Level 3 Credential - First Step for a Level 3 A-Score

The Level 3 Credential exam is available to Appian Customer and Partner Practitioners and verifies a developer's experience with delivering solutions which follow Appian's best practices for designing applications including being scalable, maintainable, and efficient. Upon successful completion of the exam, developers can submit project experience to request a customer endorsement. 12 months of accumulated Appian project lead experience and a customer endorsement are required to obtain a Level 3 A-score certification.

Credential Eligibility

Passing the Level 1 Credential Exam and Level 2 Credential Exam (recommended)

Successfully completing the Appian Developer and Advanced Developer courses (recommended)

At least 12 months of recent development leadership is necessary to pass the interview. Leadership on a project can include the following activities:

  • Conducting discovery sessions, integration planning, and initiation sprints
  • Collaborating with stakeholders about business needs and how they can be implemented in Appian
  • Conducting requirement prioritization and clarification discussions (e.g., user story grooming), including assessment of effort against business value
  • Demonstrating achieved value to business and technical stakeholders, such as during sprint reviews or other demos
  • Being accountable or responsible for setting technical design and architecture direction and making trade-off decisions during the development life cycle
  • Owning technical quality and best practices for an application you can share and discuss during the interview

If you have questions about eligibility and the process, please contact A-Scores@appian.com.

Exam Details

The exam is composed of two parts:

Part 1: 35 multiple choice questions testing a thorough understanding of Appian concepts. Participants must complete the exam (once started) within 30 minutes.

Part 2: A live interview with an Appian Architect to review your Appian project experience. The interview structure mirrors a professional design review. Interviews should be scheduled and materials emailed to the interview team at least 2 weeks before the interview.  An Architect will review the materials relating to the selected project at least a week before the scheduled interview date:*

Business Case - Describe the customer situation/problem, project goals and solution that was delivered, this can include:

  • How the project or operations benefit the businesses strategy. 
  • Project and/or release time scales.
  • The project risks.
  • The project’s limitations.

Business Impact – This should describe how many people were impacted by the application (should be more than one, preferably LOB users) and in what way. 

  • Expected return on investment (ROI) over time from the businesses perspective.
  • Future extensions or add-ons to the solution.

Project Responsibilities - Provide an overview of your role and responsibilities as it relates to the project. This should include how many people were on your team. How you managed the client’s expectations from a technical and release perspective. 

  • Make up and structure of the delivery team.
  • Daily responsibilities.
  • Development Approach used.
  • Risk mitigation strategies employed with specific examples.

User Experience - Provide an overview of the user experience and how the user experience has been tailored for this client and application. It should cover how users interact with the system, and what considerations you took in relation to accessibility. How did you clarify the design with the client as part of the development approach. Please submit any diagrams, wireframes and/or screenshots that will illustrate how the user interacts with the system.

Design Artifacts (that can be provided with customer consent) that provide a sufficient overview of the solution. This may include, but not limited to:

  • Diagrams/screenshots of the solution.
  • Architecture and design document of the solution.
  • Process model documentation (if available) or screenshots.
  • Areas of special interest, e.g. where specific workarounds had to be used, or where a departure from best practices was necessary.
  • Reusable components utilized as part of the solution.
  • ERD and any accompanying materials, explanations

Integration to other systems with details of system/integration design

  • What systems were integrated into the solution.
  • Diagrams of the integration architecture.
  • Directionality of the integrations.
  • Authentication methods.
  • Any complications encountered.

Testing Practices - Provide an overview of what testing practices were put in place in order to decrease risks and increase quality of the application. This can include functional and non functional testing.

Devops - Provide details on how you used code management, deployments and change control practices  to reduce development to production risks while ensuring and managing quality. 

Health Check Results - Please explain how the health check results have been used  in the continuous improvement of the application. If Health Check has not been used please explain why and provide other metrics showing how continuous improvement has incorporated and measured in your project.

*In situations where an NDA prevents sharing design materials via email, candidates can request a longer interview slot to review all the documents live with the Architect.  Projects whose NDAs completely prohibit the viewing of design materials cannot be used in the interview.  Applicants will need to select another project in this case.

Grading Criteria & Assumptions

Participants must complete and pass Part 1 of the exam before continuing to Part 2. If you do not pass Part 1, you will not be prompted to schedule an interview for Part 2.

The application you choose to submit for the Part 2 should consist of a majority (but not necessarily all) of the following technical elements:

  1. Authentication Integration: SSO or LDAP
  2. Multi-layered Authorization: At least one secondary layer of authorization within a process or where authorization is used to limit access to various areas of an application. 
  3. Integrations - Examples:
    1. Smart service
    2. API
    3. VPN
    4. HTTPS
  4. Reusability of application components: Examples can be Process models,  interface components (build once, use many times).
  5. Data encryption: Either DB or field level encryption. 
  6. Entity and/vs Expression back: Example(s) of both entity and expression backed records and why/when to choose one or the other. 
  7. Concurrent user parameter: Examples of case locking 

The application needs to be of a sufficient size and complexity to showcase your advanced Appian skills. Demos, proof of concepts, and project duplications will not be accepted as part of the Architect Interview. Multiple small applications may be considered. The applications must showcase your advanced Appian development skills as well as the governance items detailed above. Each element will be reviewed during the interview. To ensure eligibility, submit requested materials as early as possible.

The exam will be graded and a final score provided as soon as possible.

A grade of 70% or greater is needed on both the portions of the exam (written test and interview) to be awarded the Level 3 Credential.

Appian cannot share the correct answers nor provide any additional feedback. If the applicant fails, he or she is free to sign-up and retake the exam but must pay the exam fee again and wait 30 days.

The awarded credential is valid for 18 months.

*Appian is extending a grace period to all credentials set to expire between Nov 1, 2020 and Aug 31, 2021. These will remain valid until Aug 31, 2021, giving developers the opportunity to renew on new exams set to be released May 2021. These exams will be built following industry best practices for high quality and relevant exams. In addition they will be administered in proctored sessions to protect the integrity of the certification. 

Topics Included in Examination

Application Concepts

Appian Object Design

Appian and Agile terminology

Designer Interfaces

Application and Object-Level Security

Application Deployment Best Practices

Administrative Functions

Document Management

Application Usability Best Practices

Advanced Interface and Process Management

Advanced Data Structures

Integration Objects

Appian Playbook

You can learn more about these and other topics by visiting the Appian Documentation.