At the end of 2021, I took and passed the certification exam for Associate Android Developer.
In this blog post, I would like to share a bit about preparing and taking the exam to maybe help future developers who decide to take it. Even though I cannot transfer any specific details about the code test itself and the interview questions, I can talk about what to expect when going in.
You can find a study guide for the exam on the Android certification’s website, on a page with course suggestions to help you prepare for it.
I decided to do the Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree from Udacity to study for the exam. It is a great official course from Google where you will exercise and learn different skills. However, it has some drawbacks: the price is high, and if you are already an experienced developer, there will be some repeated content. Also, there is no guarantee that all exam content is covered in the course. So, even if you do these courses, check the Study Guide and have at least one working code example of the topics cited there. This way, you will not be surprised during the exam (like I was).
The exam is divided into two sections. One of them is the coding exam, done in Android Studio either in Java or Kotlin. The second one is a quick interview available just after sending your code exam.
The exam is only available in English at the moment. So it is essential to feel comfortable reading and speaking in English about technical Android topics beforehand.
After you start the exam, you will have 8 hours to finish it, and you cannot pause the timer after starting. So, make sure to do the exam on a day that you are sure you will have no interruptions and in a comfortable place with a good internet connection.
You will be able to look into other projects and search the internet during the exam. So, your most significant enemy during these 8 hours will probably be your nerves.
Read the guidelines of the exercise slowly and pay attention. It will tell you what you need to do and what you should NOT do in the given code. If you don’t understand a part of it or don’t know how to do a part of the code, don’t panic. You will probably have time to research it. First, get your code up and running, and then start with the simpler parts of the exercise that you understand and can solve without much trouble.
The exit interview will be pretty straightforward if you understand your code exam. You don’t have to do it right after the code exam. But I think it is much easier to do it in the sequence when everything is still fresh. Even though the name says interview, the questions are pre-recorded (or at least were in 2021). So you will just have to record you answering them. However, even if there is no person on the other side, you will still need a webcam to answer the interview, so make sure to have it sorted. Be direct in your answers. You don’t have to use all the time given for responding, and sometimes the answer is simple.
The exam cost U$ 149 at the moment this blog post was written.
If you fail the exam, you can retake it after some time, depending on which attempt you are on. However, you will always have to pay the exam fee. So make sure to take time to prepare even if you have been working with Android for some time, and good luck!
I hope you rock your certification exam!