Certification Pretense

The manager walked into the room to announce the big push for a new certification the customer requested. Two dozen developers laughed uncomfortably, knowing what was to follow.

The manager asked what developers thought of the certification and after a few rounds of tepid talk, someone spoke up honestly and broke the taboo.

“It’s just like any other certification. You learn to take the test so you can give the answers they want you to give. You cram a bunch of garbage into your head then dump it out for the test, achieve your certification and then forget all that stuff. “

Several of us looked around the room for reaction, consisting of knowing nods and smirks. Clients want the assurance of certification, but that doesn’t certify knowledge, wisdom, or smart project implementation. It just means someone spent weeks or months studying for the test and passed a challenge with distant relation to real world success.

Every exam has classes and practice questions online so with careful study you can pass any test. At best it shows willingness to spend time to meet an employer demand, which is a test of socialized compliance rather than technical knowledge.

The realists in the room were annoyed because this test was expensive, needed soon, and the company was about to spend over $5000 per employee for certification training and test fees, creating great pressure to pass it on the first taking. They seemed to also be using a scheme to lock employees in for another year by charging them for the training and test if they resigned within the next twelve months.

The annoyance was that studying for the test would take up a good amount of time over the next few months, and a pointless certification would have minimal value for other jobs.

Some just wanted free time for themselves and family. Those trying to switch to another job needing more valuable certifications would be delayed by several months until they got past this barrier and could return to their career advancement plan.

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