Recently I’ve been discussing with my friends and coworkers the importance of IT Certifications, which lead us to ask if in today’s highly competitive world, certifications really help Software Developers improve skills or even find their dream job or the rewards they desire.

My answer: of course!

I studied Chemical Engineering at Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela. Throughout my carreer I worked at the university as a programmer. In 1999 I graduated and started to work for a small IT consultant firm and shortly after the first year we had finished the software I was hired to write and it was time to go out to the world install it, give support and the best service we could.

Soon I noticed that my"chemical" background was of no help getting the clients to trust my skills or expertise and this was the reason why in December of that same year I passed my first Microsoft certification exam.

Since then I’ve passed 13 exams and I currently hold the following certifications: CISA, ITILF, MCSD, MCTS, MCP, dCAA, and dCSP.

During this 13 years I’ve become a huge certification fan, starving for knowledge. What once started as a need for showing my value to clients and peers has evolved into my preferred method of keeping up to date and in recent years as an excellent way of marketing myself.

Today in Spain where there are over 5 million without work and also a huge possibility of a slowdown, takeover, merger or even a close down of the company you work for, I get (on a weekly basis) offers from many companies that find in IT Certifications the factor which differentiates me from my peers.

Finally there is, of course, the personal satisfaction (Important for soft skills) I get from having mastered a new skill or technology.

Hope it helps,