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Perl Certifications ??

by oakley (Scribe)
on Mar 05, 2001 at 19:03 UTC ( #62244=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I searched the monastery and found nothing so I figured it was time to ask...

Has anyone here gotten any sort of certification in Perl? If anyone has, has it helped them any in finding a new job, jockying for more money, or just in general?

I found that BrainBench (do their tests even hold any merit or meaning?) offers such a test and I passed the "general" (didn't make MASTER - dont know enough about classes and objects and the likes and it was my first stab at the test overall), but I am just curious if there are others and what good they may serve...

- oakley
Embracing insanity - one twitch at a time >:)

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Perl Certifications ??
by davorg (Chancellor) on Mar 05, 2001 at 19:11 UTC

    Brainbench have just started to charge for taking their tests - so I suspect they'll see a bit of a drop in the people taking them.

    Larry has gone on record as saying that he'll be certifiable before Perl is, but that hasn't stopped Kirrily Robert from starting a perlcert mailing list. I'd give you subscription info, but it doesn't seem to be on the list of Perl-related mailing lists at It's been quiet for months tho' - perhaps it's defunct now.


    "Perl makes the fun jobs fun
    and the boring jobs bearable" - me

(jeffa) Re: Perl Certifications ??
by jeffa (Bishop) on Mar 05, 2001 at 20:16 UTC
    I am going to go out on a limb here . . . I think the problem with Perl Certifications runs parallel with using Perl as an 'enterprise language.' I am not saying Perl can't be used as one - I am just saying that the certifications allow interviewers to 'weed-out' candidates in large 'enterprise' projects. Let me elaborte:

    Everybody knows that a certification can only test so much, real world experience is much more desireable, and certifications simply turn coders into plugable components. A manager in such large projects does not have time to rigoursly interview each and every candidate - but by relying on certifications they can weed out a large number with confidence that they still have a good handful of capable programmers/adminstrators.

    Certifications also make 'consulting' shops look good. It is worth the shops money and time to pay for their employees to get futher certifications, because when the sales guys shop out the programmers to a client, they can point at all those certifications and look good.

    I have 3 certifications: 2 MicroSoft and 1 Sun. They are collecting a good bit of dust right now. :)


      Those certifications you have from MicroSoft and Sun... they are blessed by the organizations mentioned.

      Nobody's gonna take any Perl certification serious unless Larry blesses it. And Larry already said he's not going to bless any. Get over it. {grin}

      Having said that, if Stonehenge comes up with a decent model for certification, and I take it to Larry, he'd at least listen. It's been down a ways on my to-do list for some time now.

      -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

        If Stonehenge does indeed come up with a certification model, it would definitely have more credibility than Brainbench.

        Anyone who knows Perl is probably aware of Stonehenge and your contribution(s) to Perl.

        Let me submit a dirty trick question for the test:

        What are the contents of $foo after the following:

        my $foo = "bar\n"; undef $/; chomp $foo;
        A) bar\n
        B) bar
        C) bar\r
        D) ba



        Do you have any idea if O'Reilly is interested in starting certifications, not just in Perl. It would seem that they have several things going for them:

      • Access to published experts in various fields (the authors they have worked with)
      • A well known name so that their certifications would mean something
      • Big enough name that people would go, plus in the end it's just more free advertising (and book sales)
      • That might be interesting. You're the closest I know to O'R, you might of heard rumors/mention it to someone.

        =Blue might be eaten by a grue...

        I would make a test where the questions are not multiple choice, but essay type. Write a module to do this... Also people would then get high scores for creativity
        I would vote for the Perl Foundation. They seem more appropriate. Most of the profits could then be the source of Perl grants. Sounds like a great way of raising money and helping Perl development. Not to mention that having an official certification helps Perl in many other important ways.
Re: Perl Certifications ??
by rrwo (Friar) on Mar 06, 2001 at 22:30 UTC

    Certifications are very controversial.

    In terms of Perl (and other open source projects), there's no "official" certifying organization the way states will certify engineers, or the way companies will certify users of their products (ie, Microsoft, Sun, Novell, etc.).

    And assuming a respected third party does certification tests, there are still lots of problems:

    • Biggie: tests primarily test for test-taking ability. Often people with little or no experience study and do well on a certifying test. Do you want "Perl certified" people working on your project, or people with years of experience working on your project?
    • Certification for different modules? (CGI, DBI, Text::Template, Parse::RecDescent, etc.)? Ok, if you have DBI certs, do you also need Oracle certs to use DBD::Oracle?
    • Certification for Perl in different environments? (Win32? Solaris? Linux? mod_perl? fast_cgi?)
    • Software evolves. You'll have to keep paying somebody to recertify you for everything every couple of years. A lot of wasted time that could be spent using and learning the actual systems.

    So you can tell I'm anti-certification.

    What to use in place? Go to training courses and conferences. That's a better way to demonstrate you've been keeping yourself up-to-date on the technology.

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