Last Friday I have attended Sitecore XP 8 Upgrade for .NET Developers training in their London office. Unlike WND (4-days-long) training, to attend this 1-day-long UPG (upgrade) course, you have to already have one of previous full development certification courses done in past.
My major purpose for that training was to get clear understanding about both internals and integration of xDB with the rest of platform, mostly due to the big number of questions I prepared well in advance. I got everything what expected from that day!
There were only 4 trainees in the class; instructor was a guy who works for head office in Copenhagen - Alin Pârjolea - I knew him from community activity previously. Alin was just a bit shy in the beginning, admitting that is was his first time training to such an advanced auditory, but he did well and in an hour we found ourselves very involved in progressing the course and had nice engrossing conversations every break time.
Certification exam itself was typical - 40 questions from which you need to get 70% of correct answers, three options one and only of them is correct. However I found it to be quite complex. Many questions were worded quite confusingly - and the answers also were not quite easy to select from, sometimes we had two answers suiting question, sometimes none, so had to try to read between the lines and try thinking an questioner - what in fact was intended to ask. Also questions were from the whole Sitecore experience, not only what was covered by the upgrade course that day, so those who have little experience in general and little knowledge of best practices are very unlikely to pass that test. All four of us were quite experienced Sitecore developers and all four have passed, I personally got 82% of correct answers.
Also after the course Alin shared with us some best solutions already existing, that was how I knew about Sitecore Habitat - probably the best approach to moduleness, simplicity and extensibility for big and multisite Sitecore solutions.
So, I am quite glad I managed to get certified with Sitecore 8 and do recommend as well!
I have just taken official Sitecore Developer Training and Certification in their office in London, near Tower Bridge.
In general, I did not expect the course to be so intensive. 4 days going through all aspects of working with Sitecore filled many gaps in my knowledge of platform. There were 5 of us so everyone could receive proper support and explanation while stuck with anything while studying.
Thanks to our tutor, Raul, who has heroically stood out a flurry of questions from me and gave really great insights on quite advanced topic outside of course agenda.
My advice for those who are just about to sign up for it - treat this course not as a final result by itself, but as a starting point for your individual further investigation. You will not become an expert after getting a certification, but you will be aware of most Sitecore features you need to know at that moment and how they function. Thus, do the notes, as much notes as you can. And ask as much question as you feel important to satisfy your understanding of each exact feature.
Another point I would suggest is to postpone your training if you are complete newbie in Sitecore. In that case, there is a risk you may miss something very important, especially if that becomes a prerequisite for further module. Do your own research before attending the course as much as possible - read multiple blogs, Q&A on StackOverflow etc. and ideally form the list of your own questions that you'd find answers for, while taking the course.
I personally found that very useful, so do recommend to you guys. And yes, if you are successful enough, you shortly receive a certificate like the one below but with your name, and also gain access to Sitecore developers' resources such as SDN forums and support.
So, good luck!