Friday, September 18, 2009

The Best Certification

The best "certification" is still community recognition by putting
yourself out there and learning/teaching publicly:


You put up your ideas in front of many eyes. Teach people. They will be better because of you. Learn from people. You will be better because of them.


An optimal conversation is hard to find within your geographical confines. Get the room full of conversations experience on the global scale. What you want to talk about right now is something that others out there want to talk about as well.

Participating in Forums:

To explain something in more than a 140 character-at-a-time conversation, you need a forum. People on forums are there to teach and learn. Participate!

Presenting at User Groups:

Sometimes you just need to talk to people in person and get your ideas out in that manner. Local user groups are great as the attendees are people that you can find common ground with, teach and learn from their critique of what you present.

Presenting at Conferences:

This is an extension of the user group but will connect with a larger group and geographical reach. It will help you develop as a presenter which will make you a better teacher and better learner. The evaluation forms will let you know where you can improve.

Reaching Out to Other User Groups:

Get involved in other user groups. Present there. See what the gap is between the groups. This new dialogue will be very important to learn why the groups exist and why the technologies/methodologies/etc behind each exists.

I resisted that for a long time and only recently bit the bullet to do all of the
above. Your "certification" is the recognition your peers give you.

People right out of school are having a hard time getting work. The
ones that are passionate are the ones that I see getting their career
going in the right direction. They are the ones that are still there
participating in the community. We started an Alt.Net Vancouver group
which is tiny compared to most user groups. But I have a hard time
finding more dedicated people. The inexperienced people are getting
their best "certification".

Hope this will save some people from memorizing index cards and put their time to good use instead!

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