Re[2]: Certification/Degrees

Subject: Re[2]: Certification/Degrees
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 12:57:00 -0600

I think a lot of established seniors feel this way, that the young
puppies are looking for shortcuts when in their day, by God, we
suffered for our promotions.

You sure you read the same post I did? ;{>} I didn't see the comment he made
in that light at all. I saw it a commentary on youth's eternal demand that
everything happen now.

I won't answer for him, but my opposition to certification isn't grounded in
that kind of sentiment.

It stems from a resentment that someone should decide that my experience,
aptitude, and ability are somehow less meaningful than a piece of paper.
That's the ground floor of this particular edifice. *Any* field of endeavor
that comes to prize a collection of scribbles on paper more highly than the
actual ability to create (even the ability to create those very scribbles)
has already descended far past the point of no return.

Garret made a good point about going out and getting the degree. It may
eventually become a necessity. But why does that eventuality somehow
invalidate the resentment of having to go out and get yet one more checkmark
on a list; especially when getting that checkmark doesn't add one whit to
the ability to perform? If Sally Ann has acquired the knowledge and ability
to write well, why should she have to spend even more money and time in an
endeavor that *won't* improve her writing ability?

(Now I know there's a whole heap of you out there ready to get all indignant
over that last paragraph. Before -- or even while -- you go off half-cocked,
realize that I *didn't* say it's not possible for anyone to learn how to
write at college. I said it wouldn't help *this particular example.* Many
people have learned many things at college. And, unfortunately, many people
have also learned *nothing* at college. You may have benefited greatly from
it; fine, more power to you, I bless you and doubt not your word. But for
each one of you who has, there is one who hasn't. There's no guarantee
issued with that sheepskin, and no recourse for those who have that
particular wool pulled over their eyes; the company that hires the ill-
equipped grad can't sue the college for false representation. You know, as
much as I detest lawyers -- even though they are a *profession* -- I think
I'd like to see one take on a college in that sort of a fraud case. Create
some case law there, and maybe degrees would begin to mean something after

And *that's* the crux of the entire certification debate: whether a person's
talent and ability count for as much as a one single sheet of paper.

All in all, it's a nice piece of rhetoric, Tim. Good Job. But the logic's a
little lacking in your otherwise eloquent summation:

the new firm may not know what tech doc'ers do, much less how to
evaluate one.

The new firm will probably not know how to evaluate one, anyway. HR types
can't evaluate accountants or lawyers or engineers, why would they suddenly
be able to evaluate writers? The people who can and do evaluate accountants,
lawyers and engineers are other accountants, lawyers, and engineers.

We must actively and openly express a choice...profession or gaggle?

Love how a simple gaggle becomes a clerical one. Good Touch.

If we're a clerical gaggle, we must then forever shut up and never,
never complain when we're asked to type the boss's letters. That's
what clerks do.

Research techs aren't professionalized; nor unionized. Yet they're not
clerks, either. Likewise laborers (some are unionized, others aren't). Those
of you that work for software comapnies: do your QC testers have a
professional organization they belong to? A union? Never saw a certificate
program or professional organization for CEO's, for that matter. Try asking
one of them to type your letter.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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