Over at Linux Watch, Stephen J. Vaughn-Nicholls opines “You don’t have to have a Linux certification to get a job working with Linux, but it can’t hurt.” I’m a big fan of certification, as I think eventually the vendor- and industry-level certification will be viewed as Continuing Education requirements for Licensed Software Practitioners. I’ve lectured about this years ago. I’ve also practiced what I’ve preached, earning a Novell CNA, Microsoft Certified Professional, Certified Solution Developer, Certified System Engineer and MySQL Core Certification through the years. I also worked as one of the lead authors for Microsoft’s Visual FoxPro 6.0 Distributed Applications exam, so I appreciate the difficulty of creating a legitimate certification.
Like a diploma, some certificates may just be an attendance report crossed with a good deal of bulk memorization, but it also shows a willingness to work within the system. A four-year degree generally indicates a bit of patience, too. But on the flip side, remember what they call they guy who graduates at the bottom of his class in med school: “Doctor”
Certification can be what you make of it. An educational opportunity, a means of self-evaluation, and a chance to distinguish yourself in the marketplace.