It’s often said that everything in the IT industry comes and goes in cycles. I have to agree with this notion: after working in the industry for over 30 years now, I’ve seen several waves of client/server, thin client/fat client, remote, and distributed technologies and APIs come and go (remember “diskless workstations?” “set-top boxes?” “videotex?”).
The same ebb and flow also applies to IT certification, which I got involved with initially as a temporary member of the training department at Excelan back in 1988, and then again almost ten years later in 1996 as the Windows NT 4.0 wave crested and ran. In the heady days from 1997 to 2000, it seemed like certification was an unbeatable and guaranteed ticket to IT success. But I was also there when the bottom fell out after 9/11 and have watched that same wave pull back further and further until IT certification seemed no more important or relevant to finding work than any other checkbox sorts of attributes (degree, experience, and technical expertise).
In the last year, however, I’ve noticed that the wave seems to have hit its trough, and is now starting to come back in. What makes me say this? Several things: