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Certifications on the Web boundary often involve development efforts, or bring in some technology meant to augment a Web site's information or service offerings. Thus, such certifications often involve e-commerce, e-business, specific programming languages or development platforms, and specific line of business applications. A quick review of Table 2 should provide ample illustrations, after which I provide additional information about choosing among such alternatives.

Table 2 Web Boundary Certifications





ATG Certified Relationship Management Developer

BEA Systems

BEA Certification Program (Specialist, Administrator, and Architect)


Many topics, including BCIP Web Developer



Electronics Technicians Association

ETA Certified Electronic Commerce Developer

Global Knowledge


Global Knowledge Web Developer

Global Knowledge XML Developer








IBM Certified Specialist

IBM Certified for e-Business Specialist

IBM Certified Developer

IBM Certified Solution Developer

IBM Certified Enterprise Developer

IBM Certified Solutions Expert

IBM Certified Systems Expert

Institute of Certified E-Commerce Consultants

Certified E-Commerce Consultant

Learning Tree

Web development, e-commerce, and XML


Flash and Coldfusion developer certifications


Numerous MCP exams cover Web and Web development topics



NACSE Certified Web Developer

NACSE Certified E-Business Architect

Oracle Corp

Oracle Web Administrator Certified Associate

Prosoft Training

Master CIW Enterprise Developer


Sun Certified Java Professionals




Sysoft Certified E-Business Development and Architecture

Sysoft Certified Java/XML Developer (little information currently available)

Sysoft Certified E-Business Webmaster


Numerous programming language and web environment exams

With a couple of exceptions I'll deal with separately here, these boundary certifications are almost entirely aimed in one or more of three definite directions:

  • At a specific development platform or technology. This is particularly true of certifications mentioned here from specific platform vendors, such as Macromedia (Flash) or IBM (WebSphere).
  • At a specific programming language or some related development toolset (such as JavaBeans or J2EE). Here again, this is particularly true of certifications mentioned from specific language or platform vendors, just as Sun (Java) or IBM (Java for various IBM platforms and tools).
  • At a general-purpose, Web-related technology—namely XML—that many vendors and organizations mentioned here are starting to utilize heavily, to exploit that metalanguage's superb portability, and its data and platform independence. This includes companies like Global Knowledge and IBM, among others.

The interesting thing about these kinds of Web boundary certifications is that if you need to learn or master them, you'll know it because of on-the-job commitments or requirements. This is quite different from the core Web certifications, in which there are more options to choose from and actual selections aren't as clear-cut.

The exceptions to the foregoing discussion include those offerings from Brainbench and U2test, which provide general tests of an individual's knowledge of specific topic areas, product, platforms, or programming languages. They offer an alternative to vendor certification, but because their credentials aren't as widely accepted as those from vendors, individuals interested in the topics they cover should take heart from two relevant observations:

  • U2test's exams are free (but certificates of completion cost $15), and Brainbench's tests range from free to as much as $50 each. Thus, you needn't worry about spending huge sums of money on their exams.
  • Either of these organizations offerings are great self-assessment tools (when they offer coverage that overlaps significantly with other certifications) or great starting points for pursuing other certifications (to check your knowledge base, identify areas in need of study, and so forth).

These observations explain why I tend to view the Brainbench and U2test exams as complementary to, rather than competitive with, other certifications mentioned here.

Another exception occurs in the form of various training company certifications—specifically, those from Global Knowledge, Learning Tree, and Prosoft that appear in Table 2. To some extent, these certifications do compete with other vendor certifications mentioned here (and in some cases, the degree of overlap is considerable, as with many of Global Knowledge's and Learning Tree's programs). When deciding between a vendor program and one of these programs—unless there is a compelling reason to choose one of these alternative offerings (such as price, access to a specific, well-known instructor, or access to better hands-on lab facilities)—the higher recognition accorded to most vendor programs might tilt you more in their direction than in this one. The Prosoft certifications are more or less vendor-neutral and thus not quite as subject to these possible limitations, and they also benefit from their higher degree of name recognition in the marketplace.

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