in Appcelerator Titanium

Update 1/9/12: I’ve discovered (6 months after the fact) that the TCMD certification name has been changed to the Advanced Titanium Mobile Developer (ATMD) certification.  I guess mine is still valid. 🙂

Last week I traveled to Mountain View, CA to attend 4 days of Titanium training at Appcelerator’s new offices.  I decided in late spring to commit my company to doing Appcelerator Titanium development as our main mobile development platform, and moved forward by getting a paid support subscription and start planning on attended training.  I chose to attend training at Appcelerator HQ over closer locations offered by 3rd party training companies because 1) Appcelerator was offering a discount for on-site training, and 2) more importantly, I wanted to have the opportunity to meet the Appcelerator team in person.  Not only was it great to shake hands with folks I only new previously via twitter,email or dev forums, but it was also very interesting to see the company from the inside and get a feel for all of the great work that they are doing.

The Classes

I spent the first 2 days with 7 or 8 others in the Building Native Mobile Apps with Titanium course.  The content was a good overview of some things I was already familiar with, plus we covered recommended Ti programming structure in Javascript.  I am happy to say I passed the Titanium Certified App Developer (TCAD) test at the end of day two.

Days 3 and 4 I attended the Advanced Titanium Mobile Development.  This a new course offered by Appcelerator, as such as I was the only student.  This isn’t entirely true, as we also had some employees in attendance.  Tim Poulsen, the trainer for the BNAPP class, also sat in.  It was pretty cool taking the class with these guys, as I got to hear input from guys working in customer engineering and some of the people who actually built the iOS side of the Ti SDK.

The advanced class covered mobile app development best practices for things like UX and UI design.  It also covered a lot on app performance, and the instructor, Kevin Whinnery introduced me to a new app development structure that I am looking forward to applying to my next project.

My Titanium Certified Mobile Developer (TCMD) attempt was also a success.  It was tougher than the TCAD exam, naturally, but I felt better about it probably because I was more comfortable with the testing process the second time around, and had a better idea of what to expect.  I also found out later from Tim that I am the first to receive the TCMD certification!  I am sure there are several other Appcelerator employees who are certified for it (including Pedro, who took the test the same time as me and blew through it in about 20 minutes), but I thought that was pretty cool!

Titanium Certifications

tcad-logo-416x170In addition to learning more about the platform and getting a better idea on recommended development practices, I also wanted to get certified.  Since I am running my own Titanium mobile development shop, it will be handy to be able to give potential clients external verification of my skills with Titanium development.  My hope is that as Appcelerator and Titanium grow, so will the value of their certifications.

I am familiar with IT certifications, having done a good part of Cisco’s training and certification during a past life as a network admin.  I consider Cisco, along with Microsoft, to be the gold standard for company-backed certification programs.  The certifications provide quite a bit of value both to the companies giving them out and to the individuals and small business that make the investment in time and money to get them.  I am hoping to see a similar return on my investment for traveling to CA and attending the onsite training.

Thanks

My thanks to instructors Tim Poulson and Kevin Whinnery for giving the classes and showing me around the offices.

Class photo by @skypanther.