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Re^2: Perl Certification revisited

by Anonymous Monk
on Jan 18, 2009 at 17:04 UTC ( #737165=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Perl Certification revisited
in thread Perl Certification revisited

Perl is an artistic language. It is jazz, where formal rules are pushed and cajoled into presenting the same thing in a new (maybe even better and more efficient) way. Come on guys. Don't make the mistake of Apple in the 80's, or IBM in the 90's (re: OS/2). Principles are fine, but should they stand in the way of the betterment of Perl, and the IT world? When I hire a contractor to build a deck or a new staircase, I damn well want to see his certification and experience. "Let the results speak for themselves" just won't cut it when my child has fallen through the staircase because I hired someone who spoke more than I knew. The same goes for airlines - would you want to fly in a plane where the pilot hadn't gone through the most stringent of tests and exams? Recall the first word in the acronym of the language we admire: "Practical" - dharma

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Re^3: Perl Certification revisited
by gwadej (Chaplain) on Jan 19, 2009 at 15:03 UTC

    While I understand your point, I still don't like software certifications for a couple of reasons.

    Your staircase example covers one. Certifying builders is possible because we have thousands of years of experience in what makes good buildings. Also, the number of different ways to solve a given building problem are finite and well understood. Software is not in this category. Just in my career (about 2 decades), I've seen major changes in what was possible and what would qualify as good practice.

    The other point is that the few certifications I have run across serve only to benefit the certifying authority. These companies sometimes appear to have no practical knowledge of the field they are certifying. This makes the certifications relatively useless.

    If someone could come up with a certification that actually showed programming ability and was not just a way for a company to claim due diligence, then I would be interested. A real test of this would be if a company could be held accountable if a program failed after their certified Perl programmer refused to sign off on a design and they decided to do it anyway. If the certification doesn't provide any real teeth, what is the point?

    BTW, Perl isn't an acronym.

    G. Wade

      ? I thought Perl was an acronym ... or at least it once was (Practical Extraction and Report Language).

      But to the more important point. It does not matter whether or not certification is:

      a. worthless
      b. not indicative of useful skills
      c. for newbies only
      d. bound to be out of date in a fast-moving area
      e. benefits (makes money) for the certifying organisation

      The point is that it is a GAME Played by employers and HR departments. Having a certificate from a respected body would make it eaasier for me to gain employment as a Perl programmer within large organizations. It is too much effort to try to change the way they work. Heck these people are so thick that they think I can't work on Oracle 11, despite the fact that I have been using Oracle since it used to come on a set of 5.25 inch floppies, and have used every earlier version.

      They even think that I can't use AIX because my last Unix work was on Solaris. You can't reason with people that have no actual knowledge of IT beyond a set of buzz words.

      In another area of IT I think you can get CISSP accreditation with minimal knowledge of IT security. It seems to me to have been designed only to make money for the certifying body. But many employers ask for it, and having it earned mne a couple of well paid contracts that I would never have had without this (intrinsically not very useful) accreditation.

      So I am all for Perl accreditation, even though we all know that it says NOTHING about whether you can actually do the job or not.

        I thought Perl was an acronym ... or at least it once was (Practical Extraction and Report Language).

        I guess you haven't even read the most fundamental perlfaq1:

        never write "PERL", because perl is not an acronym, apocryphal folklore and post-facto expansions notwithstanding.

        I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
Re^3: Perl Certification revisited
by Zen (Deacon) on Jan 19, 2009 at 18:36 UTC
    Are we testing competence in syntax? How about security? OO principles? Learning how to make perl Do Things (TM) isn't hard, and the hypothetical test would be as much of a joke as a learner's permit to drive. Think about testing paradigms and specialties instead.
      Perl cannot be juxtapositioned to driving. certification is good to bring perl in business, but it would loose the attraction it now has,something like in order to do what I love to do I have to do all that sh** that I hate the most.
Re^3: Perl Certification revisited
by dharma (Initiate) on Jan 18, 2009 at 17:20 UTC
    Ok. I am officially one of the cloth now. That last entry was mine, hopefully my sentiments won't lose validity. Glad to be here. - dharma

      The only people who truly believe that certifications for programming are of any value are managers that don't know how to do their job -- or people who make money writing certification tests.

      I am Microsoft certified -- 3 certifications have i. And not one is worth a damn. They cost money to take, and money to study. One of my favorite questions was "In which drop down menu does one find _____" --- the answer depends on which VERSION of Visual Basic you are using. See how that works? Microsoft releases a new version of VB and in the process they change the location of some menu tools. Now they get to change the test as well. This all translates to money for Microsoft.

      Certifications in our area do not work. We don't need them. If the hiring manager cannot tell the difference between a real programmer and a poseur -- then why would i even want to work for them?


      (the triplet paradiddle with high-hat)

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