[Bf-education] Blender Certification

Knapp magick.crow at gmail.com
Wed Mar 23 09:17:46 CET 2011

On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 8:51 PM, Jason van Gumster <
jason at handturkeystudios.com> wrote:

> 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.

Having more income means that you can hire more workers. I don't see this as
taking talent away from Blender but instead bringing more in. Also if this
would bring Blender more into professional use than you will get a lot more
people that way too plus some studios might even volunteer their talent to
help improve blender. At this point most of our users are hobby users but
with something like this that might change.

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.

Although Blender does change and grow quickly that does not make most
training obsolete. The only place I can see this being a problem is between
2.49 and 2.5. Most of the rest of the changes are small in terms of getting
a project completed or the skill level of the user. For example making a box
and changing its shape by moving points has not and likely will not change.
Changes tend to be on the edges of the program like adding a cool smoke
function or making or improving some tool.  Nothing much really changes that
would make past training obsolete.

I think a user that is dedicated enough to pay for and receive a certificate
will also be staying on top of changes as they come. Also any time you get a
person to pay for something that thing becomes more valuable in their eyes.
I used to teach a martial art. I taught it for free and my students often
did not come to class and they almost never did their homework. I then
started charging 50 USD a month and I then started getting REALLY good
students that came to every class and did their homework. Sometimes price
means emotional investment and commitment. In the past I would teach for
free but not now. It is not about the money I get, but the quality of the

> 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.

I agree that this could be a full time position but not thankless. It can
bring in money (which could pay for this person), it can bring in talent and
it can improve the market penetration of Blender thus growing the user base
and hopefully the dev base too. The only reason I would not do it is that it
is sort of a bootstrap problem. We don't have many pro users because we
don't have certs and stuff like that thus we don't need a cert program.

>  -Jason

Douglas E Knapp

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with open source software!

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Please link to me and trade links with me!

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