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Certification Watch (Vol. 22, No. 39)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA considers the career path of a certified project manager, the IAPP says GDPR compliance is alarmingly lax, and more.

CompTIA Has Advice About Your Future in Project Management

 

Effective IT project management is a highly valued skill.In 2019, human resource managers want to hire workers who have good teamwork and collaboration skills, and businesses frequently assign tasks and outcomes to teams of two or more individuals. And with so many workplace teams pooling the efforts of individual workers in pursuit of larger goals, there's an increasingly important role for anyone who can take charge of one or more teams and guide them through a business undertaking from start to finish. So-called "project management" ability is an increasingly valued skill set in the IT realm, and tech industry association CompTIA has a blueprint to follow for aspiring project managers. As detailed in a recent post to the IT Career News blog, CompTIA blogger Jessica Frank says that project managers should expect to coordinate project phases and schedules, select the right employees for a project, delegate assignments, manage communication among all project stakeholders, track progress and adjust plans, and prepare and deliver reports. If you like to be in charge of things, in other words, and you're good at getting people to pull together, then project management (and CompTIA's Project+ certification) could be right for you.

 

Does Certification Help You Master Information Technology Skills?

 

Generally speaking, most people who champion the importance and efficacy of certification are promoting one of two outcomes. Certification is touted either as a means of amplifying one's earning power, or as a means of adding IT knowledge and skills to one's repertoire of employable abilities. There's a lot of data and research about whether people who certify get better pay. It's harder to quantify, on the other hand, the extent to which certificaiton is effective as a learning tool. Certification guru Mike Chapple (a sometime contributor to GoCertify) explores whether certification is a good way to learn IT concepts and acquire IT proficiencies. Chapple points out a number of benefits for those who use certification to learn and practice new tech skills. Chapple says that certification provides structure, for example, to people who learn best by following a detailed outline of interlocking concepts. Chapple also observes that certification often requires practice in lab environments, or via simulation, which lets people build up familiarity with processes that might otherwise not be accessible to them outside of a regular IT workplace. Certification may not be the same thing as formal education, but it would appear that it can effectively serve some of the same ends.

 

DevOps Is the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

 

Not to immediately contradict ourselves (in spirit, if not in strict point of fact), but one way in which sliced bread is decidedly superior to DevOps is that almost anyone could tell you what sliced bread actually is, and how it functions, and what you should use it for. Since none of those things are at all clear to most people about DevOps, articles that attempt to explain DevOps in layman's terms pop up here and there fairly frequently. Even the CBT Nuggets blog post that we just linked you to, for example, begins the section where it tries to explain what DevOps is with these words: "Despite its popularity, nailing down a clear and concise definition of DevOps is tough." See what we mean? Notwithstanding their own protestations of fuzzledness, the CBT Nuggets guys are pretty good at explaining stuff like this, so if you want to wrap your head around DevOps, then this is a good place to start.