The NodeSource Blog

Should you get the Node.js Certification?

A few months ago, the Node.js Certification by the Open.js Foundation was announced. This was big news for the community and the Node.js ecosystem!

The launch of the certification prompted a lot of responses and reactions. These included positive reactions, interest in getting the certification, but also concerns about its pricing and accessibility.

In this blog post we highlight some of the reasons for the certification’s existence, the principles, and some pros and cons, to help you decide whether getting certificatified might be an option for you.

Why a Certification:

  • Maturing Industry: Node.js was first introduced 10 years ago, and now the industry has reached a maturation point with new challenges and needs. The certification can help standardize expertise across the industry.
  • Demand vs Availability: The demand for Node.js developers is high and their availability can be difficult. The certification can help identify those qualified developers and reduce the gap between demand and availability.
  • Skill-level Standardization: The certification is useful to standardize knowledge and skills. In other words, it provides a new baseline, a minimum requirement where skilled developers can differentiate themselves.
  • Opportunity Creation: It creates an opportunity for developers to prove their skills and allows them to join an enterprise or project via another route than the traditional.

Principles:

  • Outcome focused: It doesn’t matter how you solve the problem as long as the outcome it’s correct. You can use or not a certain library, or use a non-traditional approach to solve the question.
  • Framework/library agnostic: The exam doesn’t focus on any specific framework or library, the purpose is to measure your Node.js knowledge as a whole.
  • Support real world practices: The certification’s central purpose is to help test takers apply their knowledge in the real world. In this case, you will only encounter day-to-day common problems.
  • Problem solving over puzzle solving: The exam emphasises solving real-life problems instead of focusing on technical conundrums.
  • Avoid implementation pedantry: The certification is not focused on how you implement a solution, only that you can solve it.

Pros:

  • The certification is a proof of knowledge and expertise. It helps you advance in your career and it provides developers with an opportunity to train, improve and demonstrate specialized skills required to be a successful Node.js developer today.
  • Earning the certification not only signals a clear commitment to upleveling your skills, but also certifies your knowledge in a heavily sought-after field. In other words, you will stand out from other Node.js developers.
  • It’s an opportunity for training and continuous improvement, and constitutes an investment in yourself and your long-term career.
  • Companies will now be able to find and hire Node.js experts easier.
  • Getting the certification can potentially increase your earnings.
  • It can also help those who struggle in technical interviews to validate their capability with the technology in question.

So, if you are a Node.js Developer and want to expand your abilities and recognition in the market, getting certified might be the right thing for you.

Cons:

  • One of the biggest concerns that was expressed by the community is the certifications pricing. There are two certifications, and each of them cost $300 USD. Even though that is accessible for most companies, it is definitely not affordable to everyone.
  • The time available to do the exam is limited. There are 22 questions in the JSNAD exam and 6 questions in the JSNSD, and only two hours to complete either exam. This will be enough for most people, but for other people it could be short.
  • The certification is most useful to prove knowledge in the enterprise. It may not be as useful if you are working independently (unless you want to measure your own skills in the ecosystem).

What’s Next?

The Open.js Foundation is aware of the community feedback about the pricing and they are working towards a solution. As it was stated by Robin Ginn, Executive Director at the OpenJS Foundation:

We will continue to explore ways to make the Node.js Certification program more open and accessible for diverse communities including a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds and geographical locations. We’re seeking to partner with community-focused organizations who can potentially bridge gaps and create access, of course pending the specific solution.

Node.js Certification Bootcamp

We are excited to announce that NodeSource is launching a Node.js Certification Bootcamp in 2020 to get you ready to take the certification. Keep an eye out for updates!

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