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Re^4: What is your opinion in Perl Certified Professional?by tilly (Archbishop)
|on May 01, 2005 at 01:48 UTC||Need Help??|
I would mind if Larry Wall blessed a test, because the economic dynamics are against any particular test or testing organization being able to do a meaningful job.
In general there are two kinds of certifications.
The first are ones which might look good on a resume, but are not that hard to get and don't have a good reason to exist from the perspective of public policy. Think MSCE. These pretty much universally suck. They tend to be run for maximum profit on the part of the certifying authority. Frequently said certifying authority is associated with a vendor, who uses the test as an advertising channel for the products that they would like people to adopt. Since passing them is fairly easy, the people who are most motivated to collect on them are people whose other qualifications are relatively weak. They act as a filter reducing the number of abysmally ignorant people, but are worse than useless for figuring out who is competent.
There are good economic reasons that certifications tend to do that. Often they start out being fairly good with the best of intentions, but they don't last.
This includes all certifications that I'm aware of in computers.
The other category is certifications that serve an important public policy purpose. Well-known examples include board certification for doctors, engineering certifications, CFA, and so on. These certifications tend to be very difficult to get and are very meaningful. Typically they require that you both pass a series of exams and that you have specific amounts of work experience doing specific jobs under supervision. They are also recognizeable by the fact that there tend to be laws mandating that people possess these certifications to do certain jobs.
I simply don't see the necessary dynamics for the latter kind of certification to come into existence in programming Perl. And, as I said, I am highly skeptical of the former kind of certification on general principles. Therefore if I saw Larry Wall bless a particular certification, I'd strongly suspect that he got paid to do that, and would be disappointed by the action.