XAM U closing - Xamarin Certification now meaningless/cancelled/worthless

ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

cc: @NMackay Thought you'd find this interesting

After May 1, 2019, these programs, including Xamarin certification exams, will no longer be available and active subscriptions will be canceled. For more details, please read our FAQ.

Just got this in email. As I read it Xamarin University will soon be a thing of the past. It will all be self-taught and YouTube. I'm sure glad I had the opportunity to do these course with live instructors. I think this is saying that there won't be any more certifications. Is that what everyone else reads in this? I wonder how that affects the LInkIN area just for certified developers.

Xamarin University is moving to Microsoft Learn

In September 2018, Microsoft launched a free, interactive training portal, Microsoft Learn, incorporating many of Xamarin University's popular features. We're now preparing to merge Xamarin University into the new learning platform, where all coursework will be free.

What to expect

By early 2019, we'll transition most Xamarin University certification and Xamarin.Forms courses to our self-guided learning portal, where they'll be free. Then we'll gradually convert all self-guided learning courses to Microsoft Learn before we close Xamarin University in June 2019. At that time, remaining subscriber-only content, including labs and off-topic videos, such as guest lectures, will be made available on YouTube and GitHub.

Office hours and instructor-led-only courses will remain available until May 1, 2019, giving you time to finish any in-progress Xamarin certifications. After May 1, 2019, these programs, including Xamarin certification exams, will no longer be available and active subscriptions will be canceled. For more details, please read our FAQ.

Thanks for learning with Xamarin University. We're excited about sharing Xamarin content on Microsoft Learn, where we'll provide new features and content—free for everyone.

Posts

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    @ClintStLaurent said:
    cc: @NMackay Thought you'd find this interesting

    After May 1, 2019, these programs, including Xamarin certification exams, will no longer be available and active subscriptions will be canceled. For more details, please read our FAQ.

    Just got this in email. As I read it Xamarin University will soon be a thing of the past. It will all be self-taught and YouTube. I'm sure glad I had the opportunity to do these course with live instructors. I think this is saying that there won't be any more certifications. Is that what everyone else reads in this? I wonder how that affects the LInkIN area just for certified developers.

    Xamarin University is moving to Microsoft Learn

    In September 2018, Microsoft launched a free, interactive training portal, Microsoft Learn, incorporating many of Xamarin University's popular features. We're now preparing to merge Xamarin University into the new learning platform, where all coursework will be free.

    What to expect

    By early 2019, we'll transition most Xamarin University certification and Xamarin.Forms courses to our self-guided learning portal, where they'll be free. Then we'll gradually convert all self-guided learning courses to Microsoft Learn before we close Xamarin University in June 2019. At that time, remaining subscriber-only content, including labs and off-topic videos, such as guest lectures, will be made available on YouTube and GitHub.

    Office hours and instructor-led-only courses will remain available until May 1, 2019, giving you time to finish any in-progress Xamarin certifications. After May 1, 2019, these programs, including Xamarin certification exams, will no longer be available and active subscriptions will be canceled. For more details, please read our FAQ.

    Thanks for learning with Xamarin University. We're excited about sharing Xamarin content on Microsoft Learn, where we'll provide new features and content—free for everyone.

    WTF! I'm paying an Azure subscription to finish of Xamarin Uni, what's the point!

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NMackay
    Yeah - that's why I CC'd you.
    Our company pays a HUGE amount for MSDN for every developer. We get XamU as part of that. So thankfully I've not had to pay for XamU out of pocket. But I would be pissed if that $2500/year suddenly became toilet paper. Well... I guess that puts me in a small but elite group of people that can even say they are/were certified. And I have a plaque and Monkey to show for it.

  • SamirAdadowSamirAdadow USForum Administrator, Xamarin Team, University Xamurai

    Hi @ClintStLaurent and @NMackay ,

    Certification will not become meaningless! Instructor-led training is not going away!

