W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-evangelist@w3.org > November 2004

Re: Certification and/or Education/Outreach

From: Bryce Fields <bryce.fields@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 12:14:51 -0500
Message-ID: <4000d8ad04112309145d4736d3@mail.gmail.com>
To: "public-evangelist @ w3. org" <public-evangelist@w3.org>

On Mon, 22 Nov 2004 16:46:04 -0500, Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org> wrote:
> I would like to come back on the debate that Bryce has started. It's
> not an easy topic and I would like to add another dimension to it.
> * Certification            (Repressive)
> * Education and Outreach   (Positive)

Thanks for picking this up.  I was wondering if it was just going to
go the route of the lone voice in the wilderness.  :-)

I am curious as to why certification is considered to have repressive
connotations.  What's repressive about an official acknowledgement
that someone understands and knows how to use W3C technologies?  In my
opinion, that's a positive thing.  I see certification efforts as a
useful tool to drive W3C education and outreach, and (to tie us in to
the mailing list topic) as such an effective evangelism tool.

> As I have studied the topics of "certification at W3C" for the whole
> year 2003 and part of 2004.

Is there anywhere at the W3C site where we can read up on the current
state of certification at W3C?
- Hide quoted text -

> Bryce's message address only "Education certification" and in the
> particular context of Web developer (Front end or back end). In the
> discussion don't forget that there is what we could call "classes of
> products" for certification.
>         - Services: Web agency, Consulting, Web design Process, Software
> development
>         - People: Web developer (Front end, back end), software developer
> using Web tech
>         - Education materials: University curriculum, books, manual, articles,
> etc.
>         - Products: validator, parsers, authoring tools, user agents, bots,
> proxy, etc.

True, but that's because MY orientation is web development, and from
my perspective this is where focus of "standards" evangelism needs to
be focused, at the grass roots level.  However, I realized my
experience w/ W3C technologies was a narrow one based on what I use
daily (HTML/XHTML, CSS, etc.), so I was really interested in hearing
from different perspectives as to the relevance of certification
driving education.

And you bring up other aspects of certification I've honestly never
considered (services, education, products).  Interesting.  I can't
wait to hear others' opinions.

> ==> Topic: Certification as a stick to learn the technology.

I prefer to think of it as a carrot, and not a stick.  :-)

As I'd stated in my previous posting, I have tremendous faith in the
W3C technologies, at least the ones I use in my field.  One of my
biggest criticisms of the naysayers of the W3C approach to web
development is that many detractors have never taken the time to
actually learn to use those technologies well.  I believe that given
the correct impetus to at least learn how to use them, more will adopt
them in their everyday practices than will reject them.

I see posts from time to time in other discussion groups I frequent
concerning degrees and/or certifications for web developers, and there
never seems to be an adequate answer to people's queries (one such
post arrived to Webdesign-L w/in minutes of my original post to this
group).  There's a void out there, and I personally feel that the W3C
could really leverage this as a tool to educate and to evangelize.

Bryce Fields, Web Developer
Where I Work: Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
Where I Play: www.royalrodent.com

"Do or do not! There is no try!" -- Yoda
Received on Tuesday, 23 November 2004 17:15:27 UTC

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