Talk:SL Certification

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I'm suggesting that any examinations for building or scripting disallow the use of prefabricated content; Any building work should be done in front of an examiner in-world, and if possible scripting should be done via VNC so peeps can't copy & paste.

SignpostMarv Martin 12:19, 23 April 2007 (PDT)

Yes, that's a great idea.
And I'd love to join/test. :)
Not being able to copy and paste can be a bit rough. For more complicated scripting tests, the user should be provided with a library of prefabricated functions to use; this will reduce the amount of time required to both take and score the test, not to mention encourage code reuse (these functions would be available before hand and would be included in study material). Requiring the use of VNC is a bit rough (there should be standard cross platform instructions on how to set it up). Strife Onizuka 06:12, 24 April 2007 (PDT)
Speaking (er ... writing!) as someone who has been hacking code for over 33 years (eep!) I think I can say that most (if not all) coders keep their own 'libraries' of code segments available for re-use, mostly as a time-saving device. Copy/paste is a standard way of working and, I'd suggest, if one is testing someone on their memory for functions then any 'test' will take a whole lot longer if they are limited in this way. --Alison Wheels 09:16, 24 April 2007 (PDT)
Copy & Paste in this context refers to people ripping off other people's code.
SignpostMarv Martin 18:04, 24 April 2007 (PDT)


Why are we looking at Modeling and Scripting as the first SL Certifications? Wouldn’t it be better to start with basic skills needed to operate within the SL environment and UI? As a Mentor/Greeter & Instructor for well over a year, I have had very few questions from new residents on modeling and scripting. However, I get many questions that start, “How do I...”

As a teacher in RL, I was taught that you start with basics then move into more advanced areas. We have mentors admitting at just about every meeting that they would benefit from basic skills training. One only has to listen to the Mentor group channel for a short while to hear mentors asking for answers to very basic questions. This indicates to me that we need to certify the volunteers on the basics before we teach modeling and scripting. I would be interested in understanding the reasoning behind modeling and scripting as initial certifications.

Jennifer McLuhan

Because no one hires mentors. Certifications are for telling if the person you are hiring is qualified or not. Gigs Taggart 17:57, 23 April 2007 (PDT)
So Gigs you are telling me this has nothing to do with the mentor certification program?
Apparently not. Gigs Taggart 20:35, 23 April 2007 (PDT)\

Good topics, bad topics

I think we should focus on certifying skills, not topics. For instance, 3-D modeling techniques and how to use the tools is a good area to certify. "Weapons and vehicles" is not. "LSL communication protocol" is a good scripting topic, "attachments" is not. Keep in mind many of the things we're trying to certify are already covered in traditional game-design and 3-D Design collegiate curriculum, and we should look to that as a base model to start from. Hiro Pendragon

Who is the beneficiary?

Is this only for the benefit of residents looking to hire a builder/scripter? If so, I'm not interested as I'm not for hire. I certainly won't object to work-for-hire people getting certified, though.

Will it be used, directly or indirectly, to the detriment of un-certified sellers of *pre-made* (not-for-hire) items? If so, and particularly if it costs money, it's yet another way for those who have connections to extract money and privilege from those who don't.