    We will be porting your achievements over to Microsoft Learn where Xamarin University content will continue to be updated by the exact same team that has worked on it in the past. You will still be able to share these achievements with future employers and on your social media networks.

    As for instructor-led training, our trainer team is also moving over to the Microsoft Learn team and we will be announcing new interactive ways to engage with them shortly.

    This is great news for all Xamarin University students =)

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    @SamirAdadow said:
    Hi @ClintStLaurent and @NMackay ,

    Certification will not become meaningless! Instructor-led training is not going away!

    We will be porting your achievements over to Microsoft Learn where Xamarin University content will continue to be updated by the exact same team that has worked on it in the past. You will still be able to share these achievements with future employers and on your social media networks.

    As for instructor-led training, our trainer team is also moving over to the Microsoft Learn team and we will be announcing new interactive ways to engage with them shortly.

    This is great news for all Xamarin University students =)

    hmmmm

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SamirAdadow
    Ok. Good news. That email didn't include anything resembling that. Hence the reason I posted. I figured it would get a response in order to clear the air and get more details.

    So let me ask... Will certification continue? Because every sentence I read sounds very 'past tense'. Like if you already were certified then {...} But what about new people getting certified? What about existing certified needing to re-certifiy? Etc.

  • SamirAdadowSamirAdadow USForum Administrator, Xamarin Team, University Xamurai

    @ClintStLaurent

    All past certifications will be transitioned into achievements in Microsoft Learn. These will still operate like existing certifications where you can display them to employers and share them on your social media sites. They will be equally as prestigious and difficult to achieve.

    You will then be able to continue learning and earning achievements towards Xamarin and mobile development topics on Microsoft Learn. Our content is only set to get better and better with more interactive learning materials and engagement models.

    Xamarin Certification as it exists now, with the current requirements and renewal policies will not continue after May 1st.

  • gingerdudegingerdude USMember ✭✭

    I literally just got my certification a month ago. I wasted 2 months of my time and money in order to get this and it's being tossed into the trash. I won't even have my certification for a year by the time it's going to be sunset. It doesn't matter if I "got" it, if there's no way to verify it, it's useless.

    My opinion? Toss the badges and keep the certs. Badges are participation trophies, certifications are merit based. Hence, employers and clients DON'T CARE about badges. They care about certifications.

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gingerdude @SamirSamedov cc: @NMackay

    So Microsoft 'achievements' are what? Exactly. A social media badge? Like the ones from here for achieving 250 answered questions?

    Sounds like gameification of education.

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have to say I agree with @gingerdude - IF - these achievements are in fact really just social media crap. Because Facebook can kiss my {thumbs-up}.

    But I'm holding of getting too hot under the collar until I hear back from @SamirAdadow or someone else from Xamarin that will spell out in detail what exactly our certifications-converted-to-acheivements are really going to be/be-worth in the real, adult grown-up world of working as a developer for a living.

  • gingerdudegingerdude USMember ✭✭

    I highly suspect there will be a solid amount of backlash because of this. I know several people who invested WAY more than I did into this, and they will not be happy.

    I was going for other Microsoft certifications, but now I'm going to put all of that on pause until I know the outcome of this. I just can't trust Microsoft after this, not when it comes to my income and opportunities being in their hands. A cert becoming outdated is understandable, but a cert being retired literally less than a year after I invested to get it? Insanity.

    The best solution would be to transition the Xamarin certification into a bone fide Microsoft certification, like the rest of them. Grandfather those of us who already have the cert into the new cert. That is a fair compromise.

    You have to understand that we took (up to) two tests to get these certs, if you let people get the same achievements simply based on clicking through classes you just devalued us entirely... Hell even calling them achievements makes the concept sound laughable. I'm not putting that on my resume. I have to make a living guys.

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2018

    @gingerdude said:
    The best solution would be to transition the Xamarin certification into a bone fide Microsoft certification, like the rest of them. Grandfather those of us who already have the cert into the new cert. That is a fair compromise.

