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Qualifications / Certification


elementalgrace
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Hi Guys,Just thought I'd put the cat amongst the pigeons here. My boss has suggested that he would like to put a lot of the department up for Microsoft certification or an equivalent. Microsoft certification works very well for the developers but as the single designer on staff (XHTML & CSS), I find there is not really a suitable qualification I can go for. Now, I know there is no substitute for experience and all that jazz, and also that there's no qualifying agency for web designers (a whole different argument, which I don't want to get into today!) That notwithstanding, do you guys have any suggestions as to alternatives to the MS certification for web designers?I have considered suggesting that I branch out into accessibility and usability if there's nothing suitable but obviously I'd be interested to know if there's anything out there.Look forward to hearing back from you.

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If you are a designer amongst developers, then the first question to ask yourself is: do you want to better relate to their capabilities and therefore become a better designer by considering them? Or, do you want to expand your design capabilities into other closely related technologies that would result in your skill set being more valuable and extending your teams capabilities - netting in you becoming a better designer as well?For the former is your question, then I would look into attending some sort of programming class. I've dealt with a lot of designers over the years and one thing I've come to notice more and appreciate exponentially is a designer who understands that there is also and art in the choices made to code a web page. That is to say that once you understand the limitations or restrictions of HTML, CSS, etc. then the more your designs will be able to maintain their qualities yet not be an utter nightmare to code. Moreover, the more you know and understand how sites are built and coded will better enable you to think of designs that are more interchangeable - a good selling point and an easy way to retain your customers since you can do a redesign with very little effort.However, if it is the latter question you would ask yourself, then I would challenge you to look at something like Adobe Flex. Your designer mind set could run wild in this format of rich internet application development while you are also able to contribute functional applications that have purpose.Both paths also require a little insight to what YOU want for yourself. Its admirable to be thinking as a team, but make sure that you are also thinking about your long term goals and how this decision, just like this employer, plays into that. What would this decision mean to you in 5 years?

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Thanks. That looks interesting. I notice that they seem to be US based. Do you know of anything similar for the UK?
If you are a designer amongst developers, then the first question to ask yourself is: do you want to better relate to their capabilities and therefore become a better designer by considering them? Or, do you want to expand your design capabilities into other closely related technologies that would result in your skill set being more valuable and extending your teams capabilities - netting in you becoming a better designer as well?For the former is your question, then I would look into attending some sort of programming class. I've dealt with a lot of designers over the years and one thing I've come to notice more and appreciate exponentially is a designer who understands that there is also and art in the choices made to code a web page. That is to say that once you understand the limitations or restrictions of HTML, CSS, etc. then the more your designs will be able to maintain their qualities yet not be an utter nightmare to code. Moreover, the more you know and understand how sites are built and coded will better enable you to think of designs that are more interchangeable - a good selling point and an easy way to retain your customers since you can do a redesign with very little effort.However, if it is the latter question you would ask yourself, then I would challenge you to look at something like Adobe Flex. Your designer mind set could run wild in this format of rich internet application development while you are also able to contribute functional applications that have purpose.Both paths also require a little insight to what YOU want for yourself. Its admirable to be thinking as a team, but make sure that you are also thinking about your long term goals and how this decision, just like this employer, plays into that. What would this decision mean to you in 5 years?
I am a designer amongst developers. Originally, I began my career working with a development team and designing specifically for content management systems and web based software so I'm pretty strong on providing usable code and design that works meets developer's needs as well as usability and client needs. The developers I have worked with traditionally have extremely high standards and if they found the HTML & CSS difficult to work with, would cheerfully throw it back at the designer in question until they got something more suitable. And rightly so, in my opinion. In response to your question, although I have an extremely rudimentary understanding of code (.net, php) and can usually broadly make sense of what certain code is doing, I am not by nature a developer. I recently managed the installation and customisation of Drupal for a project, which may give you a bit more of any idea of my skills level ref programming. I'd certainly be more inclined to take the design path rather than the development one.Adobe flex does look interesting. I have also been looking at MS Expression Blend in terms of expanding my future skillset but what I am essentially looking at for the moment is a way of certifying that I am actually a good XHTML/CSS bod to a level that is equivalent to Microsofts' certification programmes as they appear not to cater for us simple web designers :) .
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