So finally on 9th of June 2017, I became a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer. So here’s my experience of the whole Xamarin University, Certification Exam, and some tips and tricks that might help you! 🙂
Well I’ve been using Xamarin Platform for over 2 and half years now, but I never really thought of getting the official Xamarin Certification until recently my boss encouraged me to and financially supported it.
Down the memory lane of my Mobile Development enthusiasm…
So here’s a little sharing of memories down the memory lane and some tips for getting the Xamarin Certification.
I first started off developing mobile apps on Android platform, given my love for Java programming back in the early days. So I self learned Android App Development back in the middle of 1st year of my college using online tutorials and documentation.
Then at the end of 1st year, I was introduced to Windows Phone App development, which I got completely hooked on it, and then Windows Store App Development and so on, where I ended up publishing over 20+ apps to the Microsoft App Store during the next few years.
Next lucky enough I got a mobile developer opportunity at a medium size local company where it was for Xamarin Mobile Development back in 2014 December. 😀
Learning the whole Xamarin Platform by myself, I ended up completing a full fledged mobile app for that project in that company using Xamarin Forms.
Finally in 2015 December, got an overseas opportunity in Singapore for a Xamarin Mobile Developer position, which is where I ended up mastering the Xamarin Platform, Xamarin Android/iOS native development, hacking to push boundaries of the platform and so on and finally living my dream of being a Mobile App Developer. 😀
And that is where I’m currently working at June 2017, enjoying everyday of it while diving in the goodness of Xamarin Mobile Development. 😉
Xamarin University Training and Certification Preparation…
I was lucky enough my company sponsored me for Xamarin University Subscription. Otherwise its about 1000 USD for 1 year subscription or there a new monthly subscription plan with a very reasonable pricing.
Once you have the subscription you get full access for all the incredible learning materials and live lecture sessions in Xamarin University.
Is it worth it?
Now although at this point I already had like 2 years of Xamarin Mobile developement experience, I must admit that I learned way more and strengthened my knowledge on Xamarin top to bottom thanks to Xamarin University. So if you ask me if it’s worth it? at least for the Knowledge? DEFINITELY YES!
There’s a mandatory list of sessions that you have to complete before taking the exam, you could completely them either by attending the live lecture sessions or taking self-learn sessions (if available). Yes, some of those mandatory sessions doesn’t have the ‘self-learn’ option yet, so you have to attend to a live lecture session and get your attendance marked for it. 🙂
Mark my words, the instructors in Xamarin University are top-notch, and industry experts with a lot of knowledge and experience, there’s no doubt about them. You can ask anything from them regarding the session, even while the session is going on, they are very helpful and friendly, not to mention their great teaching skills. 🙂
Memorizing vs Understanding!
Do not MEMORIZE! just UNDERSTAND the content! The sessions are structured in a way that it helps you to actually understand the content with step by step exercises. I’ve never taken a single note on any of the sessions, nor tried to memorize stuff(although I’m not very good at it either), just followed through sessions and focused well during them. That’s all it takes!
You can take any live lecture session as many times as you wish, until you feel comfortable with the topic. There’s also many extra sessions you could attend to improve your knowledge in Azure, UI Test, Xamarin Android, Xamarin iOS. It’s good to keep in mind that the exam mandatory sessions are mainly about Xamarin Forms cross platform related topics, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t have much in-depth knowledge about native mobile development. 🙂
They also provide you a Study-Guide check-list to go through to make sure you’re prepared for what’s actually required: https://university.xamarin.com/content/certification#study-guide
Once you’ve completed the mandatory sessions, then you become eligible to sit for the certification exam!
So the Certificate Exam is a 3 hours, MCQ exam (Multiple Choice Question) which has 150 questions, and you should score over 80% in order to pass the exam.
The questions scope…
The questions are going to be completely based on the mandatory sessions in Xamarin University. Heavily focused on the Xamarin.Forms cross platform related topics. Personally I did not get any questions that are out of the scope.
So how were the questions…
If you’ve got a solid knowledge on the mandatory sessions, then you have nothing to worry about. Not keep this in mind, about 40% of the questions are straight and easy, but the rest are not going to be hard, but tricky, meaning it’s going to be little bit twisted, so you need to pay good attention to the details in each question before you pick the answer. 😉
Understand the content in the sessions, not memorize!
Basically you won’t be able to make it through the exam if you’re just trying to ‘memorize’ everything in your head, you need to have a ‘good understanding’ of the session content, in order to answer the tricky 60% of the questions.
After the exam?
Once you finish the exam, you get the results immediately. 😉 Then its time to PARRTTAAYYY!!! 😀
Xamarin University and Certification benefits!
First of all the incredible amount of knowledge and experience you gain in the whole process of Xamairn University and the Certification is priceless.
Not to mention the global recognition as Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer, having the official certificate directly validates you as someone who actually knows your way around Xamarin-stuff. Although it does not prove you as an ‘expert’, which is totally dependent on your personal industry experience.
Access to Xamarin DevConnect portal, to showcase your portfolio and connect with fellow developers.
There are few other awesome benefits you get according to Xamarin official site as follows. Certification is valid for 1 year from the date you have passed the exam. Certifications can be verified on our public Xamarin Certified Developers page.
Receive a badge, fun Xamarin swag, and an invitation to join the official Xamarin Certified Developers community on LinkedIn.
Cool, so what do I get to show off?
Except for the massive amount of knowledge and experience I gained from the Xamarin University Sessions and Training, here are some other show-off stuff I got after being certified.
So brace yourselves for some self promotional bragging! 😛
Xamarin Certified Developer Verification Online:
You get a link that can be shared online for the verification of your Certification status. This is the source you could include in your LinkedIn or personal portfolio for the verification.
Xamarin University Profile Badge:
Once you get the certification, your Xamarin University profile gets updated as such.
Xamarin Certified Developer Certification (soft copy):
You actually get a PDF version of your certification (here is a screenshot of it).
Bunch of Xamarin Certified Developer badge Images (HD):
Then you get a whole bunch of Certified Mobile Developer badges in low, mid and high resolution for you to share on any of your websites or portfolios. 🙂
Xamarin DevConnect Profile:
You get access to Xamarin DevConnect, the official Xamarin Certified Developer portal from Xamarin, where you can publish your portfolio, connect with fellow certified developers from all over the world, and open up yourself for new opportunities.
Well that’s it all I got for now… 😀
Although some claim that you get kind of a Xamarin souvenir trophy and a goodie bag by mail, but I’m yet to get any of that. lol. *fingers cross* 😛
So If anyone needs any help or clarifications regarding Xamarin Certification, I’m more than happy to help, drop me a mail or comment down in the post. 🙂
Good luck everyone with your Xamarin Certification! 🙂