In his article Three elements of certification success, Darren Hague, a friend and former colleague, argues that when software vendors are driving the certification process, there is a conflict of interest worth examining.
For example, in the case of Zend PHP certification which has been around for several years now, who ultimately benefits more from the programme – the software devs or Zend?
Currently Zend certification is one of the only options available to PHP devs who want to get accredited, however. But judging by general feedback from the community it would appear that, despite the current certification choices, quality discrepancies between PHP devs on the market can still be pretty … impressive.
Getting quality programmers is no problem as long as you have a bulletproof hiring process I hear you say – that’s another subject 😉
Darrens’ final comment gives a nice insight into why PHP certification might not be more widespread:
The third major element of certification is market demand. Of course, if you are a doctor or a lawyer, then you cannot legally practice unless you are certified, which certainly helps with the demand side of things. Unless professional IT certification is legislated (an unlikely prospect for the forseeable future), then certification will only succeed if customers demand it.
Maybe industry demand for certification is not higher due to the lack of independent certifying bodies?