Certifications are an opportunity for IT programmers to advance their knowledge of specific technology and frameworks. Employers and hiring managers tend to view certifications as tangible proof of aptitude with regard to programming or development. At a time when there is an intense demand for good developers, those with relevant certifications are bound to get preferential treatment during the hiring process. The higher the level of certification achieved, the greater the opportunity for skilled programmers and developers to command higher pay and career advancement.
Certifications alone do not determine a candidate’s programming capabilities, but they generally act as a recognized and trusted determiner of competence which, when combined with real, hands-on programming experience, enables programmers and developers to advance their prospects quickly. Certifications are also increasingly becoming a key differentiator for candidates seeking roles on technology teams. Such certified professionals are seen as deeply engaged in the profession and abreast of the latest developments in the field.
India’s rapidly growing IT industry is in constant need of trained programmers. This article briefly covers several of the most in-demand certifications for programmers in India. If you are interested in programming as a career, it will be beneficial to consider any of these certifications.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
MCSD is the most well-known programming certification in India. MCSD certification comes in different variants to suit the requirements of programmers catering to different categories of the IT spectrum.
- MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management certification is aimed at IT developers, applications engineer, and IT project managers.
- MCSD: Web Applications certification will enable you to qualify for a position as a web developer or web administrator by familiarizing you with the intricacies of building web applications with ASP.NET using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.
- MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect certifies programmers with the full breadth of architecting, developing, and administering Azure solutions for companies.
Each of the MCSD certifications consists of three modules costing around ₹ 9,700 ($150 U.S.) currently. There are no prerequisites or required courses to sit for this exam. Each exam consists of between 40 and 60 questions depending on the module. Due to the continual introduction of technologies and question types Microsoft does not provide the types of questions on the exams, but they do suggest candidates review previous exam formats and question types.
Certified individuals are required to complete recertification every two years to remain abreast with the latest developments in the field. The recertification exam covers the content from the original exam plus additional information on new products and technologies.
Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP)
Offered by (ISC)², CSSLP is best suited for security software developers. Certified individuals are trained in software acceptance, deployment, operations, maintenance and disposal, along with supply chain and software acquisition.
CSSLP emphasizes building security into the different software development lifecycle phases and promotes the inclusion of best practices. Instead of the usual pencil-and-paper route CSSLP is offered as an online test through Pearson VUE testing centers. CSSLP is a great certification for IT professionals working as testing penetrators, software architects, engineers and developers, software program and security managers and quality assurance e testers.
Candidates must have a minimum of four years of full-time experience working within the Software Development Lifecycle, in one or more of the eight domains of CSSLP common body of knowledge. The exam costs ₹ 35,650 ($550 U.S.) and is a rough four hours in duration. It consists of 175 multiple choice questions and a clearing score is 700 out of a possible 1,000.
Re-certification for CSSLP is required every three years via 90 credits of continuing professional education (CPE) with a mandatory minimum of 30 CPE credits to be earned each year.
C and C++ Certifications
C and C++ Certifications are essential for programmers hoping to acquire advanced programming skills, especially if interested in an MCSD certification. The certifications are separately tested at three levels- associate, professional and senior.
- Associate (CLA) or the foundation level C/C++ credential holder would be able to demonstrate fundamental programming techniques, customs, vocabulary and the most common library functions.
- Professional (CLP) or the advanced level C/C++ credential holder would be proficient in dealing with complex coding problems as well as capable of using and creating complex algorithms.
- Senior (CLS) or the expert level certificate holder would be able to demonstrate expertise in highly advanced C/C++ programming skills and would be able to create highly complex algorithms.
The candidate who wishes to obtain any level of C/C++ certification must pass an online certification exam at a Pearson VUE Testing Center. The CLA/CPA exam consists of a set of 55 closed single- and/or multiple-choice questions, whereas the CLP/CPP exam consists of a set of 60 closed single and/or multiple-choice questions.
The cost per exam is approximately ₹ 19,150 ($295 U.S.) and lasts 75 minutes consisting of a 10-minute tutorial and 65 minutes to answer the questions. The clearing 800 points out of 1,000.
Although these certifications have been around since the 1960’s (C) and 1980’s (C++) there is still a high demand for them. Best of all, the certifications are good for life and do not require recertification.
Certifications are beneficial for programmers planning to spend time trying to understand a minimum of 80% of the given training material. It is especially useful for programmers who want to advance their understanding of particular technology/framework they are already working on.
Almost all Indian IT companies view certifications positively and consider them in the hiring process. Strong hands-on programming experience combined with the credibility offered by an official certification can really help programmers and developers advance their prospects quickly.