Two types of Android certification exist: one for software developers and another for cell phone applications. The former attests to the knowledge and tools that aspiring programmers use to develop software applications for Google's Android mobile operating system. The latter certifies that a particular software application meets the standards required for deployment on mobile phones that run the Android operating system.
Android Developer Certification
Google hosts no official Android certification process for software developers. Many third-party companies, including NetCom Learning, Marakana and Aceware Technologies, provide their own certifications. These certifications typically cover the process of developing applications for Android smartphones. The subject matter you should master to qualify for these certifications includes the application life cycle, user-interface design, Java and C++ programming, and the Android Software Development Kit.
Developer Certification Benefits
You can mention Android certifications on your resume, but their real benefit comes from the knowledge you acquire in the course of preparing to obtain them. Certification preparation teaches novice and intermediate-level programmers how to apply their current knowledge to the Android platform in specific. These skills not only help programmers develop better Android applications; they also increase programmers' marketability, enabling them to qualify for better jobs in the industry.
The Android Open Source Project created a Compatibility Test Suite, or CTS, that you can use to test an app's compatibility with the Android operating system. Available free on the Web, the CTS creates a report on each application's suitability for deployment. In addition, Google plans to offer a Web-based service that will allow application developers to publish their CTS reports to a public database.
Certification Yields Market Access
All software applications must pass the CTS before you can submit them to the Android Marketplace, the online app store that Google operates for the Android platform. Access to the Android Marketplace means a chance to participate in a thriving business that netted approximately $3.7 billion in revenue during 2011. According to Ovum devices analyst Nick Dillon, the sale of Android applications is on the path to overtake iPhone application sales.
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