A certification is a tool that can help to your professional development. It requires a lot of time and money, so make sure to avoid these mistakes to make the most of it.
###1. Becoming certified because everyone is doing it You should choose a certification according to your career plan (you have one, right?) and interests and only if you think going for a certification would help you to achieve your objectives. If you are a new in the industry, a certification may be a good choice to start your career path and learn the correct uses of the languages and best practices, but this may not be truth for all, depending of the conditions of the market, your experience and even your personality. So don’t follow other people’s steps, it may be a waste of time and money for you.
###2. Stopping learning after becoming certified In these times, industries change faster than before, especially the IT industry. You have to continually develop your skills to stop staying behind. In some cases, your Java 1.4 certificate may not have the same value than a Java 7 certificate. Always keep yourself updated on the latest trends, frameworks and versions of the language to stay ahead.
###3. Cheating Cheating is unethical, would you be comfortable if everyone knows that you become certified by other means than hard work? Do you always choose the easy way? Getting your certificate this way devalues the certification itself, because the people who hold it have neither the skills nor the knowledge declared by the certification, so it loses credibility and demand, just like the person who cheats.
###4. Replacing experience for certification A certification alone won’t magically give you all the knowledge needed to face the day-to-day problems of our profession. Some people value certifications, but they are not the only thing the value. Real world problems don’t always equal to the ones tested in a certification. Certification alone won’t give you success.
###5. Don’t getting the right materials for preparation Study guides, courses and preparation materials are not created equal even if they are based on the same topics and objectives. Don’t be cheap, focus on the value, not on the cost of the materials. If possible, try them before committing to a specific guide or training course or ask people already certified what resources helped them to become certified. Finally, take the exam only when you are fully confident you will pass.