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In talking with members in the Unity community, one of the common, recurring themes we have encountered is a need for a way to reliably assess an individual’s Unity knowledge and skills against a benchmark of proficiency.
From our community of Unity educators, we’ve heard a need for tools that will support their educational programs, and help them set students up for success as they move into the workforce by ensuring they have the relevant skills that industry employers really want. From studios, we’ve heard that they are looking for a way to more easily identify and qualify Unity talent, so recruiting and initial evaluations are more efficient. They are also looking for a way to assess their existing teams, so they can identify individual strengths and areas where professional development is needed. Aspiring developers, who are looking for a job in the games industry and may not yet have the benefit of years of experience or an extensive portfolio, are looking for a way to communicate their skills to potential employers. The community in general, in fact, has been asking about certification for a long time — there are forum threads dating back as far as 2010 — and expressing a desire to validate their skills against a common baseline, to better know where they stand in terms of proficiency.
In an effort to respond to all of these needs, we developed the Unity Certification Program, and at GDC 2016 we were thrilled to announce that the first level, Unity Certified Developer, is now available!
The Unity Certified Developer Exam
The Unity Certified Developer Exam was designed to provide a credential that validates foundational skills for making a game with Unity, spanning key concepts in both technical art and programming. In addition to breadth, it also has depth: the feedback we’ve received is that it is a challenging exam, even for those with some experience under their belts, and that a passing score is a good indicator that an individual has the core skills required for successful game production in Unity.
It offers Unity developers at all levels an opportunity to challenge themselves, to test their understanding of the end-to-end game production process. Results are given immediately upon completion of the exam and shown by topic area, so areas of strength are identified as well as areas where improvement may be needed. By providing a challenging, meaningful indicator of Unity knowledge and skill, we also hope to provide aspiring game developers with a credential that will help them communicate their skills to employers and successfully transition into a professional career in games.
We developed the exam through extensive research and requirements gathering with an advisory board of commercial game studios and educational institutions, to ensure that it would address Unity skills that are relevant and valuable to industry employers and be challenging enough to represent a meaningful benchmark of skill. We hope to help close the loop between education and industry by helping educators create graduates that will populate the future workforce with talent equipped with the Unity knowledge and skills that employers truly value. To that end, we structured the program so that it would complement and support the way educators teach.
The very first Unity Certified Developer exams in the world were administered at GDC and included members of the Unity Technologies team along with User Group Leaders and other enthusiastic Unity community members who were ready to take on the challenge.
For those who are looking to take on the challenge, the Unity Certified Developer Exam is available at Unity Certification events around the world, including select Unite conferences and Unity Roadshows. If you’re already planning on attending one of these events, you can conveniently take the exam in a couple of hours while you’re there. We’re also working on rolling out an online proctoring solution, to make certification exams more easily accessible and widely available.
What’s covered on the exam?
If you’d like to see whether you’d feel comfortable having a go at it based on your existing Unity knowledge and experience, you can review the Unity Certified Developer Exam Objectives to see a detailed list of the topics covered on the exam.
Need to prepare? We’ve got you covered!
If after looking at the Exam Objectives you feel like you might need to study up — good news! We’re currently putting the finishing touches to an online learning program, the Unity Certified Developer Courseware, that directly maps to preparation for the certification exam. The Courseware includes instructional videos and game project-based exercises that encourage hands-on learning as it takes you through the process of making a working game with Unity, from the ground up. Though it is not required to take the exam, it provides a structured learning experience that can help new users build their foundational skills in game production. For those that already have some experience, courseware can help fill in any gaps in knowledge and help ensure they are ready for the full range of topics they will encounter on the exam.
Courseware will be available shortly, sign up to get notified as soon as it’s ready.
This is just the beginning…
Unity Certified Developer is just the starting point for this program — future levels that will address more advanced and specialized skill sets, such as artist or programmer, are in development.
In addition, exams and courseware will be made available in multiple languages in addition to English, to ensure that developers around the world have access to certification in their native language.
If you’re interested in being kept up-to-date about new certifications as we roll them out, you can sign up here.