Software Development with Linux

Certifications schmertifications

MON, 01 NOV 2010

A Google search for "Linux certification" return 5 millions results, the same amount as "Cisco certification".  For comparison, "Microsoft Windows certification" gives 3 millions results, "Apple Mac OS certification" gives 2 millions results, and "Oracle certification" gives half a million.

Granted, those searches lump together devices, applications, administrations, and developers certifications, so we have to be careful using those numbers.  But they are fine for the point I want to make (and the question I'm asking) : I think software developers, systems and networks administrators certifications are useless.  Certifying an object, a physical one like a device, or a virtual one as a software, for a particular purpose is fine.  But certifying people, I'm not convinced.

Pawel Brodzinski recently questioned the values of certifications.  For those who won't read is piece, he think they aren't useful and they don't solve the right problem, which really is a trust issue.  But go read it, it's interesting.

Now, for pretty much the same reasons as Pawel, I don't think Linux certifications worth that much.  At least, for experienced Linux software developers.  I put them in the same line as school diploma.  They are better than nothing, but worth less than experience.  So if you already have a couple of years of experience in a domain, adding a certification for that same domain on top of that experience will not be worth your time and money.  If you're fresh from school, that another story.  It's also different if you get a certification in something you don't have experience with, to get you started.  But the goal is to eventually get experience, which is the real thing.

What do you think?  In your experience, do you think certifications have any values?  If so, why?

Image by godwin d