The Path to Associate Kotlin/Android Developer
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced Android Kotlin developer — or coming from a Java Android background and trying to build your career using Kotlin, You will find the relevant path to get your Android certificate, or at least learn the foundation of Android development. Let’s walk through a step by step path to getting it.
The Android associate certificate exam is practical: you’ll receive an Android project with missing elements and your task is to complete the application. Failing to run the application will disqualify you without marking.
The associate exam is for intermediate developers and available in Kotlin and Java flavours. The cost for the exam is $149 USD for one attempt; you have 8 hours to submit the exam after downloading the project — not from the exam registration time.
Update: a new section added at the end to answer when and why to get the certificate.
The Path from 2017 Java First to 2021 Kotlin First
I started my first Android associate certificate in 2017 when Java was the only language choice available for Android developers and Eclipse was the main integrated development environment (IDE).
Since then, there have been many changes. Google adopted Kotlin as the first language choice for Android developers and moved to an Intellij — based Android studio IDE.
In 2021 I renewed my certificate with the latest Android technology stack recommended by Google and will walk you through the requirements to learn and prepare for the certificate.
Long, Almost Guaranteed Path To Get The Certificate
I’ve summarised the available materials and provided links to get you started.
- Udacity video training
Google and Udacity worked together to build an Android training course that covers the latest development trends and all the major parts of Android development.
It’s a free course available through this link:
The free version of the course is not up to date and will require some extra effort from you to update the code to the latest Android version, as well as to resolve a few deprecated libraries from the course instructions.
You can also reference my Github project, which includes all the course materials updated to the latest Android version to overcome the limitation.
Furthermore, if you have some extra money to spend on the Android training, you can check out the Nanodegree from Google and Udacity, which include up to date materials:
2. Missing parts from the basic training
The basic Android course does not cover all the exam materials; you can check for these missing parts in the Github project page under the following sections:
- Advanced: The second version of the course from Udacity include some important topics for the exam. Not all the advanced courses are required because they include many projects that go beyond exam requirements. On my Github page you will find only the relevant projects.
You can find the Advanced Android with Kotlin course here.
- Extras: There are also some applications to showcase the codes from the certificate material page, which is not covered in the mentioned Udacity courses.
3. Certificate materials
Google published a page that guides the examiner through the certificate topics. Make sure you review all the study guide materials and follow the official tutorials:
If you made your mind to prepare for the exam through the above mentioned path, you can bypass the short certificate path and jump to the exam tips.
Short Certificate Path For Active Kotlin Android Developers
This path assumes you are already working with Kotlin on daily activities and will summarise the minimum preparation for the course.
- Certificate materials
As a shorter path to prepare for the exam, you can follow the text-based tutorial from Google which covers the majority of the exam topics. Usually text-based tutorials save time for you compared to the video training.
Google’s developer certificate study guide is a good reference to start preparing for the exam.
2. Build a master application
The exam topic is already available from the official materials, so it is permissible to copy the code from your own repositories or any available internet materials. The only forbidden thing is to let someone else write the code for you — otherwise, pasting from your search is allowed.
A good practice I followed for both of my passed exams in 2017 and 2021 is to prepare a master project that includes the major topics for the exam, such as database access, network access, testing scripts, etc. This helped me during the exam: I was able to reduce the amount of work required to write these common layers by referring to the materials I had accumulated or by copying a few sections from it.
3. Github reference
You can refer to my Github repository, which I used to prepare for the exam. It includes multiple applications that cover all the exam topics across all the mentioned resources in this article.
I also built a lookup table that shows which project you should refer to for each exam topic, under the “Android Certificate Topics” section.
Android Associate Exam Tips
- The application might not start at the beginning when you download the code. This is normal: it is part of your task to fix the project issues while working on the project.
- The exam instructions are divided into two parts, one showing you the application sections and the other one for the exam tasks. Your responsibility is to follow at least the tasks.
- You have 8 hours — if you finish early, make sure your code covers all the assigned tasks. In my case, after reviewing the application flow, I realised that a few of my code sections were not really covering the instructions.
- When you are ready, you can book the exam from here.
Why to get the certificate
This article focus more on the learning path to enrich your Android development skills regardless the decision to apply for the exam.
You can apply for the certificate only if you have extra money to spend; otherwise having real applications that show your experience worth more than any certificate.
- After passing the exam your name will be listed among the Android developers in the official Google page; which can help to get attention. Few people contacted me for a freelance job from the list.
- You can use it as a proof of foundation knowledge when you look for a new Android job.
- To have a goal and learning path to study the latest Android trends.