As I curate the interesting news from across the API space each week, I tag things to put into different buckets. At the end of each week, I look through each bucket, deciding which area(s) I will be writing about each week. I am always trying to identify patterns and evolve the different areas of my research. One of the areas I'm considering adding as a formal area of API research has to do with certification.
I have been seeing the area come up quite a bit, making me think it is something I should be thinking more about and researching as its own project. Four items caught my attention:
- BigML Certifications Are Here! Professional certification on machine learning APIs, from a leading API provider.
- Better Business Bureau Yanks Wells Fargo's Accreditation. OK, not quite certification, but a classic representation and story to consider.
- Why Cybersecurity Certifications Suck. A look into why certifications can be better and applied in a critical area of the online world.
- Eligible Announces SOC2 Certification. Certification from an insurance API provider on their availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, or privacy.
These posts came after another four items, providing even more to think about when it comes to APIs and certification:
- A new certification program for Open Source Hardware. I certify that I am truly open source, not that faux open source you see a lot of; we are the real deal!
- Online Dante Certification Program Now Available. Professional certification on audio APIs from an older school software provider.
- Transform Your Business; Become a Google-Certified Professional Data Engineer. Professional certification that you know your stuff when it comes to data, specifically data in the Google ecosystem (data engineers are hot).
- IBM Launches Watson Application Developer Certification. Another professional certification for machine learning and artificial intelligence, this time from big blue.
There is a lot going on here when it comes to the concept of certification. I guess the BigML, Dante, and IBM certifications are more of what had in my head entering this post, but thinking about the shady sh*t that Wells Fargo has been up to, thoughts on certifying that you are "ethical open-source" or "honest open-source" are fascinating to ponder as part of the big picture.
Another thing that stands out for me in these certification stories is that there are two separate certifications for machine learning across the last two week. I can't help but think that there is some sort of purification going on in this ritual or a sort of validation of the thing behind the certification, meaning that if you certify that professionals know this thing, then the thing, must be a thing. Right? IDK, I just can't help but think more of the motivations behind doing certifications and the psychology behind how they are perceived (right or wrong).
I'm inches away from adding certification as an official API research area so that I can keep a closer eye on it. I've never been a big certification guy, but I understand why they exist and why some people invest in them. If I add it as a research area, I'll dive in deeper to map out which API certifications exist out there, and which ones might provide a good model for other API providers to look at, or maybe even what to consider not doing when crafting your certification program.