I have done a lot of searching on google about the respectability of Brain Bench tests in the Job Market and found many opposing points of view on whether they are worth the money, and whether they get any respect in the Job Market. Some people have claimed that they helped them get a Job, and other people say to not put them on your resume or CV.
What is your opinion? Does anyone have any related experience or insight into the value of a Brainbench certification? [ March 07, 2006: Message edited by: Stu Higgs ]
Thanks for the replies I appreciate your opinions. Allow me to share some information with you. A tehnical team lead/hiring manager from one of the largest Software Development companies in the United States told me I should take some of the Brain Bench tests to back up my resume while I am en route to the SCJP and other various Sun certifications. Any other opinions out there? Maybe from hiring managers or technical leads who make hiring decisions? Thanks.
I suppose that it's an interesting view point from the tech lead or hiring manager that you spoke to, though I think you'll find that thoughts vary around the industry. *shrugs* Where I work, we don't put much stock in Brainbench certifications when we're making hiring decisions (it doesn't hurt one's chances at our firm, but it's not going to help), but that's not to say that other firms don't consider them.
Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!
If I am evaluating applicants, I can use Brainbench to test them. But I will want to see the difficulty of the exam, so that I will know how to judge the score.
Joined: Jan 01, 2006
Interesting input. Thanks. I'm starting to lean towards this pattern of thought...even if it is a neutral factor in some of the cases to have the results of Brainbench tests available to a potential employer, it may be a positive factor in other cases. For example, I read yesterday that Tek Systems will at times require job candidates to take a Brainbench evaluation. Tek Systems has a pretty big market presence in the IT consultant sector. I also did some more digging via google and found cases where it was considered atleast an indication of someone's knowledge in the area being tested. So I think, as you said Theodore, it looks like the consensus of opinions are going vary.
For the difficulty Jesus, I can speak from experience today because I have just taken take the JSP 2.1 from Brainbench. It was a thorough exam and whats nice about it is that it shows you where you are weak and where you are strong. So if I was to take it again after studying the weak areas, I can do better than previous exam, hence it fosters learning. In this sense I think it is a good tool for learning and that it should carry some weight with prospective employers as an evaluation tool because someone is not going to do well unless they really do understand the subject matter and have experience writing the code. Thats just my opinion based on experience with writing Servlets, Tag Libs, JSP and Beans for five years. How it compares to the Sun SCWCD I have no idea, but from my own experience I think it was a good evaluation of someones knowledge.
Joined: Jun 07, 2005
What you have said about learning is true and it is not limited to brainbenchs "certifications".
regarding SCJP and SCWCD there are lots of free -matured- tests that will help you to find your weak areas. At javaranch there is a lot of links and resources...
btw, many of the participants of these forums have recognized certifications , you wont see "Brainbench Certified at ***".
Any way, try and compare with resources and make your conclusions.
You got me curious, Stu. I used to think the Brainbench certs were worthless but I hadn't tried one in years. So to be fair, I tried the Brainbench Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) 1.4 test (free).
I didn't think the questions were very good. It covered topics widely spanning all of J2EE but they were very... cloudy, for lack of a better word. Anyway, I passed the exam but I certainly don't feel like I achieved anything.
I do not recommend spending a penny on Brainbench nor would I give much merit to a resume that listed them.
Jesus is a software engineer? A Java developer? I knew I picked the right field!
(Sorry, Dayquil sux)
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Unless you really suck at it. Then, you might just want to try something else, if you dont' want to be a loser I mean.
Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Ok in all seriousness, are any of you guys familiar with Damien Conway or Larry Wall from the Perl universe?
A number of years ago there was a great debated among the Perl'ies about whether or not to endorse a Perl-based certification. These guys were against it completely. In fact, as the story goes, Damien offered to send anyone who asked certificate of "Perl Mastery", which Larry offered to sign.
To these guys, the idea that a company could invent a test, make people pay money to take the test, and then award certifications based on test performance, was ludicrus.
Of course, I laughed quite heartily, and watched as the various Java certifications feel into disrepute as people without coding experience started passing the test by purchasing "Brain Dumps" of various types.
A few years later, I wonder if any of that has changed? Well, I see fewer JCP's than I once did; a result both of outsourcing and the market driving out sham testers. I also see fewer "brain-dumps" available as Sun, IBM and others start clamping down on sites selling their test questions outright.
I think its true that you get what you pay for. Or at least, the amount of money an individual must pay to take a test is indirectly proportional to thier willingness to give away the answers. If you took a BrainBench test for free, what investment have you made to keep the test an accurate measure of skill?
I do have another certification, a PMP from an organization called PMI. That test was 200 questions long, took 4 hours, came from a body of knowledge 12 volumes long, cost over $500.00 to take, and required that I first document 8,000 hours of work in that field just to qualify to take that test. You can't buy the questions to that test, and the reputable orgs that prepare test takers focus on a lot of things, but not rote question memorization.
Anyhow, in my highly conceipted opinion, Brainbench isn't really worth your time. Take the Sun test, or if you are able, take the IBM. Then, remember the hard work you invested in test-preparation and dont' defraud your certification by giving away the answers.
Just my thoughts.
Mike Van, PMP
Joined: Jan 01, 2006
How bout I take my Psychology graduate, self taught programming/java/j2ee web application developing butt and wipe it with all the certs?
Seriously, I hear you loud and clear. I was just trying to be helpful because maybe someone out there might gain something from it. Brainbench helped my career by opening a door and maybe it could help someone elses...not sure where the recruiter would have found me if I didn't have it especially since I was for the time being content to stay at the small crap coupe I was working in. I'm glad I took the time to do it. [ August 14, 2006: Message edited by: Stu Higgs ]
Since December 2000, I passed more than 200 Brainbench exmas, they expire after 3 years. About their respect, not much really. I never got any credit except for my first 4 tests that were part of a performance appraisal system in the company I worked for, in 2000. Earlier all tests were free and then I got a free subscription which they gave it to me when published my interview on their site http://www.brainbench.com/xml/bb/benchpress/benchpress.xml?contentId=1851 after it finished, my boss sponsored my subscription which I haven't made use of at all.
Brainbench certs just give personal satisfaction of knowing that you know a subject matter, no concrete value in the market.
Quality wise, not bad at all. Some of the tests such as Java 2.0, Java - XML etc, are really good. [ August 17, 2006: Message edited by: Sumit Amar ]
Just saw this thread about the respectability of Brainbench exams. I believe that these exams from Brainbench should be used only for personal satisfaction and to test your knowledge when you are new to any technology in which Brainbench is offering the exams. As far as the value addition of these exams is conseerned, there is nothing better than an exam like SCJD. We should have more exams like SCJD in other technologies as well.