My Certifications, My Choice!

errorThere was a great post over at the nCircle Sync blog entitled “Do you still value your CISSP?” by Andrew Storms. I have yet to attain this certification but I plan on sitting for the exam in the coming months because I believe it to be a valuable asset in my personal development plan. The reason this post stood out is due to the comments the author received while at his both at RSA:

At RSA, I got one of those badge flags saying “ISC2 Member”. More than a few people asked “How did you get that?” Then before I could answer they would retort in a disgruntled tone “Oh you must have put your CISSP number in at registration. The CISSP doesn’t matter anymore anyway”

The authors response was “Well, OK, thanks for your kind words, I guess?” which was a subdued response compared to what I would have given.

Why do people feel the need to make snide remarks to belittle individual’s personal achievements? If I took the time to learn the subject matter required to both better myself AND pass a difficult exam, who are you to tell me it’s worthless.

Does it make you feel better about yourself to tell me my accomplishments are worthless? Are you a better person because you didn’t put the time into learning what I learned?

If a friend or colleague had a baby, after years and years of trying, would you immediately comment on how long it took them, how they’re time was wasted, and tell them the way that you think they should have approached it? The answer, unless you’re a jerk, is NO! You’d be happy for them, offer some congratulatory remarks, and maybe even provide a meaningful gift to show them how much you care.

When people tell me that one of my certifications are worthless I often think back to my favorite Jack Nicholson quote from the movie A Few Good Men:

We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

I am very proud of the 13 certifications that I hold because I know how much time and effort, as does my family, was put into acquiring the knowledge needed to pass those exams.

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