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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I think it's clear that people want some form of official badge as a "serious" Perl developer, even if this isn't a certification-based system.

    Something mildly related was in this thread [perlmonks.org] on perlmonks recently.

    I would like to see some kind of certification for programmers and some more professionalism in the field in general (particularly after a recent look at some PHP code from the "copy/paste engineering" school of thought.) But, who is going to put that system in place and what is it going to look like?

    For starters, you have to consider how long it took professional certification to appear in engineering and medicine. I'm going to take a rough guess and say 2000 years. Maybe 500 if you want to pick nits on either end between the Romans and the Brits -- but I'm no historian. Anyhow, let's just say high-level programming has been going for 30 years. Programming in general is maybe a little older (feel free to explore a brief history [dwheeler.com].)

    Just FYI, I've got a 4-year degree (BS in Engineering) from an ABET accredited university and I passed the 8-hour long Fundamentals of Engineering exam (which costs at least $100 each time you take it.) That gets me an EIT (Engineer In Training) certificate. This is only the first step to becoming a PE (Professional Engineer.) Once you have an EIT, you work under a PE for four years before you can take another exam to become a PE yourself. Once you have PE status, it only counts in one state and you have to maintain your status via work in the field, continuing education, teaching, etc.

    Ok, so people are usually not at risk of death when software falls down, but I hope it is clear how huge the difference is between something like Professional Engineer status and "Yeah, I know Pearl." There's currently no way to demonstrate that 4 years of hardcore development trumps 10 years of occasional regex usage. I would really like to see a rigorous test or other certification process which helps make this distinction.

    That's not something which should be seen as a huge source of income, and I understand that certification is not really what you had in mind in this post. Membership/dues is a different beast, and I don't think it should be the primary "badge" of whether you are a serious developer. There is certainly value in the pride of backing TPF, but high-quality bumper stickers can cover that.

    I guess I'm only saying that you shouldn't try to label it as something other than "I support TPF." Anything else is just trying too hard and a casual investigation will reveal that it is a bought credential.