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Re: [XP] Re: Certification on eXtreme Programming

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  • Larry Brunelle
    ... Went back and looked, but didn t seem to see it . . . apologies if I still missed it. More comments below. ... [snip] ... Hm. As far as I know, the
    Message 1 of 94 , May 3, 2009
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      Ron Jeffries wrote:
      > Hello, Larry.
      >
      > I'm pretty sure I mentioned something about scaling in my posting
      > ...

      Went back and looked, but didn't seem to see it . . .
      apologies if I still missed it. More comments below.

      > On Sunday, May 3, 2009, at 3:25:13 PM, you wrote:
      >
      >>> What kind of social or other process could there be that would
      >>> address the legitimate need to know whether someone was fair, good,
      >>> or excellent at something. Or whether we ourselves were?
      [snip]
      > ... My question has to do with the broader
      > question of how we might screen our own skills, or those of others.
      >
      >> It might be relevant to discuss what is the "something".
      >> Is it a skill? Or is it the ability to acquire the
      >> necessary skill? Is the most relevant skill, say, a
      >> programming language? Or is it the skill to recognize
      >> unnecessary complexity and to know what to do about it?
      >> Or maybe even the skill to share skills with others
      >> effectively?
      >
      > I would think there would be many skills of interest to hiring
      > entities, including but not limited to things like:
      >
      > Test-Driven Development
      > Exploratory Testing
      > Design (itself a big topic)
      > Refactoring
      >
      > There might be topics like Story Splitting, simple design, and on
      > and on.
      >
      > I would suggest that we could grab a group of people, assess some
      > others, and pretty much agree on what things they were good at, and
      > what they were not ... at least on some dimensions.
      >
      > If we couldn't ... then there is no hope for any kind of
      > certification. But if we could ... that suggest to me that there is
      > something there to be measured.
      >
      > How could we do that in ways we could live with?

      Hm. As far as I know, the primary drivers for commercial
      certifications so far have been
      a) something we hope has predictive validity about
      whatever is being certified, and
      b) some representation that can be made to third-parties,
      generally in respect of our ability to sell something,
      some quality of which the certification nominally guarantees.
      In other words, absent such a driver, probably no one is
      going to pay for the creation and maintenance of the
      certification mechanism.

      If we were to look at those "certification" mechanisms that
      many of us might agree are among the most valid and useful,
      such as commercial pilots' and physicians' licenses, I think
      we'd find that much of the meaning of the credential (per se)
      is that the individual was compelled to complete a course of
      study AND what amounts to a significant period of "apprenticeship"
      with a large one-on-one component. In other words, SOMEone
      (probably a NUMBER of someones) has had direct contact with
      the individual's work over a period of time. I think
      architects and LPEs undergo cognate periods of scrutiny
      by those with significant experience.

      No one would argue that these approaches are perfect, nor
      that they are not costly. They are intensive and time-
      consuming. Curiously, they arguably can be said to scale.

      For software, hm, and also for self-evaluation: what
      dimensions are REALLY important? Is today's skill what
      counts, or is it the ability to perceive business issues
      and drivers and quickly to craft a means to address them
      effectively?

      Could a TEAM be more properly certified than an individual?

      What would really be most useful to the likely users of
      the certification? Would this be like: "what stories
      would apply to its use?" Since developers are necessarily
      among the "users" - what stories must this contemplated
      certification implement well to satisfy developers?
    • Adrian Howard
      ... Not sure that it is mind - I m often wrong :) Adrian
      Message 94 of 94 , May 8, 2009
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        On 6 May 2009, at 04:08, Ron Jeffries wrote:

        > Hello, Adrian. On Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at 11:37:58 AM, you wrote:
        >
        >> That said, my perception is that the odds of getting a bad candidate
        >> at interview increase if they have certifications listed on their
        >> resume.
        >
        >> My post hoc rationalisation for this experiences is not so much
        >> related to the certification programme itself (although many of them
        >> have severe problems), but to the sort of folk they can attract.
        >
        >> The less creative, by-the-book, list-following developer seems to see
        >> certification programmes as a way to prove their competence. The more
        >> creative, problem-oriented, passionate developers seem to spend their
        >> free chunk of career development time building something cool, or
        >> learning erlang, or contributing to open source projects or...
        >
        > Interesting model. I can see how it might be.

        Not sure that it is mind - I'm often wrong :)

        Adrian
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