Becoming a certified Android developer

When Google launched their Associate Android Developer certification, I immediately knew it would be a beneficial certificate to attain. There wasn’t any entry-level qualification for Android developers before this was announced; one of the few options available was becoming a Google Developer Expert, but this was far beyond a lot of people including myself.

The associate exam aims to recognise a person’s fundamental understanding of the Android development environment and the system’s core components. I was lucky enough to be accepted into a Udacity scholarship in partnership with Google to launch this Associate exam – 1,000 people from around the world were given 3-4 months worth of training and support (which was excellent, thanks Udacity!) and we also received a free application to sit and complete the Associate Android exam. This training was sponsored by Google which was pretty cool of them, as the exam is usually $149 to attempt. I’m pretty sure the 3-4 months training we received was a condensed version of the Android NanoDegree that Udacity run, which I would highly recommend. It really helped me complete my understanding of how different components work and introduced topics that were new to me.

The exam itself isn’t too difficult, though you better know your way around Android Studio and have the basics of Android development under your belt. You have 24 hours (yes, only 24) to complete the exam and submit your work on time which is why you need to be fairly proficient with Android. Google provides an FAQ section and quite a bit of information about the exam structure and it’s content that I recommend you review before taking the exam. They also have suggestions for training material from Udacity for the exam.

As Android development can include the entire lifecycle of an application, you are expected to be skilled in the following:

  • Testing & Debugging
  • UI & UX development
  • Fundamental Application Components (Activity, Service, Broadcast Receiver and Content Provider)
  • Persistent Data Storage
  • System Integration

All of these topics are listed on the Google Developers site for the exam where they go into detail about the possible requirements for your submission. Once you have your submission made, it will be graded and if successful, you will move on to the exit interview. The process in total should take less than a few weeks from starting the exam to receiving your credentials. Although the certification is not an expert/professional level credential, it demonstrates to others that you have a solid understanding of Android development. Personally, I think getting the exam completed in under 24 hours should be enough for a passing grade, so I have a lot of respect for others with the same certification!