Xamarin Certified Once More

I first passed my Xamarin Mobile Certification back in June 2014 but when it came to taking the recertification exam the following year I never quite got around to it. Ultimately it lapsed and I while I was no longer certified I did keep my University subscription running so that I could keep my skills up to date.

During the next year I have to say that I was quite disappointed as there didn’t really seem to be any new content, i.e. no new courses were added as far as I could tell. At the end of that year I was considering not renewing my University subscription, at $1500 it was not exactly a no-brainer.

Then Xamarin was bought by Microsoft and it was included in the MSDN subscription, effectively saving me $2000. With the promise of new content I decided to renew my University subscription – I was $500 up anyway so why not I thought.

Well, as promised, new content is being added, a handful of Azure courses and one on Xamarin.Forms custom renderers so far. That and the fact that I’m currently engaged as a Xamarin developer I thought it would be prudent to refresh my certification. That, coupled with the fact that the Certification and Recertification exams are to change on 15th October this year meant I had a definite timeframe.

Xamarin list 10 courses as being required knowledge for the recertification exam so I spent a couple of weeks reviewing these – making notes and doing the exercises – before embarking on the exam.

The exam itself is 100 multiple choice questions which must be completed within three hours. The pass mark is 80% so not a lot of wiggle room here.

During the exam itself there were a few, shall we say, curve balls – questions which, to me, seemed quite ambiguous. One mentioned an image which was not present resulting in me having to guess the correct answer based on the text – which proved unsuccessful as it turned out – it was in the list of incorrect answers. If I’d missed the 80% by a single mark I don’t think I would have been too happy. As it was I passed with a score of 87% which I’m pretty happy with.

iOS Limitations and Xamarin Mobile Certification

In my previous post I mentioned that I was looking at developing a cross platform, mobile application to schedule SMS messages.

Well I’m afraid that took a bit of a backseat for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I became aware that the action of sending a text message with no input from the user was not possible using iOS. While I have not investigated this fully it did make me pause for thought – what was the point of starting this cross-platform project if it was not going to work on the iPhone? Well, if the information I have is correct, there is no point …… unless I just demonstrate that writing apps for Android does not necessarily mean Java! So, this project is still on the cards – just not at the top of the deck.

The second reason for me not starting the development was that I have been studying via the Xamarin University and am happy to say that I am now Xamarin Mobile Certified :-).

The training took the form of a number of live web session presented by experienced Xamarin developers. Over the course of a couple of months I ‘attended’ many required sessions to allow me to sit the certification. This consisted of 150 questions which must be answered in under three hours. The pass mark was 80%. With my knowledge of iOS a little on the shaky side (being an Android user at heart) I was a bit hesitant about taking the full exam (I could have just taken the Android flavour) but I thought ‘what the hell’.

The exam did highlight to me that I need to do some more work on iOS but a pass is a pass and now that I have my evenings back I will be moving forward with the migration of the FillLPG application to Xamarin. Initially targeting Android but developed using all I have learnt to ensure that the maximum amount of code can be reused for an iOS version.

The code for FillLPG will unfortunately not be made available but I’m sure that there will be more than a blog post or three coming out of the development so stay tuned.