You are working in the field that changes the fastest in world history. Seriously - there has never been a field in human endeavor whose tools have morphed so quickly and so completely as computer programming. What do I mean? Well, let's take a look at my first three Perl jobs:
- 1995 - implemented a website in Perl/CGI.
- 2000 - implemented a testtools application that never saw a webserver.
- 2001 - implemented a ETL application for loading whatever-it-saw into Oracle
Whoa! What kind of cert should I get there? Do I get three certs?
Let's take a look at MySQL certs. I've been a MySQL DBA for over 2 years. I toyed with the idea for a while of getting the DBA certs and realized that it was a complete waste of my time. Why? Two reasons:
- The certs are someone else's idea of what I should know. Frankly, I need to know whatever it takes to get the person paying me what they need.
- The certs are so behind the times that it hurts. If I had certified when I first started being a DBA (back when 4.1 had just come out), I would know nothing about views, stored procedures, cluster, and everything else released since then. In fact, I'd be emphasizing my lack of suitability for a job with an up-to-date MySQL install.
The best certification is still the same - your reputation as spread by word of mouth. And, Perl is the best
language within which to get that because the community craves new people working on CPAN modules. You want my recommendation? Take over PDF::Template
and show me what you can do with it. I have gotten my last six (seven?) fulltime jobs, several on-the-side contracting gigs, and at least two fulltime offers I chose to not take primarily due to my CPAN work and the reputation I've gained as a result of it. It's to the point where I will only hire Perl developers who either have stuff on CPAN or are vouched for by someone who does. And, I'm not alone in that. Show me how a certification (or even ten certs!) can match that.
My criteria for good software:
- Does it work?
- Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?