certification (Brainbench)

Dr. David Mertz mertz at gnosis.cx
Fri Feb 15 21:59:16 CET 2002

|>In other words, I don't believe that Brainbench's Python exam
|>is a *good* testing tool.

|What would your thoughts be re an automated exam as a PSF - licensed free
|collaborative project? Maybe even the exam definition itself could somehow
|feed off a wiki-like process, if you constrained formats appropriately
|for defining test elements?

I don't necessarily have anything against testing in general.  It is
possible--at least to a first approximation--to learn something about
people's skill levels by means of tests.  And I wouldn't even go so far
as to suppose that a complete novice would get the same result as Alex
Martelli on the Brainbench exam.  It's not as good as it *should* be, but
it's not completely random either.

Then again, I don't have so much faith in testing to really think making
an exam is the best direction for PSF resources (just think what they
could accomplish if Tim Peters were to sell his second hand copy of _How
to Form a Non-Profit_, and spend the proceeds on something important).
Nonetheless, if someone wants to pay me more money than Brainbench did,
I would be happy to prepare a better exam than Brainbench let me do :-).

Btw. in regard to Cliff's question on this thread:  I can buy a ream of
nice paper at my local office store for about $8.  Assume my printer
costs about $0.03/page to operate.  Rounding up, I would advocate that
most programming-skill certificates are worth EVEN MORE than US$0.05!

Yours, David...

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