Ruby Association Certified Ruby Programmer

How well respected is this certification in the industry: Ruby
Association Certified Ruby P.mer.

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

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.

… Or that they’re compensating for lack of experience. Cookie cutter
exams do nothing to show proficiency, unless you count rather useless
information regurgitation.

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.

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.

Not a problem. This is a long standing conundrum. I just have no faith
in
standardized testing.

On Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 8:28 PM, Sean W. [email protected]
wrote:

How well respected is this certification in the industry: Ruby
Association Certified Ruby P.mer.

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… :slight_smile:

-Dave

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 Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 9:24 PM, Sean A. [email protected]
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 D. 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 27 December 2012 01:28, Sean W. [email protected] wrote:

How well respected is this certification in the industry: Ruby
Association Certified Ruby P.mer.

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 27 December 2012 11:28, Arlen Christian Mart C. [email protected] 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 Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM, Sean A. [email protected]
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). :slight_smile:

-Dave

Lets start with the basics.

Has anyone heard of this “Ruby Association” before?

Yes – it’s chaired by Matz himself.

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

@Peter H.
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…

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 Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 5:29 PM, Sean A. [email protected]
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 Fri, 28 Dec 2012, Sean A. 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.

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. :slight_smile:


Carlos A.

Control engineering
Polytechnic School, University of So Paulo, Brazil
Computer engineering
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, USA

2012/12/27 Robert K. [email protected]

On 27 December 2012 16:29, Sean A. [email protected] 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).

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