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One problem I’ve found when attending job interviews in the past is demonstrating a range of technology skills, without having to show full projects to a client or take expensive specialised certifications. For most of us, we may know a little CSS / PHP / HTML, but how can you show this certificate information to a potential employer?

Meet the Gild, a free website with lots of technology-based certifications, for free, that are actually recognised by companies. If you’re really good, you can win prizes too!

Certification

At the core of Gild, there are over 30 core technology based tests on all the major programming languages as well as software and systems in top demand by major IT companies. Each certification is broken into 3 levels and takes between 20-60 minutes to complete. I’ll be honest and say most of them are quite challenging, even on the basic levels. I tried some last year and got mediocre results, but I spent a few hours again this morning and had improved greatly. Unfortunately, test scores take 3 days to be graded, but you’ll get an email when they’re done.

show certificate information

Profile

This is the really exciting bit that you can show to potential employers, where the results of your tests are shown. You can choose not to display individual results on the public transcript if they’re pretty bad. If you get above a certain score, you will receive a medal too. Unfortunately my British grammar school education only left me with a measly bronze in written English, but no matter. I took the advanced level while writing this article, and I’m fairly certain it pushed me higher! You can view my own public profile here, but promise not to laugh. You can even add a full CV, and use the URL as your professional web presence.

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You even get achievements, where you can showcase your medals and such.

Job Search

If you score a perfect 800 on the advanced PHP test, you’d be wise to apply immediately for some of the high level IT jobs that are listed on the site. Another great feature is the “pre-qualified” jobs section, which extrapolates jobs you’re suited to depending on your test results so far. Don’t be sad if you see the following though, you just need to specialise a little more!

Competitions

If you’ve got talent, you can easily get some great prizes that are sponsored by major IT corporations. The competitions are understandably high level and focus on either on programming or abstract cryptography or logic puzzles – but they’re open for anyone to try. The prizes on offer are usually some kind of tech gadget like an iPad or camera, but I haven’t been good enough to win anything yet.

show certificate information

Even if you’re not a programming master, I think this is a great way to gauge your skills overall and leave you with something you can actually show an employer – even if you’re not heading for an IT specific job. For non-tech jobs and smaller companies, employers are often grateful if you can demonstrate some tech knowledge such as HTML and CSS to fix the company site. Even if you’re not looking for a job, taking tests is fun!

Let us know what you think of Gild and what test scores you managed to achieve!

  1. James Bruce
    February 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Nothing to prevent cheating, but if you try and cheat your way into a tech job you're quickly going to be booted out. Obviously, you wouldn't JUST show a potential employer some online tests you took, but it's a good addition to have as well a college education etc, or just to show you can do other things.

    If you think it's valueless, then a resume/CV must also be valueless, since you can basically put whatever the hell you want on there, and the only one bit of truth needs to be your latest job, and reference.

    I guess if you really wanted to, you could pay someone to do the tests for you, but if you need to do that, I'm not sure you would hold your ground in the interview to be honest.

  2. BrianFitz
    February 21, 2011 at 9:40 am

    WOW, your really a Certified iPod Nano End User ? and your bragging about sync'in up MP3 Players, heck my 11 year son can do that, plus he has even built his own computer out of some of my parts and a old eMachine box I had laying around, he reformatted a HDD that had XP pro on it and installed Windows 7 Ultimate on it too, and right now he's hittin me up for a loan so he can buy a new AMD 6 core CPU & Mobo so he can assemble a new Rig, ( he said his 2.8 i5 is too slow ).
    I'm kinda scared to take these test because as soon as I do, he'll want to just to show me up. ( and I'm a Microsoft Tech Partner, with C+ certification and I actually work for Time Warner Cable's Internet/Road Runner trobleshooting tech service dept.)

  3. OblongCircles
    February 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    LMAO...You should hire me because I am a Certified iPod Nano End User. If you or your staff ever have trouble synchronizing your MP3 players, I'm your guy!

    • Gues1357
      February 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm

      Ha! My shlong is bigger than yours! Is not! Mine is bigger! Congrats on yours and your sons achievements brian, however that really doesn't impress me. I don't care who's is bigger, or how many pc's your newborn can build. Can people never resist the urge to put someone else down to make themselves look good?

    • James Bruce
      February 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      Um, I think he said that sarcastically...

  4. Kshitij
    February 12, 2011 at 12:06 am

    nice concept.

  5. Diggy
    February 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    An interesting concept. Of course, for certifications to gain traction, they have to be recognized by more and more A-list companies, for one thing.

    Out of curiosity, what's to prevent cheating on either the certification exams or the competitions? The time limits imposed on completing them? Unless the cert exams are cheat-proof, they're pretty much valueless.

    I participated in the "World Leaders" competiton, just for fun. Difficult, indeed! Btw, I didn't cheat. And, my score was pretty poor.

    • James Bruce
      February 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      Nothing to prevent cheating, but if you try and cheat your way into a tech job you're quickly going to be booted out. Obviously, you wouldn't JUST show a potential employer some online tests you took, but it's a good addition to have as well a college education etc, or just to show you can do other things.

      If you think it's valueless, then a resume/CV must also be valueless, since you can basically put whatever the hell you want on there, and the only one bit of truth needs to be your latest job, and reference.

      I guess if you really wanted to, you could pay someone to do the tests for you, but if you need to do that, I'm not sure you would hold your ground in the interview to be honest.

  6. Diggy
    February 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    An interesting concept. Of course, for certifications to gain traction, they have to be recognized by more and more A-list companies, for one thing.

    Out of curiosity, what's to prevent cheating on either the certification exams or the competitions? The time limits imposed on completing them? Unless the cert exams are cheat-proof, they're pretty much valueless.

    I participated in the "World Leaders" competiton, just for fun. Difficult, indeed! Btw, I didn't cheat. And, my score was pretty poor.

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