To get a badge

Two years ago I did a lot of work related to badging (Example) using the Open Badges 2.0 standard. At the time I had little intuition about the value. Yesterday I got a certificate for completing a Linux Foundation course. It was surprisingly satisfying, so much so that I added it to my LinkedIn profile.

When I took the course, it was partly for the learning and partly for the badge. I want to be able to position myself as a subject matter expert, and both the learning and the credential are useful. The desire to acquire the badge validated my earlier assumption that badges do lead to action.

This badge does not use Open Badges 2.0 as far as I can tell. That standard appears to be stone cold dead. There was no mention of the standard anywhere in the process or visible code. What makes the badge valuable instead are the signatories and the branding. Hero text: "The Linux Foundation"; then, with facsimile signatures, "Clyde Seepersad, SVP & General Manager, Training and Certification The Linux Foundation" and "Kay Williams, Chair of the Governing Board Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF)."

The badges I was issuing wouldn't have been as effective. The signatories would have been missing. The underlying evaluation would be purely algorithmic.The branding would have been an unknown startup.

The badge I did receive is valuable enough that I paid for a course I could have taken for free, just because the certificate might be helpful for my career. Sharing a badge allows me to communicate that I have knowledge. Also, demonstrating completion of the coursework is relevant to The CII Best Practices badge, which has two tests that the certificate would influence:

  • The project MUST have at least one primary developer who knows how to design secure software.

  • At least one of the project's primary developers MUST know of common kinds of errors that lead to vulnerabilities in this kind of software, as well as at least one method to counter or mitigate each of them.

You get what you measure. I wanted to show success on the metric, so I went and got the knowledge.

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