Mark Horninger (7/20/2009)
At any rate you can't argue the face that if someone take thier time and effort to learn and get certified it shows a level of committment learning and refining thier craft.
Actually I can, and I do. 🙂
What taking certifications show is they know it will impress HR. It has nothing to do with learning and refining their craft. I know, I'm way too cynical... 🙂
Certifications are worthless because they're based on an exam you can cram for. The exam questions try to take the "shallow sea" approach, and with today's products that's just impossibly wrong-headed.
Today's products are too huge for one person to know them on both a broad and a deep basis. That's why software quality in general is going down. Techniques, languages, programs, they all change way too fast to gain true expertise in.
Back the late 90's the development rule of thumb was it takes two weeks to learn a language, 6 months to become proficient, and 2 *years* to become fluent. Today products are even more "feature rich" (spit).
They do the same thing 5 different ways, 2 of which are effective, 3 of which are production nightmares. Yet the documentation (especially Microsoft's but everybody's guilty) tell you *what* to do and not *why*. They give you examples that (in production) you should never *ever* use, *not even the approach, much less the actual code*.
And the tests test you on the documentation, not the product. In other words, they want you to know *everything* and be able to recite it.
But they don't care if you know how to use the products effectively.
Thus certifications are useless, and (if you're cynical) a money grab by vendors. If you *aren't* cynical they're yet another example of what road good intentions heads for...
That's why certifications are useless paper to wave under the noses of HR.