Then, There Was Novell
Novell's NetWare dominated the PC LAN marketplace in the 80s and early 90s. At one point, fully 80 percent of the PC LAN servers ran NetWare. I can remember my initial installation of NetWare 2.11. I repeated a step more than 10 times because the menu selection said "Release LAN Configuration." This seemed to me to be the next logical step in the installation process, when in truth it meant "nuke the configuration and start over."
Novell was one of the first PC market companies to institute a certification and testing program. The Certified Netware Engineer (CNE) program for Novell was a moneymaker that provided some assurance of knowledge about NetWare products and software. I became a CNE in one week's time by studying CNE test questions and answers. Repeating the Netware 2.11 installation 10 times also helped.
Microsoft soon followed Novell's lead with its Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE). Certifications have now sprouted up everywhere for almost any technical discipline. These certifications are fleeting because technology changes every year or less. I once tried to stay current with the state of the art in laptop PCs. To do this, I had to buy a new laptop PC once every four months. (This is like the person who was married and divorced so many times that he measured his marriage and divorce rate at three spouses per dog!)
What do the certifications mean, anyway? They testify that you know something about the software product. They do not teach common sense or practical problem-solving, which are much more valuable skills for most jobs. Novell certification has come and gone, along with the complex configuration and operation of NetWare. I say, "Easy to install and operate prevails, or else the product fails."