Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Certifications even for the experienced?

Those of you who know me know that I sometimes shun the world of academia. Not that I do not think education is useful. I do. I am the current holder of two bachelor degrees and numerous certifications and I can honestly say they have proven useful in my career. But too often I see a candidate interviewing at my company who has years of academic training (multiple bachelor degrees, masters degrees, certifications up the wazoo), but they can not solve a simple puzzle put in front of them, or they display a complete lack of communication skills. After I was Java certified in 2003, I decided that I would take additional Java certifications to advance my knowledge. To date this has not happened, largely because my life is considerably busier and I much prefer to tinker and explore technologies than read the official way of doing something. Attending conferences has also been a pleasure to increase my awareness of new technologies.

Recently while being disposed, I was flipping though a copy of the Web Component Developer prep-book put out by Manning some years ago. It was a decent book, and as I flipped through the pages I found myself reading up on the techologies that I used on a daily basis, as well as advise my teams in their use. I feel in general, dispite the maturity of many Web Component pieces (such as Servlet, TAGs and EL), I feel many developers really do not understand why they are using them, or when to use one technology (for example TAGs) over another (such as Servlets). I proposed to the team that reading a book on such a subject matter might prove useful for their benefit. As a technology leader, I therefore felt it only appropriate that I study and become a Sun Certified Web Component Developer.

So this leads me to the conclusion that I suppose I need to engage in the duties of reading a book (for this current challenge I have chosen Head First Servlets & JSP from O'Reilly covering the 2nd edition), preparing myself and actually taking the exam. Based on my study habits, the best motivator I can think of is to schedule the exam now, that way I have to be prepared prior to the actual "writing" of the exam.

1 comment:

dayg said...

Based on my study habits, the best motivator I can think of is to schedule the exam now.

It appears that we use the same technique to "force" ourselves to study for an exam!