RE: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler

Subject: RE: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler
From: Steven Jong <SteveFJong -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L Digest <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- TECHWR-L -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2010 10:28:28 -0400

[Continuing to respond to specific questions... I'm still interested in the original question of what makes Ernest a good writer who ought to be certified, and Scribbler a lousy one who oughtn't. What do you think?--sfj]


Kevin McLauchlan wrote, "Who would care to suggest that the new bureaucracy - and it's political masters - would NOT develop an old-boy's network and some back-door handling of friends, family, people-who-grease-the-palm? What's the name of that organization that works entirely without influence and trading of favors?"

I do. Right now, the new bureaucracy is me, and that's not what I am--or we are--setting up. In fact, the best practice is to set up a separate certification organization, independent of the parent organization, to avoid just the sort of political pressure Kevin describes. That's what we plan to do.


Wade Courtney wrote, "The UPA doesn't have any certification as far as I can tell, it's not nearly as expensive to join, and I think they offer more to the membership than the STC does. That may have changed over the last year or so, but that's my feeling."

That's an interesting lead. I see that the Usability Professionals Association studied certification around 1999, and decided against it in 2002. (They thought it premature, and are going ahead with a body of knowledge first.) At the time they had 1700 members. Their discussion was quite similar to what STC has gone through, except for their decision. In the meantime Human Factors International did go ahead with certification, and now over 2400 people have become Certified Usability Analysts, paying a minimum of $750 to get it (plus $1300-1600 per class). I think there's a moral there, but I can't prove it yet...


Milan DavidoviÄ observed, "I think one big challenge will ... be in setting the requirements for the 'portfolios and work artifacts' such that the efforts of one individual can be clearly discerned from those of other participants. Has the Task Force kicked that one around yet?"

Yes, we have. We will require attestations from both the applicant and the applicant's client stating that the work presented is the applicant's and that is was satisfactory.


-- Steve (not shadowy or all-powerful, but growing vaster over time)


Steven Jong, Chair
STC Certification Committee

mailto:SteveFJong -at- comcast -dot- net
mobile:978-413-2553

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
-- Will Rogers

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