[thelist] Brainbench Certification

jeff jeff at members.evolt.org
Wed Nov 8 00:11:21 CST 2000


: From: aphelan (Andrea Phelan)
: As a self taught web developer, I'm interested in
: aquiring some sort of certification to  help uphold
: my qualifications to potential employers.  I was
: wondering if anyone out there had any experience
: with brainbench certifications and how useful they
: have been to you.  Also how useful cert prep
: courses have been.  I don't want to challenge any
: exams until I am certain I can achieve a 'master'
: status, and I'd like to know what the best approach
: to this might be.

the brainbench certs are probably the most widely recognized of the publicly
available certs out there.  however, saying that, you're likely to run into
many potential employers who have never heard of them.  that's because most
hr departments are *way* behind the times.  if they weren't you wouldn't see
buzz-word bingo job descriptions that ask for obviously (to us)
impossible/conflicting skill requirements.

it would probably be best to take the test seriously, but do it for the
plaque on the wall.  ultimately, as more companies become aware of
brainbench, the more valuable your test scores will be.

a nice bonus with brainbench is you can take the tests as many times as you
like.  most of the tests have a pretty sizable bank of questions to choose
from so you're not likely to get many of the same questions twice.  this
gives you a way of measuring your skills now, identifying your weak areas,
and assessing your progress since the last time you took the test.

even better, you can decide which of your test results are viewable by
others and which ones are not.  no sense showing anything but your best
efforts, right?  for example, i had a tough time with the test (distractions
and a headache) when i took the javascript certification a few weeks ago and
wasn't very pleased with my score.  i took the test again the other day and
scored very high.  obviously only my good score (which reflects my better
effort) is displayed.

word of warning though.  i found out something the hard way about brainbench
certifications.  it doesn't say it anywhere on the site but the certs are
only valid for one year.  after that they "expire" and are no longer
displayed in your transcript.  i found this out by having a prospective
employer point out that my transcript didn't have any certs in it which was
linked from my resume.  to put it mildly, i was pretty embarrassed.
personally i'd prefer that certs that are "expired" still show on my
transcript, but are marked as expired.  that would show some
consistency/improvement in test results over time.  maybe i'll bring up that
idea to them.

personally, i take the tests to find out where i rank with my peers.  it
delights me to no end to take the test and find out that i'm top dog in both
coldfusion and javascript in the state of oregon.  it helps the company i
work for mostly in intangible ways so it's difficult to measure my value
(and hence my pay rate) based solely on test scores, although it does lend
some credibility with regard to training new employees.  it also gives them
a number to shoot for in their learning experience.

good luck,


mailto:jeff at members.evolt.org

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