Fronteers certification


Quite some time ago, we did some work on certification for fronteers. Then it went dark, as all the volunteers, including myself, had too much other stuff to do. That is, until last autumn. During the last fronteers conference some members signed up as volunteers. As I have some time on my hands now we have decided to get things started again.

The idea is that we have is to do a two way exam. The first part will be a written exam on knowledge of HTML and CSS. In the second part the candidate will have to do some 'live coding', he/she will be given a graphic design and they have to draw a possible solution on a white board. Explaining the choices made to two members of the certification committee (or other judges) as he/she goes along.

If the candidate successfully passes both tests, he/she will receive two 'stars' on the certification for HTML and one for CSS. In the future we could expand the exams to include stars for JavaScript, performance, mobile, 'webrichtlijnen', accessibility and more. The first two stars are mandatory, as I think that any front end developer needs to have a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS.

The stars are something a developer could put on their cv, site. Companies that employ them could use it to show the skills they have on board. The exams should be repeated every one or two years, as the field continues to change. Stuff that is relevant now could be plain obsolete in two years...

Our big problem is now that we don't know if front end developers are interested in this certification.

Some big companies are as well as dutch government agencies have expressed definite interest in this. For them it is a good way (they think) to find the right people to hire. Developers on the other hand are not that interested and I must say that I see their point. Other fields that have certification, like Java, made it clear to me that the best developers are not necessarily the certificated ones. Many front end developers are self taught and are not keen to study for something they have been doing for years, just for the sake of some certificate that may or may not be important.

So here is my question to all of you developers out there, are you interested in certification. I even wanna know if you are not dutch or no members of fronteers, also clients may react. The easiest way to react is to tweet using the #hashtag #frontcert. All tweets containing this will be gathered below this article...

This article has created quite a buzz on the internet, something I had hoped for, but a lot bigger then I expected. A lot of people reacted strongly against certification, some with good points and all. The main consensus is that (experienced) developers are against, for a variety of reasons. This is what I expected and we (the whole committee) will take your opinions into account. I will write a follow up on this post shortly, to answer some questions and explain what wasn't clear in this post. I will also tell what we talked about in the committee the last week, as we are already thinking what to do with your reactions.

In the meanwhile, take a look at the reactions on the fronteers forum and read the article by Martin Kool, who is strongly opposed. If you know of any other post about it, please let me know so that I can link to them.

And to you all, thanks for your opinions. Without those we (the committee) wouldn't know we had to do.

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