RE: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler

Subject: RE: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler
From: "Sharon Burton" <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com>
To: "'Jason A. Czekalski'" <topsidefarm -at- mva -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 07:07:40 -0700

I see both sides of this argument, but I also see project managers have
gotten more respect since PMI has started certifying. If you are a project
manager and don't have a PMI cert, you're not taken seriously. And employers
have a better sense of the baseline of what you know with that cert.

I'm also seeing QA moving in this direction and QA is being taken seriously
now as a profession. As a result of certs? Maybe.

Why should hiring managers or anyone else have to learn the depths of what
we do before they hire us? Should they learn the depths of what every single
job does? Who has time for that?

And what's wrong with HR deciding that they prefer candidates with a cert as
a way to determine who takes their field seriously enough to do the cert
work? No one is going to be hired simply because they have a cert - it just
shows you're serious about your field. It's up to you to nail the job.

As a starting place, the STC cert is a body of work but they state on the
blog that eventually, there will be a test as well for each certified area.

We've whined as a profession until we can't speak that no one respects what
we do. Too often, we act like what we do is magic and involves incantations
- "you can't define what we do!" is the cry I often hear. When of course, we
can - I teach it so clearly it's definable. Certs simply verify what we do
for outsiders.

If you don't wish to get a certification, then don't. No one can force you
to do it. But if you wish to get the cert, then you should do so. It may
help float your resume to the short list. After that, it's up to you.

Me, Gene, and Bill are not the beginning and the end of all things Tech
Comm. I am dead certain that all 3 of us learn more and more every day about
how to better meets the needs of our audience. Besides, I'll cert Bill, Bill
can cert Gene, Gene can cert me...


Sharon Burton
Content Consultant
IM: sharonvburton -at- yahoo -dot- com
Twitter: sharonburton
And then Jason A. Czekalski went:

From: "Sharon Burton" <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com>

>Subject: RE: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler
>I've been on both sides of this discussion for years. I think the way STC
>doing certification is probably the best way, if you want certification in
>our field. As a potential employer (fictively), I think there is value -
>someone else has vetted this person as knowing their stuff. That may help
>with the pile of resumes in front of me.
This would only be of value to a hiring manager who understood the
limitations of the certification. How manay of our hiring managers even
understand what we do? The very existence of a certification would cause
problems because hiring managers and HR types would start demanding it
without having any understanding of what it is. This has already
happened with the Society for Quality certifications, so this is not
just speculation. Certification creates a way too tempting shortcut for
people who don't understand a field and have no interest learning about
it, even when it impacts them directly.

>>From what I have seen of the STC plan, I think it's a good one that's not
>going to be driven by academics. It's a specific body of work plan,
>by people with experience in our field and most important, specific
>experience in the area being reviewed.
Sharon, who is even qualified to review the work of folks like Gene
Kim-Eng, Bill Swallow, or even you. The fact is that unless you have
some huge peer review committee, there is no way certain people can be
evaluated for certification. And given the Climategate email scandal and
a few other academic dustups iver the last decade, peer-review has
gotten something of a dirty name.

>No one is forcing anyone to get certified. It's voluntary
This is the same lie that has been used with every license or
certification to come along. Even those that are "voluntary" (like the
Society for Quality certs) become a mandate based on the demands of
those from outside the field.

Jason A. Czekalski


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RE: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler: From: Jason A. Czekalski

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