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Perl Certified!

by gmpassos (Priest)
on Apr 24, 2003 at 07:30 UTC ( #252790=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

(Please, don't flame, be opened and read all).

I already saw a lot of peoples asking for Perl certification, including the monastery, and some companies that do that. But in the first time that I saw that I think that this isn't a good thing, since Perl want to be a free thing, what is good.

But Perl is an amazing language were you can do everything, and in the most cases better than in any other languages. But Perl need to be used in commercial projects too, what can be done easy, you only need good programmers at it. But what we can't forget is that a companie is managed by peoples that see documents, official things, and the Open Source communitie is not much "official" in their mind (what is changing, thank good). And what they think when we say that we can't get a real certification for Perl?! We can't ask them to have the philosophy of Perl, to make the information free.

But I know that Perl programers want to win money with the knowledge that they have, since they know that Perl is good, and can make very good things. But as a project director in Brazil, I have a problem. I like Perl, since I'm a developer of Perl too, and want to use the best resources for the projects (like Perl) to make the best result. But here in Brazil the peoples buy the commercial things, since is cheap to make massive propaganda, and the peoples want to be prepared for what the market want (since the market buy the same thing). And my biggest problem is to find Perl programers, specially good Perl programers (with experience). So, most of Perl programers that work with me, I have taught Perl to them.

In the last week I was talking about that with other Perl programer here, and he was getting the certified for some other thing and want to get for Perl too. And think how good will be to find certified programers in Perl (a good certified of course).

Why not create a Perl certification group. The certified can be free, or if not all the money can go to the Perl community or any other Open Source project. And I started to make a list of what the programer need to know:

  • Compile and install Perl on Linux, FreeBSD, Win32, Mac(Perl)...
  • Enable it in Web Servers, like Apache, IIS... (I don't know much, I just use Apache).
  • Write and release Perl modules.
  • POD, including POD::Parser.
  • Compile and install modules on Linux and Win32.
  • The use of usual modules for code, like strict, Carp, UNIVERSAL, Exporter and @ISA, AUTOLOAD, import...
  • mod_perl, including installation.
  • Perl OO.
  • Perl fork on Linux and Win32.
  • Use Socket.
  • Use thread.
  • Regular expression.
  • tie, including for Hash, Array and Filehandles.
  • All the Perl syntax and operators, including references, complex HASH and ARRAY.
  • Predefined variables, at least the basics.
  • Portability rols.
  • XS and basic C. inline too (well, if you know XS this isn't a problem).
  • FILEHANDLE and IO::File, including all the input/output functions: tell, seek, binmode, eof, read, write...
  • open(), IPC::Open2, IPC::Open3, pipe.
  • DBI, with some db: MySQL, SQLite, Oracle... And installation on Linux and Win32.
  • Maybe some GUI, where the user can chose between wxPerl, TK and Win32.
  • So I want to know what the monks think about the certification, what a Perl certified need to know and the market with Perl certification. About the knows, I just think that can't be much specific, like modules that work with external things, like the GUI modules (this is why the user can be free to chose the type). I will appreciate any type of reply including ideas for the knows (or maybe some one that want to really create the certification group).

    Graciliano M. P.
    "The creativity is the expression of the liberty".

    Comment on Perl Certified!
    Re: Perl Certified!
    by theorbtwo (Prior) on Apr 24, 2003 at 07:49 UTC

      I think certifications of that sort are geneneraly overrated, for several reasons. The most important one is that remembering the sort of thing it tests on is unimportant; the only thing that matters is if you can find out how to do it quickly when it comes up.

      (I'm reminded of a question on the A+ test, for example (possible I'm missremembering): If you want to start windows in safe mode, what key should you press during boot: F3, esc, del, or F5. My answer would be "hold down control, and select "safe mode" from the menu. It doesn't matter how you do it, it matters that you can do it.)

