Shore and Cockburn are respected thought leaders in the agile community going back at least a decade.
In a word: Cockburn sees value in certifications, with caveats to be sure, and Shore not only sees no value but actually believes certifications are counterproductive to their aim.
I was a bit shocked to here Shore rip into the very idea of certifications, calling them immoral and utterly misleading, and damning all those that use them as filters. This on a PMI sponsored webinar!
To be fair, here's the summary points each gave at the end:
- Both agree that certification does not demonstrate or indicate competence and maybe not understanding
- Alistair Cockburn: a certificate:
is evidence of having gone down a pathway of education
permits or enables scale to be applied to examining large numbers of candidates, or a company, for a job
encourages individuals to re-up on latest techniques
should be valued according to a market value established by business and hiring officials
should be more granular, like associates and interns, etc so that the value proposition is more readily established
- James Shore: a certificate:
leads to institutional stagnation
creates institutional power structure that limits advancement
confuses competence and expertise with simple exposure to information
should not be a filter on considering a candidate for a job
should not substitute for due diligence, even at scale
And I'm with Shore when he points out that the industry that promotes "Scrum Master" certificates for $1500 and a two day sitting in a hotel room presentation is pretty much a joke on everyone except those collecting the money.
But I'm strongly with Cockburn on the value of forcing a re-up from time to time. Even Shore see merit in the education, just not in the certification of the education.
Bookmark this on Delicious