action, Fifth Edition
  3. Pivotal Certified Professional Spring Developer Exam Study Guide
  4. Beginning Spring Boot 2
  5. Spring Boot 2 Recipes
  6. Core Spring 5 Certification in Detail by Ivan Krizsan