Published: Jun 09 2010 / 07:51
10-15 blog posts is a nice little blog, not even. A nice start but nowhere near being substantial or citable at that point. I have a Sun Certified Java Programmer cert. It really isn't worth it for a practicing Java dev, you get tested on weird points of the language that no one in their right mind would do anyways. It was only helpful for me because studying for the test is how I learned Java.
James, I agree that it is not a good blog... but do you think HR, recruiters and others that care about certifications are going to judge and know the difference between a small blog and a real blogging commitment?
As an alternative to taking the Java certs, and what it would get you, 10-15 posts looks like a good alternative.
I guess I'll have to give you that. The really good ones might read a post and ask you to explain/talk about it. I think whether or not to get certified also depends on the market. Having a cert in Florida goes much further than in say New York or California.
In my experience, Europeans are much more into certifications as well... based on my time in London and my (short) time here in Switzerland. I extend that comment to say when finding the balance between credentials/experience the US dealings I've had put more emphasis on the experience that the others I've found.
I agree with that observation about the US market. In the *vast* majority of cases I've seen hiring managers look for direct experience and not certification to make hiring decisions.
I can't completely agree with the Master's Degree view. It is possible to alter/change career paths by adding an "MBA" to your resume's education section. I personally know a couple people who got Masters degrees while working. The company they worked for downsized, and they were able to stay employed in different roles, and only as a result of the extra education effort. But, obviously any degree is a gamble, very few could claim "100% hiring success".
About Master's Degree:
A big web company's recruiter recently confided me that they explicetely only cared for people with either MSc or PhD in Computer Science. Otherwise, they said, that unless the applicant has a lot of work experience, he will usually be overwhelmed by the learning curve of the in-house systems.
As a side note on opensource projects: I'll give an example of company that cares: Heroku (see the job posting for yourself: http://jobs.heroku.com/ruby_web_developer ). They ask for "Brief summary of any open source projects you’ve worked on". Also I have worked on a large company that explicetely prefered people that knew more than one language and actively participated on open source projects.
Conclusion: Different jobs will look at different skillset. If you are considering "the job" you want, focus on what they want. But if you are looking for "a job", well, then I don't think it really matters. "a job" you can find anywhere of any kind. The certifications might help you with "a job" that pays better, but so can COBOL.
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