[BangPypers] Certification

Anand Balachandran Pillai abpillai at gmail.com
Wed Oct 24 13:16:47 CEST 2007


On 10/24/07, S.Ramaswamy <srsy70 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Me: So, how will you rate yourself in Python say in a scale 1-5 ?
> > Candidate: Ummmm.... like 3.
> > Me: Ok, very good. Can you write out a list comprehension to compute
> > the sum of a series ?
> > Candidate: Err... what is a list comprehension ?
> How does certification solve the above problem ?
> There will always be features that are not covered by any cert course.
> I am making a simplistic assumption here that, features are all that
> matter, which is not true at all. Idiomatic python coding style and
> features are best learnt by studying code of the better open source
> projects. Does one use Python like another VB or some other language
> that one is already familiar with ? If yes, then you rarely progress
> beyond learning the corresponding features in python. And that's what
> happens mostly. It gets used as another VB or Java. The last company I
> worked in, I once used a closure somewhere and a bright young fellow
> removed it saying, "It's a syntax error" :-(

You have taken it in the wrong context. I did not mean that if the guy
had a certification in Python I would have given him the job straight away.
Currently there seems to be no benchmark or standard against which to
judge a Python programmer. Python is vast and has led to creation of
many platforms, and a "Python programmer" can mean anything. Since
the language is also evolving and adding new features every release,
it is important to keep up to date with it. For example, currently if I
interview for a competent Python programmer, I would expect him to
be familiar with the feature-set of Python 2.5 at least.

I just gave that example to illustrate the dilemmas faced by companies
which do recruitment for Python developers. Certifications are more of an
entry stamp than anything else. If a person has completed a certification
it gives some kind of authenticity to his claims regarding the particular
skill. Of course you need to interview him based on your requirements
and make a call accordingly.

I think for a community developed language like Python, community
developed "certifications" make sense. I am not sure if any programming
language community has ever developed one or is thinking about one.
But it is an interesting approach nevertheless.

> Regards
> Ramaswamy
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