[consulting] Drupal Certification

Brian Vuyk brian at brianvuyk.com
Fri Aug 7 14:06:24 UTC 2009

I tend to think a Drupal certification would be a bad thing as well.

   1. Clients being what they are, if a certification becomes somewhat
      common, it will become much more difficult to get freelancing work
      without it.
   2. For that matter, every IT / tech recruiter posting a job
      description on any job sites will now require it.
   3. Certificate exam would need to be retaken every time a new version
      of Drupal comes out.
   4. Unless cost is very low, this is an added barrier to entry for
      small shops and freelancers.

What confuses me most, is what problem are we trying to solve with a 
certificate program? A strong portfolio and contributions history tell 
far more than any certification ever could. A certification says nothing 
about a developers ability to manage a project, work ethic, or 
creativity, all of which vastly impact the development process far more 
than a set of Drupal-related trivia ever could.

In short, a certificate doesn't remove from the client the 
responsibility to do their homework about a developers experience, and 
meet with them.

Brian Vuyk

Bill Fitzgerald wrote:
> Hello, all,
> Personally, I'm of the opinion that a certification program would be 
> completely useless, and that the certifications would be worth less 
> than the paper they were printed on. I articulated some of these 
> reasons a while back; most of these reasons remain unchanged: 
> http://lists.drupal.org/pipermail/consulting/2007-December/002267.html
> But, with that said, nothing is stopping any shop from creating and 
> managing a certification program. The catch with any credentialing 
> program, however, is that the issue body needs to have some 
> credibility. If Shop X starts issuing a "Drupal Uber-Ninja 
> Certification Program" it's not going to mean much, except that maybe 
> Shop X talked to some marketing and Biz-dev folks and came up with a 
> catchy name for a program that might make them some money. The value 
> of that credential will decrease rapidly over time (if indeed it ever 
> had any value to start with), simply because Drupal development 
> practice evolves rapidly over time.
> So, if there are shops out there who want to start a certification 
> program, by all means, go ahead. Nothing is stopping any shop from 
> doing this. The challenge will be in having the value of that 
> credential mean anything.
> Personally, I don't care about tech credentials or certifications; 
> I've met far too many * Certified people that I wouldn't trust to get 
> me coffee -- but then again, I'm pretty picky with my coffee.
> Cheers,
> Bill
> Tom Geller wrote:
>> This subject comes up frequently. I know that Acquia was considering 
>> preparation of a certification system ("Yellow Jersey"), but it's 
>> always been low among their priorities.
>> Something on this subject became the most-commented post on my blog:
>>   http://tomgeller.com/content/market-ready-drupal-certification
>> Then in a post shortly after that, I suggested that Drupal 
>> Association would be the appropriate body to run a certification 
>> program:
>>   http://tomgeller.com/content/why-support-drupal-association
>> I wrote, "[DA could] fulfill functions best served by a non-profit 
>> authority. While I find commercial interest in Drupal exciting and 
>> encouraging, some functions -- such as certification and trademark 
>> protection -- are best served by a neutral party with interests 
>> beyond the purely financial. Drupal Association is that authority."
>> DA never expressed an interest in that -- which is fine, and their 
>> right. I'm among those who questions the value of such things... but 
>> still think it would be great to try. Alas, nobody's taking the lead. 
>> Uncertainly over the Drupal trademark IMHO also discourages anyone 
>> from claiming that leadership role.
>> ---
>>           Tom Geller  *  Oberlin, Ohio  *  415-317-1805
>>              Writer/Editor * http://www.tomgeller.com
>>     articles, marketing, training materials, user guides, books
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