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As a follow-up to the tiered webOS developer program we reported on last month, which focused largely on the relationship between developers and the Developer Relations team, HP also announced its "webOS Certified Developers Program." This initiative is designed to help developers market themselves to potential consumers of their services. As the description states:

"HP is significantly expanding its third-party developer program by offering certification to developers who would like to make their services available to firms looking for webOS development expertise. Developers will initially be certified on the basis of quantity and quality of apps developed, as well as relevant experience and training."

As with the overall developer program, developers can qualify for different levels of certification (regular or "Gold") based upon the number of "qualifying" apps in the Catalog, development experience, completing formal webOS or similar developer training and submitting and executing a "webOS business plan." Certification brings with it a number of specific benefits:

"Certified developers will enjoy significant promotional and referral opportunities from HP, helping to expand their webOS markets. Certified developers will be listed on the "Third Party Developers" page on the Developer Portal and receive "webOS Certified Developer" graphic assets for use in marketing. Depending on certification level, developers may also enjoy priority support access and a highlight page on the Developer Portal."

The complete details can be found in the webOS Developer Center.

This new effort could give the many solo or small group webOS developers an entry (with HP's blessing and recommendation) into projects for larger companies which want to add webOS to their offerings but would find it more expensive to train or hire someone internally. It also nicely complements HP's own development assistance "SWAT teams" that Richard Kerris mentioned in his interview with PreCentral. We are very interested in seeing how this evolves, and in learning whether and how certification makes a real difference for the webOS developer community.