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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.
              • FYI, I've never claimed that I could write a Perl certification that "didn't suck" (although I believe I could, at least for some definitions of "suck"). What I've repeatedly stated is my opinion that we in the Perl community should be able to do at least as good a job as anyone else has ever done on a software certification -- and I'd be willing to bet we could do MUCH better. Just ask yourself, have you ever encountered a group of more brilliant, giving, and literate people anywhere else in life? I sure haven't.

                But this isn't a software development project (at least primarily). It's partly political, partly social, it involves a lot of very difficult technical writing (i.e., generating huge numbers of test questions or coding exercises that don't suck), and, oh yeah, a little bit of coding. Then once the first test is done, it itself needs to be validated through psychometric testing (at least in the orthodox model of test construction).

                And of course due consideration has to be given to a viable business model, and proper management of legal risks. As I've repeatedly said, I have no doubt whatsoever that we in the Perl community could produce a state-of-the-art certification test; in some ways, that's the easy part of this exercise, IMHO.

                That's why I'm concentrating on the harder parts first, like getting people interested and testing the market, before investing large amounts of effort into the complicated and difficult, but relatively straightforward task, of actually writing a test.

                But YMMV! If anybody wants to pursue a different model, please be my guest, and best of luck to you! After all, I've got other things to do, such as writing a book, instead of this nearly book-length collection of articles for U.P.O.! 8-}


                Dr. Tim Maher
                CEO, Consultix
                Perl and UNIX Training []