Best Computer Programming Certifications For 2017

29/12/2016 - 05:43

Whether you're choosing a language-specific or platform-oriented credential, it's worth looking at our top five programming certifications for IT pros, freshly updated for 2017.

 

MCSD App Builder: Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer App Builder

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer is Microsoft's prevailing certification for programmers and application developers. Microsoft professionals are probably most familiar with its five MCSD credentials: Web Applications, SharePoint Applications, Azure Solutions Architect, Application Lifecycle Management and Universal Windows Platform.

Microsoft revamped its MCSD certification program in September 2016 to more closely align with technical requirements commonly used by the Microsoft Partner Network. As a result, most MCSD credentials retire on March 31, 2017. MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect will be replaced by the MCSE: Cloud and Platform Infrastructure credential. All other MCSD credentials (Web Applications, SharePoint Applications, Application Lifecycle Management and Universal Windows Platform) will be replaced by the MCSE: App Builder credential.

MCSD: App Builder is focused on application developers and validates a candidate's knowledge and technical skills necessary to build web services, web applications and mobile apps. To earn the credential, candidates must first obtain either the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Web Applications or MCSA: Universal Windows Platform certification. Then, candidates must pass one MCSD elective exam. Currently, elective exams include concentrations in the following areas:

  • Microsoft Azure (solutions and web services)
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server (2013 core and advanced solutions)
  • Universal Windows Platform (app architecture and UX/UI, or app data, services and coding patterns)
  • Microsoft Visual Studio (administering team foundation servers, software testing and application lifecycle management)

Candidates who already possess the MCSD: Universal Windows Platform, Web Application or SharePoint Applications certifications earn the MCSD: App Builder credential without taking any additional exams.

Recertification is not required for the MCSD: App Builder credential. However, candidates may re-earn the credential each year by passing a new elective exam that is added to their transcripts. Microsoft encourages this behavior as a form of constant education or ongoing certification, in fact.

 

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer is Microsoft's prevailing certification for programmers and application developers. Microsoft professionals are probably most familiar with its five MCSD credentials: Web Applications, SharePoint Applications, Azure Solutions Architect, Application Lifecycle Management and Universal Windows Platform.

Microsoft revamped its MCSD certification program in September 2016 to more closely align with technical requirements commonly used by the Microsoft Partner Network. As a result, most MCSD credentials retire on March 31, 2017. MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect will be replaced by the MCSE: Cloud and Platform Infrastructure credential. All other MCSD credentials (Web Applications, SharePoint Applications, Application Lifecycle Management and Universal Windows Platform) will be replaced by the MCSE: App Builder credential.

MCSD: App Builder is focused on application developers and validates a candidate's knowledge and technical skills necessary to build web services, web applications and mobile apps. To earn the credential, candidates must first obtain either the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Web Applications or MCSA: Universal Windows Platform certification. Then, candidates must pass one MCSD elective exam. Currently, elective exams include concentrations in the following areas:

  • Microsoft Azure (solutions and web services)
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server (2013 core and advanced solutions)
  • Universal Windows Platform (app architecture and UX/UI, or app data, services and coding patterns)
  • Microsoft Visual Studio (administering team foundation servers, software testing and application lifecycle management)

Candidates who already possess the MCSD: Universal Windows Platform, Web Application or SharePoint Applications certifications earn the MCSD: App Builder credential without taking any additional exams.

Recertification is not required for the MCSD: App Builder credential. However, candidates may re-earn the credential each year by passing a new elective exam that is added to their transcripts. Microsoft encourages this behavior as a form of constant education or ongoing certification, in fact.

 

CSSLP: Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional

Like all (ISC)2 certifications, the CSSLP is a vendor-neutral credential that is relevant to many different programming and development projects. Aimed at software developers, QA testers and the like, the CSSLP recognizes competency in securing applications throughout the software development lifecycle.

The exam covers all phases of the lifecycle, including secure software concepts, requirements, design, implementation and coding, and testing. Candidates should also be up to speed on software acceptance, deployment, operations, maintenance and disposal, along with supply chain and software acquisition.

Interestingly enough, the CSSLP was the first (ISC)2 exam to be offered through Pearson VUE testing centers, instead of occasional pencil-and-paper testing at various scheduled and proctored testing sites globally. As such, this certification has done a lot to bring (ISC)2 into the 21st century, cert-wise. According to (ISC)2, the CSSLP is the only credential that currently emphasizes building security into the software development lifecycle phases and inclusion of best practices.

 

C and C++ Certifications

The programming languages C and C++ have been around for years, making their debut in the 1960s to 1970s (C) and the 1980s to 1990s (C++). Although nearly every college and university in the U.S. offers a C/C++ programming course, the C++ Institute and Pearson VUE decided to carve a niche in the certification landscape by offering the world's first international C/C++ certifications.

Candidates can choose the C or the C++ path, and move up the cert ladder from associate to professional to senior. Of the six potential certifications, four certifications are currently available:

  • CLA: C Programming Language Certified Associate
  • CLP:  C Certified Professional Programmer
  • CPA: C++ Certified Associate Programmer
  • CPP: C++ Certified Professional Programmer

The remaining exams on the horizon are the CLS: C Certified Senior Programmer and the CPS: C++ Certified Senior Programmer.

C++ Institute certifications are good for life because the languages haven't changed much over the years. But that doesn't mean there isn't high demand for these skills. And a C/C++ certification is a perfect steppingstone to many platform- and vendor-specific certs, such as the MCSD.

 

PCP: Puppet Certified Professional

New to our top five in 2017 is the Puppet Certified Professional (PCP). Founded in 2005 by Luke Kanies, Puppet is best known for its configuration management software tool (offered in both open source and commercial formats) and its automation software. Since its inception, Puppet has grown considerably. Its reach now extends to offices not only in the U.S. (Portland, Oregon) but in London, Ireland, Australia and the Czech Republic as well. According to Puppet, more than 30,000 companies use the Puppet tool and software.

The PCP validates a candidate's technical knowledge and expertise administering systems using Puppet. While there are no formal requirements to earn the PCP, successful candidates should possess an understanding of Puppet documentation and best practices, working with data (developing modules, external sources and data separation), and maintaining OS components.

Candidates should also have hands-on experience using Puppet, and the company highly recommends that candidates take both the Foundation and Practitioner training courses (or possess equivalent skills) before attempting the exam. The cert does not expire, but exams are updated to match the current version of Puppet software. Candidates should plan on recertifying about every 18 months on the newest version of Puppet.

 

SSCE: SaltStack Certified Engineer

Another newcomer to the top five for 2017 is the SaltStack Certified Engineer (SSCE). Developed by Thomas S. Hatch, SaltStack is award-winning software that focuses on data center management (virtualization, cloud, hybrid cloud, code, applications, software, configuration management, infrastructure and application configuration management). SaltStack is unique in that it provides for the automation of tasks related to DevOps, ITOps and CloudOps.

The SSCE validates a candidate's knowledge and real-world experience implementing Salt solutions. The exam covers topics such as common Salt execution and state modules, configuration, using states and pillars, authenticating keys, security and templates.

Two training courses are required to earn the credential: Administration I and Administration II. Each comes with a healthy price tag ($2,195 and $2,495, respectively), making this one of the more expensive credentials to earn. Administration I covers topics such as installing, configuring and using remote execution modules. Administration II builds on the skills learned in Administration I and introduces cloud integration, provisioning and deploying, alternative topologies, execution paths, security, troubleshooting, and best practices.

(tomsitpro.com)

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