      In any case, I think the best perl certification you're likely to find is also the most meaningless thing in the community. XP. My level is on my resumé. It shows community involvement, and it shows that there's people that respect my skills, which my work history, unfortunately, does not.


      Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

        It shows community involvement

        Involvement in a mostly social forum where the vast majority of technical discussion is answering Faqs to people who can't RTFM isn't the best thing on your resume. Think of it this way, if someone applied for a job and said they had 1200 posts on Slashdot, would you be more likely to give them a job? It can be a liability. Actual involvement in open source projects is exponentially better, and you'll learn more to.

          So it's either a meaningless yardstick or else it measures how much the community values you to some degree.

          Can you think of any other qualification you can write on a resume that doesn't fall into that category, perhaps?

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by davorg (Chancellor) on Apr 24, 2003 at 08:40 UTC

      The subject of Perl Certification comes up every couple of years. There's generally a load of discussion followed by no action. There was even a mailing list set up on one occasion.

      Sometimes someone will point to Is there an ISO or ANSI certified version of Perl? from perlfaq2 as an argument against a certification programme, but that talks about certifying the language rather than certifying the programmers.

      --
      <http://www.dave.org.uk>

      "The first rule of Perl club is you do not talk about Perl club."
      -- Chip Salzenberg

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by Your Mother (Canon) on Apr 24, 2003 at 08:50 UTC
      I agree with theorbtwo that certifications can be overrated, and even meaningless b/c they don't guage real ability and tests can be written subjectively. Eg: I found an online Perl exam two years ago. I took the "Beginner" test fearing that the "Intermediate" and "Expert" would just humiliate me. I got a 60-something%. Angered, I took the "Expert" and got 100%.

      That said, I think Perl Certification is an extremely important idea that really should happen b/c of this: Our future

      Regardless of the potential for nonsense, it would add a tremendous amount of legitimacy to Perl as a language in the eyes of the... well, you know who. And if architected correctly, it could help Perl in the eyes of most here.

      Eg: The YAS could collect a flat $5 fee for every online cert test and a $20 fee for the actual certificate. That money would fund future grants to kids like Sugalski and Conway (and maybe merlyn and Wall for that matter). It could even archive the names of the certified, adding more legitimacy to the résumé of the hacker in question.

      There might be a tremendous struggle about who/how/when but I think it would really advance Perl. And the how isn't that important. A cert 0.01 might not be great but by 3.22 a few months later it might be perfect and just in time to make Perl 6.0 less frightening and more seductive to the non-Perl world of CS.

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by crenz (Priest) on Apr 24, 2003 at 09:07 UTC

      Attention: unverified and onesided statements about certifications lurking ahead...

      I agree with theorbtwo: certifications aren't really useful. The main thing that bothers me is that to me it mostly seems learning by heart to me. That is, a certificate will certify that at one point in time, you knew what is in the manual. Obviously, with perl it's the things that are not in the manual that are even more interesting.

      Of course, certificates are not entirely useless -- they prove you did spend some time on the stuff. However, does being a Red Hat certified engineer prove that you are an experienced sysadmin?

      I dislike this tendency in our industry to take shortcuts -- looking at certificates instead of spending time to examine what a person really can do (not only what he/she knows). Or looking at buzzwords instead of facts, for that matter.

      I know this does not solve your problem of industry acceptance. However, there's a few people that already do excellent perl training. If I had the money, I'd always prefer a course with merlyn to a Perl certificate. Maybe you can hire him to train some of your programmers, I'm sure he'd enjoy a vacation in Brazil :). Or maybe you can use his book, "Learning Perl", to formulate for yourself what Perl programmers need to know -- and to have some kind of training that goes beyond learning the perl manpages by heart.

      For me, a very important part of any training would be real problem solving. This is how I learnt perl, and this is what can make you a good programmer.

