Are Developer Certifications Worthless?: Page 2

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But that is just one filter of many set up in a resume screen. Anyway, back to the team meeting.

“Jack,” I said smiling, albeit with a disapproving tone, “can I continue?”

After his rolling of eyes, I picked back up on the next point.

“One thing it shows on a candidate’s resume is that they have shown initiative to study for and pass the exam. And it’s not all memorization, there is logic involved. And if they truly took an interest in the material, they may have actually learned something new.”

I continued, “As you stated, this will require the team to get certified. You need to look at this as an opportunity to enhance you employability. Not just with us, but with other firms who are starting to add this requirement. So whether you think it is worthwhile or not, this is in your best interest as well as our company’s.”

Jack jumped back in “What I see is that the company will overlook more qualified candidates and guess what? The company saves money doing it because they won’t have to train them. We’ll end up working with a bunch of robot developers.

“Or worse -- we’ll end up being replaced by them if we don’t get certified, right?

Now all of the team members in the room exchanged anxious looks because that thought did not register with them at first. Jack, as usual, was seeing the glass half empty.

So I dove back in with some reassurance, trying not to sound exasperated.

“You all need to look at this differently. I know all of you are really good developers and will have no problem passing this exam. The company is committed to certifying all of you at no insignificant cost. We will pay for training classes and give up billable hours so you can be trained and study for each exam.

“And once certified, you will get an automatic salary bump on top of your performance based raise at your next annual review.”

That sound you heard that put a smile on everyone’s face was Cha-Ching! I figured that would qualm any doubts.

But there was one developer still not smiling. Jack was shaking his head as everyone left the room. And not unexpectedly, he left the company soon after. I realize that there are strong opinions about certification, but I suggest keeping an open mind and not taking a hard stance one way or the other. There are pros and cons, some of which are real benefits to the developer – not just the company.

Besides, if you are THAT good of a developer, then you should be able to rack up certifications in your sleep.

ALSO SEE: Developer Salary Levels, 2004-2009

AND: Is Calling a Software Engineer a 'Programmer' an Insult?

AND: Studying for Tech Certifications on a Budget

Eric Spiegel is CEO and co-founder of XTS, which provides software for planning, managing and auditing Citrix and other virtualization platforms.

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Tags: developers, IT certifications, certification, Certifications, programmer salary

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