I mean there's a certificaiton, so it has to be something we shouldn't miss out on, right?
Did anyone ever take Microsoft's "Microsoft Certified Application Developer" or "Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect" titles seriously?
I was still in high-school when I heard about it. I asked some SWE friends of mine who told me that they didn't take it seriously due to the wide prevalence of _brain dumps_ all over the Internet. A few said having it on your resume may actually hurt their careers or job-seeking because potential employers who were on-the-ball took a dim view of them because they were so easy to obtain, so and automatically assumed anyone who advertised the fact they had one when they already had a degree in CS and/or good industrial experience at the very least had misplaced priorities (so I guess if you have it as a single line-item on your resume in 9pt text buried at the bottom that's okay, just don't make it a heading).
What's amusing to me is that after working at Microsoft in Redmond for a few years at the start of my career as an FTE SE in DevDiv - I didn't know anyone who had such a certificate. If no-one needed one to work at Microsoft on the very tools these certificates are for, what's the point?
Most developers generally didn't, but certainly back in the early 2000s I heard lots of managers and other people responsible for hiring being impressed by it. To be blunt, if you where a mediocre developer with a mediocre resume, it was for a while a pretty efficient way to stand out among other mediocre developers.
Microsoft also used to offer some nice goodies and discounts to Microsoft Certified Professionals that could make it worth having, financially, if you where a freelance developer or worked for a smaller company.
That's mostly why people bothered with it.
It was completely no use whatsoever. In fact looking back the contents were stupid and dangerous.
Same here, but MCSE used to come with all sorts of goodies like a free TechNet subscription. That ceased long ago however.
Curious to hear more.
Can't point you to dates and blog posts on this though, this all comes from my vague memories.
But Amazon is no different.
A good certified partner won't hire you just because you have the cert, but it saves them the trouble of having to get it for you.
This kind of thing is uncommon in Github world, but very common in Microsoft/Azure world.
What exclusive materials or advantages do Microsoft "Partner" companies have thesedays? MS is very good at making available their documentation, and almost all of their modern stuff (.NET Core, etc) is developed openly on GitHub.
But other companies that aren't as engineering-driven like SAP, Oracle, yeah - I can see them doing that.
The only advantage I can think of is one of cross-promotion or referrals from Microsoft's own consulting division. (I'll admit I have no idea who MS's Consulting customers are - I thought everyone went with Accenture, IBM, Capita or Atos).
Reason I personally like GitHub as it is meeting point for like minded people, place where you play and learn while playing, without any judgment.
Certification obstruct that process of learn-play, it is like grownups coming to playground and saying to kids, now you have to play this way, you cannot play your own way... because erm... it help us to quantify you so we can exploit you better.
I heard somewhere "century of left brain domination over right brain"...
One part, in my view, is the exceptionally temporary nature of a certificate. A degree typically teaches things that are fairly static.
If you're a biologist, I would expect 90% of the things you learned in college to still be true, or mostly true, when you retire. A certificate, on the other hand, validates that you know this particular thing well, until the next version comes out. Depending on what "thing" is, and when the last version was released, it could be less than a year. So even if I accept that the certificate does mean you know this system really really well, it doesn't mean that's true for very long.
They're also an external validation of your skills, so people who aren't confident in their skills will often mention their certificate when they feel their skills are being challenged. I think this creates a bias in how we view certificate holders. I've noticed the same thing with people who have degrees from prestigious institutions. I've got a bad taste in my mouth from MIT because most of the people who went to MIT and I'm aware that they went to MIT like to bring it up when they don't feel confident. That's not to say everyone who went to MIT is like that; the rest just don't feel the need to constantly mention it, so I don't even know.
They're typically multiple choice as well, which are much easier to fake understanding on. "Which network architecture accommodates X best?" is probably going to be easier to answer than "You have a network with X servers that need Y bandwidth, etc, etc, explain what network architecture you would choose, and why."
And lastly, I think there's a certain sense of derision for certificates for things created in our lifetime. Things that came before us have a sense of tradition that gives them a sense of legitimacy. Of course your accountant needs a degree, they've always had degrees. New things don't have that, so you have to justify why a certification is necessary, and most don't meet the bar. Everyone managed to use GitHub just fine without a certification.
previous experience/internships at good companies that I know have solid engineering and/or CS/Engineering degree from a school I trust.
In my mind, bootcamps, certs and micro-degrees often signal someone was unable to enter the field due to a lack of qualifications. Most of them are pretty much rote memorization of commercial products, so fairly low value, or 'one trick ponies' where they know how to create a web app with one and only one tech stack (by copy-pasting templates!).
Really, I expect anyone with a good degree or previous experience to just be able to read git and GitHub's manuals and get it.
Github has been intentionally conflating git with github for their own gain since way before Microsoft ever conceived of the notion of buying them.