        True, it's not just about the manual.
        For example, to be a certified java programmer, besides knowing language basics/syntaxt, you also have to understand threading concepts (how to create threads/manage, how deadlocks might occur ...).
        SUN CERTIFIED DEVELOPER FOR JAVA 2 PLATFORM
        (Objectives cover Step 1 and Step 2 of the certification.)
        • Write an application program using Java technology. The application requires the following:
          1. A graphical user interface demonstrating good principles of design
          2. A network connection, using a specified protocol, to connect to an information server
          3. A network server, which connects to a previously specified Java technology database
          4. A database, created by extending the functionality of a previously written piece of code, for which only limited documentation is available
        • List some of the major choices you must make during the implementation of the above.
        • List some of the main advantages and disadvantages of each of your choices.
        • Briefly justify your choices in terms of the comparison of design and implementation objectives with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
        Perl could have the same thing -- certification ain't just about memorizing the manual, but you sure as heck need to how my/local/our works.


        MJD says you can't just make shit up and expect the computer to know what you mean, retardo!
        I run a Win32 PPM repository for perl 5.6x+5.8x. I take requests.
        ** The Third rule of perl club is a statement of fact: pod is sexy.

        Shortcuts are nothing bad! It's all about economy. It would be a waste of your and the potential employer's time if the whole process of examinig the basic knowlege was repeated every time you go to an interview. Of course it's a matter of trust too.

        Thanks for the replies! What podmaster quoted of the Java certificates make sense to me. I should read up on certificates and form a more informed opinion :)

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by PodMaster (Abbot) on Apr 24, 2003 at 09:35 UTC
      I won't comment as to the validity of certification, but free certification? What's to stop me from taking the test a 100 times till I get %100? In the real world (with like Java for example), certification costs like ~$150, so people don't endup taking the test 100 times. The only way I could see a perl certification scheme is if it wasn't free, which brings up a whole bunch of other issues (who's gonna run it, who can give out certificates .... )

      Now, as for the "a list of what the programer need to know" you have there, are you nuts?

      None of that seems reasonable. Up until recently, java programmer certification required knowledge of AWT (GUI toolkit basically), and now they took it out. Why? Cause It has nothing to do with being a java programmer.

      What a perl programmer should know the basics of syntaxt (pod included), datatypes, context, and a generous knowledge of built-in functions.

      Now, should a perl programmer should also know the basics of fork-ing? What about platform caveats?
      How about threading?
      What kind of threading?
      Should there be a perl5.6 certified perl programmer?
      A perl 5.7 certified perl programmer?

      Man that's just too much confusion for my taste.
      Since there is no ISO/ANSI perl standard, I feel perl certification would be premature.

      Wait, maybe a feature knowledge type of certification is in order?
      You go in, you pay your XX amont of dollars, you're greeted by a perl guru (or higher -- 7 stages of a perl programmer) and he asses your knowledge of perl, and you get a certificate looking something like

      John Doe ....
      Throrough knowledge:
          forking concepts
          threading concepts
          oo perl
          tie interface
          socket programming
          XS
          ...
      
      
      I say merlyn,Dominus and TheDamian and others who teach/taught perl for a living give it some serious thought (who's better qualified at designing tests/certification but teachers? not me).


      MJD says you can't just make shit up and expect the computer to know what you mean, retardo!
      I run a Win32 PPM repository for perl 5.6x+5.8x. I take requests.
      ** The Third rule of perl club is a statement of fact: pod is sexy.

        That's what I would prefer, a series of certs that highlight what areas of Perl you have explored. Have one cert for the basics and then additional certs for each 'major' area of expertise. If I'm in charge of a group of programmers maintaining a web site, I don't really care how much knowledge you have about the Win32 modules, it's just not relevant to what we are doing here.

