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Certification Uncertainty

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

Seth and I have been lax in keeping up with our shots of late. We’ve been busy (which is a good thing) and thus only just got around to taking the El Capitan ACSP tests (which – while not bad – certainly isn’t *great*). Neither of us has really been sweating that though; my certifications stretch back to 10.4 and his go even further back to 10.2, and one of our most significant office decorating problems is finding frames and wall space for all the certifications we’ve accrued over the last few years (currently twenty-nine, although there’s also the matter of the six that are so old that we can’t get copies any more).

Still, while it’s fun to humblebrag about how well-qualified you are and to moan about how you don’t have room for all your awards, there is a genuine issue looming. The way we were able to accrue all those certifications was by taking courses for both OS X client *and* OS X Server. The OS X client exam (the ACSP) is designed to demonstrate a high level of technical competency in the fundamentals of understanding and troubleshooting OS X. The OS X Server exam (the ACTC) built on that and delved into the Server product in a deeper and far more comprehensive manner. The ACSP certification was a prerequisite of the ACTC, and if you had the two of them then it was pretty clear that you Knew What You Were Doing.

This was all very well until earlier this year, when Apple quietly phased out the ACTC test. Nobody I’ve talked to seems to have a concrete explanation for this; the best that I heard was straight from a fairly senior person at Apple who opined that in the spirit of openness there would be an effort to encourage different, wider ranges of qualifications and use those as a means of demonstrating expertise. That actually made a lot of sense, but so far that doesn’t seem to have appeared in any tangible form.

What has appeared is the Server Essentials 10.11 course material and book – which is, in effect – everything that you would have expected out of the old ACTC certification materials. It’s pretty rad, and while there’s nothing massively different there from 10.10, it’s a great book and does a good job of catching up the thousand and one small differences that Server 5.0 brought to the table.

All that’s needed is a certification to go with it. I don’t really need any more certificates on the wall (see earlier whining re: frames and space), but it’d be nice to be able to have something to demonstrate that we’ve reached a proficiency in the server version of the operating system.

And so we wait…

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