Computer coding certifications are a great way to stand out from the competition. Pursuing a certificate showing off knowledge and skills in specialties related to development is a good way of accomplishing that competitive differentiation.
And right now, computer coding, programming, and development are some of the most in-demand skills in the modern job market. Businesses are increasingly reliant on digital infrastructure, and they need developers to build and maintain these applications.
Certifications demonstrate knowledge and expertise in a particular area. This is true for any field, but certification can benefit computer coders and developers.
While it is not uncommon for companies to have programming tests as part of their interview process, these tests are often unrealistic. They don’t test an applicant’s knowledge of the full range of potential topics.
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Featured Coding Certifications
|Professional Certificate in Coding
|University of California, Berkeley
|University of Texas at Austin
What are Computer Coding Certifications?
Computer coding certifications are industry-recognized credentials that attest to your proficiency in specific programming languages, frameworks, and development tools.
These certifications assess your ability to apply coding skills to solve real-world problems and implement software solutions.
Why are Computer Coding Certifications Important?
Pursuing computer coding certifications offers a plethora of benefits, including:
- Job application success: Many job postings list experience in particular languages or look for specific credentials. Many of these postings are set up and managed by non-technical personnel looking for certain keywords in resumes. Having those keywords (i.e., certain certifications) helps to ensure that an applicant’s resume isn’t inappropriately discarded.
- Higher salary: Certifications demonstrate in-demand skills. In general, developers holding certifications for in-demand skills have higher salaries than those who don’t. The certification indicates that the person possesses the knowledge and experience they claim.
- Specialization: Specialized roles often pay more and are higher-ranged than general ones due to the lack of qualified candidates. Pursuing a specialization through certification can help with career advancement.
- Lower prices: Earning a bachelor’s in computer science or a similar field provides a lot of the same knowledge and prestige as a certification; however, certifications are much less expensive than degrees. A coding certification provides differentiation without a high price tag.
Benefits of Getting a Computer Coding Certification
Earning a computer coding certification can bring about numerous benefits, including:
- Increased Job Opportunities: Certifications expand your career prospects by making you more visible to potential employers seeking qualified candidates.
- Higher Salary Potential: Certified professionals often command higher salaries due to their validated skills and expertise.
- Career Advancement Opportunities: Certifications can open doors to promotions and leadership roles within your current organization or in new career paths.
- Industry Recognition: Certifications provide industry-recognized validation of your programming skills and knowledge.
- Enhanced Confidence: Certifications boost your confidence in your abilities, making you a more effective and valuable contributor in the tech industry.
Pursuing a Developer Certification
The developer certifications described here are designed mainly to be “entry-level” credentials. While some may recommend or require a certain level of experience in a particular environment (like the cloud ones), most can be achieved via independent study.
Additionally, most developer certification exams can be taken online, so there is no need to find and visit a testing center. This means that many of these credentials are within reach of most developers.
By learning a skill set that relates to your core job and demonstrating those skills with a certification, you can take an easy but significant step towards advancement in your career.
Many coding certifications offered online are low-cost. This means they have minimal impact on a job and can often pay for themselves by opening doors to new job opportunities or promotions.
Find the Right Computer Coding Certification
For developers, knowledge of how to program is a fundamental requirement. In many cases, once you know how programming works, learning a new language is simply a matter of learning the syntax and common functions.
For this reason, most computer coding certifications are focused on specializations. While companies may look for competency in particular languages (and certifications exist to prove that knowledge), demonstrating skills and abilities outside of programming can be more prestigious and lucrative.
Different organizations look for different programming languages in their applicants. Some major tech companies have developed their languages in-house (like Google’s Go).
In contrast, others build their applications using the most popular languages or those best suited to their needs.
There is likely at least one certification designed to demonstrate a programmer’s knowledge of each programming language. Some of the top programming languages commonly used today are C/C++, Java, Python, and Ruby, and the following certifications demonstrate experience with each:
- C/C++: The C++ Institute offers two different certification paths for C and one for C++. Each path provides an associate and professional-level credential that certifies that a developer has basic or advanced proficiency in that language.
- Oracle Certified Professional: Oracle is the creator of the Java programming language and offers two certification paths: for Java EE and Web Services and for Java SE developers. The Java EE and Web Services path is a single-level certification, while an applicant can earn a series of certificates for Java SE development.
