Hi Community members,
It is actually a good thing that there is a discussion about a certification which was soft-launched and silently added to the certification page. This indicates that many of you are visiting the developer sites and are involved with Mendix. Thanks!
Let me give some insight in our reasoning behind the Expert developer certification. We believe that this certification should add something new to the certification program. Where Knowledge is tested in the Rapid Developer online exam, and Skills are tested in the Advanced Developer certification Exam, the Expert developer should add more than just knowledge and skills. So what is next to knowledge and skills? Well we think that this is Expertise/Experience.
This leads to the next question: How to validate this Expert Certification level of expertise/experience? Besides working with Mendix for a certain period, it is also about having a valuable track record. In sense of: what was your value as Mendix developer in this period? Where a period is a hard value, validating a track record can be a very individual validation. So besides this track record, we needed hard indicators to be able to validate the Expertise level in an honest, explainable, and measurable way.
Paul nailed it when he said: “The point they wanted to achieve with this is the fact that an Expert Developer is more than just a developer. He / She is an experienced member of the community and willing to help other people with problems”. The added value of an expert developer isn’t just being a good developer. It’s also about added value to other developers. Giving right answer to questions also implicates that you have a broad knowledge about Mendix.
Of course all mentioned ideas that a developer, not being active on the forum has not the right level of expertise, “falsely” commenting & posting on the forum, and up voting your own colleagues, might be triggered by this requirement. But as in any situation, it’s always possible to cheat. On the other hand, I think that you all are grown up and know better. About having multiple accounts due to swapping jobs: No worries, we are investigating the automation of merging activity of these accounts. This is part of the requirements of the second release of the new Mendix Developer Profile, which Leon van Moorsel mentioned in his latest blog post. For now, it is good to know that we are still able to count manually. I’m proud to say that I know many of you personally (thanks!), and am aware of your job switches. It’s easy enough to lookup your accounts and collect the separated points. Also part of this new Mendix Developer Profile is a broader badges system based on your platform activity. This will give us the possibility to be able to value our community members on many other items. That will allow us to validate your expertise in a more detailed level. Based on this discussion we decided to change the 1000 forum points to an indicator of your expertise level, instead of prerequisite. This means that if you don’t have this number of points, but a good motivation why you still think you have shown your expertise in other ways which we can validate, this will also be accepted. Thanks for all your input!
I had the same discussion with Leon and René about this since I changed jobs. Their reaction was that in the end it shouldn't be a hard 1000 points for the eligibility to be an Expert Developer. However, it is there now to 'push' people to try and be a valued community member
The point they wanted to achieve with this is the fact that an Expert Developer is more than just a developer. He / She is an experienced member of the community and willing to help other people with problems. I think that is the reason the point requirement is in there.
Eventhough I got 'set back' to 50 points last November, I think it's a fair point to ask of Expert Developers to be active on the forum. We're all in this together and the more we can help each other the better in my opinion.
I agree with the fact that points should be carried over a new account, or you should be able to take your account with you should you change jobs. I think I remember someone saying they are working on a system like this ;-)
I agree with the statement that forum presence should not become a goal on its own. I do support the thought of requiring expert developers to give a minimal effort to the community. I don't think however the forum should be the soul source of this evaluation. Things like deploying (like Ronald remarked), adding widgets or attending meetups should count as a community contribution.
But do not forget that Mendix in the near future will also give you point for other activities like deploying etc. Not only for being active in the forum. Furthermore Mendix has promised that in the future the points of multiple accounts will be tranferred. So if you have two accounts in the end you will end up with one account with all your total points.
Thijs, I agree with you. The danger in the current set up is that Mendix could start recommending a developer distribution to potential clients and include a suggested number of expert developers. This would result in a situation where, no matter how skilled you are, if you haven't spent enough of your own time on the forums, you become ineligible for assignments. Contributions to a community should always be voluntary, never forced, as that doesn't increase the quality of the contribution.
Furthermore, this requirement can easily be gamed: let's say that at Capgemini, we have 50 Mendix developers. By posting internally answered questions on the forums and massive upvoting, we can easily boost people to have a thousand points. Alternatively, since a down vote costs 1 reputation point, and takes away 2 reputation points of the target, with my 2400+ points, I can send a competitor down 2000 points, and still have 1400 reputation remaining.
I think the Expert Developer Certification is just a marketing trick.