        • How do you keep people from learning the test by taking it several times? Have a VERY LARGE pool of questions from which any single test pulls its questions.
        • How do you test someone's learning ability? There are other tests for that, but in a purely perl universe, just give extremely difficult questions and measure how long it takes someone to answer them. This gives you a good bead on whether the test taker can find relevent information quickly.
        • Psychological tests also exist that can measure your ability to focus on a task, analyze a problem, work in teams/ work unsupervised, etc. (disclaimer, I'm working for a psychological testing firm putting those tests on the internet)
        This is absolutely do-able, the question is one of authority and commonality. The company/group handing out certs has to have the reputation to back those certs up and there have to be enough people using the certs to make them a standard.

        I think a relatively low fee is a good idea ~10 USD. At that price, the company giving certs isn't going to make very much money (or will just break even), but I think that adds to the 'authority' side of the equation. The testing authority is giving certs because it is fullfilling a function in the community, not because they see it as a huge profit center.

        oakbox

        Oh, Dominus already did. For some time, he would certify you. I think the fee was around $2. You could choose your own title. If you wanted to be a certified Perl sky-diver, that was fine too.

        Abigail

          The sad thing is that I would value that certification.

          Sure, it is a joke. But it means that you know who Dominus is, you don't like certifications, and you have a sense of humor about it. This says a lot of things about you, most of them positive from my perspective. :-)

        I won't comment as to the validity of certification, but free certification? What's to stop me from taking the test a 100 times till I get %100? In the real world (with like Java for example), certification costs like ~$150, so people don't endup taking the test 100 times. The only way I could see a perl certification scheme is if it wasn't free, which brings up a whole bunch of other issues (who's gonna run it, who can give out certificates .... )

        So now only the rich have the option to get certified that way :)

        --
        Allolex

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by TVSET (Chaplain) on Apr 24, 2003 at 09:45 UTC
      As a side note, I would have excluded Perl installation and Apache configuration from the certification, since it's really sysadmin's job and can be tricky sometimes. Installation of modules are OK though in my book. :)

      Leonid Mamtchenkov

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by l2kashe (Deacon) on Apr 24, 2003 at 11:51 UTC
      I agree with everyone's sentiments about certifications *almost* being a waste of time, I think you could get "certified" in a way that would avoid raw memorization.

      Test Part I
      Basic written exam threading through different topics in regards to perl, more than likely *not* multiple choice. Something along the lines of given snippet A and you are writing sub_function B what would the most memory efficient way be to pass data X over.. With possible solutions being using a ref, or def'ing a local var within scope. Now what about programming efficiency. Now what about maintainability (with possible definitions of "your location" being a perl devel shop, a mixed lang shop, or even possibly a operations/sysadmin facility) Something along those lines. This way you not only display that you know syntax, but that you can also alter your code based on application requirements, and who may be coming along after you, which I think most would agree on can make a big difference in what constructs and idioms get used in the code.

      Test Part II Hands on yummy perl goodness. Possibly say 3 portions. First, write simple script/module to do X (possibly dynamically based on what Part I determined your strenghts to be). Second, given script/snippet Y write POD describing its functionality, and interface. If possible also define a BUGS subsection of the documentation, or a TODO list with recommendations for extension/improvment to the code. Lastly, given code Z which does not work and/or meet requirements, fix it to meet criterion A, B, and C

      This way you either do well enough on the written to move along to the practical, or you need to go back and study some more. Then in the practical it really is practical, as opposed to more simple memorization. There should be more than enough code out there to use as a base for the cert, and if not, it's not all that difficult to build quasi contrived code for situation X... Thought for Perl Certification shamelessly stolen from CCIE certification exam..

      MMMMM... Chocolaty Perl Goodness.....
        Would it be feasible to give a programming question, ask the test taker to code a solution, and then execute that code with the Safe module and check the output?

        One thing you don't want to do as a test administrator is look over every answer. And the test has to be able to take vastly different coding styles into account. The system will need to offer a kind of black box test. Here's your input, I need that output, fill in the box.

        oakbox

          It would be feasible, but I think it misses the point: when testing someone's ability with perl, how they got the answer is just as important as that they got it at all.

