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(jeffa) Re: Perl Certifications ??

by jeffa (Bishop)
on Mar 05, 2001 at 20:16 UTC ( #62263=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Perl Certifications ??

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. :)



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Re: (jeffa) Re: Perl Certifications ??
by merlyn (Sage) on Mar 05, 2001 at 20:24 UTC
    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.

        Why would Stonhenge have more credibility than Brainbench? The latter seems to be a legitimate company, whose focus happens to be certification. If you mean because more people in the Perl community have heard of Stonehenge than Brainbench, you miss the point of certifications: being able to demonstrate your technical ability to non-technical people, via a standardized objective, third-party test. Not trying to knock either company (I happen to think pretty highly of them both), just pointing out that one having more "credibility" than the other is a silly statement.
      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


        brainbench has much nastier questions. I was forced to take their test by my employer a couple of months ago when i got my new job. Most of the questions are easy, but some require standard module knowledge and funky regex stuff. Surprisingly, the test rules allow to use on-line documentation (e.g. perldoc). The amount of time you're given, anyone can get a 5.0. Just for the hell of it, I decided not to use documentation and got almost a 4 (and, ultimately, the job).

        As for Perl certifications, it is a waste, IMO.


      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
        This, however, presents the rather serious problem of subjectivity. What makes something "creative"? What makes one solution more creative than another? Unless you could come up with an objective standard for determining the creativity of a solution to a problem, awarding something that should be objective, like a certification, becomes meaningless.
      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.

        People interested in Perl Certification might be interested in spending time on the Perl Certification Wiki.

        I'm sure Tim Maher would appreciate more input - especially with misanthropes like myself spreading my certification scepticism all over the place :-)

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