Subject: certification
From: scot <scot -at- HCI -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 09:18:13 +1100

Sorry, I can't see the point of it. Someone who has got the pre-requisite
skills, education and experience doesn't need to be certified, someone who
hasn't, can't get it anyway. So what's the point?

'Certification' of the type I am accustomed to is nearly *always* used as an
exclusionary device designed to limit the number of practictioners in a
given field so the remainder can charge more. Think of the way Barristers,
or Specialists' Colleges control admittance to their own 'club' (Specialists
as in doctors, e.g. the College of Psychiatrists -- although I am not sure
if it works the same way in the US -- this is different from being on the
'register' which is under the control of a governmental statutory
authority). Even then many good foreign-trained doctors who have immigrated
here are artificially prevented from practising by rules about
'registration' and so forth.

Here in Australia there in an organisation called the Australian Computer
Society, which would dearly love to introduce exclusionary 'certification'
for a variety of skills/job descriptions. Its a hopeless organisation.
Probably only about 10% of computing professionals here are members of it,
so, thankfully, it will never have its way.

Lets not kid ourselves, we aren't doctors. Certainly in this country, where
there is not yet one whole course or degree specialisation for tech writers
offered at a university, it would be a waste of time. My formal
qualifications are in Naval Electronics Engineering (plus an aside in Sound
Engineering and Production), my boss is a Chemical Engineer with an MBA,
most of the rest of us here are ex-programmers or analysts of one form or
another. All our TW skills are either innate or learnt on the job.

HCI Consulting, GPO Box 4846 Sydney NSW 2001 Australia.
#include std.disclaimer

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