Thursday, October 2, 2008

ColdFusion Certification Exam - John Ceci suggests Project Submission

Past month I have been trying to find a solution to revive the image of ColdFusion certification exam and it seems that John Ceci of FlagsPlus has a viable solution. He wrote to me in response to my question on certification issue. I am quoting him as is. In a nutshell, he is suggesting that certifications rather be practical and Adobe should review a project submitted by a candidate before awarding certification.

John suggests:
If I were to say something to Adobe about the certification process I would say focus in on the core concepts and processes as well as the under the hood elements of ColdFusion. Of the last two programmers I hired neither had ever used the CF Admin nor did the[y] know anything about the logs files, mail queue or anything else having to do with CFusion directory.

One of the great features CF gives us as developers is a great core tag set (with 5-10 tags you can do almost anything) and then when you need to do something besides them, they have great documentation. Perhaps the certification should not be a test but a submitted piece of work that gets reviewed by Adobe personal, certifying their ability to perform key tasks. I know this would be more work for them, but if I had two resumes in hand for a new hire and one had that certification and another had a CF Brainbench certification, I would looked much harder at the Adobe cause it is human-reviewed.


I guess my point is, too many people can study and pass an exam and still not know what they are doing.


It is pretty evident fact that ColdFusion community requires a better exam format. Project submission would require high level of involvement and effort from people at Adobe and to minimize that effort, project submissions could be coupled with the existing exam.

It seems that the greater part of the community wants a tougher questionnaire. Though one thing to note is that most of the time CF is all about those five to ten wonder tags. CF was made in a way that a newbie never faces trouble and that those newbies can create amazing web applications without hiccups.

That's what J.J. Allaire, the CF creator, wanted, right? Or may be that's what Ben Forta wanted with his book called 'The ColdFusion Web Application Construction Kit' in the late 90s. 'Everything that you need to create web based applications'.

But like Doug Laakso of California State Board of Equalization puts it: "How valuable is a certification if you can pass the test after taking one or two classes? "


I am not sure if Adobe is listening to any blogger on this issue as is evident by posts already made by Ray Camden. Though, it is high time that the community gets what it deserves. A project submission or call it 'thesis submission' is need of the hour.

However, I am very much confident that a new format of exam with project submission will provide a seemingly fair advantage over the existing format which is under criticism by the ColdFusion community - Ray, et al.


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