Marketing Python is urgent, part #1: a Python Certification

Thing changes

For about three years, I had one of the best place a Python developer could dream of in France : one of the most Python-friendly company out there (Nuxeo), that was promoting the language everytime it was possible. In this context, even though you've told so, you don't feel how Python is small compared to Java in the business area. You just don't want to hear about it because you develop great software, and feel happy with Python.

But time are changing, and when your company decides to drop Python for Java for the main language, a lot of things goes through one developer's head.
- First of all, I felt like back in college, where people were laughing at me and my redhat box, because everybody was under Windows and thaught Linux was a piece of crap. I felt like I was pushed into some kind of minority. Weird feeling. - Secondly, I felt a little bitter because I understood, while all arguments of such a switch are quite understandable, that it's mostly a problem of money, because Python can do what Java does. If I would've been a billionnaire 10 years ago, Python would be the standard nowadays, and all arguments could be flipped ;). But the reality is here now, Java is the main stream language in OSS. Java and its related technologies are interesting, but I still look at them like I look at Ruby: what are their strengths ? How Python can learn of them ? This is a pragmatic Pythoneer habit. - Last but not least, with all the evangelism I've been doing these past years, in english or in french through my book or the AFPY user group, I still want to promote Python and be part of its community.

But how ?

This blog will throw ideas about marketing Python

All the talks about my company switch makes me feel like marketing Python is urgent, so it grows in companies, schools, etc. Looking at how Ruby does its marketing is quite interesting, but this language is still too young to be able to differenciate the reality from the buzz effect yet.

Looking at how Linux did, and still does its marketing, is more interesting because you know what worked and what didn't.

So this blog will focus on a few things that could be done. And this first post focuses on Python Certification.

Important notice: i have digged to find some infos on this topic, but if I missed something that is beeing done, please forgive me and comment this post.

A Python Certification

Linux certifications, brought for example by Dan York and the LPI, have became great tools to promote Linux in business.

The benefits are quite simple :
- Certification centers promote Linux and pay big money in advertisment to attract students - The LPI is a non-profit organization and can therefore create a standard in certification, that is followed by everyone - The students became in their own Linux evangelists, and there's a crowd of students out there that are just waiting to know the truth ;) - Companies can rely on it to hire - Developers can obtain it to get recognized

So what about Python ? Take the last chapter I wrote, change "Linux" by "Python", and "LPI" by "PSF" and you get the idea.

I really believe the Python Software Foundation should create a Python certification. That's probably what we are going to dig on our side at AFPY and maybe come up with some proposition at the PSF. And you, readers ? what are your opinion about it ? I'd love to hear it.
Next time I'll talk about the Python Program Certification, which is basically the same idea but applies to software standardisation and quality, and about cheesecake, which is a great idea.