In this blog, our colleague Alona will give you advice on how to solve the first Pega challenges on your journey to becoming a Pega Specialist. Curious to find out more about Alona and her career as Pega Specialist? Then check out the rest of her series, “The unexpected journey of a Lead System Architect”, in which Alona tells you about her journey to becoming a Pega Lead System Architect. 

“You can’t use an old map to explore a new world”

Albert Einstein

Have you ever wondered about the impact of maps on our lives? An app on your phone helps you navigate in new cities you travel to, as well as unfamiliar parts of the city you are living in. Basically, maps represent information about the world in a simple and visual way. Nowadays, we take them for granted, but maps make our life so much easier. Just as with these maps, there are things you can do to make your Pega journey more efficient and fun.

Finding a mentor

The first thing you need to do when you start your Pega journey is to find a mentor. I still remember the first day I started to discover Pega. I had my personal Pega account set up and access to Pega academy. Therefore, I was convinced that I was very well-equipped to become a professional. It was only two months later that I found out that I was wrong.

I joined a Pega project and got my first task to fix a bug related to the label fix. At the time, I had already eight years of experience in software development as a Microsoft .NET and Sharepoint Developer. Additionally, I had completed the Pega System Architect course. However, despite my confidence in my skills and knowledge, I had difficulties solving this bug on my own. Luckily, I was part of a team with wonderful teammates, with whom we were running pair programming sessions. The support from my teammates during these sessions helped a lot in learning how to approach Pega development tasks.

In sum, my numerous interactions with Pega-minded people have learned me one thing. The most effective way of getting familiar with Pega is through the guidance of a more experienced Pega Specialist. So, find yourself a more experienced Pega Specialist to be your mentor during your own journey to discover Pega. In one of the following articles, I will talk more about the benefits of such an approach and how we do it at BPM Company.

Learning to navigate around Pega Dev Studio

While a mentor in new endeavors can make your journey more smooth and more efficient, it is essential to do your homework if you want to maximize the effect. Every beginning Pega Specialist learns that a Pega application consists of rules. These rules could then be a number of things, for example, a class, property, or section. Another thing that you learn is that every rule type has its place in the application.

So, this brings me to my second piece of advice: start building a mind map of the rule types and places where you can find them. Such a mind map will make your daily work much easier, as it will help you navigate around Pega Dev Studio. Creating this mind map also has a nice side effect: you get a better understanding of Pega, therefore making you grow faster as a Pega Specialist.

Creating your Pega glossary

Pega contains terms just like any other software development language. Some of these terms are specific to Pega, such as “rule” or “situational layer cake”. Other terms mean the same in Pega as in other software development languages, for example, “class”. However, despite these similarities, it is important to know what you are talking about. For example, even though the core idea of a class in Pega doesn’t differ from other software development languages, the implementation has its differences. So, depending on where you are in your career, it is essential to (re-)define these terms so that they are applicable to Pega.

One way you could do this is by creating a Pega glossary. This small exercise will significantly increase your understanding of Pega and its terms, which will help you communicate better with your teammates. It will enable you to convey any message to any person in your team, regardless of their role. Therefore, creating a Pega glossary is a powerful tool for making your Pega journey more efficient and fun.

The three steps to solving your first Pega problem

Solving your first Pega challenges

In conclusion, there are three things you need to pay attention to during the first steps of your Pega journey:

  • Find a more experienced Pega Specialist to be your mentor
  • Learn to navigate Pega Dev Studio
  • Create a Pega glossary

Doing this will help you solve the first Pega challenges you will encounter on your journey to becoming a Pega Specialist. So, take this advice to heart and enjoy your Pega journey.

Lastly, I would also like to emphasize that, it is not only about technical skills. Next month, I will tell you about the five things you need to start doing immediately to secure your future as a Pega Specialist. Don’t want to miss any blogs? Sign up for the newsletter and never miss a blog again. See you next month!

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