Marco Dorantes' WebLog

"Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes" -Edsger W. Dijkstra

What does it mean to get an Agile certification?

What does it mean to get an Agile certification?

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I have heard through many years that a certification-based curriculum is very, very important for those who want to be considered competent. I have tried hard to understand this perspective. I have been told the importance resides in the fact that business decision-makers can’t tell for themselves if a given professional is competent or not in a given subject matter and in the context of their business. So they ask an authority to grant a certification of competence to those who achieve the requirements of this authority. The underlying premise, of course, is that the authority actually knows what it means to be competent in the given subject matter. The business is left to decide if that competence alone is relevant in the context of their environment.

The new ‘agile’ fashion has taken momentum and it is by now a mainstream idea. An increasing number of businesses are being told that is the way to go. Unfortunately, many of them still can’t tell for themselves what an agile practitioner is. So, “agile certifications” are being demanded.

I guess that for those organizations that decide to endure in their ignorance about what agile and adaptive thinking actually is will add some new buzzwords in their corporate language but, apart from that, all will be exactly the same as now.

An organization that adopts agile and adapting thinking is an organization able to learn and change often, where business-decision makers actually do care about what they are doing and become able to tell for themselves if a given person is competent in their business environment. And, so, they don’t need ‘agile certifications’.

What does it mean to be an agile certified professional in an organization? For one, it would mean that mistake and rework —especially new ones— are now seen by the “organization” as something very, very positive.

That kind of changes in “corporate mentality” is a litmus test for an adequate agile adoption.

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