Python Coding Specialist (PCS) is the new frontier of programming certification!

The PCS is a globally-recognized industry certification on Python programming, which grants coding specialists, software developers, and IT professionals the ability to assess their knowledge and get credentials for their programming skills.

The unique peculiarity of the PCS Certification is the assessment modality, which consists of a real live coding environment, offers candidates the ability to write proper code to perform tasks-based questions. This technology is called LITA (Live in the Application) and Knowledge Pillars is one of the very few organizations able to provide with this very advanced assessment solution.

PCS is part of a larger set of certifications’ level, which will all go live in the next few months.

  • PCE – The highest level of expertise for the Python Coding Certification. Candidates must have at least 2 years’ programming experience to pass this exam.
  • PCS – The intermediate level of the Certification. Students taking this exam have generally a very basic understanding of coding with Python and are generally at the very beginning of their development career or are still at colleges.
  • PCP – The very basic and entry level module of the Certification. Candidates taking this exam have very little or no experience on programming and are generally students at school.

What is Python?

Python is an interpreted, high-level, object-oriented general purpose programming language. It’s one of the most popular programming languages on the planet, adopted by and adapted for every sector and industry – from finance, to medicine, to gaming.

Since its creation, Python has grown exponentially; nowadays, it has become the most used coding language by far.

Nowadays Python ranks 1st in the PYPL Index Popularity Rate.

More about Python

First and foremost reason why Python is much popular because it is highly productive as compared to other programming languages like C++ and Java. It is much more concise and expressive language and requires less time, effort, and lines of code to perform the same operations.

The Python features like one-liners and dynamic type system allow developers to write very fewer lines of code for tasks that require more lines of code in other languages. This makes Python very easy-to-learn programming language even for beginners and newbies. For instance, Python programs are slower than Java, but they also take very less time to develop, as Python codes are 3 to 5 times shorter than Java codes.

Python is also very famous for its simple programming syntax, code readability and English-like commands that make coding in Python lot easier and efficient.

We can see something written in Python every day and almost everywhere.

It’s used extensively to implement complex Internet services like search engines, cloud storage and tools, social media and so on. 

Many developing tools are implemented in Python.

Lots of IT project testers have started using Python to carry out repeatable test procedures. 

Python is often used for:

  • Web and Internet development 
  • Scientific and numeric computing 
  • Desktop GUIs
  • Software Development 
  • Business applications
  • Games
  • Websites services

According to Indeed, the average Python programmer salary in the US in 2020 is $120,365 per year. New York, California and Washington DC are the top 3 best-paid states for Python developers.

Python developers are in high demand – not only because the language is so popular and widely used but mostly due to the fact that Python became a solution in many different areas.

A simple job research on Indeed shows that there are over 20,000 published job adverts per week looking for Python Programmers.

Recent studies show this demand will keep growing.

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about pcs certification

Candidates are expected to demonstrate a firm background at developing and debugging simple programs using Python.
Prior to taking the exam, a candidate is expected to have approximately 150 hours of hands-on experience or lectures on developing using Python.

The elevated level of preparation required is derived by the industry-standard level of the exam and the fact that this certification reflects the candidate’s readiness to enter the job market. Moreover, this Certification is used as a job placement index by recruiting managers, for the correct placement of a job seeker.
Knowledge Pillars PCS use a task-based format in order to ensure the validity of the results.
To optimize the examination experience for the Candidate, Knowledge Pillars has taken certain steps to utilize real Python environment during the examination, as well as to ensure stable experience for the examinées.
The exam is provided both in Testing Centers, or remotely, via the remote proctoring system.

