Perl Certificates

Sample Certificate Close-Up (Click to enlarge)

Handsome certificates, suitable for framing or for wrapping fish, are available. The price is US $10 each, postpaid. All profits will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

(The motif at the top is a 1950's-style engraving that appears to depict the theme of "Industry and Commerce in the Atomic Age". In the center is the Earth as an atomic nucleus, surrounded by whirling electrons. In the background are futuristic (for the 1950s) office towers, factories, trains, planes, and ships. The resolution of the delicate engraving lines is much too fine to be picked up by my digital camera. For instance, the gray-looking area on which my name is printed is actually a white area with about thirty hair-thin parallel horizontal lines per inch.)

At present, I can only take checks. Please fill out an order form, or just send a letter explaining what you want.

To receive a message when secure online credit card ordering is available, send a message to I will not use your address for any other purpose and I will destroy the mailing list after sending this single announcement.


 From: Mark-Jason Dominus (
 Subject: Certified Perl Programmers 
 Newsgroups: comp.lang.perl.misc
 Date: 1998/06/09 

In article <>,
Zenin  <> wrote:
>       Certifications are only good for pointy hair managers.  Anyone with
>       half a clue know they are worth less then the paper they are printed
>       on.

I agree. But this brings up a worry for me.

Suppose someone were to go into the business of certifying Perl programmers. Than I might one day be forced to pay out my hard-earned money to get a certification from someone who knows much less than I do. I don't like that idea. And it could happen any time. But how can I prevent it?

By stealing the certifications in advance, that's how. I've declared myself to be a Perl cerifying authority. I have put `certified Perl developer' on my resume. If anyone ever starts selling certifications, and some potential employer asks if I'm certified, I'm set. ``Oh, yes. I've been a certified Perl developer since 1997.''

I encourage everyone else to do this too. You can certify yourself, or you can send email to to request a certification, which I will send. Then you can bill yourself as a `Plover Systems Certified Perl Programmer' or just `Certified Perl Programmer'. I encourage the latter---it would be bad if there was some way to distinguish free certifications from the kind you have to pay for.

Of course, this wouldn't work if certifications were really worth anything---but they aren't. But middle management operates by appearances, not realities, and a free Plover Systems Certification has as much appearance as one that you had to pay real money for.

I've been thinking that if some people need physical certificates, I could print some up and supply them for a nominal fee. It gives me the willies to take any money at all for certifications, but it might be for the greater good. I guess I'll do it if it becomes necessary, or maybe I'll give some out for free at the Perl Conference.

So get certified now, because the more Certified Perl Programmers there are, the more difficult it'll be for someone to set up a company to take your money for certifications. Send mail to, and be sure to say what you want to be certified as.

I think a preemptive strike could be very effective here.

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