Today I responded to the question about certification one of IT professionals here in Belarus. She was interested in my opinion about the certification as it is. I once told to one of testers who came to me for the interview that it is important that one cares to have one. On another hand I said many times that I don't care if one has a certificate up his or her sleeves.
I will try to explain it here. Once and for all =)
Firstly, I repeat I don't believe in certification because it is a try to provide a universal approach and solution to everything. Who does believe that it is possible? I personally don't.
What I believe is personal abilities to think, to solve problems and to actively drive to the goals. This is what I am looking in people. Not just a prove they have heard something about the matter.
The only reason I said this is important is because a person who acquired it cared to manage her career, minded to get new knowledge, which are good intentions. However, reading a professional book would do the same, not to say it would be better than most of certification programs.
Hopefully, it helps =)
P.S. From business perspective it also doesn't matter. Testers with and without certification are equally profitable for the company, so the compensations are the same. The fact that the company has engineers with certificates does not help at winning new projects.