Just some thought about certifications

i have been wondering why there is so much resistance to computer certifications
i work in an environment were most here dont have certifications but have experience
the guys here are knowledgeable about what they do but when the topic of certs comes up in convo the claws come out
i understand that hr types rely on certs as a sort of filter for prospective employees but what i dont get is the whole attitude towards certs
i have a non it degree so for me the certs are a way for me to improve my knowledgebase to help me do my job better and to prepare for the future
like i said these a some random thoughts i have been having about the certification arena and it in general

Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I think some people look down on certifications because they don't have them! Anyone who gets them think they are a good way to prove your knowledge and get you that interview. Experience is good, but experience backed up by a cert is better in my opinion. Even better, degree, experience and certs are the best combination!
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • tjcassertjcasser Member Posts: 38 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think it varies widely by the type of cert, actually.

    I've noticed that there's widespread acceptance of the administrative-end certifications - from DBA's to system administrators, those certifications seem to be fairly accepted, and even sought after by employers. The acronyms for those certs are often included in ads for positions and are seen as requirements. On the other hand, I think I've noticed a more dismissive attitude towards programming certifications. I see few ads that mention them, and most of my coworkers don't seem to know quite what to make of them. It's only recently that a few of them are starting to change their opinions as it shows some form of continuing education after college.

    And I think what networker050184 said is very true - it's a sign of experience on some level. My only assumption to add to that employers figure they can determine your ability as a programmer from what you produce, but that administrators often do things that have less tangible results than a finished software product, which requires further validation of their ability.

    The other possibility that comes to mind is that there's still some reputation that clings to certifications from the era where brain **** were prevalent (the "paper MCSE" quip comes to mind). There's a taint that still sticks on some level with it, and with the ability to pass (most) exams without any practical proof of ability to apply the knowledge required, whereas a degree (or a practical exam) demonstrates that you've shown your abilities in some environment more challenging than a multiple-choice exam. Perceptions are changing, but it's taking time to change.

    Just my $0.02, I suppose.
    MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Windows Applications
    MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications
    MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Distributed Applications
    MCPD: .Net Framework 2.0 Enterprise Applications
  • sthomassthomas Member Posts: 1,240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think some people look down on certifications because they don't have them!

    I agree with that. Also, some people look down on certification because they are to lazy to take the exams, they fear they will fail and look bad, and/or they don't want to put extra money (or time) in there career. And of course there is always that person who thinks they are the smartest and knows everything about technology, so in there mind they don't need to get certified.
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • jbaellojbaello Member Posts: 1,192
    I agree and 2nd that, certification separate the man from the boys! haha jk :)
  • RATTLERMANRATTLERMAN Member Posts: 151
    yeah i hear what you guys are saying... i work with a know it all who thinks he is too good for certs.

    i am still going to obtain my certs so i can set up my future opportunities later
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    RATTLERMAN wrote:
    yeah i hear what you guys are saying... i work with a know it all who thinks he is too good for certs.

    Then I think your co-worker is missing out. If he knows everything then why doesn't he just turn up and ace all the tests? Should be easy right and why not get them if they will be cake? You might as well round off what you know with a certificate or two. But test taking and obtaining certificates is only a part of the real value of certification.

    Where certification really helps is in providing the candidate with a formalised study program that should cover the technology in some depth, it's features and the application of those features in different settings. Some of those things are skipped over by folks relying with on the job experience because they focus on what they have to support in their shop. They may be great at that but may not be aware of how it *should* be done or how best to operate in a different environment, or even, how it *really* works and what key elements are actually designed to do.

    Certification can provide more awareness of what the technology is capable of than simply hacking around at work to get by, and that's what many people do in support, they hack. Without a certification track it's unlikely many people will invest quality time in understanding design principles or the architecture of Exchange 2003 for example, much less appropriate clustering solutions. Now some people do obtain this knowhow without certs, but many more don't, and if you don't you miss out or worse you throw things together that store up problems for the future.

    I know, I had to document an entire hosting centre once with Windows 2003, Exchange 2003, Terminal Server, SQL 7.0, Cobalt DNS, Call Manager, PIX and god knows what else that was abandoned once the guy who was supposed to be running it who was 'too good' got fired because things were a mess. I found Exchange installed on Domain Controllers, no backups, no working backup system, flakey Terminal Servers, Terminal Server licence issues, security holes and hosted email and DNS problems everywhere. Mailer failures, mail relay, SQL database corruption etc etc. The whole thing was poorly designed, kept breaking down and just didn't scale. I went in, shored things up as best I could, worked 12 hour days, went in each day expecting it to be down. Often times it was, the email would simply stop working for the companies clients. It was hopeless really. I documented the whole architecture for them (they didn't have any) and made some recommendations before moving on.

