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A lot of people hate this question... so I'll try to reword it.

Has Stack Overflow considered moving into an educational capacity that leads to something tangible like a certification?

The certification would be one that SE markets (perhaps at conferences) to businesses that helps to indicate developer competence.

For instance, you could have a C++ course and certificate, which would essentially show that others appreciate your insight in C++. One of the requirements for certification could be in contributing answers to C++ section of SO. SE could partner with a company like Pearson VUE to reaffirm someone's skill via a subject matter test. I see certifications such as CISSP, CCNA, etc in the "nice to have" section of job listings. Why can't SE have a cert?

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  • 3
    Isn't this just tag badges?
    – Cody Gray
    Oct 22 at 4:49
  • Good question. Thanks. I probably didn't word it very well. I feel like badges will never be seen in a job listing. I just think that maybe there could be a subset of badges that could be branded as certifications by being perhaps a prerequisite to a written exam or perhaps a stand alone. I don't want to suggest too many specifics as I want to hear others' creative thoughts too.
    – saintmeh
    Oct 22 at 4:52
  • 3
    Some people consider SO rep valuable! This was discussed here: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/271008/… Oct 22 at 5:17
  • Yeah. I guess.. I'm curious if there are(or should be) plans to make SO involvement more tailored to the hiring process. I thought a certification would speak to the language of many people in HR. It's a silly idea. I can see that it's not well received. Perhaps for many good reasons.
    – saintmeh
    Oct 22 at 5:40
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    Legitimate certification comes from properly accredited institutions, in some countries claiming to be a member of certain professions is illegal (Doctor, Engineer, etc.); you can't just make up things and expect them to be widely accepted. --- Places that aren't properly accredited are called a mill. --- It's much like there being people who can drive without a driver's license, they may even drive well when drunk, there's a reason that it's illegal; in practice it has been found to be dangerous.
    – Rob
    Oct 22 at 10:01
  • Wow... a lot of people hate this question. Feel free to delete it as it doesn't seem researched, useful, or clear. People have spent time answering this question... but I don't think this question will be useful to others. I'll stay away from SE meta.
    – saintmeh
    Oct 22 at 17:39
  • 2
    Voting on meta includes upvoting/downvoting to agree/disagree with a post's proposal, not just the post quality.
    – philipxy
    Oct 22 at 20:33
2
+150

Something along these lines does exist already but it's limited to Stack Overflow as it's offered through the Stack Overflow Developer Story

Stack Exchange has partnered with Pluralsight to offer skills tests within your developer story for some popular programming languages and those languages/tests are associated with the relevant Stack Overflow tags so you can show your proficiency via your tag score too.

Stack Overflow Meta has a tag that has questions about this integration.

Clearly this is aimed squarely at your next job rather than conferences but it does address your last paragraph, i.e it's displayed somewhere that a prospective employer might take note of it.

In theory this could be rolled out to other sites if they ever became big enough to justify it.

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  • I think it's important to mention that Pluralsight's test is ~10 minutes long and consists of 20 questions. An actual Final Exam at a recognized post secondary can exceed three hours, while in some cases you may have as little as 90 minutes. A Challenge Exam is of identical difficulty (though not a duplicate) to a course's final exam. [continued]
    – Rob
    Oct 27 at 0:20
  • [continuation] --- As a manager (or employer) I wouldn't accept Pluralsight's test, would Stack Exchange accept it; not based on their interview process.
    – Rob
    Oct 27 at 0:20

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