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Node.js Foundation Readies Official Developer Certification

| by David Iffland Follow 3 Followers on Oct 05, 2017. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

The Node.js Foundation is putting the finishing touches on their new Node.js Developer Certification, with plans to release it in December.

The certification is different than what developers may be used to. It’s all code. InfoQ spoke with Node.js Foundation Education community manager Tracy Hinds, who said the goal is for the exam to be realistic:

We want it to be as realistic to how someone is normally programming, because that can throw them off in their ability succeed. It’s in-browser. It’s an environment that you’re used to. You get the IDE to be able to code in, you get to run your code, just like you would on the command line on your own terminal.

The test, which will cost $300, is proctored but not in person; it’s done in the test taker’s own space. Exam takers will need to have a camera because the proctors have to be able to see the taker throughout the exam. It’s expected that most will complete the 32 question exam in under three hours.

Essentially, the exam provides incomplete projects or apps and the taker needs to make them work. “Making it work” includes ensuring the tests pass.

Like many IT certifications, there is hope from both employers and prospective employees. In an era of coding boot camp proliferation, employers have wanted something like an official Node.js certification in order to validate candidate knowledge. Similarly, job seekers who may not have traditional backgrounds in computer science have wanted a way to prove that they have the knowledge required for the job. “Someone [needed] to establish a base level of what you need to know in Node to succeed, at a basic level, in the workplace,” says Hinds.

The certification will start with a single level and the intention is for that candidate to be an early-to-intermediate level developer who can “hit the ground running”. Hinds says that the exam will tell employers that this person isn’t just a general knowledge developer, but that they can:

work on a team primarily writing Node, and that they’re going to be helpful. They’re not going to be slowing down their team; they’re going to be aiding the team.

For the certification to maintain its value, the Node.js Foundation will need to constantly monitor and update the exam to account for cheating and changes in the technology. Because of this, a candidate who wishes to put “Node.js Certified Developer” on their resume will need to re-certify in two years.

The Node.js Foundation has teamed up with HackerRank to build the limited exam environment. While the tooling and general categories was done by the community in the open, the actual exam questions are closed. Hinds says this was done to ensure that they didn’t “compromise the integrity of the questions themselves.”

The beta test candidates have already been chosen, but the Foundation hopes for the live exam to be ready by December 11th, 2017.

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