Certification change: feedback

Hi, as someone who interviews and hire people that will exclusively work on Ignition projects for a 100k person company, I think the recent announcement to change the certification process to be on site only is a bad decision.

Having done a few of the gold certification tests myself, I know that the tests do a really good job of making sure the test taker actually understands how things fit together, and also understands them well enough to accomplish a task that involves some problem solving and piecing together a few different functionalities.

Further, I think that the current design of mostly self taught learning tells me that the person knows how to figure things out. They are able to read the documentation or watch the learning materials, internalize it, and then apply it.

I cant imagine many people will have the time or money to be able to travel to California to attend the training. Its unfortunate to limit so many across the globe in this way. I think it really goes against the whole idea behind IU, that the more people you get to learn (and prove they've learned) ignition, the better.

I also have little faith that if someone did attend the training, and did nothing except show up every day, that they would then fail the certification test (if there even is a test?). Of course having on site training is a great thing and I'm glad that you offer it, but Im just not sure I would have any faith in the certification process if each individual is no longer required to complete a (challenging) test on their own.

Anyway, to summarize, I think this change will basically eliminate any trust I have in the certification as someone who specifically looks for it in resumes and includes it as something we want in our job listings.

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The courses required for certification are being offered both in person and virtually.

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ah ok, sorry i missed the virtual part

I missed it the first time I read it too, and thought it was a steep requirement as well. But AFAIK both core and advanced courses are, or will be, available both in person and virtually.

The crux of the change seems to be that instructor-led training earns certification, not completion of an outdated and anonymously taken homework assignment that we have no way of knowing you actually completed yourself.

(disclosure: I was not involved with this in any way, I learned about it in the same email you all did)

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I'm already Gold 8.1 but so others know, is it 5 days for core and another 5 for Gold or does 5 get you Gold going forward straight away?

@mcarritt1 , as well as the virtual courses there are also courses in other countries, not just at IA's HQ. Check out the training on the website for a list.

5-day core training gets you Core. An additional 5-day advanced training gets you Gold.

Details are below the fold here: Ignition Certification Update

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there is pro's and cons to both I suppose:

Test is good if they actually completed it, but its possible some people will cheat, or companies might have everyone take it once and share the answers with each other.

Class is good in terms of several days of continued exposure if the learner is engaged; but it seems like this is the model of basically every other automation company certification: go sit in a chair for 5 days and listen to instructor. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying those kinds of certifications are meaningless, even though they cost a ton.

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Or just say they're gold certified because they have one dude who took the test, then send you an intern.
I'm pretty sure that's what happened where I work, and I spent the best part of the last 1.5 years untangling the mess he left me.

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I mean, we still do a technical challenge regardless, I would never take the cert at face value, but if someone has gold cert than I probably want to interview them.

I'm talking about an integrators company that was hired to implement the scada solution where I work.
Then I got hired to add features and stuff, I ended up reworking the whole thing because nothing made sense.

I fully agree. I would struggle not to fall asleep in such an environment. The certifications at the moment I found both challenging, engaging, dare I say even exciting :upside_down_face: (but I'm a weirdo). In fact I spent extra time working on them to prove to the marker that I knew what I was talking about, as well as to challenge myself in things I didn't have much experience in (one of those was perspective, at the time). I also feel moving to a 10 day course will be prohibitively costly (both in money and time - I myself rarely have even a couple of days a year free, let alone 10 days) and will hence significantly reduce the number of people able to receive it. At the same time though, as you say, it will also reduce the significance of it since anyone who completes the courses will get a certificate, without having to actually prove that they have gained or already had the knowledge. Unless I'm mistaken? Will there be practical tests to complete to prove knowledge?

Also, for someone working with Ignition daily, having to sit through 10 days of the same thing they do every day will be a waste of time. There are far more efficient ways to prove one's capability and knowledge :person_shrugging: There's a reason universities use exams to test knowledge

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I believe I read there will be some "lab work" to do.
Now, whether someone can actually fail them is a different story...

I have near-zero faith in the certifications.

I'm not a fan of certifications in general. It isn't just an IA issue. They arose as a wider proxy for the excellence that used to be recognized in a person's or organization's public reputation.

They have metastasized into a replacement for reputation, enforced by financial incentives and requiring financial sacrifices, instead of being the start towards one's reputation.

In today's litigious world, in part due to the financial aspects, there is also substantial pressure to not allow failures. Which makes outsiders (and some insiders) question the actual value of the certificate.

FWIW, I, personally, am not Ignition Certified. At all. And I have no intention to waste my time on it.

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You are the most "Ignition Certified" user there currently is.

Need I say more?

I do agree however, I personally would not go out of my way to pay for the certifications. If my company wants to pay for it, I wouldn't turn it down though.

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On one half of Phil’s point I agree, today the certifications have been watered down and just prove an engineers ability to navigate the designer. And I think this is what IA wants to change, they want the cert to mean technical proficiency in the tasks at hand.

On the other hand, being an engineering lead in a large integrator means I need the certifications to be accessible for engineers that might not use ignition today, but could tomorrow. The current structure enables an engineer to do the training in the downtime between projects and while slower, makes it possible. New engineers will be easy to justify taking the training right out the gate during the initial onboarding period, but it’s going to increase the barrier to entry for existing engineers. And some might say “the training is still available”, and while I agree, it’s hard to put non-certified engineers on projects with larger clients, so the cert becomes a bit of a requirement.

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It doesn't even require anyone to do the online inductiveuniversity training to take the "core" class. So someone who has no knowledge of Ignition at all after 5 days can have a Core certification and get the integrator discount.

I don't agree with this move and there should be a better way to prove that integrators have the experience compared to a new integrators first go around with Ignition. We have gotten plenty of work from the integrator website and now it will be filled with gold and core and no way to decipher experience besides the top 100 list which does move you to the top.

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I'm surprised you didn't get a cert but you obviously know what you're doing.

The integrator discount was the driving factor for my employer encouraging me to get a gold cert.

This will make IA like other SCADA suppliers! Basically, SIs can buy certification by attending 5-day commercial training course! I do understand the effort that goes in evaluating each test submitted. I don't know if that's the reason behind replacing it with the new certification process! From SI's point of view, the tests and certification were a major motivation to learn Ignition in a proper manner. Wish it continues!

Learning takes its own time depending upon whether you are a new SCADA user or an intermediate one or an experienced SCADA engineer having used some other SCADA platform. It needs a lot of time and practice for the concepts like security and user management, ID providers, transaction groups, SQL queries, reports, PLC integration, OPC, UDT, Alarms management etc to sink in. I wonder how a 5- or 10-day course will make a person a certified and advanced user of Ignition!

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All I can really say for certain, is that going forward, Core and Gold certification will have a different meaning and if I need to judge an integrator or a person on their capabilities then I’ll take the type of certification into account.

Personally, it’s a shame as the Gold really meant something if completed independently. I hope the refreshers don’t turn into yet another bit of compliance to endure.

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