Certifications for web development

Hi all. I’m re-emerging into the web dev gig after some years of pursuing other things. I’m solid in HTML, CSS static sites, and decent at manipulting PHP and piecing a site into a CMS theme. But I’m new to HMTL5 CSS3 and my javascript is almost comletely lacking. I’m also behind the times in terms of standards like responsive.

I’ve been working on my portfolio as a means to brush up but also considering some outside training with certifications.

What are some of the better recognized training sources? I’ve come across:

Pluralsight - Seems very in depth but somewhat expensive
W3 Schools - Free until testing time
Treehouse - Also somewhat expensive
I’m willing to spend some money but prefer to use something an employer would trust.

Any insights appreciated.

Unfortunately, there are no universally recognized certifications/exams for web development. The field changes much to rapidly/erratically for that, unlike with A+, Microsoft, and Cisco exams in the tech world.

A portfolio of work is the best way to show your proficiency to potential employers.

Sitepoint itself does have its own courses available through https://learnable.com/, but it looks like it costs roughly the same amount as pluralsight.

The best approach tends to be just to start on a project and learn as you go.

Employers will probably not take any of the sites you listed all that seriously when making hiring decisions. Many hiring managers (many I’ve known, at least) tend to find certifications a little suspect, which is probably a leftover from the notorious days (early 1990s) when someone could simply read a book and become certified. But that doesn’t mean they’re valueless. Many people consider the Microsoft and Java certification tracks at least as a sign of ambition and current skills - and those tracks are more rigorous. They’re also more expensive (especially considering books, classes, test fees, etc.). So if you’re looking for resume-worthy certifications, stick with those (there may be others). Or, take a survey of actual managers and ask them. Some may blow you off but others won’t. You’ll likely find a huge range of opinions on the subject.

Your best certification is your knowledge, your portfolio, and turnaround time. Get into HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, and you’ll be all set.

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Thanks Ed. That’s a really well though out response.

Thanks also ValPaliy. That is what I intend to do.

No matter what Experience > Certificate. This actually happened to me recently. I already have 15 yrs experience and recently got a new certificate that is very popular called Hadoop. But, I didn’t even get 1 interview yet!!! well… i only applied to couple of companies. They did contact me but once I told them I have 0 experience with Hadoop at work…I was shutdown… What’s ironic is that I am very confident that I know more about it then half of their hadoop developers. Anyways, I’m still trying to find a position but certificate isn’t helping all that much.

Instead of coughWASTINGcough time on certs, why not build a portolio w/ sample design documents.

Well if you think about certification on web development then its so good because certification show what you know and how you expert on it…

Not when the certification itself is meaningless since nobody recognizes it as a baseline standard.

With so many options I can see why there isn’t really a standard, however, it does seem odd that there aren’t some “generally accepted” ones. What about the front end developer that has lots of HTML/CSS/JS but limited PHP and then completes a thorough certification. I would recognize that as an employer. The experience with the other languages demonstrates industry knowledge and the certification demonstrates the ability to incorporate a new language into future projects.

Agreed that Experiece > Cert. but it would be helpful if there was some value to them for adding new skills.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the big reasons why there is no standard cert is because the field changes too rapidly and erratically for that.

Things like Microsoft, A+, and Cisco certifications have a shelf-life of a few years. Web development stuff can cycle in an out in a matter of a couple months.

Sure, you could have certs for just simple HTML and CSS fundamentals, but any of that could be easily covered by working on pretty much any individual web development project. So, it’s kind of moot.

Additionally, there’s no one way of doing things. Sure, there are generally accepted approaches for certain things, but that all depends upon the requirements of the problem and the tools/libraries/frameworks that are being used.

Would a certification help employers identify the skill level of a job applicant? Maybe. But, I can usually easily tell what a developer’s skill level is just by looking at some of their code. So, if employers don’t find certifications useful, it’s kind of a moot point to build up a big industry practice around them.

Web development and programming in general is too amorphous to have very many clear baseline standards.

Good points. I do think some baseline certs would be good (HTML, CSS and Javascript primarily) to demonstrate at least a basic ability. For instance, I can tweak Javascript all day long to meet some objective, but to write the whole thing from scratch? I’m not there yet. So it would be good to differentiate between tweakers, like me, and those who can at least write basic code.

But I think you’re right about the amorphous nature of coding.

It would be great to have meaningful projects as a form of learning and demonstrating for potential employers. So far most of the learning opportunities I’ve seen are not project based.