A year or so before the acquisition, one of my Microsoft coworkers asked if I'd gotten approval to post our internal code on github. What I had actually done was put some of our testing code which was, for all intents and purposes, not under version control, into a git repo hosted by an internal platform.
- Employees : show your value by these certs and increase your potential wage.
- Employers : now you can easily compare potential employees ( driving down their wage )
Both of those already happened years before Microsoft acquired GitHub.
Also, I have yet to meet people taking certifications seriously on an individual level. The sole way I've seen them used is box-checking when choosing a contractor/vendor. Anyone got a different experience?
In SEA I see "Male Only" on programmer jobs not that infrequently, plus very often age requirements explicitly stated for all sorts of jobs.
I'm curious: minimum or maximum?
I have nothing against people who show up with their resumes filled with them, but it's not a valuable indicator in my opinion. I'd rather see what they've built. Show me some useful things on your github or blog. That I can see value in.
Obviously we're talking about software-related certs, not pilots licenses, etc...
Not discounting the fact that you may have lots of other skills and nothing in your Github.
In general if someone has enough other skills and worked at companies that have a high bar, it's likely they can pick up Github fast enough even if they haven't used it that it shouldn't be a hiring concern.
Like for example, if someone is fluent in C++ or some such, I wouldn't doubt their ability to learn how to use git.
Some are good. I did AWS Solution Architect Pro, and this one was tough, one needs years of hands on to pass. Anyone with this one will get an instant plus in my book. I did not bother renewing it though, after 3yrs expired :)
I did not say that. I said some are good, and named one.
That said, I wouldn't go for any of the other certifications without actually working / having worked professionally in AWS. Or anything you can get certified for, for that matter.
I mean iirc I've got some cisco certifications as well but I and everyone else cheated on the exam and don't remember anything of it.
For example (extreme case to make a point), imagine if the questions were like:
1) Which is the most reliable git platform? (a) github (b) gitlab (c) gitweb
2) Which is the best license for new code? (a) MIT (b) GPLv3 (c) ALv2
3) Which is better for coding? (a) spaces (b) tabs (c) both
The point is that Microsoft shouldn't be the central authority for git things. Lets make the internet, the web, and development in general more decentralized.
Q4: Which licensing statement best describes a project to be truly open source?
* it is recommended to choose a license because without it, the default copyright laws apply
(technically correct but yeah)
Q5: Which statements are true about GitHub Marketplace?
* a digital catalog with hundreds of software listings from independent software vendors
* a place where apps and actions can be found to improve your workflow
I think this is something even the FSF will tell people.
I can see how it's a bit like indoctrination though, but as another thread mentions, the AWS certification isn't that different; the first certification you can achieve there is pretty much learning the marketing message and talking points from AWS and cloud computing as a whole.
In other words, AWS certifications suck too. I don't see how that excuses MS or GH.
They could either have gone with e.g. Reddit's scheme of having users under `/u/certifications`, or put extra GH pages under a subdomain (e.g. certification.github.com or pages.github.com/certification)
A challenge for the affected user, not for the platform itself.
Their profile page is broken as you mentioned.
Look at the sample questions, they stuff your head with useless marketing crap and idiots will have to be thankful to have been brain washed...
Anyway, I quickly glanced the sample exam questions.
> Which statements are true about GitHub Marketplace?
Honestly, I have never heard about the term GitHub Marketplace at all. Frankly, I don't want to relies on random proprietary SaaS apps somebody selling on random software distribution platforms.
> What is a workflow?
I don't know. Isn't it possible to (indirectly)achieve every candidates by GitHub Actions? Also, the term is used vague even by GitHub itself. The GitHub documents refer to flow or actions or whatever.
> Which statements are true about organizational membership
I don't know. Is reciting this knowledge helps on any way meaningful?
> How does GitHub alert you for security vulnerabilities?
How do I suppose to know that without getting any alert previosuly? By reading every GitHub documents and committing it to the brain?
Isn't that how one normally prepares for an exam?
What product is there which both has a certificate and changes each year enough that the difference can't be covered in less than an hour of reading about the new features?
Security experts fail to get CISSP qualifications, while those who can barely use a computer pass. The security industry considers CISSP to be a bit of a joke for this reason.
This sort of certification is in my experience, sought out by those who don't have much else to show, and therefore is often correlated with not being very good. You can learn by rote and pass with no understanding to tick an easy box.
I think it's a shame GitHub is getting into this, but cynically it makes sense for them.
When I used to participate in math contests I'd go out of my way not to read the answers before attempting to solve the problem because it's much more gratifying that to reverse engineer the problem from the input. In the end, I'd resort to that or guessing if I couldn't crack the problem on my own, but then at least I knew which problems I really solved and which ones I didn't. And when I was invited to do more complex math contests than the ones that Waterloo was putting out I was astonished at how much harder just having to write in an exact answer was, since you missed out on the "not one of the options" feedback if you flubbed a number somewhere.
