Ask the Expert

What's really the point of Lotus Notes certification?

At one time, I was seriously interested in certification as a Lotus software developer. Then I worked with a lady that was certified, but could not design a database. I also watched people go to 5.0 application training and then go and take certification tests after the training. I began to wonder what the certification really meant. I have been working with Lotus Notes for about seven years, but the certification does not seem to take my experience into consideration. I'm not sure it matters whether I know how to define, design and implement a Lotus Notes application. What am I missing about Lotus Notes certification?
Certification isn't for everyone. And we also do not see the value in so-called "paper" certifications and dislike the proliferation of these in the market. But you can find this with any certified occupation - doctors that are less than perfect, and accountants that can't keep a decent set of books. Both certified in much more difficult ways than software certification programs. That being said, there are many individuals and companies who do value certification in general and Lotus certification in particular. Regarding Lotus certification, we have a long-standing history of providing a high quality certification program based on job-based certifications that test you on what you can do versus what you may have memorized. Regarding certification in general, many individuals find value in certification because of it allows them to further their career in terms of promotions and raises. For those looking for jobs, they find it to be a foot in the door as it is an impartial measurement. For business partners and consultants, they find it helpful to win projects. For companies, they find it useful as a human resource tool and assessment tool used in conjunction with to evaluate training effectiveness and skill levels.

Do some unqualified people sneak through - yes. But I think you find much less of this with Lotus than with other vendors such as Microsoft. This is because we do not encourage bootcamp style training designed to help people pass the test. How many of us know people who graduated from high prestige colleges who can't do the job they studied for!

This was first published in September 2002

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