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How to become a Google Mobile Web Specialist

Last year I decided to take the Google Mobile Web Specialist Course and Certification. In this article, I will describe my preparation and give some useful tips for those interested in acquiring this mobile web developer certification.

The name of the certification looks a little strange, to be honest. But the basic idea is the following: to help web developers become aware of how to make a website perform well on mobile devices.

This is how the certificate looks:

The Google mobile web specialist certification cost is USD $149. It used to be USD $99, but the price changed in 2018.

So becoming a Google Mobile web specialist is a task that requires a lot of effort, but with the proper guidelines and tools, it can be done easily. As you’ll see below, there are a few things to consider before delving into this world. Let’s check them out!

Certification Exam Content

  • Basic website layout and styling,
  • Front end networking,
  • Accessibility,
  • Progressive Web Apps,
  • Performance optimization and caching,
  • Testing and debugging,
  • ES2015 concepts and syntax,
  • Mobile web forms.

It doesn't look too difficult to grasp. To succeed in becoming a mobile web specialist by Google, the official study guide recommends having at least three years of experience, so most of the topics should be already familiar to you.

Mobile web specialist certification by Google is quite important, as it acts as a proving ground or testing site for developers. Developers get a real hands-on approach to the field as they are tasked with writing actual code applicable in real life. This contrasts with other certifications that are more theoretical.

The modern mobile website is built on key pillars, which include:

  • High performance,
  • Offline working capabilities,
  • Accessibility.

These pillars that allow for the seamless work of any mobile website are heavily emphasized in the exam.

Preparation for the Google Mobile Web Specialist Certification

Preparation for the Google Mobile Web Specialist Certification

Pro tip: schedule the date of the exam beforehand. It's really hard to motivate yourself to study if you don't have any deadlines. I had two months to prepare  from the moment I've booked my Google mobile web specialist exam date. Make sure you would be able to spend about 4 hours alone — the approximate time to complete the exam.

To truly begin preparing for the exam, one has to cover the fundamentals, which are scheduling for an exam date and verifying your ID, the latter of which developers cannot do without. Once these are out of the way, you can focus solely on getting the right topics to study. There are various topics the certification exam covers, and each of them are very important. The topics may include the following:

  • Front end networking,
  • Accessible web apps,
  • Mobile web forms,
  • Performance optimization and caching.

The official study guide on how to get Google’s certification for mobile web developers is quite thorough, so I highly recommend studying it. Additionally, take a look at MDN — service worker and progressive web apps sections. But do not just read it — try everything by yourself (there are code labs in the guide — make sure to go through most of them). I spent about three months studying, dedicating a few hours per week to it.

The Exam

The Google-certified mobile web specialist exam takes place in the virtual Linux-based exam environment (supplied with Google Chrome and Atom). There will be 17 practical tasks; you’ll have 4 hours to complete them and about 15 minutes for each task. If you feel that the task is difficult, and you spend too much time on it — skip it; you can return to it in the end if there is time left.

The tasks covered all topics described in the study guide:

  • make a site responsive,
  • configure responsive images,
  • improve accessibility,
  • fix performance bottleneck,
  • configure service worker,
  • setup caching with IndexDB,
  • configure form validation.

The exam is fairly comprehensive logistics-wise, requiring you only to have a computer with a webcam and high-speed Internet. You can google. Yes, I'm not joking. But be careful; it’s not recommended to copy-paste code as it can cause you to fail the exam.

After the exam, you should complete the Exit interview — a 10-minute video recording where you'll answer the questions related to your participation in the exam. It's quite simple, so don't worry too much about it.

The Results

After a four-hour-long exam with 21 tasks to figure out, the wait for the results will begin. When the result is given, the floodgates truly open for the developers, and opportunities may arise.

When your results are ready, you will receive an email indicating whether you have passed it or not. You need to wait for some time before your results can be available. The wait time varies. I received an email with the result in 12 days; a day after, I also received a link to my certificate. Pretty quick, I think, but be ready — this process can take much longer (up to 45 days).

If you don't pass the exam, you will be noticed with an email, and you will get information about when you can take the exam once more. If you pass, your credentials will be available online. You have all the access to information, so do not worry, relax and take your time.

Final Thoughts

Yep, that's all. How difficult is Google mobile web certification? Not super easy — but it’s worth it. If you decide to try — good luck, it's a good challenge.

The advantages of writing the exam are many. You will get a digital badge showing you are a certified Google mobile web specialist. It will become easier for you to get new projects to work on because you are experienced in performing different tasks.

Another advantage of the exam is that you are given real-life tasks, so it prepares you for what to expect in the real world. Studying for the exam is a great way to amass more knowledge in your work field or learn something you may have missed.

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TechMagic is a software and web development company from Lviv, Ukraine that builds dedicated teams skilled in JavaScript, Node.js, Angular, React, AWS, Serverless, and Salesforce.
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