[consulting] Drupal Certification and Requirements

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Wed Dec 19 05:21:34 UTC 2007

paola.dimaio at gmail.com wrote:
> sounds like an excellent business idea
Actually, it's not. The cost of developing a respected exam, as well as
the logistics of accessible delivery, makes the business proposition
very very difficult. Compounding the problem are a number of
Drupal-specific obstacles.

Just some of the issues involve:

- What should a certification test? Forms? PHP programming? Views?
categories? Non-standard modules? Look-and-feel issues?

- Usually people get certified as a way to help them get employed. Right
now demand for Drupal developers appears to exceed supply, so people
don't need certifications to help them get work and the actual numbers
of people willing to pay to be certified will be fairly small.

- There's no obvious corporate backers to sponsor such an effort, in the
way Sun sponsors Java certification or Zend sponsors the PHP one.

- Is the certification for developers or administrators? If it's for
developers, how do you test the creative component of programming?

- Drupal is still evolving, and backwards compatibility is not a
priority. That means that the "life" of any specific Drupal
certification exam could be very short before the things it tests are
obsolete. By the time you're ready to deliver an exam, the APIs it tests
will probably not be in use anymore.

- Also consider that by some industry analysis, the demand for IT
certification in general is dropping

I helped create the LPI certification for Linux. Each of the three skill
levels it tests cost more than $400,000 to develop properly. Less
ambitious, more community-driven efforts such as the BSD
certification, can be many years in the making before a single exam is
delivered -- and STILL be without a usable business model.

It's probably best to -- at least for now -- avoid a specific Drupal
certification. If someone is looking to prove approriate skills, they
should consider the existing Zend certification for PHP.

- Evan

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