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How important is Certification?


Hey,

Do you guys think it's important to have a certification (i.e. MCAD) in
getting an entry-level DotNet developer job?
Jul 21 '05 #1
3 1697
Actually, yes.

It won't make you smart or, necessarily, a better programmer. It doesn't
mean that you can work in a team or that you can analyze customer problems
in a non-threatening way. It won't substitute for dressing well or showing
up on time for your interview. There's lots of things certification won't
do for you.

On the other hand, if you are just starting out, certification does tell the
hiring manager that you have made an honest effort to demonstrate a basic
understanding of the intricacies of a programming model. It shows that you
are willing to take a chance on certifying, when you don't know if it will
help. It shows that you can reiterate basic details on demand. These are
not unimportant, and if you are an unknown quantity, this can be helpful.

On the other hand, the best way to get in is not to stop with certification.
Get your certification, and then get an internship, or to do programming
work for a charity or a non-profit, in exchange for a good referral. Get
someone to vouch for you, in writing.

Certification is good. But it doesn't trump experience.

--
--- Nick Malik [Microsoft]
MCSD, CFPS, Certified Scrummaster
http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmalik

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this forum are my own, and not
representative of my employer.
I do not answer questions on behalf of my employer. I'm just a
programmer helping programmers.
--
"Al Wilkerson" <ac***@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:c4********************@comcast.com...

Hey,

Do you guys think it's important to have a certification (i.e. MCAD) in
getting an entry-level DotNet developer job?

Jul 21 '05 #2
Depends on the company you're trying to get into. I don't have any Certs,
and no big-brand-name college. Starting out was harder as I watched others
get more money and have to jump through less hoops for raises because they
had some extra bulletpoints on their resumes, but I love what I do and
eventually I moved up from having "clean the bathroom" in my job description
to a couple of Senior VP and CTO positions under my belt. At a certain
level your education stops being important, and you are known for what you
have done.

Startingn out accept that in any industry the bigger the company and the
more people are trying to get in, the less likely the company will have the
time to check out the applicant's real talents closely. It's just the way
things are that it's easier to pigeonhole resumes using a checklist when you
have a lot of applicant to pick from.

In some companies for non-IT positions the pigeonholing is done by "Harvard"
is better than "Bellevue Community College" and BCC is better than
self-taught even if the Harvard grad ust barely got through, the BCC grad
did it with straight B's and the self taught person has more passion and did
the effort to become very good at the craft at the expense of having any
life ;-).

It's just the way things go when companies get big, and it's why big
companies are usually a lot less nimble than small companies that have to
hire for passion because they can't afford to pay what the big-ticket
companies can.

As Nick said, the best way in is to accept very low pay ... just like any
other industry, you have to pay your dues. If you stick it out, it gives
you great stories to bore interns with later :). I'd add to that that as
time goes on you don't stick with the same company you started with, that
leads to "Intern Syndrome" where you can be overlooked for promotions not
because you can't do other jobs but because all of the people will always
see you as "The Intern" even after years on the job. (Plus, you usually get
more money form a different company than what you ge in a yearly cost of
living raise). If you really liked your first company, leave them and go
back when some of the faces have changed, at that time you'll have two
advantages: 1) You know most of the systems so require less training 2)they
had to hire you away from another company so they won't think twice about
making a higher offer.

After 20+ years in business worldwide and several years of experience in
tech centers (Boston, White Plains, Rochester, SF and now Seattle's east
side) I've come to believe that that smaller companies are more fun, the
trade-off of the money is that they let you work on lots of different things
because they don't have the money for 20 people to every feature. You get a
lot of experience - - and if you work hard then you might be bought by
Microsoft so it can be a back-door past the big-company HR practices and
let you sit around as a middle manager on their dime for a while, if that's
what you're really after :)

All the best

Robert Smith
Kirkland, WA
www.smithvoice.com

"Al Wilkerson" <ac***@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:c4********************@comcast.com...

Hey,

Do you guys think it's important to have a certification (i.e. MCAD) in
getting an entry-level DotNet developer job?

Jul 21 '05 #3
Depends on the company you're trying to get into. I don't have any Certs,
and no big-brand-name college. Starting out was harder as I watched others
get more money and have to jump through less hoops for raises because they
had some extra bulletpoints on their resumes, but I love what I do and
eventually I moved up from having "clean the bathroom" in my job description
to a couple of Senior VP and CTO positions under my belt. At a certain
level your education stops being important, and you are known for what you
have done.

Startingn out accept that in any industry the bigger the company and the
more people are trying to get in, the less likely the company will have the
time to check out the applicant's real talents closely. It's just the way
things are that it's easier to pigeonhole resumes using a checklist when you
have a lot of applicant to pick from.

In some companies for non-IT positions the pigeonholing is done by "Harvard"
is better than "Bellevue Community College" and BCC is better than
self-taught even if the Harvard grad ust barely got through, the BCC grad
did it with straight B's and the self taught person has more passion and did
the effort to become very good at the craft at the expense of having any
life ;-).

It's just the way things go when companies get big, and it's why big
companies are usually a lot less nimble than small companies that have to
hire for passion because they can't afford to pay what the big-ticket
companies can.

As Nick said, the best way in is to accept very low pay ... just like any
other industry, you have to pay your dues. If you stick it out, it gives
you great stories to bore interns with later :). I'd add to that that as
time goes on you don't stick with the same company you started with, that
leads to "Intern Syndrome" where you can be overlooked for promotions not
because you can't do other jobs but because all of the people will always
see you as "The Intern" even after years on the job. (Plus, you usually get
more money form a different company than what you ge in a yearly cost of
living raise). If you really liked your first company, leave them and go
back when some of the faces have changed, at that time you'll have two
advantages: 1) You know most of the systems so require less training 2)they
had to hire you away from another company so they won't think twice about
making a higher offer.

After 20+ years in business worldwide and several years of experience in
tech centers (Boston, White Plains, Rochester, SF and now Seattle's east
side) I've come to believe that that smaller companies are more fun, the
trade-off of the money is that they let you work on lots of different things
because they don't have the money for 20 people to every feature. You get a
lot of experience - - and if you work hard then you might be bought by
Microsoft so it can be a back-door past the big-company HR practices and
let you sit around as a middle manager on their dime for a while, if that's
what you're really after :)

All the best

Robert Smith
Kirkland, WA
www.smithvoice.com

"Al Wilkerson" <ac***@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:c4********************@comcast.com...

Hey,

Do you guys think it's important to have a certification (i.e. MCAD) in
getting an entry-level DotNet developer job?

Nov 22 '05 #4

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