I've seen this question listed in a number of threads, so decided to post a general comment on it.
I've done quite a bit of hiring at my current company and last company (I was even the HR director for a while in the early days of my current company :-). I don't place much weight on certification. It's just a hoop people jump through. I know good programmers that don't have it, and bad programmers who do. During my interview process I can usually tell if they know Java or not based on my questions, not their resume. I think the certification has two uses. First, if you are a new programmer, it may carry some weight.We hire a lot of guys out of top universities. Frankly I don't care if their certified, I know they're smart and have a CS background. If you don't, if you're self taught and or have little or no experience, than it's an extra point for you, but at mst it might get your resume looked at, or get you a frst interview. Consulting may be a different story. Resumes from people with consulting backgrounds tend to be "flashier." Certifications often do stand out. On that note, I've seen some pretty flashy resumes with little substance. Often, I'm suspicious of the one with 2-3 years experience and dozens of buzzwords (e.g. jdbc, jsp, servlets, ejb). I found more often than not, those people really only briefly know the topic ("well, we used XML on my project, and even though I didn't write any, my code worked with some that did").
Ultimately, this is just my opinion. I am, first and foremost, a software engineer, and so maybe I don't think like a HR person. So don't take this as gospel. --Mark firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Herschberg, author of The Career Toolkit
I think a lot of times it's the recruiters who put those buzzwords in big, bold letters up at the top of resumes. Most of the people I've interviewed have only read about EJBs or done a few examples, and can only give me textbook answers when questioned about them. I had one guy who had EJB plastered all over his resume, but when push came to shove he said he had "lead a team to investigate the use of EJBs." Translation: he told someone else to read about them. It's amazing how many people out there claim to have been coding Java for years yet can't answer *simple* technical questions. That's why the job market is so tight... which is good for me, I suppose. :-)
I do not perceive the market at tight. As long as you understand what is required of the person getting certified, I respect your decision to not put much weight on certification. However, I view certification as a gift from the industry. Let's face it. A lot of companies would like a standard test given to people they may want to hire. However, giving out a fair test is hard. Sun and others put it on their shoulders to make fair tests. Without certification, I would get more questions which may or may not be of a high quality. I fought against certification and to make my arguments effective, I learned all I could about them. That led me to get Developer and Programmer certified!
I aggree with Michael. At least, certification could prove us fast-learning. Image, good students in university usually pass exam with high mark, while others may struggle to just pass it. And also, we in fact learned a lot during the preparation of exam. Simon
posted 19 years ago
Don't misunderstand me. I can appreciate the benefits of standardization. However, Java Certification suffers from the same problems as the SATs. Specificaly to the Java exam, I don't feel it covers a lot of "daily knowledge," i.e. what most programmers do day in/day out. As I said, it's useful for beginning programmers, because it tells me they didn't just read a book and list Java as a buzzword. However, for anyone with 2+ years experience, I care only about what they've worked on, not their exams. I can usually get a good sense of someone's Java skills within about 15-20 minutes. But having your own set of interview questions, you can establish some baslines by which to judge people. (Of course, it took me a while to get questions for all skill levels--in fact, I can stand to use some more in my arsenal.) I disagree with the idea that passing the exam says the person is "fast-learning." With all the crash course books and courses out there, all it says to me is that they can regurgitate the information. Again, this is fine if you want to be sure they understand basic Java. But I don't take the test to mean anything more. True, fundamental programming goes beyond the language. Its funny that so many students out of school tell me "I really want to do design"--and yet they have no experience is making large scale designs (or even scales bigger than 10,000 lines of code). I've yet to see a good test for this. In fairness, of course, its hard to make of test for this set of skills. --Mark email@example.com
Mark Herschberg, author of The Career Toolkit
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg: I can usually get a good sense of someone's Java skills within about 15-20 minutes. But having your own set of interview questions, you can establish some baslines by which to judge people. (Of course, it took me a while to get questions for all skill levels--in fact, I can stand to use some more in my arsenal.)
Mark, I'm curious, could you share some of these questions with us? I'd like to see how well I do, given my Java experience! Cheers, Rob
Rob Ward<BR> <A HREF="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" rel="nofollow">email@example.com</A> <P><I>"Maths and alcohol do not mix. Remember, don't drink and derive"</I>
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