Google has added a new certification with a free exam and a set of free resources for exam preparation. It covers best practices for creating, managing, measuring and optimising mobile websites.
Back in February we reported on Google's Associate Android Developer Certification, a new credential for experienced Android developers who want a document that proves their skills. This has a performance-based exam and designed to evaluate what you can do and you have 48 hours in which to find and fix bugs in supplied project files and extend the apps functionality. The cost of this exam is $149 and seems worth the outlay for many Android devs.
The Google Developer Certification website seems designed for more than a single exam so when a new link appeared:
it seemed worth investigation.
This new certification is free and so are the materials that make up its Exam Study Guide.
The exam tests your understanding of this content, which consists of short articles and video presentations, with 65 multiple choice questions. You have 90 minutes in which to complete it and need 80% for a passing score. The exam has a validity period of 12 months.
Compared to the Android certification this just isn't in the same league - but to be fair it doesn't claim to be. What you need to notice is that it is offered on the Google Partner's site, which appears to have launched this year. To take the exam you need first to sign up to Google Partners.
So what is Google Partners?
Google Partners is Google’s program for advertising agencies, digital marketing professionals, and other online consultants. When you sign up for Partners, you'll get access to a range of benefits, including special events and trainings, industry research, certifications, and more.
Any mobile web developer is likely to find this relevant and attracting this audience from the Google Developer Certification site does make sense, even if it raises false expectations.
The Mobile Sites certification is on a par with other certification open to Google Partners - one on AdWords, the other on Analytics - and like them it is about become better informed about Google's approach. For example Module 4 covers Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) which, although open source is Google-originated technology and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) which are designed to work with AMP pages. For this exam you need to degree of familiarity with AMP and PWAs that you probably wouldn't have gained otherwise.
The way the exam works is that if you attempt it and don't achieve a passing score you have to wait 7 days before you can take it again. Having seen the sort of questions you are asked you'll know what you need to cover, all of which is contained in the study guide.
Being cynical you can see that the exam can be pretty effective in making Google Partners into better evangelists for Google technology. However, in this Google dominated world having such a credential may indeed be an advantage.
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