- Python Institute: The Python Institute offers a series of four certifications designed to demonstrate expertise in developing with Python. The Entry and Associate levels demonstrate broad programming knowledge and experience with Python, while the Professional certifications focus on deep knowledge of particular aspects of Python.
- Certified Ruby Programmer: The Ruby Association offers two levels of certification for Ruby programmers. The Silver level demonstrates basic competency with the Ruby language, while the Gold certification proves more in-depth knowledge of Ruby programming.
Organizations are increasingly adopting cloud computing, but these environments are not the same as traditional IT infrastructure. Applications deployed in the cloud need to be specially designed and implemented to work optimally in this environment.
For this reason, demonstrating an understanding and competency with cloud development is valuable for a developer. Each of the major cloud providers offers a certification designed to demonstrate a developer’s skills at working in their environment:
- AWS Certified Developer: AWS is one of the most widely used and recognized cloud platforms. The AWS Certified Developer Associate certification demonstrates familiarity with AWS environments and the ability to develop applications that interact with AWS APIs.
- Google Professional Cloud Developer: The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is another leader in the cloud space. This credential demonstrates the candidate’s knowledge of developing highly available and scalable applications in Google’s cloud environment.
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate: Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform. The Azure Developer Associate credential demonstrates competency in creating applications within the Azure environment.
Automation and Orchestration
The DevOps and Agile development methodologies adopted by many organizations are focused on automation and continuous deployment.
Developers should automate the testing and deployment process to optimize release speed and increase scalability when working under these design principles.
Many different platforms and processes have been developed to help with automation and orchestration in IT environments. Some of the top credentials in the automation and orchestration space include:
- Chef Badges: Chef is an enterprise automation stack that enables an organization to implement DevOps and DevSecOps principles. It has a badge-based system that allows developers to demonstrate their competency with the Chef system with badges demonstrating basic competencies and specialized skills.
- Puppet Certified Professional (PCP): Puppet is a widely used tool for IT automation and is requested in many job descriptions. Students can earn a PCP certification to demonstrate their skills in using Puppet for IT infrastructure management.
- Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Developer (CSD): Scrum is an Agile development methodology focused on iterative and incremental development. The CSD credential is designed to certify a developer’s experience working in a Scrum environment.
Secure coding is an often overlooked aspect of development. Many developers claim that they have received little or no training on common software vulnerabilities and how to develop code that follows security best practices.
However, the growing number of data breaches and other security incidents have inspired a renewed focus on cybersecurity in many organizations. For this reason, the ability to demonstrate competency in secure coding – as opposed to just the ability to code – can be an asset for developers. Some security-focused credentials for developers include:
- Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP): The CSSLP is a credential issued by (ISC)2. It demonstrates how to integrate security into each stage of the software development lifecycle (SDLC).
- Security+: CompTIA’s Security+ exam is a baseline cybersecurity certification. It demonstrates basic competency with all aspects of cybersecurity, including knowledge of common vulnerabilities and attacks that target and exploit insecure code.
The developer certifications described here are designed mainly to be “entry-level” credentials. While some may recommend or require a certain level of experience in a particular environment (like the cloud ones), most can be achieved via independent study. Additionally, most developer certification exams can be taken online, so there is no need to find and visit a testing center.
This means that many of these credentials are within reach of most developers. By learning a skill set that relates to your core job and demonstrating those skills with a certification, you can take an easy but significant step towards advancement in your career.
Frequently Asked Questions
Computer coding certifications are important as they validate a professional’s coding skills and knowledge in specific programming languages or technology areas. They are essential for career advancement, staying current with industry trends, and enhancing job prospects in the tech sector.
Choosing the right coding certification depends on your career goals, the programming languages you’re interested in, and the specific tech industry sector you want to work in. Assess the demand for different certifications in your desired field and consider how they align with your career objectives.
Some coding certifications may require renewal or continuing education to maintain their validity, while others do not expire. It’s important to check the specific requirements of each certification.
The top coding certifications in 2023 include the Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP), MongoDB Certified Developer Associate, R Programming Certification from Johns Hopkins University, Oracle MySQL Database Administration, and CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer certification. These certifications are recognized globally and highly valued in the tech industry.
For beginners, the Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP) is often recommended. Python is user-friendly and widely used in various applications, making this certification a great starting point.