How well respected is this certification in the industry: Ruby Association Certified Ruby Programmer. I've recently decided I'd like to switch to being a Ruby on Rails developer. The languages I have the most experience in are Java, C and Perl. So I've been thinking about getting a certification to help me with landing a entry level position. The RACRP isn't that expensive at $150, and I'm not sure how hard it is, but I'd imagine the harder it is the better (right?). Is it worth the time? Thanks
on 2012-12-27 02:28
on 2012-12-27 03:19
Short version: there isn't a respected certification in the ruby community. Create a github account and write some ruby to show prospective employers that you can code.
on 2012-12-27 03:24
Not even going to get into huh. I'm planning to do that as well, as I learn the language of course, but being certified feels so much more official and standardized. Not to say I'm literally coming out of a factory and all, but if I was an employer, I'd like to know what I'm getting. A certification can still provide someone with a standard to gauge a person's abilities.
on 2012-12-27 03:33
... Or that they're compensating for lack of experience. Cookie cutter exams do nothing to show proficiency, unless you count rather useless information regurgitation.
on 2012-12-27 03:48
Okay, no doubt, but everybody starts off inexperienced. would you take someone with a handful of code snippets on github over a standardized exam? It's not like you can know how long someone took to write that code, and how well it would bare on them in a real life business situation where pressure and deadlines are an issue. And are you so sure you're the best judge of someones competency in Ruby over a more professional service whose made it their business to know? I'm not necessarily arguing with you. You're points are valid of course. Just trying to completely see all the angles and the situation for what it is.
on 2012-12-27 04:14
On Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 8:28 PM, Sean Westfall <email@example.com> wrote: > How well respected is this certification in the industry: Ruby > Association Certified Ruby Programmer. Generally speaking, Rubyists don't regard certifications very highly at all. We tend to prefer experience, and participation in the community, especially open source contributions (so we can see your code and use it). > Is it worth the time? As opposed to just sitting around, sure. As opposed to studying (as *though* you were going to take a certification, perhaps?), actually *doing* something, and participating in the community, answering questions as you can and asking questions as you need? Not IMHO. My advice would be to work your way through a Ruby tutorial or two, then a Rails tutorial or two, then pick a project you want to implement, that you don't mind the world seeing the code for, and Just Do It, for the practice. Put the code up on Github, so we can see the code, the commit messages, how you went about it (including whether you had tests and how you refactored), etc. Feel free to ask us about anything you get stuck on... and while you're here, help out the next batch of newbies. Also, don't make the mistake of thinking that your prior experience in other languages is worthless. That's the kind of nonsense that recruiters, HR job-description-writers, and other such tech-clueless people believe. That's how we wind up with "requirements" of N years of experience in technologies that have been around for about N/2 years. Every hour you've spent in Java, C, Perl, even BASIC, gives you valuable software development experience, much of which . All the more so when coming to Ruby, which is still a relative rarity. Discounting that is like saying that a master Toyota mechanic must accept an entry-level position in order to work on Hondas. (And no I'm not just saying that because I have about 25 years of C and only 3 of Ruby.) Lastly, there are other things you can do to start and enhance your career in any given field, such as perfecting your LinkedIn profile, and blogging, but those are beyond the scope of this forum. Plus I've blathered on quite long enough.... :-) -Dave
on 2012-12-27 04:16
Not a problem. This is a long standing conundrum. I just have no faith in standardized testing.
