Does Certification Have Any Value?

In some period of carrier IT-specialist encounters with a question To be or not to be?Take or not certification exam?” Today I’d like to write more thoughts about this and I’ll try to compare Belgium and Ukrainian situations.

First of all, I’m twice certificated Microsoft developer (actually three times but MCPD is just next level of MCTS). I pass 4 exams for this. So I’ve some knowledge and experience to make the consequences.

Above all ask yourself Why do you want to become a certificated developers and What do you expect of this? If you assume to get respect of this – don’t do it. If you suppose to become a better developer, start to write clean code – it’s not right way. Studying for a certification will not bring much benefit to the developer. There are several companies which give perks for certificated filed in the CV in Ukraine (same in Belgium). The companies do it not because they view it as important as a training tool, but because it counts towards partner status with the associated company. Of course in that case, why don’t pass it? But don’t expect some “golden bullet”. Certification is just a usual test, there are almost all questions about API and things which you can easily “google” when you encounter with this on your usual working routine.

Now in Ukraine I see a trendy trend don’t be just “usual developer” but add something like “mego-senior developer”, “n-times certificated developer”, “senior PM” (what of hell is this? I don’t understand), etc. In Europe everything is simpler PM, software engineer (developer) or some manager. And I like it, it’ clearer!

However, there are a lot of benefits in certification. Personally me, I decided to take it because of three things.

Firstly, it’s allows you to go deeper into this topic, systematize your knowledge. Also there are some topics which you maybe hadn’t encounter during your jobs.

Secondly, I truly belief that HR and recruiters like these kind of fields in CVs. Remember, only after their choose some IT-specialist will see it!

And the last one, it’s a good motivation! Do you feel the difference: “Oh, I’m going to learn something new, for instance Silverlight” or “I’m going to learn Silverlight so I’ll book exam for myself on January“? The thing is, you are commitment to do it, you put the deadlines (or you’ll lose some many).

At the end, to the best of my belief: certification doesn’t learn you how create a good architecture; write a clean and good code. It’s better to read the fundamental, not technology specific books for this such as: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture, Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code, Code Complete, etc. BUT certification is a good motivator, a good chance to refresh the theory! It can give some new overview on old things. And eventually, you will once more read MSDN or documentations 😉


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