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Which certifications are good?

by cosmicperl (Chaplain)
on Aug 23, 2008 at 01:54 UTC ( #706362=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
cosmicperl has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hi All,
  I don't have a lot of certification experience myself, so I'm requesting the aid of the holy monks :)
  I know a lot of you do not agree with certification, I already know a lot of you will want to post 'certification is a con', 'certificates are bogus', etc. I already know this so please don't.
  What I'm looking for is what certificates you have done that you thought were good. Or what parts of certificates you thought were done well.

I'll start the ball rolling with the only certificate I've come across that I thought was done well, RedHat's RHCE (I think most their certificates are in this format)

What impressed me about RedHat certification was this:-

  1. No multiple choice
  2. Totally hands on, you work the whole time on an independent machine
  3. You're given a broken machine to fix, with minimal information about the problem, if you don't fix it 100% you fail
  4. You're given a list of things to implement, if you don't get most of them done, you fail

This is all actual machine work as you'd actually do it in real life, no paper or question tests, real machines, real problems. It's the best certification system I've come across.

But that's all I've come across I know nothing of Cisco, Sun or Microsoft certs (, etc). I know they all have a lot of problems, but what I NEED to know is what they have right.


Lyle

Comment on Which certifications are good?
Re: Which certifications are good?
by Anonymous Monk on Aug 23, 2008 at 06:34 UTC
    wrong forum
Re: Which certifications are good?
by Tanktalus (Canon) on Aug 23, 2008 at 13:16 UTC

    Good certifications are ones that get you jobs / pay hikes. Bad certifications are ones that do not.

    The reason why so many here think they're all bad is because we, the guys who would be giving you a tech interview, wouldn't put any weight behind your certifications list. That doesn't mean it won't help you get by the HR guy, only that it won't help you get by *us*.

    If you do find a techie who allows them as indicators of something, it's most likely because that techie also has the certification and is trying, desperately, to justify it to him/herself.

      Thanks for your response, hopefully I'll get more :)
Re: Which certifications are good?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Aug 23, 2008 at 18:06 UTC
    Certifications and forced class attendance to keep current, like Doctors are supposed to do, seem like a good idea in a perfect world. But in the real world, all these things can be faked( or bought), so there is a general skepticism of their value. I remember when I was an Electronics Tech, they had all sorts of certifications too, but you got more mileage out of dressing neat and having a toolbox of cool looking tools.

    I like the idea of giving someone a box of computer parts, a few system cds, and an ethernet cable, and tell them to put a computer together, an get a secure https server running, and basic email.

    I think the US government would have to setup a giant buracracy to do the various testings and issue photo ids, and cert numbers which would be verifiable; in order for strangers to take it seriously.

    I mean you have people running around faking college diplomas and getting away with it, certs would be even easier. Instead of certs, I think hiring private detectives to do background checks, and interviewing previous employers/teachers would be more cost effective.


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth Remember How Lucky You Are
      I think that's why certs like redhats have online verification. But you've raised a good point. Certificates need to be easily verifiable.
Re: Which certifications are good?
by spivey49 (Monk) on Aug 23, 2008 at 18:13 UTC

    Wrong forum, but since you asked CCIE and JNCIE certs are the only ones worth the paper they're printed on. There are bootcamps for most certs that do nothing but prepare you to pass a test. CCIE and JNCIE certs actually require demonstrating understanding of networking and the abillity to apply theory to somewhat pratical situations.

    Then again, that's just my opinion.

      So like the RedHat ones they are worth something because they test hands on skills... Interesting.
Re: Which certifications are good?
by RyuMaou (Deacon) on Aug 26, 2008 at 19:25 UTC
    In my experience as both a candidate and a hiring manager, certificates are only valuable for getting past a headhunter or HR person to the tech manager who can really assess your skills.

    Certifications have changed over the years. I got a CNE in 1993 and maintained it up until about 2001. (As far as I know, it's still valid.) In fact, I wrote a simple script to emulate df for Netware that ran on their implementation of Perl, back in the day. And, I got a CompTIA Linux+ in 2003. So far, neither have proved universally valuable. My CNE got me interviews a couple of times and occasionally draws interest from a recruiter looking to fill a government job. The Linux+ gives me something to laugh about with other system administrators.
    Both get me past low-level search people and passed on to someone with more technical savvy and experience.

    But, the age of certifications guaranteeing a certain salary or a certain bonus are long gone. Novell now requires some hands-on via simulators in their tests and they have some Linux certifications now, too. As others have mentioned, Cisco has better certification tests now, too, requiring a fair amount of hands-on knowledge. No idea what Microsoft is requiring these days. And, of course, you already point out the highlights of the RHCE. All of them, even the ones with simulations, have cram-tests that include the simulators or something close.

    But, no matter how good a certification is, nothing beats real-world experience and solving actual problems.
      Again valuable because the are very hands on. Brilliant! I have what I need.

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