Development

Got Node.js Skills? Soon, There Will Be a Cert for That

30 Jan 2017 6:00am, by

We have all had moments when working with Node.js left us feeling a bit, well, certifiable. A new professional certification track from the Node.js Foundation will make it official.

Every month more than 4.5 million people use the Node.js platform to build, debug, test and maintain JavaScript applications. Organizations of every size and service — such as NASA, Uber, and Capital One — rely upon Node.js for full stack development.

However, there are myriad striations of proficiency within that cohort and — up until now — no easy way for engineers to signify their fluency in Node.js, or for organizations to verify competency.

How is a company to know that a potential hire measures up? How can a freelance developer effectively advertise their mad Node skillz? Clearly, both sides of the hiring process could benefit from a universal standard of Node.js prowess.

Happily, that standard will soon be established: this week, the Node.js Foundation announced its brand spanking new Node.js Certified Developer Program. Expected to be available by the second quarter of 2017, the self-paced online exam will verify — and, even more concretely, certify — a baseline competency with the platform.

“Whether it’s large enterprises looking to retrain Java developers or contractors and consultants looking to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, this certification program proves developers can hit the ground running when given a Node.js project,” said Tracy Hinds, education community manager for the foundation.

Once it is up and running, she continued, this certification “will be one of the biggest vendor-neutral programming language certification programs available,” Hinds said. Those who will benefit include developers looking to differentiate themselves in the market with verified Node.js experience, companies looking to boost or verify competency within their internal talent pool or among job applicants, and even those at the very beginning of their tech careers looking to acquire these very in-demand skill sets.

Prime candidates for the cert would be proficient “in JavaScript with the Node.js platform to build, debug, test and maintain secure framework-independent applications and CLI tools,” according to the Foundation. They should understand how to effectively handle asynchronous I/O effectively, as well as “efficiently manipulate, transform and persist various data using HTTP, files, streams, and multiple processes,” according to the Foundation. They should also be able to work with 3rd party modules effectively.

Pricing for the self-paced, online exam, which is expected to take about 3.5 hours, is still to be determined. Topics to be covered on the exam will be publicized, and the Foundation will be providing resources to help candidates study and prepare for the certification.

The program’s roots stretch back to July 2016, when the foundation assembled a working group to sketch out the framework for what a Node.js certification would encompass. This core group worked via virtual meetings to establish the core skills, knowledge and abilities that should be demonstrated by anyone passing the certification exam. A live Job Task Analysis (JTA) workshop was held during the Node Interactive 2016 to build out an exam “blueprint.”

Specific topics for the exam have been identified, and the foundation is now seeking volunteers to help write the actual questions. But each volunteer will write only one question: to prevent anyone from getting an inside track on the certification test, volunteers are limited to writing a single question and will not have access to the majority of other test questions. This way, you can contribute to the exam and still be eligible to take it, and become certified, yourself.

Anyone intermediate to advanced in Node.js is encouraged to get involved.  According to the Foundation, the time commitment consists of “a 1.5 hour intro webinar, which will review the format and how to write the question, as well as 2-5 hours​ to cover writing and reviewing the question with the core Item Review team.”

Interested in helping out? Apply to the Node.js Foundation Certification Development Item Writing Workshop Sessions.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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