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Are certifications worth it?

I'd be glad to hear your opinions on which programming certificates are the most widely recongnized in the industry and how useful are they actually. I've googled a lot this question but I've never asked here and I'd like to gather as many opinions as possible before applying for any. I'm interested mainly in developing business application. I have knowledge in Java, SQL, PHP, some C#. Thank you in advance!

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marked as duplicate by Oded, tcrosley, Steve Evers, Anna Lear Dec 14 '11 at 21:36

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In my experience, programming certifications are not interesting to companies whose product is software. Those companies are much more interested in general problem-solving ability than in deep knowledge of some specific technology. They expect developers to be able to learn specific technologies as needed.

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None of them.

Certifications are normally seen as a joke by programmers, and I'd say to avoid companies that require them (as they don't really get software development).

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Since I'm going to have to caveat this, I may as well do it in the comments: Certifications like the Microsoft Certified Master for SQL Server aren't in the same vein as programming certifications. –  George Stocker Dec 14 '11 at 21:05
    
I think the point your making is you need to use your brain when assessing whether a programmer with a set of certificates actually knows and understands the theory/technology, and understand what it takes to satisfy the requirements for a certificate. In Microsoft's case this is one of the reasons for their new laddered certification system -- as you progress up through the levels (MCA, MCTS, MCPD, MCTIP, MCM, MCA), you are hopefully becoming more proficient with the technologies. –  shufler Dec 14 '11 at 22:29

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