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Re^2: Perl Certification ( oh yeah, it's that time again... almost )

by zigdon (Deacon)
on Jul 03, 2008 at 18:10 UTC ( #695417=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Perl Certification ( oh yeah, it's that time again... almost )
in thread Perl Certification ( oh yeah, it's that time again... almost )

I don't think it matters if you call it a certification test or a candidacy exam - you're still looking at how to test perl knowledge in a standard way. Bottom line, I don't think I understand how what you're suggesting is different than the OP's question?

-- zigdon

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Re^3: Perl Certification ( oh yeah, it's that time again... almost )
by bubaflub (Initiate) on Jul 03, 2008 at 18:47 UTC
    Zigdon,

    Sorry for not being clearer in my original post; in my mind a certification test is "monolithic" in the sense that there is a single test (or set of questions) given by a central authority. The way that belts are handed out in martial arts is much more decentralized and a combination of subjective and objective criteria.

    What I am imagining is that the big wigs of Perl would come up with some type of ranking system (much akin to PerlMonks XP) and the requisite knowledge / skills required for that rank. Knowledge could be tested through an exam and the skills could be tested (to some extent) through "kata" (which has been suggested at http://www.codekata.com/ a while back).

    During a test for a lower belt (kyu for some Japanese martial arts) the student would demonstrate basic technique through kata, or a set routine. For a higher belt (dan) students would be required to have knowledge of many kata as well as spar and maybe even answer questions about the philosophy of the art.

    I use the analogy of a candidacy exam or martial arts to try and describe the process that I imagine would be required to ascertain if someone had mastery (not just knowledge!) of an art. We are not asking questions about Perl syntax or semantics, but about reasoning, logic, and problem solving in Perl. Also, it seems beneficial to balance the subjective aspect of this with an objective assessment of someone's technical skill.

    The reality is that we - the PerlMonks community - already have a few of these mechanisms in place. Perl golf and JAPH, while primarily diversions, shows deep knowledge of Perl (best way to obscure the code is to use obscure functions) and creative problem solving. The XP system, as well as the ability to track a user's comments throughout time, can catalog the ability with which a member can deftly and respectfully deal with others in solving programming challenges.

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