          Hugo
    Re: Perl Certified!
    by perrin (Chancellor) on Apr 24, 2003 at 12:59 UTC
      There's already a certification offered right here. Is it any good? Who cares?

        I signed up for an account with Brainbench before they started selling certifications. I took every test I knew the slightest thing about. I seem to recall failing the Perl test three or four times too.

        The certifications I earned didn't do anything for me. No job offers, no increase in pay, nada, zip, zilch!

        It was the tests that I didn't pass that spurred me on to study harder and with the help of some of the masters, I can say that I'm a better geek for it.

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Apr 24, 2003 at 13:30 UTC
      Didn't Larry say he opposed any form of general certification?

      ------
      We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

      Don't go borrowing trouble. For programmers, this means Worry only about what you need to implement.

      Please remember that I'm crufty and crochety. All opinions are purely mine and all code is untested, unless otherwise specified.

        I don't think Larry used strong words as "opposed". But he has expressed that he thinks certification isn't useful. However, that was about the language, Larry isn't looking for an ISO or some other certification of the language. His quote is something like "I will be certified before Perl is".

        Abigail

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by Mr. Muskrat (Abbot) on Apr 24, 2003 at 15:04 UTC

      I already know what I am capable of doing with Perl. Why do I need a piece of paper to prove it?

      I already know what my Perl weaknesses are and what I need to do to overcome them. Why do I need a piece of paper to point out my shortcomings?

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by neilwatson (Curate) on Apr 24, 2003 at 15:40 UTC
      I am against certification. As has been pointed out, it's not what you know but how fast you find what you need to know. Now for Perl certification how would you do it anyway? One of Perl's main features is that there are many ways to accomplish one task. How does one test that? How are you going to quantify a person's ability with Perl unless the test writers can think of all possible solutions for each question?

      Now for my big rant. I wish managers and people is human resources would educate themselves on the true effectiveness of certifications. It is often hard to get one's foot in the door of a possible employer unless you've wasted time on money of certifications. In addition to the reasons I mentioned above, if I can download and memorize certification tests, what about being certified truely makes me a better candidate?

      Neil Watson
      watson-wilson.ca

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by Anonymous Monk on Apr 24, 2003 at 16:33 UTC

      Perl certification is brought up all the time. The responses are always the same, people say "this has been brought up before" and proceed to ignore the question. It then gets to the point where it becomes frowned upon to discuss, even though very few good points were ever made.

      Fortunately, there is a very small minority out there that doesn't take this approach. Maybe they're not aware of the general consensus, or maybe they just don't care. They just go ahead and do it. While others sit around regurgitating the same answers they were given when they asked the question, these people are giving it a shot.

      So I say go for it. Start certifying people yourself. Offer some free training and certification to get started. Become an authority on the subject. At worst, it will cost you a bit of time and you'll end up that much smarter. Pay no attention to these lemmings. Who needs anyone's approval?

    Re: Perl Certified! (for every one)
    by gmpassos (Priest) on Apr 24, 2003 at 18:12 UTC
      This is a reply for every one.

      I think certifications of that sort are geneneraly overrated
      I know that I put to many things for the test, but I think that the certified need to be good, or don't make sence! The best thing of Perl is that the user is free to learn for the test, since the information about Perl is free.

      I already know what I am capable of doing with Perl. Why do I need a piece of paper to prove it?
      You don't need to prove to your self, but to other peoples. How an employer will know that you are good or not for what it want?

      I would have excluded Perl installation and Apache configuration from the certification, since it's really sysadmin's job and can be tricky sometimes.
      I think that know how to put Perl in some machine is important for any Perl developer. Can be a sysadmin job, but a Perl developer can't be dependent of a sysadmin, and need to know how Perl works in the enverioment that he was using to make a good job!

      My Idea was to make a certification for high level Perl programers, but other levels of certification can exist. But I think that a good certification can't be easy, you can't show only the basics.

