I did it!
After years of thinking about it, after months of actually taking the courses, and after a month of re-taking the courses and days of study, I can now proudly say that I passed my certification exam. I am now a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer.
For anyone interested in the process
The self guided classes are great, but the real value of Xamarin university is with the live instructors. All of them were amazing and really wanted to ensure that the students in their classes understood the material. There is a lot of material to understand, and some of the topics were quite complex for me (especially renders, and effects). Be sure to ask questions if you have any. The instructors are very knowledgeable and they were able to answer any question that was posed to them. They were also able to provide great resources for additional information.
Re-taking Archived Classes
Although the instructors were great, I did end up re-taking all of the classes. Aside from the self guided courses, there are also archived video lectures (normally longer, with much more explanation). I went through all of them. It was a few months since I took some of the courses, so there was a bunch of things that I completely forgot. Having the ability to refresh my knowledge by taking the archived courses was critical for me to pass the exam.
After I finished re-taking the last two classes (Effects, Renderers) I decided to take the plunge into the exam. I spent all of the day infront of my computer neglecting my wife, daughter, and mother to focus on the task at hand. Getting this exam done has been a looming cloud. I didn’t feel quite ready but I said “What the heck, lets give it a shot”. It’s open book, so I had the exam on one of my computer screens and everything else (code, slides, google) on my other screen. It was grueling. It took me practically the full 3 hours. There were 150 questions and they covered absolutely everything, and an 80% (120/150) is needed to pass. I was sure that I failed, but when I hit the submit button I found (to my utter shock) that I did pass!!
How to prepare
- Take all of the classes
- Re-Take all of the classes
- Including re-doing all of the assignments
- Read through the slides
- And practice, if you can
All the best and happy Xamarining
A couple of weeks ago I enrolled in Xamarin University and my confidence is building as I learn more and more about mobile development. For those of you who don’t now what Xamarin is it is a product that was acquired by Microsoft that allows developers to write cross platform (iOS, Android, Windows) apps using C# (or F#).
The Xamarin methodology allows us to share most of our back end code, and if using Xamarin.Forms we can share most of our UI code also. Using Xamarin also ensures that native controls on the devices are being used. It’s not just a webview with fancy html5 and css3 code.
I began working with Xamarin a number of years ago when the company that I was working for decided to research mobile app development techniques and I fell in love with it. Fast forward a couple years and I’ve finally taken the Xamarin University plunge. I’m hoping to become certified, but most of all I’m hoping to be as confidant in Xamarin as I am with asp.net.
Anyways we’ll see how it goes!