Does Certification Help?

I was recently asked by a fellow Ranch Hand (through Private Message) regarding my take on Certifications.


Does Certification Help?


Hi, I have done SCJP, SCWCD and will now give SCBCD and then SCEA. You have done these certifications. Does these help in career? Which country do u reside and what technology u work on. Which technologies do u see as emerging ones in the next 2 to 3 years which will stay long.


I’m from the Philippines and in a way it helped me in my career because whenever we get assigned to a different client, our ‘paper’ credentials are what they are interested in first.

But when you start working in a project, those certifications don’t really matter anymore and what matters more is that you deliver on time and with quality.

I must say that my drive for taking certifications is really to push myself towards a learning objective. Without these certification exams, I think I’ll be learning on a per need basis (I’ll just search the web whenever I encounter a problem). But these exams help me focus on topics which should come in handy in the future (even though some of them I don’t need yet).

For technologies, I think Web Services will be there for quite some time (but it’s unfortunate Sun hasn’t released the new exam for JAX-WS yet). After I finish SCEA Part II and III, I’m thinking of taking exams from other providers such as the Adobe Flex exam and probably some .Net exams.

Anyway, I hope this reply isn’t too long and I hope these are the kind of answers you’re expecting.

In summary, I think certifications help in two areas.

  1. It helps in the candidate screening process
  2. It helps developers have a learning objective

So would I recommend taking certifications?

By all means do take certifications, especially if your company sponsors them.

But remember that at the end of the day, it is your work attitude and contribution that will really matter.



  1. yogendra said

    Dear Paul,
    i have done scjp certification and perpairing for scwcd . i read your reply in detail and i find out that it is really gives me an edge over other to have certifation.
    your valueable guidline is required to successfully clear the SCWCD .


  2. dayg said

    Hi yogendra,

    Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, the version of SCWCD (1.3?) I took is rather outdated. I think the recommended reviewer during that time was from Deshmukh.

    But for the latest version of the exam, you should probably be able to get good marks with the updated version of Head First Servlets and JSP from Bert Bates and Kathy Sierra.

    If you do not like the informal style of teaching (consider yourself unique if you don’t) offered by the Head First series, you can also checkout the other recommended books for SCWCD by following this link.

    Happy studying!

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