A Partner’s Perspective on Certification: Part 1
by Ramy Nassar
Contributed by Ramy Nassar - Director of Business Development, Myplanet
You’re certainly not alone if you’re looking to build a new digital platform or application. There are literally tens of thousands of companies in North America lined up ready to help you achieve that vision. More often than not, these companies will use some form of open source software or platform, and when it comes to open-source platforms, the question is, how do you separate experience from embellishment? How can anyone tell the difference between experience and exaggeration?
When it comes to closed platforms (Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, etc.) there are many industry-accepted certification programs out there, that serve as benchmarks for technical knowledge and capacity. Until recently, those adopting open-source solutions had very few options for evaluating technical capacity and verifying competence.
As a provider of digital solutions, one of the biggest challenges Myplanet faces, day-in and day-out, is helping our clients understand the complexities of building a truly meaningful, robust, and user-centred solution. Not only is it hard work, but it takes time, patience and most of all, experience. Open-source platforms like Wordpress and Drupal are incredibly powerful tools out of the box, but without technical expertise, that’s where the enterprise value ends.
Over the past 12 months, Myplanet has come to put more developers through the Acquia Developer Certification Program than any other company in Canada. While the experience and education needed to master Drupal is important, it’s been equally important as a tool to educate our clients and partners on the significance of this certification. A formal certification program helps set a benchmark that developers can be measured against and helps ensure that members of the team have the technical capacity and experience to deliver world-class digital solutions.
We expect our clients and partners to hold us accountable to the standard set by the Developer Certification, just as we hold our team members accountable. We’re not shy when it comes to admitting that about one third of our developers didn’t pass the exam on their first attempt (we’re also not shy to boast that they all aced it on their second pass), which helped us to realize that the certification is more than just a credential; it’s a meaningful benchmark and one that can be used to differentiate between agencies that can talk the talk, and ones that can walk the walk.
As the number of digital development companies and agencies continues to grow, and the impact of open-source platforms accelerates, performing the proper due diligence when evaluating your next strategic partner, staff augmentation provider, or anyone who help’s you execute on your digital strategy has never been more important.