[Bf-education] Blender Certification

Jason van Gumster jason at handturkeystudios.com
Tue Mar 22 20:51:19 CET 2011

laurent <laurent at tdm.info> wrote:

> On 22/03/11 06:24, Knapp wrote:
> > It may be a huge resource hog but it also can be a huge money maker 
> > for the BF!
> >
> I totally agree with you Douglas. I can understand the concern in 
> reference to the resources that need to be allocated to such a process 
> but it will pay back in term of recognition of Blender as a big player 
> in the world of 3D and there are a lot of derivatives income streams 
> that can be generated from that (books, trainings).

See my response to his email for why the financial argument may not hold all
that well.

> Maybe one way to keep the process cost-effective we would need to create 
> a draft of a certification using a volunteer-based approach, and in 
> collaboration with Certified Trainers.
> Jason, would you agree with such approach ?

Perhaps. My understanding is that using trainers to provide certification is
the preferred approach. If someone were to set up a business to do user
training and certification, that would be ideal. Alternatively, our stable of
trainers could probably be convinced to agree on a set of standards by which
they provide their own user certifications. In either case, my understanding is
that the ideal solution would be one where the Blender Foundation has minimal

> I am a bit worried that there seem to be no vivid interest from the 
> Blender Foundation in term of end-user certification. Without their 
> backing a Certification is a lot less meaningful. Certifying trainers is 
> a good thing but it does not give the learner an opportunity to have a 
> consistent way of proving his skills/achievements at least at a basic level.
> I am not a pro of Blender, but as a teacher, I know there are different 
> approach to the same subject and without baseline data/tests, it is 
> difficult to compare achievement. Just to make it clearer, I am talking 
> here about a basic to medium level of Certification equivalent to 
> industry standard certification (LPIC, CISCO, Java), based on knowledge 
> and skills.

There are other assorted problems with user certification. For instance, do you
certify against a certain version of Blender? Which one? There's talk of doing
releases every two months. Or do you certify a user in a particular discipline
(e.g. modeling, animation, etc.)? That doesn't seem like a very common practice
in the realm of certifying users for creative software. And with the constantly
changing target that Blender is, who is going to maintain the inevitably
changing baseline tests and standards? It's difficult enough to keep our
documentation comprehensive and up-to-date.

I don't know. For all outward appearances, user certification looks like a
large, thankless task that would require a full-time commitment from someone.
I'm not a decisionmaker on this topic, but personally, I feel that the
foundation's resources would be better spent on improving Blender itself.


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