ArcGIS Desktop Developer Associate 10.2

Esri Certified ArcGIS Desktop Developer Associates are familiar with ArcGIS for Desktop application development. The candidate is a developer who is sufficiently familiar with ArcGIS technologies to use, configure, and deploy the software and build desktop GIS applications.

This certification is targeted for ArcGIS Desktop Developers who have a good context for ArcGIS for Desktop application development through familiarity with ArcGIS end-user tasks such as data analysis, data editing, data creation and data quality, map visualization, and map output.


A qualified candidate for the Esri Desktop Developer Associate Certification is familiar with ArcGIS concepts related to the development of applications such as the application development lifecycle, object-oriented programming, as well as application documentation, maintenance, and support. They are capable of carrying out tasks as assigned by others on a team and have working knowledge of concepts and processes including, but not limited to, ArcGIS for Desktop framework and development platform, ArcObjects, geodatabase, data formats and storage, build custom components, coordinate systems, modeling/Python scripting, and troubleshooting.

A qualified candidate should be able to:

  • Create and modify data programmatically
  • Create custom tools and commands and add-ins
  • Manipulate map documents, local and online content using ArcObjects and Python
  • Perform geoprocessing tasks using Python
  • Create and deploy Runtime or Engine applications

The following list of skills measured is provided to familiarize candidates with topics covered on the exam and to help guide exam preparation. We recommend candidates review this list and assess their knowledge of each skill. Specific preparation resources are available to assist with refreshing in areas where any knowledge gaps are found.

Show/Hide All Skills
Apply ArcGIS Concepts
  • Differentiate between geographic and projected coordinate systems
  • Explain properties of coordinate systems, including units, domains, origins, precision, etc.
  • Describe the impact of using multiple coordinate systems in the same map
  • Identify the ArcGIS spatial operations and proximity operations
  • Identify the ArcGIS geometry types and spatial relationships
Work with Data
  • Identify what types of services are available on ArcGIS Online
  • Given a data sample, determine the appropriate where clause to retrieve a specific result
  • Given a cursor related memory error, determine the most likely cause
  • Given a scenario, determine the implications of using the recycling property of cursors
  • Given an error involving creating and saving a feature, analyze and resolve the problem
  • Describe how join and data properties affect the result of a join
  • Given a scenario, choose an appropriate approach to link multiple datasets
  • Explain techniques for maximizing performance when accessing and managing data
  • Identify common data source formats and applications
  • Describe the relationship between dataset types and workspaces
  • Determine the most appropriate workspace type to meet a set of requirements
  • Describe the differences between operations on selections
  • Distinguish between spatial and non-spatial selections
  • Compare and contrast results that can be performed on selections
Geoprocessing
  • Explain the elements that comprise the geoprocessing framework
  • Explain how to set geoprocessing environments
  • Resolve problems related to setting geoprocessing environments
  • Explain how to use geoprocessing to perform analysis, data management, and automation
  • Explain how to build a basic geoprocessing tool using Python
Work with Mapping and Visualization
  • Identify the items that make up a map document
  • Differentiate between a basemap layer and an operational layer
  • Explain how to create, manipulate, or access layers programmatically
  • Explain how to manipulate page layout elements
  • Explain how to use ArcMap to author and share a map document
  • Describe the different map layer types and their uses
  • Identify and resolve problems with slow map performance
  • Determine when it is appropriate to use labels or annotations
  • Identify properties to be set programmatically to convert labels to annotations
  • Describe how to create a custom onscreen drawing tool using rubber band methods
  • Describe advantages and disadvantages of custom layers
  • List the requirements for persisting custom objects to the map document
  • Choose the appropriate interfaces needed to implement a custom layer
  • Determine which Python modules are required to complete a task
  • Differentiate between map and screen coordinates
  • Differentiate between the uses of partial and full refresh
Application framework
  • Describe how to intialize, license, and deploy a desktop or a Runtime application
  • Describe how to programmatically customize the application using an IDE
  • Given a requirement, determine the appropriate architecture required to build a dockable window
  • Describe the benefits of implementing a custom extension
  • Evaluate available interfaces and determine the most appropriate ones to use to build a required custom extension
  • Explain the impact of the load cycle on the behavior of a custom extension
  • Determine which command or tool is appropriate for a given set of situations
  • Given a scenario implementing a tool, determine which tool methods are appropriate
  • Determine where appropriate logic should be placed to optimize performance while implementing different methods and properties
  • Given a list of tasks, choose which can be accomplished using Python
  • Describe editing workflows and when to use them
  • Describe the purpose of edit events and when to use them
  • Identify the minimum license level or extension license required to complete the task of a given scenario

The following resources are available to help you prepare for your exam, but are not required. Please utilize this list of preparation resources with the list of skills measured topics to identify appropriate training options for possible knowledge gaps found.

Please note that completing the recommended training courses does not guarantee you will achieve the requirements for a specific Certification exam.

Preparation resources [PDF]

You may also search the ArcGIS Resource Center for additional materials.

Register for an exam

Exam time limit: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Number of questions: 95
Certification code: EDDA102
Exam type: Multiple choice, multiple select
Published: April 2014
Level of change from previous version: Moderate
View information about this exam for ArcGIS 10.1.

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