September 22nd, 2011, 10:19 PM
Thoughts on web dev certs and w3schools?
I posted this on another forum a while back but only got one response. I'm hoping I can get more responses here since there seems to be more active members.
Couple of questions
What do employers think about w3schools certs for entry level developers?
Does anyone know of a reputable and recognized authority on web design technologies that offers an affordable certification program?
I'm talking other than college.
Thanks for your input :-)
September 23rd, 2011, 01:01 AM
If the person considering your job application is a developer or knows anything about programming then certificates are of practically no value, since they know that certificates convey almost nothing about actual programming skill.
If the person isn't familiar with programming then certificates of any type will impress them, since they have no idea what the certificate means or who the reputable providers of certificates are.
A college degree also conveys relatively little about programming skill; however, it suggests that the candidate has strengths in a wider variety of areas than a certificate (which generally focuses on one particular skillset). Most of the useful skills I learned at college are not technical skills.
When it comes to programming what counts is experience (which sucks for entry level people). Programming is an extremely "applied" skill - meaning, you can know all of the theory but still be bad at it.
Start by building a portfolio of work. If you can't find paid work, volunteer to build a site for a local non-profit, join an open source project, start your own open source project, etc. A portfolio doesn't have to be work that you actually got paid to do, it just has to be work that you did.
If the person reviewing your portfolio is a developer or knows anything about programming then clean, high quality code samples will impress them a lot. Make sure your code formatting is consistent, your comments are well written (concise, accurate and sufficient) and make sure that the code does something reasonably complex is a non-naive manner. Make sure you can impress them with technical knowledge in an interview, and don't BS anything because they will know it immediately.
If the person reviewing your portfolio isn't familiar with programming skill, provide them with links to sites that you have built that they can go view for themselves. Make sure the sites are working and professional looking. It's OK if you didn't actually design the layout of the site. If you only built the back-end, just tell the person that (they probably won't know the difference anyway). Be able to describe projects that you've worked on in the past and how they've prepared you for the job you want to land now. Leadership and communication are excellent items to discuss. Do *not* get too technical; you're just as likely to confuse them as impress them, and they will not want to work with someone that confuses them (that's a communication failure on your part).
If you don't feel you have the skills you need to actually impress a potential employer: read tutorials, read books, and practice, practice, practice. If a certificate comes as part of a class then it would be worth taking for the class portion of it.
All that said, having a certificate pretty much never hurts you regardless of who issued it.
tldr; you don't need a certificate, you need to play to your audience and actually possess the skills they need.
September 23rd, 2011, 02:03 AM
Hello and thanks again E-Oreo
I plan on making a point of demonstrating good coding practice, separation of data and presentation, security, OOD, and documentation. The biggest problems I'm facing right now are lack of creativity and switching to OOD with my PHP. Also getting away from bad practices I learned from the Internet like include($page) and "or die()". I'm constantly reading about something I learned previously being bad practice or un-secure.
As far as the certs, after working with some MS certified network engineers I think the same thing could be said about any type of cert. The cert proves knowledge of concept and in programming I think it shows knowledge of the syntax but like you said experience shows you can actually do the job.
I've pretty much decided the portfolio is most important but if I thought it would help I'd pay for the certs from w3schools. I'll definitely try the portfolio and add more sites for demo before spending money though.
September 23rd, 2011, 11:53 AM
September 23rd, 2011, 12:55 PM
Thank you Kravvits,
I must apologize to all. I should have searched the forum before posting but spontaneously just logged in and asked the question.
I'll be sure to search next time :-)
September 23rd, 2011, 01:18 PM
It's good to search in general, however, in this case, I was able to hand-pick the best threads for you.
P.S. My username ends with a "z" because it's Polish, not because it's trendy.
September 23rd, 2011, 09:51 PM
Well thank you for picking those for me. Great info.
Originally Posted by Kravvitz
And sorry about the name Kravvitz. Typo error. I could blame it on thinking of Lenny Kravitz but his name ends with a z too. lol
September 24th, 2011, 02:56 PM
Since you mentioned w3schools specifically, I might recommend browsing W3Fools.com
Along with several other problems.
Originally Posted by w3fools
IMO, most certificates you get via online work have all seemed a bit like rubbish, especially for programming. I personally would put little faith in any certificate if I were in the position of hiring someone.
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October 13th, 2011, 11:23 AM
I know the thread is a bit old but might as well input...
W3schools certifications are a joke and overpriced. Don't bother with spending the money on them, a 4 year old could get those certifications in less then a day.
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