After 60 something hours of coursework and an exam, I recently became a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer and I’d like to share what this involved and how I succeeded.
To earn your certification you’ll need to enroll at Xamarin University, Xamarin's online training service. XU offers education in mobile cross platform development as well as C#, Azure, Testing, and more! To become a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer there is a set of required classes (these change over time). Most classes are “live” meaning you must sign up and attend online, but a few are offered as "Self-Guided Learning" (SGL). As part of the classes you will participate in labs as a group and individually, and you’ll respond to the instructors when they give flash quizzes. Additional materials are provided for most classes such as the slides presented, recorded videos, and FAQs. The videos and SGL courses are especially useful if you need to review a topic or had trouble getting something to work. As I went through the courses I made sure to take notes, especially on “gotchas”.
Required courses start with Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android (Xamarin Classic), but mainly focus on cross-platform mobile development with Xamarin.Forms. If you have previous experience in these areas, you can take a 50 question / 1 hour Introductory Assessment Exam to skip the 5 intro classes. A Mac is required to compile Xamarin.iOS to native code, as well as to use the iOS Designer.
I found instructors were always willing to answer questions when asked during the live classes or spend time helping a student at the end of a class. Office hours are provided to meet with an instructor and ask questions or get help outside of classes.
When you’ve taken at least 85% of the classes required for certification, you’ll need to have a one-on-one with an instructor. This is a great chance to get some additional advice for the exam and share any feedback on your experience. I met with Adrian Stevens who is the Curriculum Manager and his biggest piece of advice was to build an app using all the concepts taught to get a true understanding of them and commit them to memory.
Once I had completed all the 20 required courses and my one-on-one, I reviewed the slides for each class, taking notes and reviewing my previous class notes. I also reviewed the code from the labs on areas where I had little experience to make sure I understood how everything worked. Finally, I reviewed the study guide and the documentation to which it refers as the exam contains content beyond the classes. I then took the exam which has a 150 questions and 3 hour time limit with a minimum score of 80% to pass. You are allowed to retake the exam up to three times, which removes some of the pressure. Luckily I was able to finish the exam on my first try (studying pays off!).
Xamarin University and the certification process provide the tools and foundation to build well architected and efficient mobile applications. It is a fantastic way to learn mobile development quickly and thoroughly, gaining an understanding of Xamarin as well as the underlying platforms.
Once certified, you are eligible for the Xamarin Certified Developers group on LinkedIn with over 1200 other certified developers. The certification lasts for one year and can currently be renewed by taking 6 renewal-qualifying classes. After certification, you also receive a really cool plaque!
TL;DR – Enroll in Xamarin University, complete (20) required classes and a 1:1, take exam, become certified (get cool plaque), and build awesome apps!
For detailed Xamarin Certification requirements, see the official page.
Check out the mobile apps Skyline has built for Mile of Music and BCycle. If you are interested in learning more about how Skyline can jump start your mobile development efforts or if you would like to learn more about Xamarin, please visit our website or call 920-437-1360.