Chef puts certifications on back boiler till 2020

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Chef is hitting the pause button on its certification programme, after deciding its recent roadmap changes mean the qualifications need a drastic rewrite.

The automation vendor revealed wide-ranging changes to its product strategy earlier this year. These included moving to a 100 per cent open source model, accompanied by a commercial distribution dubbed Chef Enterprise Automation Stack, and new versions of its Infra, InSpec and Habitat products.

Unsurprisingly, this has had some ripple effects on the Chef Certification programme the firm launched three years ago – just as the initial batch of certified Chef pros were approaching re-examination time.

Chef developer evangelist Kimball Johnson wrote in a blog post announcing the changes “All of the changes in both our product offerings and the way that developers acquire and validate knowledge have unfortunately left the certification program lagging. With many of the early certified practitioners coming up for renewal of their certification, we have decided that it is time to take a new approach to Chef Certification.”

Johnson went on to say that Chef wanted to embrace the idea of “continuous improvement, both for ourselves and the programme, and for the practitioners pursuing it.”

Hence, it had decided that “proctored” exams requiring candidates to turn up at a given place and time were a barrier to entry.

“Instead, in keeping with the self-serve nature of other Chef learning tools like Learn Chef Rally, we plan to offer the assessments as an on-demand exam.”

So far, so good, but setting up an online exam infrastructure takes time, and Chef won’t have its new approach up and running any time this year. So, “during the transition period, we will not be offering the exams from November 1st until the new program launches in 2020.”

This is for the benefit of candidates, he continued, as “We have a number of the original certified Chefs approaching their renewal period; and we want to rethink our next generation of skills certification program before individuals invest time in taking an exam that will be retired in the next few months.”

Which makes sense in one way, but could also lead to Chef pros falling through the cracks when their existing certs expire.