on 2012-12-27 04:41
On Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 9:24 PM, Sean Alphonse <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Not to say I'm literally coming out of a factory and all, but if I was > an employer, I'd like to know what I'm getting. A certification can > still provide someone with a standard to gauge a person's abilities. The problem is, even at the same level of scoring on a certification exam, people are not fungible. Suppose Joe Shmoe and John Doe both score 70% on a Rails certification exam. Joe might have missed 30% for, e.g., not being familiar with testing, caching, AJAX, ORMs, etc. John might have missed 30% for just plain not knowing Ruby and/or Rails very well at all, though he's done a good bit of similar techniques in another language and/or framework. Which one is the right one to hire? By score alone, it's a tie. In reality, though, an employer may have good reason to prefer one over the other. If he can see their Github repos, they might have some better judgement, and conclude e.g. "John doesn't know Rails well, but he's done all this similar stuff in other tech stacks, and should be able to pick up Rails in a snap". They'll also see "Joe uses meaningless names and inconsistent indentation, his commit notes are useless, and his replies to issues look like he's a jerk". -Dave
on 2012-12-27 05:02
aaa, thanks Dave for the lengthy response. Valid points. I'm still going to consider taking the exam, just because it helps me feel like I have a standardize knowledge of the particular language. I like having a benchmark in my newbie case. I understand why it's important to participate in the community. That's partially why I want to get into ruby development, because they have such an active community. But no doubt, maybe I shouldn't spend too much time talking and more time thinking about how to fill my github with interesting examples of my coding work.
on 2012-12-27 11:13
On 27 December 2012 01:28, Sean Westfall <email@example.com> wrote: > How well respected is this certification in the industry: Ruby > Association Certified Ruby Programmer. > > Lets start with the basics. Has anyone heard of this "Ruby Association" before? Has anyone taken this exam to tell us what it's like? Has anyone interviewed a candidate who has taken such an exam? I suspect that the answers are, in no particular order, No, No and No. That should tell you something. I've recently decided I'd like to switch to being a Ruby on Rails > developer. The languages I have the most experience in are Java, C and > Perl. If you can't use your experience as a Java, C and Perl programmer (especially Perl seeing as it is a dynamic language) and a couple of books to get yourself up to speed as a Rails developer then, to be honest, I question your abilities as a programmer in any of those languages. If after X years experience as a programmer using Java, C and Perl the best you can put on your CV is some dumb certificate then I suspect that you are a really really crap programmer. > So I've been thinking about getting a certification to help me > with landing a entry level position. > Your X years as a programmer in Java, C and Perl should be what will get you an entry level position. Actually why are you aiming for an entry level position at all? Surely a programmer with X years experience should be aiming higher. Could it be that your experience as a Java, C and Perl programmer amounts to nothing? > > The RACRP isn't that expensive at $150, and I'm not sure how hard it is, > but I'd imagine the harder it is the better (right?). > > If you think that paying $150 for a piece of paper that will make people laugh in you face is money will spent then go ahead. Personally I would think that $150 is 4 or 5 good books on Rails. Perhaps the question you should be asking is "I am new to Rails development and have $150 to spend, what books would people recommend to help me become a well rounded developer" > Is it worth the time? > > Sure it is. All they have to do is put together some simple questions on Rails, print a certificate from a $15 program and they get to pocket $150. Damn wish I had thought of that first as it seems that there are people stupid enough to part with money for useless bits of paper. This all might sound brutal but lets be frank here, the fact that you even consider this make me question your judgement.
on 2012-12-27 12:28
> > Lets start with the basics. > > Has anyone heard of this "Ruby Association" before? > Yes -- it's chaired by Matz himself.
