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New Perl Certification

by astroboy (Chaplain)
on Jun 14, 2005 at 06:09 UTC ( #466400=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I see on NewsForge that High-Level Certifications LLC have announced certificationz in Python, Perl, and Lua. The Perl details can be found here

I know that certifications have been discussed on Perlmonks before, and not always with approval. The examined topics seem to offer a reasonable grounding in the basics, although without seeing a sample exam it's hard to tell how good it is...

I'd be curious to know if anyone else has seen the exams, and what they think of them.

Retitled by holli from 'New Perl Certfication'.

Comment on New Perl Certification
Re: New Perl Certification
by cog (Parson) on Jun 14, 2005 at 09:25 UTC
    Well, it's a 60 multiple question exam that focuses in 46 issues...

    Judging from what it says, it probably takes one question to figure out if you "Understand and use references", and perhaps two when it comes to know whether you're able to "Distinguish between valid / invalid native function names"

    Anyway, you only have to answer correctly to 33 questions in order to get the certification...

    I wouldn't trust the results of such an exam :-)

    (In fact, I could even assume the person wouldn't have the necessary skills for a job if he/she had undertaken such an exam just to prove me something...)

Re: New Perl Certification
by spurperl (Priest) on Jun 14, 2005 at 17:20 UTC
    I'm suspicious of certifications in general and this one in particular. Never been able to understand why programming-language certifications are needed.

    Will I hire someone w/o interviewing him only based on his certification ? No.

    Will I hire someone who aced a certification but didn't show himself well on an interview ? No.

    So what *really* are those certifications useful ? To get one's resume into my "invite to interview" stack ? No need really, as "excellent Perl skills" would be enough - the candidate would be tested on an interview anyway.

    P.S: I guess that the easiness of cheating on these certificates makes them even less credible.

Re: New Perl Certification
by Fletch (Chancellor) on Jun 14, 2005 at 17:53 UTC

    Wow, I don't know about you but I know I'll feel better no longer needing to worry about my World of Warcraft experience if I only use UI addons from Certified Lua Programmers®.</sarcasm>

    At any rate, colour me in the skeptical pile.

    Update: And I just looked at their site. MY EYES! THE GOGGLES DO NOTHING!

    --
    We're looking for people in ATL

Re: New Perl Certification
by duff (Vicar) on Jun 14, 2005 at 20:36 UTC

    Every time I hear about these certification tests I can't help but think how useless they are. Mainly because they can't be trusted. They don't have any peer review (except when we experienced people take the tests and laugh at the mistakes :-)

    Occasionally though, I have the idea that there could be a "good" certification test if renowned perl experts could review the questions/answers to ensure that they are kosher. Which would be worth more to perl people: I just scored a 98% on brainbench's perl test or I just scored a 98% on a test that was composed of questions reviewed by Larry Wall, Randal Schwartz, Mark Jason-Dominus, Damian Conway, and Abigail?

    My idea has never gotten much beyond this "wouldn't it be neat if ..." stage but maybe someone else could run with it and see where it leads.

Re: New Perl Certification
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 14, 2005 at 21:18 UTC
    From the list of "things to know":

    Subroutines

    Understand all legal means of parameter passing, including named parameters and references.

    Since when does Perl5 have named parameters?!? Does this certification cover Perl6 as well?!?

    I'm confused! :-(

      That's probably sloppy terminology for key/value pairs being passed as a flattened hash. But if that's the terminology, then the test is flawed, because that terminology is obviously not universal.

      -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
      Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

Re: New Perl Certification
by g0n (Priest) on Jun 15, 2005 at 09:27 UTC
    I also note that:

    "By far the best way to prepare for the High-Level Certification exam is to take the official practice exams. [...] Purchasing the exams will provide you with two full practice exams that you can take at your convenience through your web browser."

    (High Level Certifications 2005 - http://www.high-levelcert.com/perl.htm#WhatisonPerl)

    (My italics)

    So the exam (inevitably) costs, but beyond the fairly brief list of what concepts are covered on the exam, there is no way of making sure you know everything needed, other than to purchase the practise exams. And since TIMTOWTDI, there may be questions on a function that you rarely if ever use. We've discussed this before, but a lot of programming is down to style - if your style differs from the person setting the exam, chances are good you will fail.

    We can't really say for certain whether the questions are well written without seeing them, and I for one am not paying to do so.

    If High Level Certifications are interested in getting feedback from the community, I'm sure one or more of the senior monks would gladly cast an eye over a sample exam, provided they were free to comment openly.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    g0n, backpropagated monk

      Yeah, I can't help but feel that the Perl community works differently from most other IT communities. It's not uncommon - at least in my neck of the woods - for employers to advertise jobs requiring Microsoft, Redhat, Oracle, Java etc certification, but it seems to me that when it comes to Perl, the guys in charge of hiring would rather see your programming chops.
        Hmm. Have you noticed that Microsoft, Redhat, Oracle, and Java (Sun) are all companies that would benefit from tightening the supply pool through providing certification programs?

        Now compare that with Perl. What "company" would benefit from controlling certifications?

        See how that's different? I don't hear much about "Python" or "TCL" certifications either.

        -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
        Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

Re: New Perl Certification
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Jun 16, 2005 at 23:22 UTC
    I'd be curious to know if anyone else has seen the exams, and what they think of them.

    55% of a sixty question multiple choice gives a passing grade. Colour me sceptical. It certainly wouldn't affect any hiring decision I'd make.

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