      I know that certification world is ugly, but we need that for us! To tell to the world that Perl programers are good. And since Perl have the Perl community, we can chose how the certification will be, and don't make a market about this, using the money to the Perl community or Open Source projects. And I think that a hard test will tell that the certification is good, not the money that you have to pay, this is why I think that it can be free, and you can make it how many times you want, you just need to be good get an A in the test!

      I think that the test can be free, you just need to make a donation of any amount of money each time that you make the test. And the certification can have the basic level where the user know just the Perl syntax, the medle, and the high level where it know ate least all the basic resources of Perl.

      As an employer I need Perl certification to find good programers, and I know that Perl programers want good jobs at Perl. We can do that with certification, but we don't need to make the certification process in the ugly way.

      Graciliano M. P.
      "The creativity is the expression of the liberty".

        I think a large part of the problem here is the breadth of applicability of perl - you can be an expert perl programmer, without even touching (let alone learning to expert level) the use of substantial parts of the language.

        For example, I'd rate myself as an excellent perl programmer, but I've never used formats. Nor have I ever used perl on a Windows or Mac platform. I've written threaded applications, but not in perl. I've never written any XS code except for testing purposes.

        However, I've been able to gain employment with my perl skills, because I've been able to show that in any area that might be required I know how to acquire the skills I need if I don't already have them.

        The point, then, is that anyone hiring perl programmers needs to consider what they need them for, to decide from that what they insist any new programmer must know before starting, and then to devise a means of determining (probably, I guess, by way of a test) whether a candidate knows the prerequisites and can show some ability to learn new things.

        Few if any employers need a programmer that is an expert in every aspect of the language and deployment of perl. Any certification that did not take into account your specific needs must, I feel, either certify too few people or too many to be of any help.

        Hugo
          Another good node had the idea to get certification by areas, not by level. Make the certification for Web, XS, language, etc... Since the certification will be cheap, but hard!

          Well I just put in the list what I need from the Perl programmer in my projects...

          Graciliano M. P.
          "The creativity is the expression of the liberty".

        As an employer I need Perl certification to find good programers, and I know that Perl programers want good jobs at Perl. We can do that with certification, but we don't need to make the certification process in the ugly way

        I think the question on how to find good Perl developers is an interesting one. As you may have guessed by now I don't think certification is the answer with Perl in it's current state :-)

        My tips would be:

        • Accept that it will be harder than finding a good developer in a more popular language. Double your normal estimates for time needed.
        • Advertise in the right place. jobs.perl.org is the most obvious. Don't rely on a generic recruiter.
        • Bonus points for people with CPAN modules and community involvement, but don't ignore those who don't contribute.
        • Make the wording on the job advert specific and blunt. If you need somebody with good OO perl don't just say "OO Perl", say "Absolute requirement: must provide evidence of ability to write and maintain reusable object-oriented perl modules. Experience of Class::MakeMethods an advantage." Make it completely clear in the advert that they will not get the job if they cannot do what you need. Don't be shy of spending money on a larger advert. It will save you time in filtering poor CVs.
        • Set a pre-interview test. I had some success combining a few moderately sneaky questions (e.g. "What's the difference between $foo->method and method($foo)?") with a "review this code" open question.

        Any more?

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by tjh (Curate) on Apr 24, 2003 at 20:47 UTC
      It's easy to say the certifications don't matter. Hell, I can introduce you to many MBA's who recently spent hundreds of millions of $US on web-based 'features' and called them companies. They, or dad, paid a bit for their certs.

      However, if I was looking for Perl programmers, it would at least be interesting to me that someone showed a resume that indicated they'd taken a course from Merlyn, or others, on a specific topic, that they were an active PerlMonk, that they had completed the Basic Perl course, the CGI course, the mod_perl course, etc... from some entity that made sense to me.

      Without quibbling over the details of that paragraph, such things at least indicate some interest, involvement and self advancement.

      From someone who doesn't have the MBA, I can tell you that more than once I wished I had the damn, "useless", thing...

