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The purpose of this message is to rebut the fallacious arguments
Chuck proposed against certification.
Certification is not either/or: it does not replace experience
or a portfolio. It is not intended to.
Certification is not analogous to ISO9000 or getting a license
to drive an automobile.
If anyone wants clarification, please send me a note.
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 1998 1:25 PM
To: TECHWR-L; LCPORREL
Subject: Re: certification
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Certification says no more about a person's quality of skills than ISO
9000 certification says about a company's quality of output. That is,
there is no direct correlation. To paraphrase what one ISO consultant
once told me, you can produce total garbage, but as long as you can
fully document how the garbage is produced, then it will be ISO
Let me offer another example. Just this morning, on my way to work, I
was cut off 3 times on the freeway, once by someone who came within just
a few feet of my front bumper, and if I hadn't been alert enough to jam
on the brakes, or if I had been distracted, we might not have missed
each other. I assume that at least the majority of these people had
driver's licenses--that is, certification that they have the knowledge
and skills to drive provided by a state agency. Clearly, however, that
certification showed no correlation to competency for the task.
Certification is a buzzword. Certification can be used to hide
incompetency. When a programmer walks into Microsoft for an interview,
certification (even an MSCE) isn't going to do much good. That
programmer will be asked how to solve a specific problem and to show
that solution right there. If the programmer can't complete the task,
it's on to the next candidate. Early in my career, when I applied at one
company, I awas asked to write a definition of "styles," and left alone
to complete the task.
. . . I'll take my pages and pages of quality published work over a
certificate any day of the week, and I'll look for and be more impressed
with the same in others.