Posted On: 2022-02-21
Certification programmes have been commonplace in the United States during the last few decades, providing professional training and jobs to millions of people across a wide range of industries. We can't be too harsh on a tendency that clearly provides some enhanced employment stability, especially in our current economic context. Certification programmes, on the other hand, have sparked heated disputes, particularly among seasoned experts in three fields:
In a nutshell, yes and no.
Unfortunately, some corporations or organisations will certify anyone, regardless of prior expertise, as long as they are ready to pay, complete the programme, and pass a test. The problem is that such schools give or demand the student to demonstrate little to no practical experience, which irritates the 20-year seasoned expert.
Many programmes allow or require students to have little to no prior experience. No course can replace even a single year of on-the-job experience in a vocation like software testing, which requires innovative thinking, trial and error, and the ability to handle multiple competing needs inside a corporation. Furthermore, firms may begin requiring or highly valuing certifications from their employees, thereby compelling veterans to attend what they may perceive to be overly simplistic courses in order to obtain or retain employment. It's no surprise that software testers are concerned, given the abundance of software testing certification courses available.
It isn't all horrible, though. This is also a crucial step in the development of the software testing profession, in my opinion. Not the certifications themselves, but the debate that surrounds them—the way it encourages the most qualified and knowledgeable masters to speak up and better define the training requirements that should be implemented, the way it encourages them to figure out the future of their profession that colleges and training institutions must address.
Software testing is a constantly evolving field that will only expand in importance and complexity over the coming decade. As software pervades more and more aspects of our global society, from finance and politics to healthcare and communications, it will become increasingly important to ensure that it performs effectively and securely. As a result, I believe we need to have a discussion about training requirements.
The other positive aspect of the software testing certification debate is that it will force certification programmes to become more relevant if they are to be respected, which will most likely lead to specialised certifications rather than general ones - something that will not replace a career or education, but can supplement it.
So, while seeing a job you love reduced to a weekend lecture for a $200 online programme can be frightening and even irritating, it's also a sign of progress. More importantly, the dispute over certification programmes will influence the profession's future. And, as far as I can tell, software testers aren't going to sit on the sidelines and let their profession's future be written for them.
Certification for Software Tester
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