      It would be very interesting to see some sort of an Open Source certification project that offered and came ever-closer to achieving some certifications that many could agree to.

      However, none of this thread really speaks to the 'ability to program' as a root skill. It could be addressed by education, but nothing replaces the 'under fire apprenticeship', or realistic mentoring during OJT.

      Still, endless temporizing aside, some training/testing/certifying sources that _some_ people, employers, etc, could get their minds and budgets around wouldn't hurt Perl at all, and would likely help many Perl coders in the process...

      0.02

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by tjh (Curate) on Apr 25, 2003 at 03:45 UTC
      For completely unrelated reasons, I ended up at the IEEE Computer Society (www.computer.org) and came upon their relatively recently released certification program for their Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) Program.

      In the spirit of the thread I thought I'd link it in. I'm certainly not trying to evangelize for a Perl certification program that gets a little respect, but it is interesting to read their approach to such a broad certification. Nor would I be willing to speculate on the proficiency of their successfully certified folks.

      After more than three years of extensive research in the field among professionals, employers and their customers, the leaders of the IEEE Computer Society realized that the time had come to develop and offer the Certified Software Development Professional designation Professional certification has three critical components:

      • Exam-based testing demonstrating mastery of a Body of Knowledge (BOK);
      • Extensive experience base in the performance of the work or profession being certified; and
      • Continuing professional education, measured and relevant to the BOK.

      The IEEE Computer Society certification is the only software development professional certification that has all of these critical support components and carries the mark of the IEEE Computer Society, which has been active in developing software engineering standards for more than 20 years. Collectively, the IEEE standards make up the practice standards for software engineers. This certification program is part of the society's larger effort to provide education and certification services to the software engineering community.

      - excerpted from: http://www.computer.org/certification/

      I have no personal reason to hold the IEEE in high regard, just thought it was somehow karmic that it showed up on my laptop today. :)

      Your certification may vary (YCMV)

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by Beatnik (Parson) on Apr 25, 2003 at 05:40 UTC
      I personally feel certification at some point might be A Good Thing(tm) but what to ask for, who will do it etc.

      I personally don't know all THAT much perl developers who know most/all of those topics you mention. I try to learn it all and most I know or briefly touched. IMHO it's like asking people to also learn how to drive a motorcycle, a speedboat, racecar and a truck when they want to learn how to drive a car. Stick to the good interviewing and testing (in person). I took those brainbench exams a few years ago and I passed em every time altho I sucked at perl. There is still a think called logical thinking and you can't uniform that.

      Greetz
      Beatnik
      ... I'm belgian but I don't play one on TV.
    Re: Perl Certified!
    by adrianh (Chancellor) on Apr 26, 2003 at 13:46 UTC

      Ignoring the argument over whether certification is good or evil...

      <cynicism>

      I think people who argue "Perl isn't taken seriously because it isn't certified" have it completely the wrong way around. Perl isn't certified because it isn't taken seriously.

      Organisations take note of certification only when it becomes a useful tool. When you advertise for a Java coder or a NT administrator you get hundreds of CVs that look vaguely sane. So adding Java or MS certification to the list of requirements helps cut the field down.

      Perl certification isn't going to help Perl become more popular. Certification is a business. You get certification of X because X is popular.

      When Perl becomes as popular as Java - then you'll see people create and take notice of Perl certification schemes.

      </cynicism>

        Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Perl is more popular than Java, no? Popular meaning, used by X number of persons for X number of tasks; mod_perl alone helps drive millions of servers right now. The non-proprietary nature of it and the difficulty in certifying TIMTOWTDI, I think, is why the cash parasites haven't latched on to a certification scheme.

          I was talking about popularity as a commercial development environment, not as a user environment.

          There are a lot more Java coders out there that Perl coders. There are a lot more Java jobs out there than Perl jobs. Remember, there is a lot of non-web related code written in the world ;-)

          Perl certification does not exist because it's not economically viable - there are not enough companies out there who want/need one.

