11 Developer Certifications That Will Give You An Edge

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Updated 10/9/2019

Developer and programming skills are in high demand, and this isn't changing anytime soon. Achieving a web developer certification, software developer certification, or programming certification can help you keep an edge in the market by making you stand out among your peers. You'll finally have the qualifications and best certifications for jobs that are a better fit, or for that big promotion. 

But before you dig in, it's important to learn which certification path is right for you. Let's take a look at 11 developer certification programs that are sure to help boost your career.

 

1. Microsoft (MTA)

MTA certification aims at high school and college students, or anyone who is an entry level web developer. The MTA Developer takes many tracks, including Windows development, software development, mobile, gaming and more. You can achieve certification on a single track or several. 

2. Microsoft Azure

Microsoft certifications are some of the most highly recognizable in the IT industry and carry a considerable cachet. The Microsoft Azure path covers cloud services for meeting business organizational challenges. With Azure, you’ll build, manage, and deploy scalable, highly available, and performant web applications. 

As a prereq, it is recommended that you have basic Microsoft technology and software development knowledge. 

3. Amazon Web Services (AWS Certified Developer – Associate Level)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides scalable cloud computing for creating Web applications. The AWS Certified Developer – Associate Level is for developers who design, build, and run applications on the AWS platform. 

The credential comes with no prerequisites, but you must take a multiple-choice exam on AWS fundamentals, plus designing, developing, and deploying cloud-based solutions, security, and debugging. 

4. Cloudera (CCDH)

Cloudera offers Apache Hadoop-based software to help enterprises crunch big data sets. Once you achieve Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH) certification, you can create, maintain, and optimize Apache Hadoop development projects. 

The exam covers Hadoop infrastructure, data management, job mechanics, and querying. No prerequisites here, either. 

5. Oracle (OCP, OCM, OCE)

Oracle offers numerous Oracle Java certifications at the Associate, Professional (OCP), Master (OCM), and Expert (OCE) levels. Its professional-level certifications typically require you to have an OCP Java Certification for Programmer or a Sun Certified Oracle Java certification for Programmer credential as a prerequisite. 

Exams are multiple choice and some include scenario-based questions. Passing scores vary by topic and credential.

The Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) MySQL 5.6 Developer credential identifies developers who write applications for MySQL database servers. This cert has no prerequisites, but Oracle recommends that you take the MySQL for Developers course. The single exam focuses on practitioner-level skills in all aspects of developing MySQL applications: architecture, syntax, design, modification, and more. 

6. Oracle (APEX)

Oracle might be best known for its database software, but the company also offers servers, storage systems, cloud solutions, and one of the world's most comprehensive certification programs. 

The Oracle Application Express Developer Certified Expert (Oracle APEX) is for developers who administer Application Express Workspaces. They also manage shared components, authorization, authentication, and session states within an application, and manage database objects using SQL Workshop. 

7. Puppet

Thousands of organizations like Zynga (Farmville), Cisco, and the New York Stock Exchange use Puppet IT automation software to help manage their infrastructures. A Puppet Labs Puppet Developer is proficient in creating Puppet Labs IT automation software extensions in the Ruby scripting language. Although no prerequisites for this cert are stated, Puppet Labs recommends that you prepare by taking Puppet Fundamentals and Ruby courses.

8. Red Hat

Red Hat is a well-established provider of open source software solutions, catering to over 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies. The Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer - RHCJD developer certification recognizes your ability to build Java Certification Enterprise Edition (JEE) applications on the JBoss Enterprise Middleware Application Platform or other JEE-compliant platforms. Red Hat also offers Certificates of Expertise in ESB and Camel development.

You must take a performance-based exam on developing enterprise-ready Web projects, which includes contexts (CDI), POJO/JEE components, identity information through APIs, Web/JSF components, Web navigation, and more.

9. Salesforce

Salesforce—one of the original providers of enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) software—now focuses on many facets of enterprise cloud computing and applications. The company's entry-level Salesforce.com Certified Developer identifies developers who design and build custom applications and analytics using the Force.com platform. Salesforce recommends that you take the Building Applications with Force.com and Visualforce training courses to prep for the exam.

To achieve certification, you must pass an exam that covers application design, the Force.com platform, data modeling, user interface, logic, data management, reporting, and analysis. 

Next, you can move on to the Salesforce.com Certified Advanced Developer certification, which focuses on skills required to use Apex and Visualforce to build custom applications, create test plans and perform tests, and manage the development lifecycle and environments. The organization's Developer certification is a prerequisite. 

10. Scrum

The Scrum Alliance is a member-based organization that promotes the use of Scrum through education, advocacy, and networking and collaboration. The entry-level Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) certification targets developers who understand Scrum principles and have knowledge of specialized Agile engineering skills.

The Scrum.org Professional Scrum Developer I (PSD I) is a professional-level certification for developers with experience building software using Scrum. This includes development practices, support tools and using Scrum effectively in your specialty, such as testing, coding, and designing.

11. Project Management

PMI is a nonprofit membership association, perhaps best known for its Project Management Professional (PMP) credential. The organization offers several certifications, including the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP). This cert recognizes developers with knowledge of agile project management principles, practices, tools, and techniques. You must have the following to qualify for the exam:

  • 2,000 hours of general project experience working on project teams, or an active PMP or PgMP certification

  • 1,500 hours working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies

  • 21 contact hours in agile practices

The exam covers agile tools, techniques, knowledge, and skills. PMI has a strong relationship with academia, so you'll find that many colleges and universities offering courses on its certifications include the PMI-ACP.

Pick a Web Developer Certification Path and Get to Work

Among the developer certifications listed here, professional developers at all stages of their careers should find interesting and engaging topics. I recommend digging more deeply into at least one of these offerings, talking to colleagues who've taken them on, and weighing the time, effort, and money required against the potential career payoffs. I'm betting most of you will find the trade-offs are in your favor.

For more information on certifications for software developers and more, check out our comprehensive post about becoming a software developer!

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Contributor

Ed Tittel

is a 30-plus-year veteran of the IT industry who's worked as a software developer, a project manager, a networking consultant, and a technical trainer. He's also the author of more than 100 computing books, and is perhaps best known for creating the Exam Cram series in 1997. Today, Ed still writes the occasional book, blogs regularly for TechTarget (IT Career JumpStart and Windows Enterprise Desktop), Tom’s IT Pro, and PearsonITCertification, and writes articles for a variety of Web sites. Visit his Web site at edtittel.com for more information.