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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • ...and then there's polls.

    I'd like it if someone would post, verbatum, what it was we voted on that day. I remember it being worded very, very, very weakly. Something along the lines of "Do you think we should investigate developing a Perl certification?" ie. something you really couldn't vote against. It certainly wasn't a strong message for certification and I don't like seeing it spun that way.
    • During and after OSCON, I asked Damian and others about the details of the vote, to check my recollections, and they agreed with me that the first question was "How many are against the development of a certification program", and the second, "How many are for the development of a certification program". (Damian asked the questions.) And given the context of the preceding discussion, it would have been clear that we were talking about the Perl community developing the program.

      All the panelists (along with


      Dr. Tim Maher
      CEO, Consultix
      Perl and UNIX Training []
      • Well, I was one of the folks who raised hands to the "for" question, but my diary notes that the question was:

        "How many of you are for continued discussion, and possible development, of a certification program by the Perl community?"

        and I also remarked that it's hardly possible to vote against such a wording. Again, my comprehension ability for spoken English may be at fault, but I remember several people who expressed similar sentiments about the wording.

        • "How many of you are for continued discussion, and possible development, of a certification program by the Perl community?"

          Thanks, Autrijus. That's about the wording I remember. That question is so weak, you really can't vote against it. About the only thing I'd conclude from the poll is that people aren't so rabidly against the idea that they think no further work should be done. Not exactly a rousing chourus of consent.

          But the poll was just a very minor part of the show, and I'd be the first pe

          • Schwern,

            I sympathize with your interest in "seeing the code" for the vapor-ware Perl Certification program everybody's talking about, rather than enduring additional discourse on this board. FWIW, my thoughts on how to proceed are as follows:

            1. get people talking about the pros/cons of the Perl community developing its own certification program (DONE!)
            2. ask TPF to designate a Certification Team Leader, who will assemble a small team to do a preliminary study on the feasibility of the project
            3. conduct a TP

            Dr. Tim Maher
            CEO, Consultix
            Perl and UNIX Training []
            • Well then there's nothing to worry about. With a plan as dependent on gaining approval before doing any work as that, we'll never see certifications.

              Allow me to reiterate the core problem in big, bold letters: you will never get support for a Perl certification program from the Perl community until you can convince people that your cert is a valid measure of one's Perl programming abilities. And you'll never convince anyone until you have some solid picture of what your certification program looks like.
              • You would be incorrect. I BELIEVE IT CAN BE DONE. If I believe it can be done, then there are others who believe it can be done.
                • I also believe that the development of a Perl Certification program could be accomplished.

                  For the naysayers to be correct, IMHO, one or more of the following would have to be true:

                  a) Perl would have to be fundamentally different from every programming language for which certifications already exist, e.g., in ways that make it's programmers more like mystics than scientists,

                  b) Perl Subject Matter Experts would have to be inferior to those of the other languages and software specialities, with respect to creating usable testing materials,

                  c) the Perl community would have to be so disjointed in its actions and neglectful of its own best interests (IMHO) as to never even attempt to create a certification test

                  It's "c" that I worry about . . .


                  Dr. Tim Maher
                  CEO, Consultix
                  Perl and UNIX Training []
                  • Or, for the sake of completeness:

                    d) Certification can't tell you what you really need to know. Does this person fit in with your team? Can he write maintainable code? Can he learn what he needs to know if he doesn't know it now?

                    Maybe a good certification program can alleviate that. I don't know. I've yet to be convinced. Convince me with a concrete proposal.

                    • I don't think any certification, whether it was premo or not, could tell you whether someone fits into your team or not or if he can write maintainable code (which is another Perl subject altogether!). That happens at another level in the recruitment process. I would say that it does answer to a degree "Can he learn what he needs to know...".