Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 14:36:09 -0400
Reply-To: Michael Davis <michael@BASSETTCONSULTING.COM>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From: Michael Davis <michael@BASSETTCONSULTING.COM>
Subject: Re: SAS Certification
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At 11:44 AM 04/27/1999, Jack Hamilton <JackHamilton@FIRSTHEALTH.COM> wrote:
>The problem I see with the certification tests is not that they exist but
>we have no confidence in them. As far as I know, they're not peer reviewed
>- >no one on SAS-L, at least, has admitted to being consulted about the
>usefulness of the questions or the correctness of the suggested answers.
>From what I've heard, some of the test questions *are* useless and some of
>the answers *are* arguably incorrect. The fact that SAS Institute
>participated in the creation of the tests does not, by itself, mean that
>the tests are valid.
As an aside, the beta testers at SUGI were consulted after the fact. As we
took the test, we were afforded the ability to type in comments about the
questions. I was sitting next to S. David Riba and his keyboard and heard
him comment up a storm <g>. Also, the folks at SI involved with the
certification program were immediately outside the test area and were
interested in any comments we cared to share upon exiting the room.
For the record (and at some risk since I will not receive my score for
another month or so), my opinion of the test was that it was a fair
examination of my knowledge of the SAS language. There were more questions
on the TABULATE procedure than I had prepared for but then again, I
probably was more comfortable with the access and view descriptors than
some other folks that don't work with the SAS/ACCESS products. I suspect
it all comes out in the wash.
Does certification measure anyone's ability to solve typical business
problems? Maybe not but such a test is much further down the road and we
may never get there. Will certification results be abused and
misinterpreted? Perhaps but that is the danger of categorizing any
I suspect that deep-down, much of the hostility over SAS certification is
the notion that someone else is attempting to pass judgement over how good
a SAS'er you may be. My view is that it is useful information for myself
and others to have about my abilities. However, it is only one piece of
testimony as to whether I would be a good resource to enlist in the cause
of advancing a SAS project.
- Michael "Mad Doggy" Davis
Michael L. Davis
Bassett Consulting Services, Inc.
10 Pleasant Drive
North Haven CT 06473-3712