So I registered for the CLD (Certified LabVIEW Developer) exam on 5th August. I knew LabVIEW when I started my Ph.D in November 2007 and have been using it for 3 years. I had been “learning” LabVIEW for 2 years. In the 3rd year I was more of using it instead of learning more things. Since it is said that the CLD is suitable for users with experience of “a year and a half”, I think it is fair for me to take the exam.
There are 4 exam samples online (link) and they are said to be very similar to the actual exam. Also Darren’s note on CLD is very helpful (link). So my plan is taking the examples as the real exam and finding the knowledge I’m not aware of. One exam lasts 4 hours and I have to use one weekend to finish one. So the examples have to be finished before end of June (5 weeks to go).
I took the “ATM machine” examle last week and failed to finish it in time. I think that might be the most difficult one among the 4 (or not?). Anyway, fortunetly there is still time to fix that problem.
Here are what I have learned from the examples, and I will add more thoughts as the practice goes on. Hope this can be helpful:
1. We do not need to install any module beside LabVIEW to take the exam. It tests your coding ability instead of your module experience.
2. The logic of the exam is very complicated.
3. For me, the exam could be finished if more time (maybe 2 more hours) was given. Thus the challenge is how to finish it in the limited time. You cannot do that without good practice.
4. Use state machine, as stated in the exam. And I found the queue operation is not necessary in these 4 exam samples.
5. The project manager is not neccessary for there won’t be many versions of your code.
6. Folders named “SubVI” and “Control” are useful. Put the Top_level.vi in the top folder.
7. There could be file read/write operation, and thus we need to master how to manipulate the file path and text-related functions.
8. Draw the states clearly before coding, which saves you a lot of time later (Or, do not code before the logic of states is clear).
9. Because of 8, pens of different colours are very helpful (but is it allowed to bring our own pens?).
10. Set the preference of block diagram a ‘comfortable’ way. E.g. untick Display terminals as icons; untick Show dots at joints; untick Auto wiring; tick Default SubVI terminal as required.
11. Quick drop saves you time.
12. Save the code frequently in case of unknown situations.
13. If you cannot finish the code, create all SubVIs only with front panels. At least the program could be ran (with some missing functions).
14. Knowledge of timed loop and control reference are necessary (Update: I added an example in this post).
I will carry on the exam simulation this weekend and my timeline is: finish the state diagram within 1 hour; Create the structure and SubVIs with only terminals and descriptions in 1 hour; try to finish all the functions in 2 hours.
Good luck to me.
Update: Related post Preparing for LabVIEW CLD exam (2)