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Unique opportunity to re-enter certification land

Discussion in 'CIW Certifications' started by tripwire45, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I can't believe it's been more than a year since I've posted on CertForums. I used to practically live here, but my life took a different direction. Now it looks like I'm coming back "home," at least for awhile.

    I'm currently working for a development company that produces an enterprise level web application. Although I'm considered the technical writer, I report directly to the VP of marketing and, among other things, do some minor maintenance on two of our websites (we hire a web design firm to do the heavy lifting).

    It's the end of the year so it's performance review time, so I had to set out some goals for next year and in discussion, the idea of improving my knowledge of web design and management came up. Frankly, I'm lousy at picking up a book and just learning stuff without guidelines and a little pressure. One of the people in another department just finished the CIW Web Design Professional certification and, given my goals and the fact that I know just enough about making websites to get my face slapped, it seemed like a good fit.

    The certification also has an e-commerce component which seems a good match since my company works primarily with e-commerce clients.

    Are there any caveats or gotchas I should be aware of before presenting this cert as a proposal for my boss?

    Thanks.

    Oh, and if any "old timers" are around and see this, stop by and say "hi."

    -Trip
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    If you're actually interested in web development I'd do this :-
    Exam 70-480: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3

    If you just want to talk to your boss like you understand web development, then do the CIW, but really you're paying for nothing you couldn't learn on google in about 2 hours, the papers pretty much worthless.

    Oh and welcome back !
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  3. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the advice and the "welcome back." :)
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Welcome back Mr :)

    No idea on the web certs, it's not my thang - do whatever dmarsh says - he's the boss ;)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  5. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    The CIW Certs are OK to give you a basic understanding of what is going on, but they don't actually teach you how to 'do' anything. Does that make them any different to other Certs? Dunno.
    They are probably a bit lightweight for a man of your intellectual girth...
    Oh, and welcome back.
    Haven't been around myself for a while.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  6. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Hmmm. Beginning to believe I'll have to rethink my strategy. Don't think there are any other certifications that map to web design/development, tho.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  7. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Hi Mate,

    Long time :)

    Anyway, if work will be paying for them, why not go for the CIW quals? dmarsh suggested the Microsoft route, the MCSD. Or if you're working with Adobe products, there's the ACA and ACE certifications :)
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  8. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Hi Ken. Actually, I'm not interested in a vendor specific certification. I'm more interested in gaining general web design skills. As I think I mentioned above, I'm responsible for routine maintenance of two of the company's websites. I do what I can but the web design/development company working with my boss (VP of Marketing) does all the heavy lifting. Frankly, the more I can do, the less we have to rely on them. It's not that we're trying to cut them out, but there are a lot of tasks that they don't really want to do. If I can learn to do more, it's a win-win situation, plus it doesn't hurt my CV any.

    I'm still debating the CIW path, but at the core is the requirement to learn and retain skill sets related to web design and maybe at some point, basic web development. I can already do vanilla HTML, but that's pretty easy. I'd like to better my skills there as well as become as comfortable with CSS as I am with HTML. You can't really deal with websites these days without learning some JavaScript as well.

    I'm choosing the certification route because my learning style is more adaptable to an organized educational venues rather than raw self-study. I can get all the books I want on web design, but I need some sort of structure for my learning and if I don't use these skills constantly, I'll forget them. I want this one to stick.

    Any other ideas?
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  9. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Well, in all honesty, for something like web design there is no real comparison to just getting out there and building websites.
    There are loads of great books and sites giving you examples and tips.
    As we've said so many times on this forum, certs are great at validating existing skills but poor at teaching new ones.
    So unless a cert in web design is mandated by your employer, then it may not be the place to go.

    I'm not dissing CIW by the way, I found them very interesting and they do cover a large range of subjects. So rather than go for the generic web design path, it might be more rewarding to look at the slightly less common paths such as security or databases.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I know its a vendor cert, but since JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3 are now well established standards and IE11 is at last nearly compliant I see no real reason not to take the MS web cert. Its also cheaper than CIW.

    If you want structured training of the online variety, look at coursera, udacity, codeschool, codecademy, pluralsight and lynda.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
    tripwire45 likes this.
  11. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Actually, when I was looking at the 70-480 exam, I came across the book Programming with HTML5, with JavaScript and CSS3 and a number of the reviews at Amazon said it was helpful, even if you're not planning on taking the exam. That's encouraging, except I don't have Windows 8 and I don't find it necessary to learn Visual Studio in order to acquire the skills I need.

    I don't really need a certification since my goal is to improve my web design skills. A certification study program just seemed like an organized way to approach my learning tasks.

    dmarsh, when you made your last set of recommendations, I realized I'd been visiting codecademy off and on for awhile now. I just logged in and found that I had just started the CSS basics lesson, having gone through their HTML content. Also, a friend here at work recommended lynda.

    If I wasn't keen on the Microsoft-oriented book "Programming with HTML5, with JavaScript and CSS3" (I work on a Mac on the job and Windows 7 at home), is there an analogous book that of the same quality that wouldn't necessitate Windows 8 and VS?

    Sorry to be a bug about this, but with each reply, I continue to process the information and revise my plan. Some of the certifications sound intriguing, but not absolutely necessary. More than anything, I need practical skills to manage and maintain the company's two websites.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  12. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    You shouldn't need to "learn visual studio or windows 8", its not part of the certification as far as I am aware, where did you get this impression ?

    You can edit HTML in visual studio but its not required, visual studio makes an ok free HTML editor and can be picked up in a few minutes.

    On the Mac you could try something like WebStorm to get a similar experience.

    Yes certification is not required for web skills and is pretty meaningless, just depends on how you prefer to learn.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  13. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I read all of the reviews of the aforementioned book on Amazon and several mentioned Windows 8 and Visual Studio as a requirement. In the meantime, I went back to Codecademy and realized I had stopped in the middle of a tutorial, right at the beginning of Introduction to CSS. Had some downtime at work, so I went through a few of the CSS tutorials. Seems like a good place to start. I'll look into WebStorm.

    I prefer to learn in as organized a fashion as possible, which is why I like classrooms, but if I can get into a book or books and online tutorials that "speak to me," then that's OK, too.

    Thanks.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  14. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Windows 8, Visual Studio, Blend, Signal R, Windows 8 Apps, are not learning objectives for the exam, it sounds like the book strays out of exam objectives to cover 'interesting' or MS tech occasionally

    Having said that they choose Node.js over IIS and Signal R so they do try to keep it neutral by the sound of it.

    Blend is two products an MS HTML editor and also a XAML editor. Just think of Dreamweaver, its not required for the exam, I'd just skip that chapter. You could play with Visual Studio as a HTML editor at home and the book would probably be fine.

    However agreed there are loads of ways to learn web dev, you don't need a book or a cert.

    MS market their stuff pretty hard, and as I've mentioned, certification is really part of their marketing arm, so you have to expect exam training questions on VS (although you could probably guess most of these) etc. Other than that the book looks fine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  15. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Ok. Purchased. The book will be here next week. In the meantime, I've got plenty to do at Codecademy, plus learning about the specific platform hosting my company's websites, plus all the other stuff I need to do around here.

    Thanks for all the help, everyone. I'll keep you posted as things develop.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+

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