Goal 2021-4 done: PMI-ACP cert

I have a generally skeptical view of professional certifications. As a species—at least the species I'm familiar with—they're only semi-indicative of skill in a discipline. What they say to me is that the person with the certification can fill out an application and excel on a standardized exam. People who are good at their jobs and people who are bad at their jobs can count themselves among the certified.

They're not that bad, I know, but that's the underlying feeling for me.

That said, I have two of them now: PMP (Project Management Professional) back in November, and PMI-ACP (Project Management Institute Agile Certified Practitioner) tonight. One is meant to indicate experience with project management, the other is experience with working in agile development frameworks.

I arrived at my interest in certifications when the world economy started scraping against the rocks last year. OK, I can see the value of a few well-chosen signals to indicate that I Know Something. Besides, to pass the exams, I really did have to read and study the topics quite a bit, and I know more than I did before getting started. It's not nearly the same as performing on the job or creating something, but it is a complement to it. The hedge is that the certificate, if not the knowledge itself, is one more thing in my pack that I can use to get to the next level, whatever that might be.

So that's goal #4 of 7 for 2021. #1-3 are ongoing for the entire year (blog post every day, newsletter every week, regional food "trip" every month). #5 (flashcards app for zhwotd.com) is the next one to be completed, in Q3.

The next one to be worked on, #6, is also a certificate: get up to HSK Level 4. HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) is a six-level Chinese language proficiency test. Several years ago I got HSK Level 2. This year, on the way up to Level 4 in Q4, I'll sit for Level 3 sometime in Q2. I've been delinquent on learning this impossible language after years of trying ("trying"), so I'm going to use this as a motivator to do better.

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