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Re: Certifications are dumb.

by sundialsvc4 (Abbot)
on Apr 09, 2008 at 03:46 UTC ( #679144=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Certifications are dumb.

There might be no other major industry on this planet that has bloomed so quickly, and so much out of youth. There's probably not a single six-year-old on the western side of this planet who has not daily encountered a product of the software industry in his or her daily life.

But you can encounter a professional-grade software product, and even appreciate its sophistication at some level or another, and even understand a great deal about “how” it was made ... without understanding the overall process that actually went on.

If I walk up to a brick building, I “understand” at some level or another that those bricks consist of fired clay; that the mortar between them was put there by a trowel; that the bricks were artfully set in place one at a time. But that knowledge does not make me a mason.

Nor does it make me an architect, or a surveyor, or a project planner. Especially not any of these, because while I can “see” a brick wall, it might never even occur to me to wonder how exactly the right number of bricks joined by exactly the right amount of motar happened to wind up precisely here, in a carefully positioned structure that does not fall down.

You have to learn to be a master mason by starting out as an apprentice:   schlepping hundreds of pounds of bricks around and watching all the while. There is no substitute for it; nor can there be. My first job consisted of tearing paper off a line-printer and shoving it through a slot. I didn't care:   I was inside. I read. I watched. I listened. I absorbed. (The original Macintosh was still three years away...)

I also believe that you cannot hope to obtain the “master masons” that you require without growing them. The classic trades have a well-developed system... apprentice, journeyman, master. Ours has none of this. Maybe it should.


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