When did you have your last check up?

I was recently re-certified as Enterprise Certified Software Engineer by Capgemini’s Global Certification Board. In this article I elaborate on how I used the Software Engineering Certification Program for my personal career development.

Having a regular check up on the things that surround you has become a fact of live in our society which depends highly on technology. Sometimes these inspections are required by law,like the periodic motor vehicle test for my car. You have the condition of your central heating checked in the fall, to make sure it doesn’t break down on the first day of winter. Or you just want to take good care of yourself and have your teeth checked by your dentist every half year to spot tooth decay early. So basically you have a regular check on to make sure everything functions to expectation and is up to the mark.

As a certified and qualified professional software engineer I also need to make sure my skills are up to the mark. The professional standards which came with my engineering degree actually demand me to keep up with current technology. This should not come as much of a surprise in an industry which seems to reinvent itself every 5 to 10 years. Ever since I decided to have a career in ICT Industry I have been aware of this and certification has always been my tool to retain my market value as a professional engineer.

When you start your career as an engineer you tend to focus on on a publicly recognized certification program in the market from our partners like for example Microsoft’s MCTS. This will identify you as an able professional in a particular technical field and add to your value on the job market as well as for Capgemini. But what you are actually doing with this kind of certification is making our partner’s solutions a valuable success for our clients. That is just fine and valuable for Capgemini. But what it does not provide you is explicit recognition of your personal added value to Capgemini, which is the value you personally provide on top of the external certification and which distinguishes you from other certified engineers in the job market.

And this is exactly the reason why I invest time and effort to pursue Capgemini’s own SE Certification Program. This has just now taken me to Level 3, the entry level for Capgemini’s SE Club d’Experts, the best skilled software engineers within Capgemini. It has also significantly contributed to my recent appointment as Managing Consultant and thus provided a boost in my career.

The SE Certification Program sets concrete targets to achieve, not only with regards to personal technical knowledge but also with regard to your personal contribution to sales, project delivery, knowledge sharing and last but not least the Capgemini way. I used these criteria as input for my personal development plan and define smart targets for my annual evaluation. This in turn provided me with assignments and training to set the right context for my personal development. I created a professional environment for myself to grow and in the mean time made my personal contribution to Capgemini explicit.

As a result my recent SE Level 3 certification provides the proof I am ready to contribute to the Capgemini’s most complex engagements according to corporate guidelines, the law. The certificate also vouches for the condition and health of my personal and professional skills in a wider perspective than just technical excellence. So I now know for sure my skills are up to the mark and I am ready for my next professional challenge and the next step in my career.

So if you like to be challenged and drive your professional future within Capgemini, my advice to you is to use SE certification to steer your personal professional development and boost your career. Contact your regional Software Engineering Board representative if you are ready for your professional check up.