IEEE: Certification Programs Aimed at Wireless and Software Engineers

Michael O'Dell mo at
Wed May 28 16:01:35 CDT 2008

andre kesteloot wrote:
> *Certification Programs Aimed at Wireless and Software Engineers* BY 
> Two IEEE societies are helping wireless-communications and software 
> engineers demonstrate their skill and proficiency in the workplace with 
> two new certification programs and improvements to an existing one.
> All three programs are vendor-neutral and transnational in scope. Each 
> one consists of a variety of self-study aids such as reference books, 
> practice tests, and online courses to assist in exam preparation. Those 
> who are interested in becoming IEEE-certified study at their own pace 
> and then complete a two-part process to be able to sit for the exam, 
> which is administered through Prometric, a global provider of test and 
> assessment services.
> All candidates must complete an application form. The application 
> process verifies that the applicant has met the criteria and qualifies 
> to take the exam. Once approved, applicants receive a letter that 
> contains a candidate identification number, which allows them to 
> register via Prometric’s Web site and choose a location and date 
> convenient for them to take the exam. Prometric’s 500-plus testing 
> centers are located in more than 70 countries.
> Candidates sit at a computer terminal to take the exam and have up to 
> four hours to complete it. The wireless exam poses 165 questions; the 
> two software exams consist of 180 questions each.
> *GROWING DEMAND* Rapid growth in wireless communications has created a 
> need for communications professionals. But what must they know? A 
> standard baseline of knowledge—or a test to certify a communication 
> expert’s practical knowledge—did not exist until March, when the IEEE 
> Communications Society launched its Wireless Communication Engineering 
> Technologies (WCET) certification program. It’s aimed at engineers who 
> already hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have 
> about three years of experience.
> More than 100 industry experts from different wireless industry sectors 
> helped develop the program and the exam that goes with it. Areas the 
> exam covers include radio-frequency engineering, propagation, and 
> antennas; access technologies; network and service architecture; network 
> management and security; facilities infrastructure; licensing 
> agreements; industry standards and policies; and government regulations. 
> The Communications Society developed a handbook to help candidates 
> understand eligibility requirements, as well as how to apply, study, and 
> take the exam. Visit to 
> request a free copy. Next month, a book and two practice exams will be 
> available for sale to assist with preparation for the exam, the society 
> says.
> “We anticipate that the WCET certification program will become the 
> standard that organizations will use to develop curricula for wireless 
> communications training,” says IEEE Member Rolf Frantz, the program’s 
> industry relations manager and a communications industry veteran.
> The first testing period is between 22 September and 10 October, with 
> the next period slated for March. The cost of the exam is US $450 for 
> IEEE members and $500 for non-members. To learn more about WCET 
> certification and application deadlines, visit
> *SOFTWARE TESTS* Similarly, it was desirable to have an industry-wide 
> yardstick to measure the skills of those entering the software field. 
> The IEEE Computer Society plans to roll out its IEEE Certified Software 
> Development Associate (CSDA) program on 12 May during the society’s 
> annual meeting in Las Vegas.
> The CSDA program is targeted at students in their final year of study 
> for a bachelor’s or equivalent degree in a computing-related field, and 
> to software developers and engineers who are within three years of 
> having graduated with a four-year degree in computer science or software 
> engineering. CSDA certification is based on the Computer Society’s /The 
> Guide to Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK) and Software 
> Engineering 2004: Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree 
> Programs in Software Engineering./ The guidelines can be downloaded at 
> The exam tests knowledge of the foundations of computer science, 
> mathematics, and engineering. It covers core software engineering 
> principles including software construction, design, testing, 
> requirements, and methods.
> Applications are being accepted for the current test window, which runs 
> through 11 July. The next test window is scheduled for 18 August to 12 
> December.
> The cost in North America is $450. To request a price quote for other 
> parts of the world, e-mail the Computer Society: csda at 
> <mailto:csda at>.
> *PROGRAM IMPROVEMENTS* Through a partnership with ITPG, the Computer 
> Society is also making improvements to its IEEE Certified Software 
> Development Professional (CSDP) program, which is designed for midcareer 
> software professionals. A global player in the development and delivery 
> of professional education and certification programs, ITPG is taking 
> several steps to enhance the visibility of the program. It is marketing 
> the e-learning course, Software Engineering Overview: Preparing for the 
> IEEE Computer Society CSDP Examination, and promoting CSDP to its global 
> contacts. In addition, the company is helping the Computer Society build 
> strategic relationships with industry and government, in the hope that 
> they will encourage their employees to take the exam. ITPG also plans to 
> staff a call center to answer general inquiries from applicants.
> The CSDP program covers a broad range of topics included in the SWEBOK. 
> To be eligible to take the exam, candidates are required to have 9000 
> hours of experience in at least six of the 11 technical areas the exam 
> covers, coupled with a bachelor’s or equivalent degree. In addition to 
> the e-learning course, other exam preparation materials include several 
> books, a workbook, and recommended references.
> Applications are being accepted for the next test windows, which cover 
> the same periods as those for the CSDA exam. The application fee is 
> $100, plus an exam fee of $350 for IEEE or IEEE Computer Society 
> members, $450 for non-members. For more information about the CSDA or 
> CSDP, visit
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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> Tacos at

oh goodie. people can now be IEEE-certified as clueless.

when i hired kernel programmers, i gave them an actual coding
test. since an OS kernel uses linked lists with some frequency,
i put the C declarations for a doubly linked list on the board.
i then asked them to write a sorted insertion function.
i didn't care whether it sorted up or down, but they had
to tell me which they thought it did. they could assume any
necessary auxiliary functions but they had to have a comment
explaining what they did.

then i left the room for 45 minutes, but i poked my head in
every 10 minutes to see how red their face was getting.
i also encouraged the other kernel developers to poke their
head in every so often.

there were essentially two outcomes: the good guys walked
to the board and wrote the code about as fast as the hand
could write, and the others melted down some time after
about 15 minutes. i actually had one guy go running from
the building, summarily ending the interview.

just before leaving, however, i did admit to the candidate
that writing code on the board with his would-be peers
looking in occasionally  was considered by some to be
equivalent to having sex on stage. that usually produced
a pained look in the second group.


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