Objective Domains

1.    Python Basic Concepts

  • Fundamental Concepts
    • What is Python and what is the differences between interpreter and compiler?
  • Python Structure
    • Python Syntax and semantics and the importance of indentation and casing. Python keywords and the use of numeral systems and scientific notation
  • Comments
    • Insert inline and multi-line comments

2.    Variables and Operators

  • Variable data types
    • Define, use and recognize various types of variables (integer, float, string). Store User Input in a variable and recognize the different scopes of a variable. Type Casting and Type Conversion
  • Using Operators in Expressions
    • Use Arithmetic, String, Bitwise and Relational Operators and identify their order of precedence

3.    Using Conditional Statements

  • Logical Operators
    • Use Logical Operators in Expressions and identify their order of precedence
  • If statements
    • Using single or nested if, …else and …elif… conditional statement

4.    Using Loops

  • The for… Loop
    • Using a for… Loop and the range function
  • The while… Loop
    • Using a while… loop
  • Controlling loops
    • Nesting, expanding, breaking and continuing loops. Avoiding infinite loops

5.    Create and use Functions and Generators

  • Create a function
    • Define a function and generator and add documentation to it. Pass parameters inside a function and return values
  • Use a function
    • Calling a function with or without default values. Use basic, recursive and lambda functions

6.    Python Data Structures

  • Lists
    • Define, nest, enumerate Lists and add remove or use elements from them and use their methods. Use slices
  • Strings
    • Use Strings as lists along with basic string functions
  • Tuples
    • Define and enumerate Tuples, use their elements and methods and recognize similarities and differences of them with Lists
  • Sets
    • Define, nest, enumerate Sets and add remove or use elements from them and use their methods
  • Dictionaries
    • Define, nest, enumerate Dictionaries and add remove or use elements from them and use their methods.

7.    Using Modules and packages

  • Use Modules
    • Import, initialize, write and document modules. Hide entities in a module
  • Use Packages
    • Create and distribute packages. Python Hashbangs

8.    Classes, Objects and OOP

  • Classes, Objects
    • Define your classes/objects, superclasses and subclasses. Define, add and remove class attributes, methods and variables
  • Fundamentals of OOP
    • Use single and multiple inheritance or override it. Use functions to get information on objects/classes

9.    Respond to Events and Exceptions

  • Events and hooks
    • Using hooks on Events and their libraries
  • Errors and Exceptions
    • Common errors and how to handle them via the exception object

10.  I/O operations using Python

  • Use Python to read and write files
    • Open, read, stream and write files. Understand the difference between text and binary files

The minimum system requirements are:

  • Operating system: Windows 7/8/10 OS, MacOS X 10.0x or newer, Linux OS
  • Minimum RAM: 1GB or more depending on the Operating System
  • Minimum processor: 1.0 Ghz or more depending on the operating system and the architecture
  • A color monitor with minimum display resolution: 1366px by 768px
  • Access to the internet
  • One of the following browsers installed (according to wordpress.org):
    • Last 2 Chrome or Firefox or Safari or Edge or Opera versions.
    • Internet Explorer >= 11
  • Whitelist the domains *.????.??? and *.?????.???
  • Full access through ports 80 (http), 443 (https)
  • Http redirects permitted
  • Automatic updates, notifications, other popup windows and anything that can disrupt the examination process should be disabled

Number of questions: 35

Time limit: 45 minutes

Passing score: 75%

Format: Linear and In-App 

The examination procedure

  1. Each student will have his/her own Python installation (depending on the test they are taking).
  2. The students will have to answer all the question within the given timeframe.
  3. They are free to ignore as many questions as they want. They will have the option to answer the ignored questions at the end of the test (within the 45 minutes timeframe).
  4. All unanswered questions will be marked as incorrect.
  5. When the test finishes the result of the examination is sent to KP’s server for storing.
  6. If the examinées enter their credential again, they will be able to see the results for each of their vouchers.

 

how to take a pcs exam

Coming Soon: Please note the PCS Certification will be available by end of October 2020.

If you’re ready to get Python certified, all you need to do is follow the steps below:

  • register on Knowledge Pillars and create your account,
  • buy your exam voucher from the Knowledge Pillars webshop,
  • we will send you next steps instructions on how and where to take the exam.

Once you have passed your Python exam, you will get a confirmation email from Knowledge Pillars notifying you of when you will get your digital transcript and paper certificate. 

Please check further on our Exam Policies. 

IMPORTANT: KP Certifications are also available through remote proctoring, to allow all our candidates to take exams in safety, during the COVID-19 emergency. Please contact our support for more information: support@knowledge-pillars.com