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Value of CLAD / CLD / CLA?


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I'm curious as to what the concensus is about the value of CLAD and/or CLD certification. Is it something that people look for, or is it not something generally worth bothering with? I ask becuase, until recently, I had been under the impression that the CLAD had to be taken at an NI site like the CLD. The closest one of those is a good 400 miles away from me. It turns out there's a location to take the CLAD right here in town. So I'm just trying to decide if the trouble and expense is worth a bullet point on the resume or not.

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QUOTE(eaolson @ May 17 2007, 05:20 AM)

Sure you did :P (actually, I believe you: I did a search on "CLD worth" - the results are similar to what you want for the CLAD).

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QUOTE(eaolson @ May 16 2007, 02:23 PM)

... I'm just trying to decide if the trouble and expense is worth a bullet point on the resume or not.

I went to the NI Developer Day here in Boston, and by attending I received a voucher for $200 off of a training class or test. An associate of mine was told he could use this voucher to take the CLAD test (cost $125 or FREE!)

During the presentations, it was mentioned again and again that NI is working hard to get LabVIEW more widely used in educational institutions. If more and more grads start showing up with "formal" LabVIEW training, A CLD certificate might be worth having...

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My opinion:

This is an additional way for NI to make money. Last year, we were force by NI to make

at least the CLD certification. Otherwise we would loose the status to be a NI selected

alliance partner. So we made it.

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QUOTE(Wolfram @ May 17 2007, 12:43 AM)

My opinion:

This is an additional way for NI to make money. Last year, we were force by NI to make

at least the CLD certification. Otherwise we would loose the status to be a NI selected

alliance partner. So we made it.

Not so fast... setting up a required "LabVIEW skills certification program" is also a way to increase the value the Alliance partnership for NI and for the partners.

NI makes sure that the alliance member have a certain number of developper with a minimum level.

Being a partners doesn't mean only selling NI hardware and software licences, it show you can bring expertise.

And... well... Can you tell me one and only company that makes huge profits and that is not tight @$ ? :P

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The biggest problem that I have with the NI certification process is that a good fraction of the exam questions cover either (a) obscure nonsense that has almost nothing at all to do with the kinds of practical knowledge that makes a good developer, or (b) trivial BS that any yahoo can figure out. The last time I took the CLD recert exam, almost a third of the questions were stupid hand-calculations to figure out what a for- or while loop was doing. It appears that the exams are written by the educational folks at NI, who have little or no real-world development experience.

I'm also involved in recruiting engineers and programmers to be professional developers for a Select Integration Partner. From out experience, the best qualifications to work in our business are a solid EE background, coupled with a good grounding in the fundamentals of structured programming. Anybody who has taken more than 3-4 undergraduate computer science courses usually does very well with us.

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QUOTE(BobHamburger @ May 17 2007, 01:25 PM)

I'm also involved in recruiting engineers and programmers to be professional developers for a Select Integration Partner. From out experience, the best qualifications to work in our business are a solid EE background, coupled with a good grounding in the fundamentals of structured programming.

That's a most excellent point: don't be extreme and think that having just an NI certification and nothing else will get you a job. We (generally speaking) hire only experienced LabVIEW programmers, and whilst a certification is a plus, there's plenty more hoops you need to jump through, including in-house exams.

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QUOTE(BobHamburger @ May 16 2007, 11:25 PM)

... The last time I took the CLD recert exam, almost a third of the questions were stupid hand-calculations to figure out what a for- or while loop was doing ...

That might have been quite a while ago. This level of questioning is on the CLAD test at present. I have acquired a much deeper appreciation and respect for the validity of NI's certification program. Not only do certification exams tell a prospective employer how much I know, but the process of getting certified tells me how much I know - or don't know. The little mundane details in the CLAD can be learned by DOING ... for years ... or in a formal classroom setting. But the fact remains is that you KNOW them. The CLD tells me someone knows enough LV to solve a relatively complex problem and write a functional and well-documented solution - in 3 hours. :thumbup: That tells me something, and I think it says a lot to anyone who knows anything about LV.

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QUOTE(crelf @ May 17 2007, 06:21 AM)

That's a most excellent point: don't be extreme and think that having just an NI certification and nothing else will get you a job. We (generally speaking) hire only experienced LabVIEW programmers, and whilst a certification is a plus, there's plenty more hoops you need to jump through, including in-house exams.

<soapbox = TRUE>

FWIW I have experience in professional education and certification processes across a number of contexts and my sense is that, in many cases, the value of the certification lies with those who offer it, much more often than it does for those who obtain certification. Let me clear -- the paper itself really doesn't add special value to the person qua programmer or capable professional. Undergoing the process that obtained the paper MAY add value for the programmer/professional. And it may add enromous value in a number of instances; however, it is the PROCESS that counts -- NOT the certification.

Does the process of pursuing certification re: LV actually add to programming expertise in LV? That's an empirical question which could actually be answered -- if the desire was there in the community of LV programmers to have that answered. However, it seems highly unlikely for that effort to be undertaken and, of course, there are many reasons for that but I want to focus on just one -- the issue of who sets the criteria for determining expertise? It is THE fundamental question.

I'm a pioneer in the field of neurofeedback and have been for the better part of the last 17 years. The issue of certification is raging now in that field, primarily as a context for pushing a particular agenda re: credentialing and to instantiate waht amounts to a "guild". This agenda is pushed under the guise of "education", "setting standards", "increasing effectiveness and safety", etc, etc but it's really about a kind of elitism that some want.

IME that push is fundamentally off target in the field of neurofeedback, as it is in a number of other fields.

Is that the case in re: to LV certification? I don't know but in reviewing the posts on this topic here and elsewhere, it's pretty clear that there's a large and obvious divide between those who think that certification is a good and/or even necessary thing vs those who think that it has little practical value for them qua certification. Those involved in large scale project environments support certification and I think that's in line with a lot of what appears to be covered and seen to be of high value in the certification process. Those who work independantly and/or who work on projects where scalability is not a preeminent concern, perceive less value in certification process.

Re: courses -- I have also attended a number of NI courses and events. Some were quite good, some weren't good. That's how it is everywhere I guess.

Re: abilities to program in LV -- I'm the programmer for our application in applied neurofeedback and offline analysis of EEG. I use the DB Conectivity toolkit, the Advanced Signal Processing toolkit, Internet Connectivity, etc, etc and I use them in ways that others have said were "impossible". Perhaps I'm really lucky!

I suspect that I won't pursue certification but who knows? For me it would be about education and seeing what others are doing with LV.

<soapbox=FALSE>

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