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The recession gathers apace, jobs are falling like nine pins, we're all doomed. Or maybe we dig in, work hard, brush up on old skills, read up on new stuff, do a bit of studying, sit an exam or two. Here's a couple of papers about IT exams from the Reg library for your perusal.

The Sun certification and team performance: The impact on Application Developers

Vendor qualifications are the last refuge of an incompetent scoundrel, a programmer's ability is in inverse proportion to the number of qualifications on his wall - you've heard the spiel. This paper from IDC, funded by Sun, seeks to persuade you otherwise. IDC travelled the globe to interview three hundred or so App development teams and assess the effect of vendor certification on their work

IDC measured their performance against 10 process metrics. Average performance was "relatively mediocre". Who let those analysts in the building?

On several metrics, IDC detected a gap in performance between teams with low and high concentrations of vendor certifications. The widest gap of all was in the willingness of teams to integrate new technologies. For instance, teams with high concentrations of Java certified programmers were far more likely to intgrate web services into their apps than teams populated by mostly untrained staff.

With the precision that only management consultants and IT analysts are capable of, IDC says: "Having 50 per cent of an application development team certified in Java (Sun certified) can improve performance in application development by more than 40 per cent."

So there's a little fudging in "can" and "more than". But surely it is hard to quarrel with IDC's thesis that "training, and ultimately certification, is critical to improving overall IT performance".

Or is "certification" a red rag to The Reg readers' bull?

ITIL qualifications explained

ITIL papers are always popular with Reg readers. But pity the poor people who have to take these courses. Reading this paper, from Focus on Training, a UK training company almost induced a panic attack. Learning about best IT practices is one thing, but taking exams in the subject? We'd rather resume the accountancy studies we abandoned a couple of recessions ago.

This paper is an efficient-enough check list of ITIL qualifications, with the emphasis on service management. The authors run ITIL qualification courses, but you knew that already. ®

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