    Here here! It also makes the point that Xamarin is a real and genuine bone fide Microsoft technology - instead of some sort of poor step-child as many of us get the impression it is.

    Hell even calling them achievements makes the concept sound laughable. I'm not putting that on my resume. I have to make a living guys.

    Have to agree. It sounds like unlocking a virtual hidden room in some on-line game. Congratulations you have earned the Hidden Ogre Larder achievement

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    @SamirAdadow said:
    @ClintStLaurent

    All past certifications will be transitioned into achievements in Microsoft Learn. These will still operate like existing certifications where you can display them to employers and share them on your social media sites. They will be equally as prestigious and difficult to achieve.

    You will then be able to continue learning and earning achievements towards Xamarin and mobile development topics on Microsoft Learn. Our content is only set to get better and better with more interactive learning materials and engagement models.

    Xamarin Certification as it exists now, with the current requirements and renewal policies will not continue after May 1st.

    This all sound a bit naff tbh. Not happy.

  • gingerdudegingerdude USMember ✭✭

    This would be like if a college/university just started handing out degrees for attending classes. No exams, just sit in and get a degree.

    Tbh when I was getting this cert I had a thought "Man this isn't a Microsoft branded cert, I hope they don't just pull the plug someday when they decide to merge Xamarin into Microsoft entirely. Xamarin is like the 'redheaded step child' (lol I know the irony coming from me) of Microsoft so..."

    I didn't expect it to be so soon though.

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    I got mine when Xamarin was still a separate company, before the purchase by MS. So I already went through the transition once when Xamarin went from being a paid system to being free . That introduced every man and his dog to the system instead of professionals that were willing to pay for the system. Now no separation between professionals that get certified and every 20-something on his mommy's laptop watching YouTube. Might as well say that every putz showing you how to make a coffee tablet is a professional carpenter rated to frame up your house.

  • MarkSmith.8123MarkSmith.8123 USXamarin Team, University, XamUProfessors Xamurai

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. We definitely want to get all your questions answered as we make this transition.

    First, I would encourage all of you to not diminish the accomplishment you achieved. Xamarin University certification at its core provided proof of education. It has a high bar of requirements with enforced training - so we could teach people how to best use a complex toolset to build mobile apps. Getting the certification badge showed the world the dedication that you had in really learning the tools and technology. I'm glad so many of you went through the program, met with our excellent trainers, got to work through our curriculum, and hopefully solved a lot of real-world issues in building your apps. Xamarin University was always about the education and the certification achievement provided a way to show that.

    But let's be clear: it was never a Microsoft official certification. It was an accreditation with a badge that you put onto your profiles to show your accomplishment. You couldn't look it up in the centralized Microsoft cert database, and it couldn't be used to qualify for partner status. The Xamarin University model was quite different from the normal Microsoft cert process. We use mandated training, require lab work, and use an online, unmonitored test. The closest equivalent is exactly what we are transitioning it to - proof of education in a training portal. Where it is assigned and stored is going to change.

    Moving forward, the Xamarin certification you have will continue to be shown in the new system - along with a lot of other achievements. Microsoft Learn is going to be the official training portal going forward. All core products will have training content here, and we will be linking things together to show you end-to-end solutions that can tie back-end services, front-end mobile apps, Cosmos DB, and other things working together. Along the way, you can show proof that you have actually done the exercises and passed quizzes - similar to how you could point people to Xamarin University's site to show that you earned our certification. This system has even better validation than what Xamarin University could provide in that sense.

    If you already have a certification (earned at any time), that will move forward too. In fact, you will have a unique badge that shows you earned the certification originally at Xamarin University. This badge cannot be earned anywhere else. It's part of the transition process to show the work and effort you went through to get the training you needed to build mobile apps. We hope you will continue to show it on your profiles where you display your current certification badge today.

