Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of established certification structures on the enterprise market today.
- Certifications are perceived as milestones for the person holding them. Achieving certification is hard and requires a lot of work and experience.
- There’s a timed validity on the certification, which compels holders to stay up to date with current technologies and prove it.
- Certification requires you to concern yourself with a broad range of topics, and take a wider view from your everyday interests and abilities.
- Certifications are currently big monoliths and have a daunting entry barrier, even for established developers.
- There is a risk in investing time and money (certification cost) in employees if they only stay for a short period of time.
We have been using standard enterprise certification methods for a long time, but that doesn’t mean we should get complacent. Being afraid of changing the status quo blinds our senses to the benefits that a new way of looking at things might hold.
The Current Certification Approach
When faced with a task or exercise, a learner’s journey has a number of milestones, which reward them with a feeling of success.
- I have found out what skills I need to obtain to perform this task.
- I have learned the skills I need and think I can put them into practice.
- I have proven that I can put the skills into practice.
- I have acknowledgment for my skills beyond the scope of my organization.
With the current enterprise certification system on the market, it is hard to put these efforts into perspective.
- The learner does not know the full scope of skills that certification offers and can’t relate them to the task because they have never done it.
- The mentors (usually agency employees) are busy with everyday work and might not find the time for a clear declaration of learning goals.
- External training is available but the benefit of sending the junior there might be hard to judge.
- Official certification is way beyond the scope of the task the mentee performed.
Certification Should be Like Building With Lego® Bricks
Preparing the Bricks
Imagine an established certification is a palace built with Lego bricks. It consists of a lot of small parts. We take this palace apart and display the parts neatly on our table. We can identify them and put them in one or more groups (“the red ones”, “the square ones”). We also check if some types of bricks depend on being used alongside each other.
The TYPO3 Education Committee and the TYPO3 GmbH have put a lot of effort into identifying and preparing these building bricks for the community, based on the official and established TYPO3 certification.
Let’s Build Something Great Together
We all have a dream about the end result of our efforts. When browsing a Lego parts catalog, it helps us to imagine an output. Wow, imagine what I can build with this.
So we established a system that aids this approach. The TYPO3 Education Committee and the TYPO3 GmbH have prepared the groundwork for:
- Ensuring the quality of skill definitions
- Quickly creating an overview of required skills for any TYPO3 task
- Highlighting the value of any TYPO3 learning resource you might be able to provide
- Being able to certify your skills for exactly the learning scenario or task you pursued
Creating a Common Ground
By breaking down the official certification, the TYPO3 Education Committee has created a common ground for everyone.
The mentor chooses a task and selects the necessary pre-defined skills from the TYPO3 universe.
- The learner instantly knows the description and goals for all skills required to perform this task and can start their research.
- Every learning resource in the TYPO3 universe tagged with relevant skills is instantly in reach, and can be automatically presented to the learner. It's just a matter of searching for skill intersections. (“How about reading Chapter II of the TYPO3 Guidebook? Why not ask your supervisor for this external training?)
- The mentor can easily confirm the mentees' skills just by confirming: “The task has been completed successfully. Well done!”
And now imagine you can also perform official certification - exactly for the set of skills you chose to pursue.
Bringing Certification to the People
Imagine being a student in an educational institution. One thing (among many, many others) you learn about is TYPO3. You spend a couple of months with the system and know your way around—but far too little to attempt climbing this daunting mountain that is official certification. It has a big curriculum, it’s expensive, it’s only valid for 2 years—is it worth the bother?
You graduate and no one ever knows that you used TYPO3, apart from your teacher and classmates. This way, there is a good chance that you disappear from the TYPO3 map.
Why wouldn’t we make it easy for those people to put their mark on the community? We can offer those people official industry acknowledgment.
- Exactly for their skills
- Exactly tailored to what they have learned
- At an attractive price
To get an example of how you as a community member can benefit from our work, we’ll release 3 ready-to-use scenarios which have been created in cooperation with experts from the community, and TYPO3 teams like CoCoMOn, the trainer initiative, and the expansion committee.
We have tailored these use cases to TYPO3 v10 and a subset of existing certifications, mapping them to specific tasks for beginners; keeping a role-based approach and acting as stepping stones. The flexible system described above makes it easy to switch to a solution-based approach when we need to.
Creating and maintaining website content
Creating a Site Package
Creating a simple extbase extension
Each of these scenarios will feature:
- A full syllabus with skill descriptions and goals, matching official certification, acting as stepping stones.
- Suggested TYPO3 community learning resources.
- Means for confirming the learning success for mentees.
- Means for confirming the learning success for agencies and/or educational institutions.
- An option for official certification via the TYPO3 exam tool (no printed certificates, digital badge only, explicitly marked with a term indicating the entry/beginner level).
Be Part of the Revolution
We’d love to have you join us on our journey.
- Read more about the TYPO3 Education Committee
- Find out about current TYPO3 certifications
- Give us feedback in the TYPO3 Slack channel #micro-certification.
- Spread the word to public educational institutions who are interested in teaching Content Management Systems. Have them contact us in the Slack channel #micro-certification or via e-mail.