The craze for certifications. Does it prove anything at all? There are a couple of reasons why one may choose to certify.
“I need a job”
Of course, that is important. Maybe you are from a non Computer Science (CS) background and would like to jump in. Now, that’s a valid reason. And yes, the pay.
“I need to be good programmer”
Oooh oh! Okay, now we have a problem. There are a few things that cannot be replaced by hands on experience. I’ve been working for a year and a half now, and I will definitely not say something like that. Am I am better programmer now? Yes. This guy comes to me and says, “I am a kick ass Java programmer.”. I was amused actually. To feed his own ego, and out of devilish curiosity, I did ask him, “How come?”.
“I passed my SCJP exam. 96% \m/ “. Poor thing, I didn’t have the heart to tell him, “You are by no means, a good programmer. You are now an expert at Java syntax and a few important classes.”
“I know this is just a base certification, but this IS a requirement for higher certification from this company.”
Oh yes, of course. One of the saddest parts of certification. Why don’t they let you appear for the final thing? Commerialization. Don’t you think?
“I put in my time and money. It was a costly exam.”
Ya, this a good thing that prospective employers may like. That you are serious about your career and is putting that extra effort on your part.
“I just improved my overall knowledge about the subject”
The one thing I DO like about certifying. You know the stuff in and out now. And even those things you missed out at your workplace. Oh look, now you can apply your new found knowledge! 🙂
“What about the Comptia “plus” exams”
I have nothing against the company. Or their certifications. They are good. Yes. See this Top 10 2012 Techrepublic. But they are too basic and low level. If you are from a non CS background and have the money :P, please continue by all means.
“What about Sun..I mean Oracle certifications?”
Hmm..we did have a discussion on that. SCJP proves that you have good command over Java. That’s it. It can get a HR at a company to get you noticed. But yes, the ‘higher’ end certifications that require you to have ‘hands on’ or ‘practical stuff’, they are worthwhile. Again, you should have the time and money. I am not talking about the dedication, because you wouldn’t be reading this otherwise.
“I know RHCE is popular”
I know that. SO?
“It should be good, right?”
Depends on what you want to do. Yes, it is the most recognized Linux certification (industry). And more so because, it a hands on exam. But unfortunately, it doesn’t make you a good Admin with just the certification. And yes, I regret saying this, there are lot of corrupt practices going behind the scenes, esp between the testing center and the test taker. I hope its not the same everywhere. Like this guy trying to install (RHCE certified, ahem) tomcat on a Debian box. He goes, ” yum install tom.. “. Sigh.
“CCNA is good!”
Yes, always comes in the top IT certifications every year. But again, do you wish to go into the networking track?
“So, what then?”
Do a certification if you:
1. Wish to improve your knowledge base.
2. Change from a non IT background.
3. Specialize a certain subject.
4. Your employer is paying for your certification ( By all means, do it )
5. Glorify your resume (Partly because there is nothing much on it)
6. Boost your ego (Have all those white papers hanging on the wall, show off)
7. Get your first job? (That’s what she said)