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Re: [XP] Agile Developer Self-Certification

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  • davenicolette
    IMHO wevouchfor can work because it consists of positive comments. George s idea may be problematic, especially in a litigious country like the US. It is
    Message 1 of 41 , Sep 22, 2009
      IMHO wevouchfor can work because it consists of positive comments.

      George's idea may be problematic, especially in a litigious country like the US. It is illegal to prevent someone else from earning a living by making negative statements about them. Unless you are prepared to prove in court that your negative statements are objectively factual, and not just your personal opinion or an observation you made in a particular context, or that the individual's skills or behavior haven't improved since you made the observation, or that you're not just trying to make people look bad who are in competition with you for jobs or clients, then you'd be a fool to post anything negative about anyone, ever. In effect, you would be volunteering to support their family for the rest of your life. For that reason alone, it seems unlikely that such a system could yield useful information about job candidates.

      There's also the well-known general fallacy in self-assessments. People who are relatively inexperienced tend to overestimate their own skills, because they don't yet realize how much more they have to learn. People who are of average skill tend to regard themselves as below average, because they are aware of the long road ahead of them. People who are highly skilled tend to rate themselves as average, because they don't consider the work they do to be unusual. On top of those general tendencies, there are so many exceptions that the generalizations can't be assumed true in any given case. Thus, the self-assessment itself is no more useful than a resume (everyone has a professionally-crafted resume these days), an interview (some people are really good at interviewing), or a reference from a previous employer (references are subject to the first problem, described above).

      In the end, then, we would be able to depend on neither a person's self-assessment nor any of the comments posted by others.

      IMHO George's suggestion assumes everyone will be as honorable as George himself. Unfortunately, that's just not so.

      Cheers,
      Dave

      --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Charlie Poole" <cpoole@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi George,
      >
      > > Hmmm... Just brainstorming a strawman here:
      > >
      > > Suppose we had a site where people could self-assess
      > > (self-certify?) according to the 7 pillars. The pillars
      > > would give structure and detail to their supporting text.
      >
      > I like this idea. I'm not sure if it should be called
      > self-certification or just self-assessment.
      >
      > > And then, suppose that site allowed others to comment on
      > > these self-certifications, positively or negatively. And
      > > that you could easily navigate from that comment to the
      > > commenter's self-certification and the comments on that.
      > >
      > > There are some problems around the rating of the comment.
      > > Some people would be loathe to say that the
      > > self-certification was hogwash. Others would jump at the
      > > chance. Perhaps a fixed list of comment ratings would be helpful
      > > * This certification is too modest, in my experience
      > > * This certification is accurate, in my experience
      > > * My experience cannot confirm this certification
      > > * My experience makes me doubt this certification
      > > * Other
      > >
      > > I think all of these would need dates, to determine staleness
      > > or relevance. And when a new self-certifications was added,
      > > the older one, with comments, should be versioned and still available.
      > >
      > > Just some thoughts off the top of my head.
      >
      > This is an interesting idea. It could be one outcome of the work
      > being done on the Agile Skills list. It neither rules out nor
      > requires a separate certification program. In fact, holding a
      > certification of some kind might be seen as merely one piece
      > of evidence an individual could offer to support claims of
      > expertise.
      >
      > Others have mentioned WeVouchFor, which is a very interesting
      > experiment. That site doesn't have the notion of an individual
      > starting out with a series of claims, but I imagine it could
      > be added.
      >
      > Charlie
      >
      > > - George
      > >
      > > --
      > >
      > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      > > * George Dinwiddie *
      > > http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
      > > Software Development
      > > http://www.idiacomputing.com
      > > Consultant and Coach
      > > http://www.agilemaryland.org
      > >
      > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------------------------------
      > >
      > > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
      > >
      > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
      > > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
      > >
      > > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.comYahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
    • davenicolette
      IMHO wevouchfor can work because it consists of positive comments. George s idea may be problematic, especially in a litigious country like the US. It is
      Message 41 of 41 , Sep 22, 2009
        IMHO wevouchfor can work because it consists of positive comments.

        George's idea may be problematic, especially in a litigious country like the US. It is illegal to prevent someone else from earning a living by making negative statements about them. Unless you are prepared to prove in court that your negative statements are objectively factual, and not just your personal opinion or an observation you made in a particular context, or that the individual's skills or behavior haven't improved since you made the observation, or that you're not just trying to make people look bad who are in competition with you for jobs or clients, then you'd be a fool to post anything negative about anyone, ever. In effect, you would be volunteering to support their family for the rest of your life. For that reason alone, it seems unlikely that such a system could yield useful information about job candidates.

        There's also the well-known general fallacy in self-assessments. People who are relatively inexperienced tend to overestimate their own skills, because they don't yet realize how much more they have to learn. People who are of average skill tend to regard themselves as below average, because they are aware of the long road ahead of them. People who are highly skilled tend to rate themselves as average, because they don't consider the work they do to be unusual. On top of those general tendencies, there are so many exceptions that the generalizations can't be assumed true in any given case. Thus, the self-assessment itself is no more useful than a resume (everyone has a professionally-crafted resume these days), an interview (some people are really good at interviewing), or a reference from a previous employer (references are subject to the first problem, described above).

        In the end, then, we would be able to depend on neither a person's self-assessment nor any of the comments posted by others.

        IMHO George's suggestion assumes everyone will be as honorable as George himself. Unfortunately, that's just not so.

        Cheers,
        Dave

        --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Charlie Poole" <cpoole@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi George,
        >
        > > Hmmm... Just brainstorming a strawman here:
        > >
        > > Suppose we had a site where people could self-assess
        > > (self-certify?) according to the 7 pillars. The pillars
        > > would give structure and detail to their supporting text.
        >
        > I like this idea. I'm not sure if it should be called
        > self-certification or just self-assessment.
        >
        > > And then, suppose that site allowed others to comment on
        > > these self-certifications, positively or negatively. And
        > > that you could easily navigate from that comment to the
        > > commenter's self-certification and the comments on that.
        > >
        > > There are some problems around the rating of the comment.
        > > Some people would be loathe to say that the
        > > self-certification was hogwash. Others would jump at the
        > > chance. Perhaps a fixed list of comment ratings would be helpful
        > > * This certification is too modest, in my experience
        > > * This certification is accurate, in my experience
        > > * My experience cannot confirm this certification
        > > * My experience makes me doubt this certification
        > > * Other
        > >
        > > I think all of these would need dates, to determine staleness
        > > or relevance. And when a new self-certifications was added,
        > > the older one, with comments, should be versioned and still available.
        > >
        > > Just some thoughts off the top of my head.
        >
        > This is an interesting idea. It could be one outcome of the work
        > being done on the Agile Skills list. It neither rules out nor
        > requires a separate certification program. In fact, holding a
        > certification of some kind might be seen as merely one piece
        > of evidence an individual could offer to support claims of
        > expertise.
        >
        > Others have mentioned WeVouchFor, which is a very interesting
        > experiment. That site doesn't have the notion of an individual
        > starting out with a series of claims, but I imagine it could
        > be added.
        >
        > Charlie
        >
        > > - George
        > >
        > > --
        > >
        > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        > > * George Dinwiddie *
        > > http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
        > > Software Development
        > > http://www.idiacomputing.com
        > > Consultant and Coach
        > > http://www.agilemaryland.org
        > >
        > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > ------------------------------------
        > >
        > > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
        > >
        > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        > > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
        > >
        > > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.comYahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
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