    One year later that company folded. I guess they didn't listen. I also guess that the guy responsible for designing and building out that house of cards didn't read any white papers or invest time in big certification books that take longer than a couple of days to read and understand. There are many books like this, I have shelves full of them at home.

    Now, given that many certifications are produced by vendors the question of 'Well apparently this NOS can do this, but is it any good or should I do something else?' ..that comes down to experience + awareness of what alternatives can do. Certification can help there as well if you cover a few alternatives!
  • ilcram19ilcram19 Inactive Imported Users Posts: 206
    this is funny i think those guy are just lazy or google fans that wherever they dont know they google it instead of sit and read a good book ...i think is just lazyness i would like to see them compiting with a guy with cert for a job see u gets it lol...thats why they never change jobs they just sit there and wait for thing to get done themselfs....they should comeout for a reality show for IT certified people against none certified people it would be funny
    If you stop getting better, you cease being good
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,172 ■■■■■■■■■□
    For higher level jobs certs are really #3 or 4 on the list of the IT and/or hiring managers. Not saying they aren't important (or else I wouldn't spend so much time on them!), they do influence hiring decisions, and for me personally I also use them as a structured study aid to fill in knowledge gaps.

    I work with a guy who thinks certs are useless. Not that he thinks he is too good for them, I think he is just ignorant of the value of legitimately obtaining certification.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • RATTLERMANRATTLERMAN Member Posts: 151
    I have learned alot about my self and more importantly I have learned people. Most IT guys think they can throw a few technical terms around and get away with it. i work in desktop support and the most important thing for me is to resolve my customers issue. I am not there to show off how smart or technically savvy i am. I talk the tech talk with the best of them but in the end it is about performance and results. It takes a special breed of person to deal with the @#$% we put up with every day .When it comes to certifications , they are just a part of the package I bring to the table. Being consistent,professional are some of the keys to my success.
    I have gone from a "you need me to do your job" mentality to a "how can i help you do your job better" mentality.Like i said before its all about results in the IT game either you can do it or you cant.

    Just my $.02 worth


    AGILE .. MOBILE.. HOSTILE
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    sthomas wrote:
    I think some people look down on certifications because they don't have them!

    I agree with that. Also, some people look down on certification because they are to lazy to take the exams, they fear they will fail and look bad, and/or they don't want to put extra money (or time) in there career. And of course there is always that person who thinks they are the smartest and knows everything about technology, so in there mind they don't need to get certified.


    I don't agree with this. Those who've been using this material and have come up over the years of technology dislike seeing the certs abused. Likewise, my comments won't apply to all....just as your comments don't apply to all, but consider the people out there who have cheated, those who just read books and memorize things to take exams and attempt to walk into top paying careers without any real field experience? Then these types get angry by saying 'people without exams say their worthles..blah, blah...'.

    There needs to be a balance.

    Kids fresh from school, people changing careers mid-life...if you don't have experience but have certs it doesn't mean you 'KNOW' the material in application. You may make a great apprentice, but not necessarily a leader to start.

    At the same time, you do have people who have learned a technology and will not dive into the new stuff because "it's not necessary", then find themselves playing catchup on patching the network or failing to have planned for the hardware changes required for Exchange 2007.

    Experience, Time and Education keep/make a person desirable to have on staff or consulting your organization. Extremes to either side are bad. Gathering certs just to have them...very little purpose. Obtaining certs that are meaningful to ones career track or goals...worth pursuing.

    IMNSHO
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • rossonieri#1rossonieri#1 Member Posts: 800
    Turgon wrote:
    They may be great at that but may not be aware of how it *should* be done or how best to operate in a different environment, or even, how it *really* works and what key elements are actually designed to do.
    RATTLERMAN wrote:
    I have learned alot about my self and more importantly I have learned people. Most IT guys think they can throw a few technical terms around and get away with it. i work in desktop support and the most important thing for me is to resolve my customers issue. I am not there to show off how smart or technically savvy i am. I talk the tech talk with the best of them but in the end it is about performance and results. It takes a special breed of person to deal with the @#$% we put up with every day .When it comes to certifications , they are just a part of the package I bring to the table. Being consistent,professional are some of the keys to my success.
    I have gone from a "you need me to do your job" mentality to a "how can i help you do your job better" mentality.Like i said before its all about results in the IT game either you can do it or you cant.


