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Re: Perl Certification

by talexb (Canon)
on Aug 06, 2010 at 15:07 UTC ( #853424=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Perl Certification

This is valid question for someone new to Perl, but a certificate's value depends only on how accurately it reflects the holder's knowledge.

If it were possible to create a Perl certification program that properly measured a candidate's proficiency with Perl, then the concept might gain some traction. However, since Perl is a group effort and not some shiny corporate product, and since measuring proficiency in Perl is a slippery thing, certification will likely never take hold.

In my opinion, that's a good thing -- I think certification gives HR folks a false sense of security that a candidate knows about the subject matter. Similarly, while a college or university degree reflects a certain level of accomplishment, it almost never tells you whether the student was an A student or just barely scraped by. And marks aren't always the measure of a man -- I remember a friend of mine, a Mechanical Engineer, who was doing a tuneup on his VW when a classmate came by, ranked #2 out of 180 in his class. "What's that?" "That's the battery." "And how about that?" "That's the coil." "And that?" "That's the alternator." He had absolutely no idea what was under the hood of a car. Yet his marks were amazing.

Hanging out on Perlmonks is a great way to learn Perl and to learn about the culture of developing Perl programs. Soak that up, write a pile of code (programs and modules), and that will take the place of any 'certification' that you'll ever need.

Alex / talexb / Toronto

"Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds


Comment on Re: Perl Certification
Re^2: Perl Certification
by LanX (Canon) on Aug 07, 2010 at 11:15 UTC
    Every coin has two sides.

    While most monks rightly criticize the "certification industry", where "simple" people are learning stupid multiple choice tests by heart to impress "simple" HR folks, the learning effect is ignored.

    I applied recently for some Perl projects and was horrified to see at what standards those projects where run. I mean those people didn't really know what strict means or how moduls are used. (I ran into a situation where the boss got afraid about my "qualification" endangering his authority. =)

    I think having something like the Euler project with a extendable online collection of Perl exercises, maybe cross-linked to online tutorials or chapters in O'Reilly Books (some of Merlyn's book have a training part at the end of the chapters) would be a good thing.

    But this side of the coin wouldn't need to include a reliable "measuring" the knowledge in a linear way, to produce a rank for HR-folks.

    This measuring could - if ever - only be done for very canonical things which include basic techniques and terminology everyone agrees that should be understand.

    (scopes of variables, strict, package, use, type inference (== vs eq),...)

    BUT like Monk's XP system is not a reliable measurement of knowledge it works as good motivation.

    Cheers Rolf

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