[consulting] Drupal Certification and Requirements

Kieran Lal kieran at civicspacelabs.org
Thu Dec 20 01:59:59 UTC 2007

Wow!  What a great email.  Thanks so much for sharing your 8 years of
experience and insight.  I wish I had half the insight into the challenges
and strategies other Drupal shops are undertaking.

I agree that certification trainings are helpful in filling gaps.  I agree
that the marketplace needs certifications.  Drupal administration  training
is very different than innovative Drupal framework development. With over 40
events and 2000 attendees to learning events in 2007, it's obvious that this
training demand is not being filled, and it's a real problem.

It should probably not be the Drupal association with only volunteer staff
who fills this need.  As mentioned in this thread, it will probably cost
hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain and run a certification program
and the associated businesses.

Good luck with your business!


On Dec 19, 2007 5:12 PM, Roshan Shah <roshan.shah at bpocanada.com> wrote:

> Well, in year 2000 I was a Director in Software Company in India as well
> as a separate full fledged Java Training Institute. Many of our students
> from the training division eventually cleared the Sun Certification. But
> despite their getting certifications(72 of them in 10 months), I approached
> only 5-10% of them extending offers to join my  Software  Company.
> Since last 2 years my Canadian company provides Drupal services with
> entire development team in India. One service we provide is 24x7 Drupal
> Infrastructure monitoring services. We get many RedHat Certified Engineers
> apply for open positions - whom we regularly interview besides other
> non-certified candidates too. We did not find difference between certified
> engineers and non-certified candidates at all when all equivalent parameters
> are compared. Practical experience and ability to answer real world
> questions is the only way they are getting selected regardless of their
> being certified or not.
> Another example - our company also gets lot of interest from local IT
> students in India for internships and industrial projects as they see our
> work in Open Source / Drupal, RoR as very challenging. Our Sr. Team
> regularly gives seminars in colleges on Web 2.0, Drupal, RoR, etc.  While
> we get 100's of calls every day the HR department filters out the candidates
> based on 60% marks in all semesters as cut off besides checking their
> English Language skills. This means we only try and interview the top 20%
> students of any college if they apply for internship or entry level jobs.
> All these students are good but again we see that usually the top scorers
> and class rankers don't do well on real projects because they usually have
> "bookish/theoretical" knowledge but can't apply them practically using
> common sense. It takes a lot of mentoring by Sr. Tech Leads of our company
> to make them understand that in real world - what matters is ability to
> solve a problem by putting thinking hats and that too fast. This again
> proves that "theoretical" knowledge/ academics cannot be taken as a yard
> stick to see that candidate can perform. It takes us 3 to 6 months for us to
> make them productive. (Note: Those who have 2+ years LAMP experience usually
> pick up Drupal very quickly as they are very well supported by other team
> members)
> Having said this, we have definitely encouraged our internal team members
> to get certified e.g Linux Admins of our infrastructure support division
> to get Redhat certifications a) because it will plug the gap in their
> knowledge  b) it helps in marketing and positioning our company better and
> c) With their real world knowledge along with certification they really
> become valuable asset to the organization and in the industry as a whole.
> Drupal is a moving target but its no different from any other technology.
> What is required is different levels of certifications and to move to next
> level one needs to clear the previous level. Most companies now do this
> e.g  Certified Java Programmer to Certified Architect. As you get higher
> up on certification ladder, you get more challenged with more focus on
> practical knowledge and lesser focus on academics.
> There is certainly huge skills shortage in Drupal world. We are going back
> to days of 2000 where now we are opening up a separate Training Company in
> April 2008 to provide Drupal/RoR Training to IT/Non-IT professionals as we
> are already unable to meet the needs of current customers and new business
> coming our way despite our ongoing recruitment drive through online
> advertisements, college seminars and word-of-mouth referrals. We do get
> thousands of resumes but we are looking for quality. Investing in someone
> with no knowledge of Drupal is draining lot of our resources and having
> separate training center where students can pay to learn drupal and get to
> work on real projects is another approach we are taking.
> I certainly think Drupal Certification today will bring tremendous value
> and  in fact will Drupal get even  much more interest from industry, IT
> professionals and Students since they will see that the product has now
> matured to a certain level. Many many more Drupal Shops, Drupal Sites and
> Drupal developers will join us all if certifications are offered.
> --
> --
> Roshan Shah
> http://www.bpocanada.com
> Toll Free : 1-888-378-7259 x 521
> Direct     : 1-604-630-4292
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