  1. Who is the beneficiary of this plan?
  2. What consequences are there for non-certification?
  3. Will it cost money?

Anna Gulaev

Good questions to which I will add my own (and number yours):
  1. Who will be providing the certification service?
  2. Will a business providing certification services need to be certified?
  3. How will this program scale as SL grows?
Strife Onizuka 06:45, 24 April 2007 (PDT)
  1. What will be the responsibilities (if any) of a Certified person?
    Are certified persons expected to serve as "on call" mentors? Do these certified people take the place of a "live help" pool on a given topic?
  2. How will certification be verified?
    Right now, I can call myself "Expert Scripter" and no one can challenge me on that. (though I wouldn't)... What process will be available to verify that a certification does indeed exist for this person?
  3. Will certifications expire?
    back in July, SL was a different place, and LSL was a different animal. (I pick on LSL because I can't imagine how would could be tested for ability to BUILD). In just 9 short months, LSL has changed quite a bit. Not radically, most of what was good then is still good now.. but LSL is an ever changing language, with little-to-no official documentation from the group developing the actual language (unlike HTML/XHTML for example). Someone who was an expert in 2004 could be quite out of their depths now. I also wonder how many Lindens could pass LSL certification.
Winter Ventura 5:42pm (PDT), April 24, 2007
What is the problem that this "solution" is intended to solve?
  1. Quality control on the grid? But how does it differ than a content-vetting committee?
  2. Frequent complains of fraud? But credentialled scripters or builders are just as capable of fraud and incompetence as anyone else, and without also adding a disputes resolution system to handle complaints of the "credentialed" building shoddy structures or not performing on contracts, it is meaningless.
  3. If the problem universally claimed for Second Life is the steep learning curve and the lack of an intuitive user interface, how does making the knowledge more unreachable and more subject to controls help those chronic issues?
  4. Who needs a set of credentialed builders and scripters? 1) those builders and scripters -- suggesting it is not enough of a reason, as it is self-referential 2) Linden Lab -- for reasons it has failed to make explicit in its recursive "general purpose" intro to this wiki.
  5. What happened to "your world/your imagination" with this concept, that seeks to reward a tiny percentage of those a) willing and b) able to pass a credentialling process?
  6. Prokofy Neva

Voices Against

This system is the final institution of the FIC. It's not a positive development, as the free market and free media should establish value for skills. A free market and free media also enable anyone new to be able to access that market and media without having to clear unnecessary hurdles and bastions of establishment thinking and procedure.

All that's happening here is that Linden Lab is dispensing licenses to create, completely overriding their concept of "your world/your imagination". That is, sure, anybody can go on rezzing a cube, but Lindens are now deciding, in Central Committee fashion, who does this *well enough* to be able to qualify to exist in their certified community. It runs entirely contrary to the notions of openness and creativity which they originally promoted. I personally will not seek to become certified in such a system prone to cronyism and corruption. It cannot help unsightly builds on the grid, unless you also anticipate having quality-control committees added on to vet content manditorily along with certification -- oh, is that coming next? The comparison to software and IT companies having developers' certifications is patently fraudulent: Linden Lab's role in shaping the Metaverse is not analogous to merely some software company; they are world-builders, and need to stop funnelling and bottle-necking with concepts like this. Prokofy Neva

I agree with Prokofy to a certain point. The SL Certification system should be done by parties who are either 1) Employed by Linden Labs or 2) They do not financially gain from Second Life. Competition who hold grudges against people like Prokofy or myself will seek to not even consider us for certification in our respected fields. That would be unfair and violate LL's stance of not getting involved in citizen disputes. If they want citizens to run this then remove it from the official LL milestones and let a citizen group run it. Wrestling Hulka
I'd been reading this 'certification' in a similar way to the many other software and hardware certifications in the IT industry out there. Nice to have the piece of paper, and it may show you know something (though not neccessarily that you can put it into 'real life' practice, and not something that you must have in order to be engaged to do the job. I'd agree that should Linden Labs suddenly demand that everyone building anything in SL be certified (a highly improbable idea in itself) it would be unworkable in practice (though would save us seeing some of the 'sights' we currently suffer on the grid!) --Alison Wheels 09:16, 24 April 2007 (PDT)
Quite - I was rather surprised to see certifications in IT being raised as examples of this in RL, as they are really only a way of proving that somebody isn't simply making up the fact that they have skill X (unless, of course, they are lying about their certification!) and their actual skill and professionalism is something that is only judgeable by careful individual interviewing by a skilled practitioner, examples of previous work and, mostly, how they actually perform once they are hired. A checklist of revision topics really doesn't help. A manager or customer who hires someone purely because of an MCSE or a good degree will be disappointed in short measure. The subject of how to properly judge someone's skills is a very complex one and in practice, managers and customers go on portfolios and performance. --Ordinal Malaprop 13:58, 24 April 2007 (PDT)
What, exactly, is the "problem" that certification "solves?" Normally if you want to get hired as a content creator, you create a portfolio of work for potentional employers to look at. I think the conspiracy theory here is that land owners will be able to ban non-certified creations. This would allow some more timid brands to control the "flying pink objects" problem in their space. Please, correct me if I'm wrong! :) OneBigRiver Stork