    It's also important to understand that these can be validated and verified through a public page. So you can prove that you've done the required coursework, passed the quizzes, and built the apps. It's not a simple "earn a badge because I visited your page". We have real task validation in this system - you don't earn credit unless you do the work.

    Speaking more broadly, the XamU team is really excited about this change. Moving into the Microsoft Learn team gives us more resource to allow us to do several things we always wanted to do. One of the best ones is to provide that high-quality training at no cost to you moving forward. No more paying for recertifications, no more trying to make classes fit your schedule. You can come in and learn when you have time, and jump in and out as your schedule permits. Our goal is to help every developer to build top-class mobile apps. We've slowly been chipping away at the price point over the years, adding our free Self-Guided Learning content, cutting the price in half, making it monthly, giving a free Visual Studio benefit, etc. Now we can finally make it free to anyone trying to build a mobile app.

    We love all of you that have been on this journey with us, I sincerely hope that you got a lot of great benefit out of our product and that we helped you get to market with your app, get a job, or whatever your goals were. This is a natural transition of Xamarin training which we will continue to extend, improve, and integrate with other products so you can build even better apps moving forward.

    I hope that helps clarify some of the direction. We have a FAQ available which answers some specific questions, but happy to dialog here too.

    mark

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    @MarkSmith.8123

    Should i cancel my azure subscription? only use it for Xamarin uni.

  • MarkSmith.8123MarkSmith.8123 USXamarin Team, University, XamUProfessors Xamurai
    edited December 2018

    @NMackay --

    Yes. Assuming you don't need any more live training, there's no need to continue to pay for it if you aren't using it. It won't affect any earned certifications (that was true even before).

    We are keeping the subscription model around for a few months for those who want to finish the full certification route from Xamarin University since it requires the live training component today - and of course, the content not in the correct format for MS Learn yet. We expect most people to cancel their subscription fairly quickly - and if they don't, we'll be doing it for them in May.

    I hope that helps!

    mark

  • GavinGrantGavinGrant GBUniversity ✭✭✭
    @MarkSmith.8123
    What about people who like me has their certification expire before May 2019. What do we do about that.
  • MarkSmith.8123MarkSmith.8123 USXamarin Team, University, XamUProfessors Xamurai

    @GavinGrant --

    That's a great question. TL;DR: I wouldn't pay to pursue a renewal at this point. We're really only keeping the exam around for people who were on track to complete a new certification. If you want to do it for your own personal/professional goals - that's great - go for it. But, you will get the same credit on the new system, either way, assuming you opt-in to the transfer. Keep in mind most of the developer cert courses will be free even by January 1st in the Xamarin University Self-Guided Learning portal. So those could be used to count towards recertification without keeping a subscription active. But really, recertification isn't quite as important of a goal moving forward - let me explain.

    Let me step back and give you some background on Xamarin certification and the renewal design. As you know, renewing certification for XamU is continued education (CE). We did it this way on purpose. To be honest, deciding what was required for certification was always a hard choice. We wanted people to take all the classes (and some did!). They are all important and necessary if you want to understand the scope of building a full-fledged enterprise app. But we couldn't have them all in a required certification path - it's too much work and content to expect people to do, particularly when no other certification style required mandated training (just an exam).

    So, how do we decide what you absolutely need as a "professional" or "developer"? That became a bigger problem as we introduced great new classes around architectural patterns and performance techniques. For example, I would argue that for most people, MVVM is a necessary pattern you should know. You don't use it in every app, but being aware of how it works and the pros/cons is a critical piece of knowledge if you are going to work in a binding-based framework like Xamarin.Forms/UWP/WPF/etc. It's not in our certification requirements. There was no room. Hence the idea of CE for renewal. It allowed us to continue to push developers to learn new (important) things that make them better developers.

