I was prompted to write this by some recent conversations and news items about product certifications. Microsoft recently announced that they were ending their top level certification scheme. A more interesting certification process was the story about beer!
We have MQ product certifications. You can become a certified designer or administrator. But what’s the value of that? Is there any value?
My personal view is that there is close to zero practical benefit to getting these accreditations.
I used to help design and set these certification tests. Back then, getting certification might have showed some real knowledge. We designed the tests so that it should be impossible to pass them without having had real hands-on experience. We had someone specific in mind – let’s call him Bob – who we believed should not be able to get through the process. So when writing questions we said “could Bob get this right? Could Bob simply find the answer in the documentation?” If the answer was yes, then that question was rejected.
But various things changed behind the scenes, and there was a desire to be able to offer classes at the end of which you could pass the test. With no real-life experience required. along with some other changes to the process, I decided not to continue participating in the question-setting at that point. The tests also started to get far too far behind the shipping products.. Today, you can be certified on MQ V7.0. But what might have been true or “best practice” at that point, may well be wrong with MQ V7.1 or V7.5.At one point we were trying to have new tests available very soon after the GA of a new product; that has clearly declined.
Although sites like mqseries.net try not to answer test questions directly, it’s not always obvious when someone is asking for an answer to these tests. A friend who did continue to help design tests even got notes from candidates “please send me the answers” which he rejected of course. But it seems that you can still find answers to test questions if you look.
As a personal validation for your own satisfaction, of course it could be worth doing, just like completing the crossword or a tricky sudoku. You know whether or not you have cheated, and it only affects your conscience.
But I would not take an assertion of certifcation to be a reliable indication of product skills, and would not consider it useful when looking to employ someone.