Cloud certificates are proof of developer’s competence. But are they beneficial in practice?
I am talking about the certification diploma rather than the learning process. Learning is always worthwhile!
Let’s think cloud certificates from different perspectives.
Who provide cloud certifications?
All the big cloud providers. AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
Developers can proof their skills
In most cases the value of certificates for a developer is positive.
They might be beneficial when applying for a new job. In a consultancy the certificate might help getting to a favorite project. On the other hand, the developer might be pushed to an unpleasant project just because nobody else fulfills the requirements.
I feel that learning is more focused when the completion of the certificate is the clear goal. On the other hand the learning time is not optimized, because theory and exam answering techniques get too much emphasis.
Minimal value for business oriented tech roles
For roles between business and tech the value is close to zero. For the Google certificate I noticed that 80% of the preparation time goes to learn the last 20% of the content. That 20% is required to pass the exam, but it is not practical at all.
Consultancies benefit from certified employees
Consulting companies benefit the most from cloud certified employees among all groups. Certificate help selling developer work and projects.
Certifying team members as a corporate team manager
They get zero benefit from certifying existing team members.
Learning provides value for the team, but passing a certificate exam does not. Preparing to certificate exam is pressuring and time consuming.
IT service buyers should be cautious
Cloud certificates vary. Some or easy, some are difficult. The IT service buyers especially in the public sector might think they are all the same.
I heard that for a basic Azure certificate you pretty much need to know the names of different services. Personally I have been preparing for Google Cloud Professional Machine Learning Engineer certificate for 3 months and I am not ready to go to the exam yet.
Know what you are asking for!