    Agreed.[/quote]
    the More I know, that is more and More I dont know.
  • Vogon PoetVogon Poet Member Posts: 291
    A lot of people who are settled in at a job only look short term.
    I find most people are really bad at career management.
    Very often the IT professional may look at the time and money needed to commit to certification and think that they are OK without it. They should ask themselves who they would prefer to hire if they were in charge of a company (or at least the IT department). Then apply that advice to themselves as they may eventually be that person being evaluated.
    Very few jobs are life-long any more. If you get the axe, will your resume be adequate?
    No matter how paranoid you are, you're not paranoid enough.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Some people do **** to get their certifications, but some people will **** for anything. Do these samee people look down on certs for this reason also think college degrees are worthless since you can **** to get them? Anything can be done the right way or the wrong way. You shouldn't look down on the whole idea of certifications just because some people have cheated to get them.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • KaminskyKaminsky Member Posts: 1,235
    What these old timer colleagues are worried about is the holes in their knowledge being shown up or just the very measurment of their abilities in the first place. I have been enjoying a career in IT support for the last 15 years and I can well understand where they are coming from. (See my sig)

    [If a newbie comes in with a CCNA and little experience and then the guy that designed and built the network, with years of experience, goes and studies for the CCNA in order to certificte their knowledge... Is the newbie going to consider themselves equal ?? What if some of their knowledge holes are shown up and they fail ??? At the very least it is an instant loss of "Guru" status ! ]
    Kam.
  • RATTLERMANRATTLERMAN Member Posts: 151
    I guess I had a lightbulb moment or epihany the other day during my performance review the other day. Its not enough to have the experience,certifications,degree etc. In the end its about performance or more to the point the perception of your performance. I have finally realized that" IT "is looked at as a cost of doing business. People are more concerned with office politics than resolving issues and providing solutions.
    During my evaluation I was given high marks for my technical skills and the successful completion of work orders but I guess thats not enough. I was told by them that some end users are intimidated by me and that I made them nervous. I am 6ft 280 bald headed and I understand that I have a physical presence. I make it a point to watch how I carry myself when I deal with others. I can only change so much about myself. In the end all i can do is C.Y.A. and go from there. I know I started the thread talking about certifications but I am at a crossroads now.
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    RATTLERMAN wrote:
    I was told by them that some end users are intimidated by me and that I made them nervous. I am 6ft 280 bald headed and I understand that I have a physical presence.

    I need you to come work for me. I have some users that need a little fear of IT put into their hearts. icon_cool.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • KaminskyKaminsky Member Posts: 1,235
    RATTLERMAN wrote:
    I was told by them that some end users are intimidated by me and that I made them nervous. I am 6ft 280 bald headed and I understand that I have a physical presence. I make it a point to watch how I carry myself when I deal with others. I can only change so much about myself.

    IT Support's function in any environment is only to keep the computer side of the business moving. Your not the ones making the money or usually providing the service the company is actualy making money from. Your just there to to help the staff that make the company money, keep making that money. That's where IT Support fit into the equation and it's important to remember that.

    When they call you with a problem, it usually means that because of this problem, they are not able to get their part of delivering their service done because of the error. Hence why sometimes they can be a little irked that this stupid innanimate object is stopping them from doing their work and meating their tartgets.

    Now, if you are consciously worrying how you are percieved by users they will pick up on that nervousness and if your a big lad then they could obviously feel intimidate when you walk in if they don't know you. I bet you find most folks you meet a little intimidated. It's very simple really and once you get used to working with the users, it becomes a really enjoyable experience. Far better than being stuck in an office on the other end of the phone in my opinion. Chat with them, get to know them and have a laugh with them. It will pay you dividends in the end when they realise that ok your a techie and a big lad but your actually a nice guy and a good laugh. Just know where to draw the line.

    It will make for a far more enjoyable career. After my time in IT on the front line, my mrs says that there isn't a person on the planet I can't strike up a friendly conversation with straight off the bat.
    Kam.
  • RATTLERMANRATTLERMAN Member Posts: 151
    It'a just really hard sometimes dealing with all the attitudes. The work is basically the same but sometimes you dont know what you are walking into. I have tried to develop a bedside manner that helps me through the day. I guess I am just frustrated about seemingly spinning my wheels in my current position.
  • druid318druid318 Member Posts: 85 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think some of these guys might be intimidated by the certs. Alot of them got into the business when it was in a large boom and honestly don't have the qualifications to hold the job they are in now. When newbies with college and or certs come in it might make some people uncomfortable, like they are training their replacement.
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