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What certified or standardised professional programming courses have you completed? (not school/college/university)

How would you rate them in terms of how much their content has helped you to do your job*?

I'd be particularly interested to hear about anything security-related.

*rather than how much their inclusion on your résumé has helped you get your job :)

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This seems a bit odd to me. If the goal is to learn to do things better, why worry about whether the course is certified or not? The only real use for certification is to get a job, or qualify for some sort of advancement. –  David Thornley Sep 29 '10 at 20:17
@David, that's a good point. The main reason I put "certified" is that they're usually standardised, so if someone recommends something, it's likely that someone in another country might be able to find more-or-less the same course (and "standardised course" isn't really a recognised term). –  Ian Mackinnon Sep 29 '10 at 20:21
@David - I've added "standardised" throughout to include your feedback. Thanks. –  Ian Mackinnon Sep 29 '10 at 20:54
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4 Answers

I've been CISSP certified for three years and honestly don't know what I'd do without it. I often see security issues in applications before other developers. For me, security has become a fundamental part of all the phases of application development. It's a "currency" to me now. My confidence in making security decisions is very improved. Five years ago, I was always nervous.

It's not an easy cert - you need a sponsor and continuing education credits to stay up-to-date. However, I don't hesitate to say it's absolutely worth it.

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I got 100/100 in both RHCT and RHCE exam.

I wanted to know about system administration and thought it would be a good course to chose. I'm totally satisfied with that. I've learned many things while preparing for the exam. It's a good course to chose if you want to go in administration field.

Course details.

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I did some of the Microsoft Certification stuff in C# and .Net a few years ago, mostly because it helped get my employer on the Microsoft Partnership programme. In terms of what I learned, there was a lot of information in the course and it was useful to patch up a few holes in my existing knowledge that I had picked up from developing with those tools but probably not worth the cost of the course in it's own right. Reading through some textbooks and doing some independant learning would have been as good for that. The real benefit was certainly in terms of the partnership programme and in terms of later employment.

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I'd say that's probably one of the best certification I can get.

I learn everything by doing. I'll give you a very recent example: if I want to learn how interpreters and compilers work, I don't go to class and waste weeks or months getting lectured. I take one day off and make a simple programming language instead. Now I know the basics, and I'm slowly learning how to compile this language into the CLR.

That said, if you're looking for a good CS class, I'd wholeheartedly recomment Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. If you follow the link you'll find downloadable video lectures from 1986. They're old, but what they teach would change any non-functional programmer's perspective on programming forever.

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Thanks. I'd like to state that I'm not advocating courses as a replacement for self-study and practice (I am in fact currently at chapter 3 of SICP and wish I had more time to spend on it!). I'm pleased self-learning is working for you but if you are really discounting "getting lectured" as a waste I think that's a great pity. I have enjoyed many wholesome lecture series from brilliant and generous speakers, which more than make up for the bad ones I've had to sit through. –  Ian Mackinnon Sep 30 '10 at 14:40
The main problem with lectures, is that you don't get to do anything. In a lecture, you... Well, you get lectured. It is true that some lecturers are amazing and have vast knowledge that you can tap into. But I think that 40 hours with any lecturer except a select few will probably be not as useful as 40 hours of self study. –  configurator Sep 30 '10 at 20:58
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