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June 27, 2007 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Calling all IT professionals! Teflon recruiters! Scrum masters! Project overlords! I'm curious about the current state of certifications. PMP, CAPM, Six Sigma BB, CSP, that kind of thing.

In the old days of TechLand you had to have a CNE certification to have MegaCorp(tm) look at your resume. Then there was MCSE. Then some yackos came up with A+.

I'm familiar with that whole song and dance, but I'm starting to dabble in the waters of project management. I've led teams big and small, profit and non, fast and lazy. I'm familiar with Agile, a bit with XP, and curious about Six Sigma.

Are these new fangled certifications (PMI -- PMP, CAPM, 6Sig -- BB, Agile -- Certifed Scrum Professional) showing up at your workplace? Carrying any weight? I'm a self learned sort of dude, but I'll buy a shiney 2 grand piece of paper if its worth something. Any thoughts?

(Note: Old threads here, here, here, they were a bit dated so I was hoping for a more modern take!)
posted by cavalier to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My 2 cents, from a smallish (100 or so) company thats extremely engineering heavy (and uses an iterative dev process).

PMI doesn't seem to carry much weight in the space.

The Agile/Scrum etc certifications don't mean too much since anyone can take a 2 day class. Practical work experience implementing these PM techniques mean more.

Java 2 Certification is the only real certification that means anything here.
posted by bitdamaged at 8:34 AM on June 27, 2007

Prince 2 and ITIL (at least foundations).

Prince2 is project management framework, and I have found more and more IT departments of large corporations moving into that direction (especial financial sector).

ITIL is the way the world is moving right now (from my view anyways). It's being pitched as the next new thing, and most large corporations are at least looking into it.. for example, both the Wall Street Investment Bank I worked at previously, and the huge hospital conglomerate that I am currently at have moveed or are moving to ITIL to help align IT against business.
posted by niteHawk at 8:55 AM on June 27, 2007

I agree with niteHawk about Prince2 -- i work a technical job in finance and that's the methodology I encounter all the time.
posted by ukdanae at 9:53 AM on June 27, 2007

From the big corporate perspective...

For us PMP is a gateway to entry in the same way a college degree is. Everybody has one whether they use it or not. I don't think the certification necessarily indicates quality in a PM, but HR apparently does.

I'm a Black Belt. Recruiters consistently cold call me about the Six Sigma certification. It's worth noting, that there isn't a standardized certification for Green Belt/Black Belt. You can take a weekend workshop and someone will call you a BB. I think BB is really only valuable to your resume if you come from one of the companies that are six sigma powerhouses. ASQ does offer the best recognized certification that is external to a specific company. It only requires a single project plus 3 years experience.

ITIL is evolving into the next PMI - everyone has it. We're sending all our folks through it.

CMMI/SEI is always nice to see on a resume. It's ivory tower-ish, but still useful.
posted by 26.2 at 1:22 PM on June 27, 2007

I forgot to add something - I've never hired anyone because they had a certification. It may have gotten someone past the HR screening, but I don't consider any specific certification to be the gold standard. When I'm hiring, it's work experience, recommendations, and the personal interviews (with me and the team) that sway my decision.
posted by 26.2 at 1:37 PM on June 27, 2007

I'm not the hiring manager where I work today (it's a role I gladly left some years back) but as senior technical staff my opinion of a candidate carries significant weight. I can state without fear of contradiction that technical certifications are viewed at my place of employment as being less than worthless -- they detract from a hiring candidate.

I'd rather have someone who knows what they're doing than what a test prep book told them.

Having said that, my workplace is not a MegaCorp and the technology staff is very small.
posted by majick at 2:50 PM on June 27, 2007

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