State of Drupal Certifications in 2010
If you ask most folks they'll say that there is no certification for Drupal. However, the truth is far from that. There are at least 3 launched programs and 1 planned certification.
Acquia Certified Engineer (joke name, Certification may really be coming)
Acquia has been talking for a few years about their certification. More recently "Certification" on Acquia.com is about their services to help with the United States Goverment Certification and Accreditation process, which is more about security than stating an individual's specific level of skills.
The name Acquia Certified Engineer was a bit of a joke started by @jhibbet on Twitter and propagated by Heather James when she retweeted it.
Though @hjames quickly recanted the naming and pointed out the irony in the initialism (ACE being UK slang).
Nobleprog Drupal Certification
NOTE: they updated their site and removed this certification, the screenshot below shows the details as does this forum post on drupal.org
The folks at NobleProg created a certification and prominently displayed the completely-unrelated-but-official-looking Drupal Association Badge at the top of the page describing the certification. If we overlook that somewhat shady practice what can we say about the program?
It's broken down into three certifications:
- NobleProg Drupal Certified Administrator
- NobleProg Drupal Certified Developer
- NobleProg Drupal Certified Architect
It's hard to say how many people are certified under this program. Based on Quantcast data showing the site gets unmeasurably low traffic and Compete and based on the fact that nobody puts this as part of their online profiles/resumes (a search has zero results) I guess that not many people use or respect the Nobleprog certification.
Gloscon Drupal Certification
The folks at Gloscon.
While there is a bit of a mixed history with BPOCanada/Gloscon, they play an important role in the Indian Drupal market leading camps and they also play some role as an offshore/outsourcing development company serving other locales.
oDesk Certified Drupal Administrator
oDesk has also been offering certifications via their tests for a few years. They provide an embeddable image for people who have taken the test and several people are showing it on their sites. The test was launched in 2009 along with their Drupal Group.
I took the "Drupal 6.14" test and in 15 minutes got a "4.6 out of 5" which put me in the top 10% of people who have taken the test. The quality of the test is relatively horrible. Their question about how to block spam mentions Captcha or Spam modules, but ignores Akismet, Mollom, reCaptcha, and the many other popular methods. The question about page caching has two possibly correct answers - admin settings or the config file - but setting a variable in the settings.php (aka config file) is a relatively uncommon and underused feature that I imagine the test writer was not aware of.
Given those criticisms - is the oDesk certification test useful in identifying people who have skills in Drupal? Probably at the lower end it does a good job of figuring out whether a person has some basic knowledge. It won't help you find someone who can write a theme or a module. And it probably won't help you find a great site architect. But if you need someone with basic skills to do some basic things on a site...it would probably work OK.
I'd love to hear feedback from anyone who has hired an oDesk Certified Drupal Administrator.
Certified to Rock
On the other hand...we have Certified to Rock which has seen some strong uptake.
- Open Source Catholic is proud to be Certified to Rock level 4.
- indytechcook is proud to be Certified to Rock level 5.
- Bojan Zivanovic is proud to be Certified To Rock level 5.
- Brian Gilbert is Certified to Rock level 4.
- Jay Wolf is proud to be Certified to Rock level 6 (though it seems his site is offline...).
- claudiu.cristea is Certified to Rock level 6.
- Fleet Thought is Certified To Rock level 5.
And a ton of people on twitter (many of whom we bribed with awesome hats) are Certified to Rock at various levels... (see a google search for the site).
In announcing their job openings, the fine firm Lullabot asked for people to show a Certified to Rock score of 5 or spend a little more time describing their skills and achievements. Which seems to us like a great way to handle a certification - it should help open doors but not guarantee a job nor exclude anyone.
This FreelanceSwitch Job asks for a CeritifiedToRock score. Riff.org asks for a score of 2 or higher in their job post in France. Similarly, Grammy.com's job opening asks for a Certified To Rock score. This might just catch on ;)
The future of getting certified with Drupal is still largely unwritten. We hope that Certified to Rock will play a role in shaping it as a process that has low barriers to entry, practical, and which reinforces the community orientation that Drupal has always held so strongly.
Update: I forgot to include the Lullabot Drupal Certified post which mentions that they give every attendee of their training a certificate of completion that makes no guarantee of the individual's skills or retention of the information. So, even they are clear that what they offer isn't a certification beyond "he took the course."