Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
Problems? Is your data what you think it is?

Expert programmer's certification

by CountZero (Bishop)
on Jan 14, 2004 at 21:51 UTC ( #321390=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

My dear Fellow Monks!

I happened to land on this site which offers on-line certification of your programmer's skills and suggests that it will improve your chances on the job-market.

To my surprise it also has a Perl-test!

Does anyone of you have any experience with such on-line tests?

If you pass the test, you get a nice hard-copy certificate, which you can frame and hang on the wall (and it will only set you back 25 USD).


"If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Expert programmer's certification
by perrin (Chancellor) on Jan 14, 2004 at 22:23 UTC
    Certifications are extremely valuable to people selling certifications.
Re: Expert programmer's certification
by b10m (Vicar) on Jan 14, 2004 at 22:54 UTC

    I do agree, unlike others, that certification can be an advantage over somebody else in a job interview. For example the ITIL certificate(s) proved valuable to my employers (some even required it). Heck, even the infamous MCSE certification can be valuable :)

    The question is "how known is the certification to your (potential) employer?". Certificates from the source you showed and for example Brainbench are amusing at best. These are not known to (at least Dutch) employers and they seem to give little to no value to them. Besides they're not known, the online tests aren't very credible, for who knows exactly who took the exam? I could, for example, help my brother out, if he wanted the paper.

    It all depends on the job, but for most IT jobs (at least in The Netherlands), ITIL seems a nice one to have on your resume. LPI (Linux Professional Institute) seems to become more valuable too in the Linux market. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any credible Perl certificates.

    This all said, I think it can be valuable to take the tests, for you might learn from it, and it might be just fun. Then again, spend a couple of weeks over here and you learn a lot more (presumably) and don't have to pay the fee :)

Re: Expert programmer's certification
by ysth (Canon) on Jan 14, 2004 at 22:18 UTC
      I read through it this morning (60+ comments on use perl is something to see, after all), and I have to say it's terribly depressing. Even the people who are for certification, or debating certification, or talking about it, or whatever the original impetus was, are only interested because it might increase their salary, and not because certification will guarantee competency. Yeesh.
        because certification will guarantee competency
        Certification cannot guarantee that. It can only gurarantee you know perl sufficiently well, whether that makes you competent to do task X using perl is another issue entirely.
Re: Expert programmer's certification
by hardburn (Abbot) on Jan 14, 2004 at 22:03 UTC

    In Soviet Russia, certficate hangs you!

    Sorry, I have a hard time taking any certifications seriously.

    I wanted to explore how Perl's closures can be manipulated, and ended up creating an object system by accident.
    -- Schemer

    : () { :|:& };:

    Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

Re: Expert programmer's certification
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Jan 14, 2004 at 22:09 UTC
    Does anyone of you have any experience with such on-line tests?

    Pretty much useless in my experience.

    In a vain attempt to head of yet another certification flame fest I point people towards the Perl Certification Wiki.

Re: Expert programmer's certification
by LD2 (Curate) on Jan 15, 2004 at 00:49 UTC
    I think if you wish to do the test and get the certification, it's fine. It's really up to you. But, I wouldn't expect future employers to put much worth into the actual certificate. I think most(employers) want to know if you are able to think on your feet, be able to actually code at whatever level you're at... and be open to learning. I'm sure there are other/more qualifications, but having a certificate.. especially from an online test isn't going to be too impressive.
Re: Expert programmer's certification
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 15, 2004 at 00:38 UTC
    Does anyone of you have any experience with such on-line tests?
    A couple of monks have similar stuff from brainbench, and some employers have considered these prerequisites for employment. If you know an employer who holds stock in such certification, and he's considering hiring you, I say go ahead and get it (ask your potential employer). Any certification not approved by the perl community ain't worth squat unless your potential employer recognizes it.
Re: Expert programmer's certification
by Elgon (Curate) on Jan 15, 2004 at 13:02 UTC

    I think that as many people have pointed out, certification is a tricky one. Personally, I'm cautiously in favour of it because an accredited certification scheme could help raise the profile of Perl as a serious business solution as it gives them something more tangible to focus on...

    manager: You mean he's certified as clueful by the Christiansen-Wall College of Perl? Sign that man up!

