Some quick thoughts on certification

Yesterday, Acquia announced that it was starting a certification program.

Joomla is in the process of doing the same thing, although through the community rather than a company.

This will likely have a noticeable impact on us at OSTraining, so I’ve a few initial thoughts:

1) You are not the target audience. If you’re reading this, you probably follow me on Twitter and / or are heavily involved in the open source world. Certification is not aimed at you.

  • Certification is aimed at companies who don’t really know the industry and need some extra reassurance when hiring.
  • Certification is aimed at developers who need reassurance that a platform offers a good career opportunity.
  • Demand is mostly from the developing world. We added completion certificates for online classes at OSTraining because of demand from members in India, South-east Asia and South America.

2) It’s about more people. Inevitably, these won’t be the best, most community-involved companies and developers. But, that’s understandable when you bring in new blood. Karen McGrane made this point:

That’s true, but not every company or developer wants or can set a new, higher ceiling. Sometimes it’s enough just to get the job done.

3) This will be significantly less controversial than Acquia’s first attempt. Acquia first tried to launch a certification program back in 2008 and got huge community pushback. My guess is that this new program, 6 years later, will showcase case how much more mature / professional / corporate-owned (pick the adjective that you think fits best) things are now. It’s amazing how much has changed since 2008.

4) WordPress is now almost alone in not having certification. I have no idea if that signifies something important. But, given the dominant size of WordPress, it’s certainly worth noting.

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