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Re: Certification Available +Pronounce

From: David Fetter <david(at)fetter(dot)org>
To: Robert Cleary <robert(dot)cleary(at)ul(dot)ie>
Cc: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Certification Available +Pronounce
Date: 2005-08-24 17:30:44
Message-ID: 20050824173044.GE9797@fetter.org (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
On Tue, Oct 04, 2005 at 05:12:08PM +0100, Robert Cleary wrote:
> David Fetter wrote:
> >Not when those beginners are labeled "professionals."
> >
> Fair-point!, the only reason I came to this query - is that i'm
> currently looking up proffessional certifications at work; there is
> also mixed opinions about  certifications for most other IT areas.

I am not aware of any area where the opinions are "mixed" on
certifications, except in the sense that incompetent HR people like
them and the people who have to work with (or worse yet, deal with the
result from) certified incompetents do not.

> I agree with you, a certification doesn't tell much

This is precisely where we *dis*agree.  Although I have met several
competent people who hold certifications, my experience is that in the
overwhelming majority of cases, a certificate tells you that the
person is *not* competent.

> - experience is allways the telling-point someones ability; but when
> you hear that some one is CISCO certified proffessional, or Sun
> Certified Java programmer, or Red Hat Certified Engineer for example
> - a certain air of respect carries with these titles.

What air of respect?  Among people competent to make hiring decisions,
such a certificate conveys an air of disrespect.

I am not denying the possibility of a certification that really means
something, but that would mean that at a minimum:

1.  There would be a significant, checkable prior work requirement for
taking the certification exam, and

2.  Some large percentage of those who take the exam fail it and would
not immediately get another chance to re-take it.

3.  The exam would involve quite complicated hands-on use cases and
would not contain any questions whose correct answer was a quote from
the documents.

These criteria are anathema to the profit motive, which is why, to my
knowlege, no such certification currently exists.

Cheers,
D
-- 
David Fetter david(at)fetter(dot)org http://fetter.org/
phone: +1 510 893 6100   mobile: +1 415 235 3778

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