          (Note: I'm not saying Perl cannot be used in many of the places Java is used now just as successfully. I like Perl. However, at the moment, Java is more popular. I don't think certification will change this one iota.)

        Perl is more popular than Java, since you have more peoples that use it. The problem is that the market look more for Java since Java has a marketing job around it.

        "...people who argue "Perl isn't taken seriously because it isn't certified" have it completely the wrong way around.

        You can't ask to the others to know Perl, Java or anything, they just follow the wave. You think that who tell that Java is good really know it?! Who chose the peoples generally are persons that doesn't know the technology, and this is why they chose for certified programers, and we need to dance with the music! Ask to the others to have a good idea about the things is just utopia.

        My idea to make Perl certification come because I don't agree with the facts and I want to change them. Every body can change the things, you just need to start, move the peolples... or you just agree with the wrong things in the world and continue with your life?!

        My grandfather learned a good thing with his grandfather. In the life you can make your rules, or follow the rules of the others. If you show from the beginning that you make your rules, the peoples will respect them, and some will follow too. But you always need to show your rules from the begin. One time in the game of the others you are in the game of the others. My great-grandfather lived 109 years, and my grandfather has 76. All of them had a good life, and what I said work from more than 120 years.

        (I make my rules!)

        Graciliano M. P.
        "The creativity is the expression of the liberty".

          Perl is more popular than Java, since you have more peoples that use it. The problem is that the market look more for Java since Java has a marketing job around it

          Perl may be more popular than Java by number of users using Perl based code. However it's not a more popular commercial development environment. There are more Java jobs than Perl jobs. More commercial Java code gets written than commercial Perl code.

          In my opinion this is what drives the success of a certification scheme.

          Who chose the peoples generally are persons that doesn't know the technology, and this is why they chose for certified programers, and we need to dance with the music

          I've been one of those people who choose people ;-)

          You advertise for a Perl job you get dozens of CVs. You advertise for a Java job you get hundreds. Specifying some level of Java certification brings the number down to a reasonable amount and excludes the complete idiots.

          It also excludes a large number of equally, if not more, competent people.

          Sometimes it's not because the recruiters are technically incompetent. It's because they have finite resources to find a new recruit. This is where certification is useful. This is why you only see it in popular languages or environments.

          My idea to make Perl certification come because I don't agree with the facts and I want to change them. Every body can change the things, you just need to start, move the peolples... or you just agree with the wrong things in the world and continue with your life?!

          I have nothing against you trying to create a Perl certification scheme. Honest :-) More power to your arm.

          However if I was recruiting I wouldn't use it. I can just look at all of the CVs I receive to find the best person. I don't have to run the risk of excluding a possibly competent person without certification because the number of CVs I get is manageable.

          The point I was trying to make was that I don't think certification will change the popularity of Perl one iota.

          Language choice is made because of the number of developers available, the experience of your in-house team, the features the language gives you, and many other reasons.

          I've been writing commercial software for over fifteen years. In that time language choice has never been made because you could get certified developers in one language and not another. Its just not an issue in language choice. It's a recruitment tool.

    Re: Perl Certified!
    by SparkeyG (Curate) on Apr 28, 2003 at 00:44 UTC
      One thing I will note in your list of requirements:
      • Compile and install Perl on Linux, FreeBSD, Win32, Mac(Perl)...
      • Enable it in Web Servers, like Apache, IIS... (I don't know much, I just use Apache).
      • Compile and install modules on Linux and Win32.
      • mod_perl, including installation.
      These above are not programmer tasks or skills. I know that will get me flamed, many good programmers I know couldn't install or configure thier compiler or RCS system to save their life. Many of us here may be able to do both, but the lack of this ability does not make one a deficient programmer.
      As a sys-admin by trade and temperment, I'd be afraid of programmers asking to install and configure languages and servers.

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