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What kind of hole have we dug ourselves into?

Update: Nice follow-up from “TestObsessed”, you can get your free certification from her. As she suggests out, I’d rather be a sucker for an elaborate joke than have this be true.

There is now, apparently, a “World Agile Qualifications Board” offering Agile certification programs (I won’t link to it directly, but it’s at waqb (dot) org). The site looks professional, but there’s not a single name or organisation on it, so there’s no pedigree—but people can apply to join the review board.

Assuming that this is more about an excess of ambition, rather than a direct scam, what does this say about the state of both our industry and the Agile movement that some mysterious person thinks that this is a good idea? Enough people have been seduced by the idea of certification, that someone is prepared to try their luck with a big-sounding title. With enough Google keywords, it might even pay off.

I’d love to be corrected, but I don’t believe this is what we’ve struggling to achieve all these years.


  1. Darren Rowley says:

    What is the world coming too?

    Darren R – Certified Test Driven Developer…

  2. Scott Duncan says:

    Looks like this may be centered in the UK/Europe from some of the info on the main page. From my decade or so experience with standards and certifications, I find that these sorts of things almost always start in the UK or Europe. The sense of standards, certification and process formality often seems to be stronger there, in general, than, for example, in the US. This is not to slam folks from the UK or Europe, it just seems to be the culture/approach taken toward these things. t will be interesting to see what individuals or organizations perhaps take this up in the US. What I have seen in the past with this sort of thing is that quite often the uptake is by folks outside the mainstream of the actual area addressed by the standard or certification. Perhaps they see this as a way to move into that space without putting in the time/effort to be part of that mainstream?

  3. @Scott. This one looks like it might be from Scandinavia. My issue here is not with the notion of certification as such (although that’s problematic in its own right), but that this one has no pedigree that it’s prepared to reveal (if it’s not a hoax, that is).

    At least the Scrum certifications are backed by the Scrum Alliance, and they ought to know.

  4. Peter Booth says:

    I heard a rumor that being certified with the WAQB can help you to progress to level 2 of the AMM (Agile Maturity Model)

  5. Chris Pitts says:

    Perhaps they are trying to compete with ?

    One point – at one stage even the Scrum Alliance had no pedigree (pedigree scrum? Geddit? Oh never mind… 😉 ). Everyone starts somewhere and proves themselves over time. But yes, I share your concerns.

  6. @Chris Nice link.

    My point about the Scrum Certification is that at least it’s being delivered by the people who started Scrum, and who ought to know what they’re talking about.

  7. Perhaps we can keep digging and come out the other side! I suppose I am suggesting some kind of uncertification program. It just needs some respected practitioners in Agile to put their names to a website where anyone can get an uncertificate. Those that understand will nod wisely and recruitment consultants will be happy.

    If people can become proud to be officially Agile uncertified and display their uncertificate, it would make people with the certificates look a bit silly. I can look silly with the best of them, but I’d draw the line at paying for a course and sitting an exam to prove it!

  8. @Mark Perhaps we could arrange a course where at the end of the day you got to tear up your certificate 🙂

  9. Mark’s idea is very appealing to me. Have an “uncertificate”, or maybe call it “quasi-certificate”…

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