These types of discussions seem to boil down to a few common conclusions:
- Many certifications, especially the basic/foundational ones, are more about memorizing a syllabus than improving/assuring testing skills
- Real testing skills, both hands-on and management skills, are difficult to certify and schemes that attempt to do this in a fair and serious manner don’t scale well (and so there are no business incentives to try building one or continue trying)
- Certifications can be a door opener in certain job markets and thus provide that sort of value, but are frowned upon for that very reason by practitioners
My own opinion is that as long as there is money to be made from providing a scalable but fairly bland certification scheme, they will be around. And the more people that buy in either through ignorance (as was the case with me when I got certified back in 2006) or by necessity (boss says so, job market closed without it, etc.), the worse it will become because if everybody has one then that proves the market need as well as its efficacy, right…?
I favor peer certification and being able to explain what it is I do and why I do it well over being certified by an external body of people who know nothing about my real abilities, but I understand the need for a foundational syllabus and there have been attempts made in the past in the community that have been admirable. The best current way of getting testers up to speed with the foundations of software testing in my mind is to send them through the BBST Foundations training. No certification, just hard work and peer review.