on 2012-12-27 13:51
On 27 December 2012 11:28, Arlen Christian Mart Cuss <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Lets start with the basics. >> >> Has anyone heard of this "Ruby Association" before? >> > > Yes -- it's chaired by Matz himself. > > Well I am very disappointed in that case, but that leaves questions 2 and 3. Has anyone taken it or interviewed someone who has taken it? Looking at the web site we have the following: Number of questions 50 (multiple choice) Passing score 75% Target version Ruby 1.8.7 Scope The execution environment: Execution method, Command-line options, Environment variables and irb Syntax: CommentLiteralVariables, constants, and scope, OperatorsConditional branching, LoopsException handling, Method calls, BlocksMethod definition, Class definition, Module definition Built-in libraries Built-in functions Built-in classes Object orientation :Polymorphism Inheritance mix-in That is 18 topics and only 50 questions. So only 2.7 questions per topic, so just how deep can you get into exception handling with 3 questions? Too many topics and too few questions, seriously just imagine trying to put together some questions just to see if the candidate understood constants. Would you be confident in the coverage with 2.7 questions given that every question you ask reduces the questions that can be asked in other topics. Even irb would require 3 or 4 questions Given that this is the silver (lowest) level and the syllabus for Gold and Platinum have not been defined since 2011 and we are almost on 2013 and looking towards Ruby 2.0 I stick with my assertion that this certification is worthless. Perhaps certification is a Japanese concern
on 2012-12-27 14:08
On Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM, Sean Alphonse <email@example.com> wrote: > aaa, thanks Dave for the lengthy response. Heh. You're welcome. But... brevity is the soul of wit, and my reply was probably about twice as long as it needed to be, so I must be a half-wit.... > it helps me feel like I have a > standardize knowledge of the particular language. I like having a > benchmark in my newbie case. There are other ways of getting benchmarks. Lots of the freelancing web sites (don't recall offhand which ones, but try Elance, Freelancer, Guru, oDesk, etc.) have tests you can take, for free. > I understand why it's important to participate in the community. That's > partially why I want to get into ruby development, because they have > such an active community. The community impressed me early on as one of the best unusual features of Ruby. Not only is it active, but also helpful and welcoming. > But no doubt, maybe I shouldn't spend too much time talking and more > time thinking about how to fill my github with interesting examples of > my coding work. Just Do It. That's how you learn. See http://www.dare2xl.com/2010/08/just-do-it.html (plug plug). :-) -Dave
on 2012-12-27 15:01
On Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 10:14 PM, I wrote: > Every hour you've spent in Java, C, Perl, even BASIC, gives > you valuable software development experience, much of which . Something seems to have gotten lost. I meant "much of which is applicable to Ruby". -Dave
on 2012-12-27 17:11
I have noticed that this list has been taking on a rather nasty tone lately. As a long time Ruby user and memeber of the Ruby community, I don't think this is a good thing. -- Matt It's not what I know that counts. It's what I can remember in time to use.
on 2012-12-27 17:29
@Peter Hickman Well, I'm not going to spend too much of my time arguing with you but my original question was: "How well respected is this certification in the industry?" I think all your "basics" are covered by this simple question. Also, here are the purposes of the certification as posted on the cert's website: [Purposes] (1) Set a technical-level standard for studying or teaching Ruby (2) Set a standard for Ruby engineers concerning the verification and representation of their skill level (3) Set a decision-making standard for companies and other entities concerning the hiring of Ruby engineers (employing or outsourcing development work) I think all these reasons are valid and it's backed by an "official" association. How well it does these things, even though it's official, is what I'm seeking knowledge of. Well, I'm going to go back to working on some XML and ruby. Thank you for your time. Also, yes Ruby and Perl are very similar, being that their both scripting languages (though they do have differences). I'm interested in becoming not just a ruby developer, but also a rails developer. And there's really nothing quite like Rails in Java and Perl..
on 2012-12-27 17:34
On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 5:11 PM, Matt Lawrence <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > I have noticed that this list has been taking on a rather nasty tone lately. I wouldn't call it "nasty" - still the tone has degraded. There are a few other changes I have observed. - Discussions of advanced topics almost vanished these days. - There are a lot beginner questions. - There are also quite a few questions which either look like homework or can be answered easily from documentation or testing with IRB. - Matz, Nobu and other folks from Japan seem to show up much more rarely than they used to. Even though I still read (and reply) here pretty often I have to admit it has become a less interesting place than it used to be. > As a long time Ruby user and memeber of the Ruby community, I don't think > this is a good thing. Certainly not. Kind regards robert
on 2012-12-27 17:36
On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 5:29 PM, Sean Alphonse <email@example.com> wrote: > Also, yes Ruby and Perl are very similar, being that their both > scripting languages (though they do have differences). But there similarities do already end. Perl does not have OO from the start, Perl has a ton of special cases etc. and an awkward syntax - it does have a vast amount of libraries for all sorts of things (CPAN) and superior documentation (OTOH, it's much more needed than in Ruby ;-)). Kind regards robert
on 2012-12-27 17:42
On Fri, 28 Dec 2012, Sean Alphonse wrote: > Also, yes Ruby and Perl are very similar, being that their both > scripting languages (though they do have differences). I'm interested in > becoming not just a ruby developer, but also a rails developer. And > there's really nothing quite like Rails in Java and Perl.. Rails is a framework and DSL based on Ruby. It is specialized to the point that a lot of Rails developers don't really know Ruby. So if your immediate goal is to become a Rails developer, you may be better off starting with studying Rails and worry about learning the other parts of Ruby that you won't typically use in Rails development later. -- Matt It's not what I know that counts. It's what I can remember in time to use.