    You've got to be careful what it is that the certificate is certifying though: The online testing technique doesn't really test anything other than your ability to flip through the Blue Camel quickly or to remember syntax. (I'm certified by one of these as an "expert" in Perl and if you ever read any of my code, you'll see that this is overstating the case just a tad.) On the other hand a purely class-based course generally just certifies that you turned up and did at least some homework. Neither of these really fits the bill as what people really want (although they generally don't know it) is a good programmer rather than an expert in a particular language. Measuring what makes a good programmer is hard.


    "Stercus! Dixit Pooh. Eeyore, missilis lux navigii heffalumporum iaculas. Piglet, mecum ad cellae migratae concurras."

Re: Expert programmer's certification
by CountZero (Bishop) on Jan 15, 2004 at 06:41 UTC
    Thank you all for your valuable insights.

    I was not really planning to do such a test, I was mostly surprised by the fact that such a test at all was available for Perl. Knowing the Perl-community mainly through PerlMonks and YAPC, I did not expect such tests to be taken very serious by those who really know Perl.

    But then again, it is probably very easy to put up a dynamic web-site with some multiple choice tests and thus relieve unsuspecting passers-by from 25 USD for a nicely printed certificate.

    You could get rich fast while sleeping, in that way!

    Perhaps the site is even running on some Perl scripts; who knows there might even be a CPAN module in it somewhere.


    "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

Re: Expert programmer's certification
by toma (Vicar) on Jan 17, 2004 at 04:48 UTC
    This brings up the question of who certifies the certifiers. In some fields, this question has a widely-known answer. Do any widely-recognized meta-certifiers evaluate Perl certificates?

    I have interviewed more than a few Perl programmers, and it was not difficult to assess Perl skill.

    If a candidate were to list a certificate on a resume, my expectations would rise, and I would expect good answers. The certification would show confidence in Perl, so I would feel free to ask more difficult questions.

    It should work perfectly the first time! - toma
Re: Expert programmer's certification
by johndageek (Hermit) on Jan 16, 2004 at 20:17 UTC
    People whom paper their walls with certificates only prove their ability to sit through endless classes, or spend time on line answering questions that are small enough to be scored on a 1 – x scale.

    People who have a stack of certificates and can explain why they took the courses that fit my (corporate) needs are ones I have an interest in.

    My next question is – “So how have you applied the knowledge you go from the course?”

    Funny thing is, sometimes I expect to hear – “Not much, it was a bad course selection.”, but generally what is needed is statements like “the course had some in depth theory/ or techniques that I used to accomplish such and so project.

    Just my 2 cents worth


Re: Expert programmer's certification
by inman (Curate) on Jan 19, 2004 at 13:47 UTC
    The value of a certificate of achievment depends on the repuatation of the certificating authority (university, training company etc.) and the perception by the user of the certificate (potential employer) that it is fit for purpose. A certificate basically says that the holder has met the requirements of the certifier. When a potential employer is looking at your CV, they know nothing about you as an individual. Relevant certification can provide useful information for the decision making process.

    It is increasingly popular for the software vendors to run an education / training scheme that may result in a certificate. Attending a training course (often expensive and paid for by an employer) is a good indication that an individual has received instruction in a particular subject. If they pass an exam, then they have at least been paying attention during the course. A potential employer would probably give some weight to a candidate that had received vendor training.

    Another tactic is that software vendors publish an accreditation scheme and then get companies who focus on training to run the scheme. An example would be if you took the Sun Java training course from QA Training and passed the exam. The Java course is set by the vendor and QA is a well known and respected UK training group. This combination looks good on a CV.

    The limitation with training of any type is that if you don't use it, you lose it. I have known people who collect the vendor certifications but without practical experience, any qualification just demonstrates that when you took the exam you had enough information lodged in your short term memory to pass the test.

    I have a lovely cerificate from a University because I did a degree in Chemistry. Unfortunately I can't remember a thing about it!

Log In?

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: perlmeditation [id://321390]
Approved by Zaxo
Front-paged by broquaint
and all is quiet...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others romping around the Monastery: (1)
As of 2018-02-22 19:39 GMT
Find Nodes?
    Voting Booth?
    When it is dark outside I am happiest to see ...

    Results (298 votes). Check out past polls.