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Peter and others, I share your skepticism about certification programs and, frankly, CS degree programs (at least in the US -- I won't bash those from other countries ;-) ).

When I did my degree work in the late 80s and early 90s -- after already having done some successful commercial software development, I was shocked at how poorly CS programs addressed what I believe is the key skill in software development: knowing how to select and then assemble small, seemingly-unrelated building blocks into a coherent entity that can solve a much larger problem than any of the individual building blocks.

All the languages and libraries in the world are useless if you can't master that skill, and I don't believe for a minute that a multiple-choice exam can divine its existence.

Show me what you've already done in the field (even if it was on your own time) and I'll believe you're a competent programmer. Show me a certificate and I'll believe nothing.