on 2012-12-27 17:54
> I wouldn't call it "nasty" - still the tone has degraded. I agree. I've seen some people being a bit too uneducated to newcomers and it's sad - one of the biggest reasons I started with Ruby instead of Python is because I felt the community was much more friendly. Also, to give my 2 cents: Sean, this certification isn't very useful in the Ruby community. I *think* it exists because there's some demand for it on Japan (remember: this is a language originated and much more common there). We tend to value much more your work on open source projects, as others have already said. Try some ruby tutorials and books (codeschool's tryruby is a good one to start, Eloquent Ruby is a good book, etc) and start writing simple projects to get accustomed with automated testing and the syntax. There are lots of rails material out there, but ask on its mailing list in case you can't find anything useful. Have a nice day. :) ----- Carlos Agarie Control engineering Polytechnic School, University of So Paulo, Brazil Computer engineering Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, USA 2012/12/27 Robert Klemme <firstname.lastname@example.org>
on 2012-12-27 18:05
On 27 December 2012 16:29, Sean Alphonse <email@example.com> wrote: > (1) Set a technical-level standard for studying or teaching Ruby > For it to be "standard" then everyone (or at least most) people need to be taking it. I have never met anyone who has taken this test therefore I cannot say what a score of 87% in this test would mean. There is nothing to compare it to, there is no way to relate a score against even the most inexperienced programmer. Given the breadth of the topics and the shallowness of the testing method, 50 multichoice questions, I would have no idea what to expect from someone who scored even 100%. Given that I have interviewed CS graduates from good universities that could not describe what OOP was without quoting their course notes verbatim as if they were written ecclesiastical latin and that is after 3 years of tuition, multiple exams and practical projects I fail to see how 50 multichoice questions will be a better measure. > (2) Set a standard for Ruby engineers concerning the verification and > representation of their skill level > The depth of the testing, covering 18 topics with only 50 questions, will reveal nothing about the skills of the participants. It is simply too shallow. > (3) Set a decision-making standard for companies and other entities > concerning the hiring of Ruby engineers (employing or outsourcing > development work) > > I have been programming since the 80s. I have never, even once, been asked if I had a certificate to verify my skills. Neither have I required certification from the candidates who have applied for positions that we have interviewed for. The only people that we have ever employed that needed to verify their skills were accountants and first-aiders. The only things that matter for a programmer is experience and if you are familier with Java, C and Perl you should have enough experience to make learning another programming language nothing more than a weekend project. > I think all these reasons are valid and it's backed by an "official" > association. How well it does these things, even though it's official, > is what I'm seeking knowledge of. > Certification is a waste of time and will not help you get a job as a Ruby or Rails developer. > > Well, I'm going to go back to working on some XML and ruby. Thank you > for your time. > > Also, yes Ruby and Perl are very similar, being that their both > scripting languages (though they do have differences). I'm interested in > becoming not just a ruby developer, but also a rails developer. And > there's really nothing quite like Rails in Java and Perl.. > > HTML::Mason is similar and Cocoon has some interesting ideas (although burdened with the typical Java over engineering).
