[consulting] Drupal Certification

Sheryl gubydala at his.com
Wed Aug 12 15:08:46 UTC 2009

Jeff Greenberg wrote:

> So with development, even though I give a nod to the fact that sooner or
> later there will be Drupal certification, I again question the value.
> You can assure a minimal amount of knowledge. Unlike being in the middle
> of a nursing day, a developer could easily look up the information, if
> ever needed, from the exam.

My objection to the sysadmin-oriented certification exams is much the same.

A few years ago I had a technical interview which IMO was much better than
anything I have seen in certification sample tests.  It was all about
problem solving.  Over an hour or two I was given some of the usual trivia
questions (which ports do SMTP, ssh and ftp run on, that sort of thing)
but the interesting part was being presented a number of scenarios and
asked about how I would go about tracking down the problem.  Some were
chosen specifically to put me unfamiliar situations.  For example, the
interviewer knew that I had MySQL experience but not Oracle.  He gave me a
long Oracle log from one of their real-life incidents that showed a
cascade of error messages and asked me where I'd start problem-solving.  I
speculated correctly that most of the errors were fallout from an apparent
login problem in the first page of output.

> I guess I'm saying that the difference between a low score and a high
> score on a certification exam for a software person is academic, and
> really doesn't speak to whether they can deal with clients, their specs,
> digesting their business need, or turning out a function let alone an
> app or site.

I agree.  It also doesn't speak to how long it took them to pick up the
skills you're testing them for or how long it would take them to learn
something new if there's a business need for that.


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