    That was always our core goal. I realize that for many, certification was their goal, and that's great - it gave them an edge with employers, clients, etc. But for our team, it was a tool we used to push our students to be better developers. We used it as a structured way to go through our content, to decide what was "core" knowledge, and then to continue learning and honing their skills as a mobile developer. Unfortunately, money was a requirement - XamU was built off the idea of live training, and there's a real cost to that we had to account for. That was the subscription - and we tried to make it as cheap as possible - ~$80/month .. we had the Office Hours in there too which was a steal if you took advantage of it along with the live classes. If we could have pulled it off for free from the beginning, we totally would have - Nat and I had that conversation multiple times. The Microsoft acquisition is what has really allowed us to move in the direction we wanted to all along.

    Now, moving the content into Microsoft Learn lets us reset that. We won't be tracking "renewals" moving forward, instead, the focus will be on new learning paths. Instead of an arbitrary requirement of "six classes", now in MS Learn you'll be able to access a much wider breadth of content around Azure, web services, Xamarin, App Center, UWP, Azure DevOps, Data+AI, security, etc. And that's just the developer focused content! Completing an entire learning path earns a trophy which is on your profile - and eventually, we'll likely have some kind of tracking that you can report to management (it's something Microsoft wants internally). When we add content, it won't supplant or replace existing content - it will be new learning paths in the system which will give you a unique award. Imagine a new learning path oriented around the new Xamarin.Forms CollectionView control, for example, completing the path (which requires the exercise) will give you the award in your profile to prove you did the work. This approach gives finer granularity to show what you have mastered or learned vs. just a single badge of "professional" or "developer" - particularly for renewal where we didn't mandate specific topics so it was a bit of a grab bag.

    MS Learn isn't just a simple learning platform for us - it's the future of learning at Microsoft. It's the center for all future training for Microsoft certifications. It's where all our consolidated focused training will be - much like docs.microsoft.com is where all the docs are. It really is going to be awesome and I hope all of you will give it a shot even today. It's still new and a bit rough like all new software projects are, but we have big plans with new content ramping up as I type this and a form of live classes which will also be completely free (and run by the trainers you know and love!). We also have support from the very top tiers of Microsoft which is super important. Check it out at https://docs.com/learn and then watch for a bunch of great Xamarin content to hit the platform next May.

    mark

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    @Pieter_vd_Westhuizen said:
    I've found incredible value in the Xamarin forums (forums.xamarin.com). I cannot remember when I could not find a solution to a problem on this forum.

    Will it still be available after the merging of Xamarin University and MS Learn?

    I hope so, a lot of us have put a lot of effort into helping people there (even as a moderator of late), I was blown away when I started with Forms how helpful the community was so dedicated a lot of my spare time to helping others and it's a good way to always learn new stuff. You get kind of swamped these days with the volume of information requests on Forms (Although 40% could be answered with a simple Google search but that doesn't seem to happen although it's how you search for the info I guess).

    The full transition of Xamarin into MS sometimes been painful as a former Xamarin enterprise customer (community tends to get ignored on paths for tooling etc), in other ways it's been great just look at how Forms continues to improve every release and the visibility we have of the roadmap & great visibility of issues.

    It would be very s**t if they got rid of the forums (that word isn't soot :)) but I wouldn't put it past them on the back of this announcement.

  • MarkSmith.8123MarkSmith.8123 USXamarin Team, University, XamUProfessors Xamurai
    edited December 2018

    It's only Xamarin University that's merging with Microsoft Learn - e.g. the educational aspects. The Xamarin forums existed before XamU and will presumably continue on afterward.

    What the announcement mentioned is that this specific channel will close in June of next year. This is primarily because it was mostly administrative in nature, or answering questions about classes which won't exist going forward. In fact, if everyone recalls, it was private for most of its existence.

    The other forums will remain - as you noted, they are incredibly valuable and now one of the primary contact points with the PMs and engineers of the product.

  • JiriMatejkaJiriMatejka CZMember ✭✭✭

    Have just passed the Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer exam. Do you still send the graduation monkey and the plaque? :smile:

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