Is a Certification worth it?
Thomas informs that according to the Sun Wireless Developer Newsletter a new certification exam Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer for J2ME, Version 1.0 is coming up. While this may be some good news for developers, it makes me wonder whether taking a certification exam is worthwhile at all. In a previous post Thomas had raised a similar point.
I am of the opinion that the preparation process for such exams if extended over a good time period does help a lot in building strong understanding however from the job point of view I have hardly seen it making any impact on prospective employers, atleast here in India. Employers here still expect less experienced programmers, certified or not, to pass their tailor-made Java tests, more-or-less lifted from Marcus Green's exams, before they even interview them. If you have 3+ years exposure to java, may be they would not opt for the test but still your certification does not makes any difference to them. Infact, only a few of Employers would even specify it as a criterion in their job advertisements. This has been my experience, may be others would differ.
A factor that has been preventing me from taking another certification test after the SCJP is the fact that it would blow a big hole in my pocket. By Indian standards a certification fee exceeding Rs.7000/- amounts to 15-25% of the programmers monthly take home, for his US counterpart it might not be more than 2.5%. I agree that the high fee may be a gesture to discourage less serious programmers but if Sun has confidence over its tests, that I hope are designed and set by the best, then the less gifted can still be separated from the genuine ones by the final scores. If the test become affordable maybe I would plan for my SCWCD and this upcoming SCMAD.