Mark Pearl

I’ve been burn’t by certifications. I grew up in the days of Mircosoft Dev Certifications. The way it worked is you would pay a substantial amount of money to do a Microsoft Certified Developer Course. The sales pitch was once certified you would earn massive amounts of money. I knew several people that crammed for the certificatin and were never the better for it. They still sucked at making software.

With that experience in my past and my current role with growing new software talent I was torn around what value certifications now brought until I read a post by a colleague that really resonated with me. I’ve shared it below for the wider community.

To be honest, I don’t think the certifications themselves have merit. Any company that requires AWS certifications in my opinion is either an org that requires it for AWS Partner Status - and if they’re not that, it’s probably not a company worth being in.

What has value however, is the road to being certified. Going on an exam forces you to review everything that you know (and you think you know). This is good.

The first reason is that it lets you inspect your base of knowledge, and rediscover things you might not know about. More importantly, it lets you find out about the things you don’t know you didn’t know about

The second reason I think it’s a good idea, is that the regular cadence of self reflection and self evaluation is important: not just as a good developer, but as an okay human being.

The third reason, is that they give you dope pins you can wear on AWS Dev Day.

TL;DR, the artifact that we care about is the evaluation of your current body of knowledge. Yes, we know that the certs probably hold little merit - but it wasn’t really about the certs in the first place.

It’s about being able to prove to yourself, through a neutral third party, that Hey, I know this much.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Want to get my personal insights on what I learn as I learn it? Subscribe now!