With these certification tests it's impossible to really do the same thing. It doesn't even feel like real thinking compared to writing software or prose. Also the pointless memorization of things like "what classes of MITM attacks are there?" don't really get a person to learn the stuff. It's like memorizing the atomic weight of elements. That stuff never stuck for me until I was doing real chemistry and the basic act of looking up a weight each time slowly got me to memorize the elemental weight of the chemicals I was working on. Same goes for all those French words I was forced to learn in Canada. Once I started wanted to speak Russian I was amazed at my ability to actually be able to remember words.
I'm not saying these things should never be tested. I wouldn't trust a structural engineer that didn't know what lateral torsional buckling is but the manner in which we test it should be as close the reality we would expect, and this is what we do in engineering school most of the time.
 Answer: Surveil, Fabricate, Modify, and Deny.
 Essentially the concept that a tall but thin beam can swing to the side, or "torsionally buckle" when loaded from the top (thus requiring bracing) unlike a beam rotated 90 degrees, which does not require bracing for this reason.
I think multiple choice exams can be a good way – a physics exam I took was multiple choice, and so because the examiners were "giving you the answers", they took it as an opportunity to ask really out-there questions. They would frequently take two wildly different aspects of the physics course and mash them up in a new way. I thought this was very effective at testing if the student understood the areas and could therefore combine understanding with intuitive leaps, or whether they had memorised the formulas necessary for the exam and could only repeat those on command in the exact form they knew.
This suggests to me that it's less multiple-choice, and more that this is a purely fact-based style of testing.
For a computer security course I took at university one of the exam questions was "Describe Stuxnet – 20 marks" (half the exam's marks). we had had a lecture dissecting the whole Stuxnet incident. For those simply memorising facts this question would be quite hard, but for those who had understood why certain things matter and could write an in-depth explanation of the security failings, it was great.
The problem is that marking this sort of question requires a significant amount of manual work, and that doesn't scale. Another example would be Phd vivas, which I've heard are generally a well respected way of determining ability, but which again take a significant amount of expert manual input.
I don't think we'll get good certifications for these sorts of things until we find better ways to examine like this.
That precludes having studied "enough". "Enough" is measured relative to your peers, not to how hard the exam is. As long as someone else is studying, "enough" is a moving target. On a certification, I can check out how hard the exam is and study just enough to pass it. If I know for a fact that the exam isn't going to test comprehension, just recall, and that I'm not going to fail because someone else studied enough to comprehend, it makes sense to just memorize the recall portions.
Certifications would do better if they went the same way. For each group of people taking the test, curve the test so that some minimum, fixed percentage of them fail. Let's say it's 20%; so for every group of 100 people taking the test, at least 20 of them will fail (although it could be more if you set a floor on the lowest score you will allow to pass). Even if the exam doesn't test comprehension, I'm willing to bet that most people would pick it up just through studying.
A lot of questions on easily Google-able things. I learned a lot from the training material, but don't think the exam itself really proves that much skill on the platform.
If I took the test again now, I doubt I would pass despite a lot more experience since I passed the first time around.
If I wanted to know if someone could use GitHub, I would ask them to get on a Teams screenshare and tell them to set up a pull request for something quick, like the repo's README.md, link it to the issue and adjust labels. That would tell me in 60 seconds everything I needed to know about the experience level someone has with GitHub.
Anything beyond code, issues, labels and pull requests is just one-time configuration or occasional project management duty. Not really a whole lot of complex scary shit going on here. I don't really see the need to start credentialing people for operating within what is arguably the least risky domain for newcomers when it comes to software engineering. Absolutely worst case you just revert your prior commit or re-open the issue...
The mass recruiters (or modern indenture owners) that import and place engineers by the bulk. They don't have the time to bother looking for actual practical skills.
Sounds like a sound business opportunity [pun intended].
Just call it a “microdegree” for better marketability.
Pushing bureaucratic certification is a step back in history and paves the way towards corporate centralization & exploitation.
Look out for alternatives, you can live well without Github stars for prestige and I hope also without Github certificates for your career. After all, Git was made for decentralization, I do not want Microsoft to dictate the future well-being of (professional) developers.
Now extending by adding certification (& some manufactured market value).
But not everyone, and even if so, there might be value in ensuring a base level understanding of 'use of git & GitHub', especially if you happen to do it in the GitHub proscribed way.
I'm sure many organisations have worse/more obvious/less worthwhile-as-viewed-by-new-hire on-boarding to go through!
Or something like... oh I am a level 99 Git wizard... This will definitely help me get dates.
These things generally mean very little and seem designed to extract money from large corporations with an education budget.
I always have to give them a deflationary speech about how software development is about the practice and not a one-time certification.
I would disagree in saying that Microsoft is making Github shit. There have been so many good things Github released since Microsoft took over (Github sponsoring, Github actions, bunch of other things) IMO it's been a major benefit. I'm hoping they don't screw it up