on 2012-12-27 19:02
On 27 December 2012 16:33, Robert Klemme <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > - There are also quite a few questions which either look like > homework or can be answered easily from documentation or testing with > IRB. > They are less requests for help than demands that we do their work for them. "Eternal September" springs to mind. We get emails from outsourcing companies that advertise X years of RoR experience available for low prices and I have the feeling that some of the posts we see here are from the same people who have misrepresented themselves to a client to get the work. > As a long time Ruby user and memeber of the Ruby community, I don't think > > this is a good thing. > > Certainly not. > You can only get out what you put in and too many of the posts feel like this list is a "first resort" rather than a "last resort". If they can put some serious effort into their questions (too many seem to assume that we are psychic) then I am willing to spend time helping on or off list. Helping people is an act of charity, I am not obligated to help everyone who can't be bothered to do the most rudimentary of Google searches and I am not obligated to suffer fools. I replied to Sean Westfall because I believe that having him spend $150 on a certificate will do nothing for him in becoming a Ruby developer. At least he had put some effort into the question "how can I become a Ruby developer" and he deserved some help. His actual question was "Is it worth the time?" and the answer is "No". But to say that is a disservice, it needs to be explained. But the assumption that a certificate will be of any help is so wrong there is nothing good to say about it.
on 2012-12-27 19:12
There are a lot of ways to express that idea without implying the asker is a stupid, crap programmer. Be nice, it's really not that hard. On Dec 27, 2012 10:02 AM, "Peter Hickman" <email@example.com>
on 2012-12-27 19:52
On 27 December 2012 18:11, Jonan Scheffler <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > There are a lot of ways to express that idea without implying the asker is > a stupid, crap programmer. > > Be nice, it's really not that hard. > > I have no desire to be nice, I want to make sure that I communicate. Lets be clear here, there was no implication in my post. No matter how you sugarcoat it "I suspect that you are a really really crap programmer" implies nothing, it spells it out clearly. How was that implying anything? You have misrepresented me, someone who is blunt to the point of being obnoxious, as being subtle when I spoke plainly. Pretending that somehow I was being deceitful in my use of language insults me and makes me wonder just how blunt I will have to be to get you to understand that what I write is what I mean.
on 2012-12-27 20:56
No Peter is right. I'm not that great of a programmer I'll admit. I could be better. I have met developers who are far better and are far more impressive than me. I'll be honest, I'm not a genius. Though not all certifications are considered worthless. The SCJA and the SCJP are pretty well respected within the Java communities. They're taken pretty seriously. MCSE is also pretty well regarded and some companies even require them. I actually use brainbench certifications pretty regularly. They're convenient for testing yourself against others and also getting a somewhat standard idea of whats worth knowing within a specific topic. Books and authors can vary on what they cover and consider worth covering -- a standardized test that test people from multiple backgrounds helps one to know where one stands. Also brainbench offers a pretty substantial list of tests for a huge variety of technical topics. It usefully to know which technologies one is strongest and weakest in -- or have an idea of, at the very least. I don't think it's much different from reading a math textbook -- you can't really understand the topic without attempting some of the problem. Standardize testing isn't necessarily worthless. Though obviously, not all communities respect specific certifications offered within a community. That's why I asked.
on 2012-12-27 22:41
On 27 December 2012 19:56, Sean Alphonse <email@example.com> wrote: > I'm not that great of a programmer I'll admit. I could be better. With that attitude you will become a better programmer. Well that and a desire to learn.
on 2012-12-29 15:40
On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 8:56 PM, Sean Alphonse <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Though not all certifications are considered worthless. The SCJA and the > SCJP are pretty well respected within the Java communities. They're > taken pretty seriously. Well, I beg to difer. Over the many interviews for Java developers that I've done for my company, the two people that had the SCJP in their CV were unable to explain what the "finally" keyword means. The first time it was shocking for me, since I thought the certificate was indeed an indication of, at least, knowledge. The second time opened my eyes. It was also quite weird that both failed to answer the same question. Nowadays I don't give much credit to anything in the CV :-) My two cents, Jesus.