Celebrating the first Elastic Certified Engineer

We recently launched our first Elastic professional certification — Elastic Certified Engineer. It’s a rigorous, performance-based exam that challenges people on a full range of Elasticsearch skills across operations, development, and more. We were excited to launch the exam, but even more excited when we had our first Elastic Certified Engineers — Hiroshi Yoshioka from Acroquest Technology (and his colleague Shin Higuchi — the fourth person certified). So to celebrate this accomplishment, we recently caught up with Hiro to talk with him about the certification, his experience preparing for the exam, and how being an Elastic Certified Engineer means more than just a badge on LinkedIn or sticker for your laptop.

Note: The following has been adapted from the original Japanese interview.


Hiroshi Yoshioka (left) and Shin Higuchi

Congratulations, Hiro! How did you feel when you heard you were the first Elastic Certified Engineer in the world?

Hiro: I was so excited and I felt so proud! Becoming an Elastic Certified Engineer means a lot to me. It shows that Elastic sees me as an Elasticsearch expert — with the elite skills to provide appropriate solutions across a wide variety of use cases.

Am I really the first one in the world to get the certification? That’s really exciting and hard to believe!

Tell us a little about Acroquest and your primary role at the company.

Hiro: I’m a Senior Consultant, Data Analytics engineer at Acroquest. Much of my daily role is architecting the Elastic Stack deployment, building Kibana dashboards, designing the machine learning jobs, and setting up alerts for my clients.

Acroquest is a solution integrator that delivers big data visualization and analytics consulting services covering electric power, mobile technology, automobile, and other industries. We have been addressing the needs of these industries and implementing solutions for them by utilizing the scalability and the real-time analytics capability of the Elastic Stack as our platform.

Why did you decide to get officially certified in Elasticsearch?

Hiro: It’s an important factor giving a feeling of security to customers considering using Elasticsearch. My mission is to deliver the best Elastic solution to customers who expect big data analysis/visualization. There are many engineers who are using Elastic, but not all of them can solve customer issues with the best combination of Elastic functionality. Being an Elastic Certified Engineer means I’m an Elastic expert who has enough skill to be able to give the best solutions.

Now that I’m certified, I look forward to our customers knowing they chose the best solution provider. And hopefully they will decide to use Elastic much more!

How did you prepare for the certification exam?

Hiro: When I started the process I thought I was already an Elasticsearch expert. I had learned from Elastic webinars and by using the documentation as a reference. First, I learned visualizations with Kibana, then data processing and inputs with Logstash. After that, I expanded my vision to Elasticsearch, eventually moving onto functions such as search, aggregation, Watcher, and machine learning.

But once I took the Elasticsearch Engineer I and II training courses, I realized that I had much more to learn. The training courses gave me many hints for understanding certain fundamentals I was lacking. We were taught these courses by Jun Ohtani, one of Elastic’s Community Engineers, who has extensive experience in the search industry. We were fortunate to learn practical and relevant skills from him in order to help prepare for the exam. After the training, I spent more time reading the official documentation to review Elasticsearch functions such as index and cluster management, search, and aggregation.

What was the exam like?

Hiro: The exam was not an examination of knowledge, but of how well you can implement Elasticsearch as a solution. There is a use case, and then you are asked if you can solve the problem by combining the different functions of Elasticsearch. It is a very practical exam, and its contents can be utilized to solve real user needs.

Additionally, the monitoring via web camera while under examination was more severe than expected! The test proctor paid attention to slight movement of eyes and mouth. I felt it was evaluated quite strictly!

Would you recommend other engineers who work with Elastic take the exam?

Hiro: Certainly! Fearlessly leveraging the power of Elasticsearch is a mandatory skill in the modern IT industry. Engineers who have such fundamental skills will be welcomed and valuable in many industries. I am the first certified engineer in Acroquest, but my colleague, Shin, also recently achieved his Elastic Certified Engineer credential. Some other engineers are following in our footsteps and taking the exam, too. I hope we can encourage other Elasticsearch engineers to take the certification exam, whether they are from Japan or other countries around the world.

Speaking of fearless, you signed up for the exam only two days after it became available!

Hiro: I had been thinking of attempting this certification since I heard the announcement at Elastic{ON} 2018 — so those were four long months of waiting! When I was notified of the opening of the examination, I enrolled immediately. It’s a rare experience in my life that I’m excited to take an exam.

Yes, you were asking us when to start quite often. To wrap up, what advice would you give to someone that wants to become an Elastic Certified Engineer?

Hiro: You should know that the Elastic Certified Engineer exam isn't just a vendor certification, but real problem solving simulation. While preparing, study the many different use cases that Elasticsearch covers to get a deeper understanding. It will help both the exam and your daily business.

I believe this certification leads everyone to acquire further skills. I hope many people are up to challenge.

We thank Hiro and Shin for inspiring us and other Elasticsearch experts with their journey and excitement for the certification program. The number of use cases our customers address is constantly growing and we continue to enjoy helping support your success. To see the specifics and start your own journey to becoming an Elastic Certified Engineer, visit our Certification page.