Skip to main content

Certification Failure

Some employers look favorably on certifications, or even require them; other employers could care less. Some people are certified in something but clueless when it comes to actually using the technology. Some people get certifications like they're going out of style just because they can. Some people cheat on the exam. So how much stock should one put in certifications? I'm not sure I know the answer to that. I guess it depends on the certification, what the testing environment is like, who runs the certification program, etc.

Today I ran across PHP-Rocks during my daily web-surfing. It's a small site that offers a set of tutorials ranging from beginner up to advanced, and a PHP "certification" exam. The exam piqued my interest. It was free to take, and I was curious as to what type of questions it asked, so I signed up. Of course I often sign up a dummy account and fake email address when I do such things because I don't intend on becoming a regular visitor to the site, nor do I care to be placed on some spam mailing list. I chose "Joe Biteme" as my name for this excursion.

I answered randomly, not taking the exam seriously (like I said, I was more interested in what type of questions they were asking rather than actually getting their "certification"). I utterly failed it with a miserable 26.6667%! But I figure if they don't feel guilty about offering me the opportunity to pay them $5 to email me the certificate for a failed exam, then I probably shouldn't feel guilty about making a mockery of their exam process (and perhaps even the exam itself) by registering a fake identity and answering randomly.

Click on the image below to enlarge it and you'll see I successfully completed the PHP developer exam with a fail!

certification failure

In full disclosure, yes I took (and passed) the Zend Certified Engineer exam for PHP5 offered by Zend, and yes I took it much more seriously than I did PHP-Rock's exam. Also, it's not my purpose to single out a particular web site... I just found their snafu too humorous not to share.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Geolocation Search

Services that allow users to identify nearby points of interest continue to grow in popularity. I'm sure we're all familiar with social websites that let you search for the profiles of people near a postal code, or mobile applications that use geolocation to identify Thai restaurants within walking distance. It's surprisingly simple to implement such functionality, and in this post I will discuss how to do so.

The first step is to obtain the latitude and longitude coordinates of any locations you want to make searchable. In the restaurant scenario, you'd want the latitude and longitude of each eatery. In the social website scenario, you'd want to obtain a list of postal codes with their centroid latitude and longitude.

In general, postal code-based geolocation is a bad idea; their boundaries rarely form simple polygons, the area they cover vary in size, and are subject to change based on the whims of the postal service. But many times we find ourselves stuck on a c…

Composing Music with PHP

I’m not an expert on probability theory, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. And even my Music 201 class from years ago has been long forgotten. But if you’ll indulge me for the next 10 minutes, I think you’ll find that even just a little knowledge can yield impressive results if creatively woven together. I’d like to share with you how to teach PHP to compose music. Here’s an example: You’re looking at a melody generated by PHP. It’s not the most memorable, but it’s not unpleasant either. And surprisingly, the code to generate such sequences is rather brief. So what’s going on? The script calculates a probability map of melodic intervals and applies a Markov process to generate a new sequence. In friendlier terms, musical data is analyzed by a script to learn which intervals make up pleasing melodies. It then creates a new composition by selecting pitches based on the possibilities it’s observed. . Standing on ShouldersComposition doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Bach was f…

Reading Unicode (UTF-8) in C

In working on scanner code for Kiwi I did a bit of reading up on Unicode. It's not really as difficult as one might think parsing UTF-8 character by character in C. In the end I opted to use ICU so I could take advantage of its character class functions instead of rolling my own, but the by-hand method I thought was still worth sharing. Functions like getc() read in a byte from an input stream. ASCII was the predominant encoding scheme and encoded characters in 7-8 bits, so reading a byte was effectively the same as reading a character. But you can only represent 255 characters using 8 bits, far too little to represent all the characters of the world's languages. The most common Unicode scheme is UTF-8, is a multi-byte encoding scheme capable of representing over 2 million characters using 4 bytes or less. The 128 characters of 7-bit ASCII encoding scheme are encoded the same, the most-significant bit is always 0. Other characters can be encoded as multiple bytes but the mo…