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   Re: [xml-dev] IBM's idea off an XML expert

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On Sun, Jan 05, 2003 at 11:10:06AM -0500, Mike Champion wrote:
> On Sun,  5 Jan 2003 10:09:35 -0500, Simon St.Laurent 
> <simonstl@simonstl.com> wrote:
> >I suspect more emphasis on educating people in the first place would be
> >a more productive use of time than working on certification of any form.
> FWIW, I suspect that we need time (measured in years) to figure out which 
> parts of the XML corpus are worth educating people about (and certifying 
> the status of their education) before we worry too much about this.  

We've already had years of time to examine the relative benefits
of various certification programs.  Vendor-run certifications that
are both comprehensive and focused have proven themselves.  I
wouldn't want to staff a NOC without some Cisco-certified network
engineers (or equivalent).  Nor would I trust an enterprise-grade
database to someone who "knows Oracle" when I can get someone Oracle
has certified as a DBA (and understands how to use the software).

What *hasn't* worked are the certification programs related to
programming.  MC** and A+ certifications don't have the same clout
as those designed and backed by Sun, IBM, Cisco and Oracle for the
care and feeding of their products.  That's because it's nearly
impossible to ceritify someone is a capable problem solver.

Programmer certification has been debated for over a decade now,
and the proposals in favor have never succeeded in winning over a
significant number of people (except those who are seeking entry
level work with an A+/MC** certification).  XML certification falls
into that category much more easily than it does an IBM certification
program for tweaking their terabyte Fibre Channel NAS array or
a Cisco certification program for configuring and tweaking routers and

*All* of that needs to be considered even before you attempt to identify
what XML technologies belong in a certification, and what people should
know about those technologies.



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