For fear of starting a huge flame-war, I'd like to suggest a few thoughts of mine about certification.
Perl certification is a hot (as in flame) topic. And I begin to see why. Of the various Perl 'testing' and 'certification' schemes on the web, almost all seem to rely solely on knowledge of the docs. I don't know the arguments to splice off the top of my head … does that make me a bad coder?
So, we ask ourselves, what is it that a company wants in a Perl programmer (I should use a thinner brush, I know)? They want someone who can write maintainable code, and quickly adapt to existing code. A 'P3rl W1Z@rd' may be fun, but if their code is unmaintainable, they're essentially useless.
So what do I propose? I think that any certification needs to be based on a practical examination. Give the coder a module they've never seen before that performs a task. Give them documentation. Get them to write code around it, ask them to write tests, ask them to make the code more clear. Check the code is safe. These are basic stubs of ideas, I agree, but does anyone else agree this is the right way forward?
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