Recently Ken Schwaber posted on his blog about perhaps licensing Software Developers and those who practice in the field in much the same way we license other professions. The even greater reliance on software these days requires even more reliable delivery of that software.
I somewhat agree, but I don’t think the rest of the world does.
I looked at the PSD certification that Ken’s scrum.org provides. Scrum.org certifications are the more difficult ones out there and is a deliberate response to toughen up the certification space. For the PSD certification there as of 11 May 2014 only 1341 holders. This compares against 21,112 who hold the PSM 1 certification. I could not find any figures for the Scrum Alliance’s CSD certification, however they have some 300,000 holders of their comparatively easier CSM certification. Given that there are only 74 members of the CSD linked in group the ratio is probably similar.
Why is this? Looking at the reading material for PSD course though, it’s quite large with 29 books listed. I’ve read all but four of these books and this has taken a long time over a long period of time. I do intend sitting the exam as well but only when I feel absolutely certain I’ll pass with a score around 95%. The test is 80 questions in 60 minutes with a pass mark of 85% – the hardest of all the Agile certifications (those only involving an online exam) that I’m aware of.
So the difficulty in the exam and it’s sheer volume of content could be a problem. But there are courses in PSD that run for 3-5 days depending on who’s offering it. But there are hardly any offerings on scrum.org at the moment. It would seem people aren’t clamouring to be do the course. Supposedly this would put you in a good place to pass the exam. I do wonder if this is the right way in any case. Granted courses are good for learning something that you may not have known previously but maybe should not be viewed as a shortcut to certification. Some experience component is required.
So taking a course is not high on the agenda. Perhaps there are people who’d like to take the course but can’t because their employer won’t allow 5 days away. Generally this could not be the case as all employers allow time for training.
Is it the content – yes there is a lot. The quality could/should not questioned. The authors and the books are well accepted.
Maybe what Ken suggests is correct. Forcing a licensing approach could create better developers and improve the state of software delivery.