Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Agile Certification Talk

I wrote some on this topic, but it is still very popular on the various lists. A blog post I liked was Derick's on the Los Techies Blog. I thought he was very thoughtful and like his comparison with the Master's and PhD thesis defense. That is one thing I was curious about when I submitted my Certified Scrum Practitioner application- would there be follow up and some justification or defense of my answers? Or, would it be rubber stamped? I'm not sure how extensive the review process actually was, but I do know I was never contacted for follow up, just notified of approval.

So, should I feel bad about having my CSP? And mentioning it on my resume? According to Scott Ambler, I should. In his mind, I am ethically liable for the sins committed under the umbrella of a certification program that I don't completely agree with (as I stated in the earlier post). Note- Scott is not against certifications, as this Dr. Dobbs article makes clear, he just has severe issues with certifying "Master's" after a couple of days. While I noted the same concern, I haven't taken the moral position he has. The requirements for each level of certification are publicly available - the Scrum Alliance wasn't perpetrating a hoax on the public or potential employers. HR departments or hiring managers that require a particular certification without understanding the rigor of the certification process are the ones liable for the candidates they hire. Just like I wouldn't blame Microsoft if someone hired an MCAD without validating that they could actually develop applications and hadn't just memorized test answers. Maybe I can gain absolution since I cite the more stringent CSP designation and not just CSM? In Scott's eyes, I doubt it since I'm guessing the self-reported actions on the application are not validated by anyone for quality or effectiveness.

Writing this post, I had multiple tabs open in Firefox that I'd opened over the last couple of days as I saw links in Twitter on the topic. I frequently do this until I have time to go back and actually read the posts. The last tab on this subject was Uncle Bob's reply to Scott's post. I didn't read it yet since I wanted to write out my own thoughts in this post before reading his. I'm happy to see him cite some of the same points I did- the process is transparent and understanding it is the hiring companies responsibility. It is nice when you agree with someone you respect and think highly of!

Finally, here is the Google group where folks are discussing the Agile Developer certification.

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