[consulting] Drupal Certification

Aaron Winborn winborn at advomatic.com
Tue Aug 11 18:44:59 UTC 2009

As a largely self-educated person and Drupal developer, I personally 
take no stock in certification of any sort. The sad reality is that 
certification of nearly any sort, at least as they are usually bestowed, 
means at best little more than the person receiving the certification 
knows how to take a test, and at worst simply that they have shelled out 
a few bucks.

That said, the push for certification seems inevitable. When the day 
comes, I'm sure I'll stand in line with the next person to take the 
test, as firms will be pressured into it when their competition does, 
and that will trickle down to the individual developers.

What I would personally like to see happen, and will do my part to 
volunteer to push back in this direction, is to have the developers 
themselves dictate the terms and means for certification. I do not want 
to see an individual company in charge of certifications, and will 
strongly protest any move in that direction.

This discussion goes back at least nine hundred years to the formation 
of the university. The original European universities of the twelfth 
century were formed by guilds of students who would hire teachers to 
give them a high quality education. They were originally called 
'Universitas' or 'Corporations' (both terms having since been co-opted), 
and the students would meet in homes and public places. The oldest 
existing university (in Bologna) was, in fact, originally such an 

The second (in Paris) was formed by a competing system, which was a 
guild of teachers who would find students. Whereas the former model 
would pool their resources to look for high quality teachers who would 
have to compete and continually prove themselves to their students, the 
latter model created a system of tenure with mixed results.

The church (and later the governments) backed the second model, and by 
the end of the thirteenth century a hundred universities had been 
founded across Europe, and the original guilds of students all but 

I believe the Open Source movement is resuscitating this model, and I 
would personally like to see us explore the idea a little more closely. 
Let the modern 'corporations' duke out their certification process. 
Meanwhile, we developers have a blank slate, a unique opportunity, to 
create our own model. This is where places such as Drupal Dojo and 
Drupal Kata have a chance to shine, if we can focus enough attention on 
them (and similar efforts), and take charge of our own education and 


Aaron Winborn

Advomatic, LLC

Drupal Multimedia available in September!

My blog:

More information about the consulting mailing list