The Computer Programming Test Guide

Computer Programming Test Summary
What: Computer programming certification tests demonstrate that an IT pro has a rich understanding of computer programming technology.
Who: Programmers who wish to officially demonstrate their qualifications may test.
Where: Tests are offered at testing centers throughout the US, such as Prometric and Pearson VUE.
When: Tests are offered year-round; appointments usually are made directly with the test center.
How: Exams may be multiple-choice, short answer or demonstrative.
Type: Computer
Why: Certification demonstrates a high-level of knowledge and skills in computer programming.
Time: Exam times vary.
Language: Exams may be offered in languages other than English; check with the testing center upon registration.
Preparation: Coursework and experience in using the program are solid ways to prepare for a certification exam.
Cost: Exam fees vary depending on the organization and the particular exam.

By: Erin Hasinger, Tests.com


Computer programming certifications are important for those in the information technology field to demonstrate knowledge of specific languages or products. A number of different organizations offer certification by exam, including Microsoft, Novell, IBM, Cisco and Lotus. Many colleges and universities offer certificates in computer programming as well, and generally, these certification programs are more for general programming rather than for a specific language or product.


Vendor Certification


Dozens of different organizations offer product-specific certification. Microsoft, for example, certifies IT pros in programming for Microsoft products. Some Microsoft certifications include:


-    Microsoft Certified Database Administrator

-    Microsoft Certified Solution Developer

-    Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

-    Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer - Internet

-    Microsoft Certified Trainer


Microsoft certification exams average a cost of $125. All exams are offered at either Prometric or Certiport test centers. Appointments to test are available year round. For more detailed information on Microsoft certification programs, see the Microsoft Certification Test Guide.


Novell is another organization that offers computer programming certification tests. Certification programs include:


-    Certified Internet Professional - Web Designer

-    Certified Internet Professional - Web Developer

-    Certified Novell Instructor  

-    Certified Novell Engineer


Novell exams range from less than an hour to nearly four hours. Exams are offered in two formats – traditional and practicum. The traditional exam bears a $125 registration fee. Traditional exams are offered at Pearson VUE Test Centers. Practicum exams are $195 and are offered in many US cities at various locations. Candidates can select their nearest training facility during the registration process.


IBM certifies programmers in development and administration. Certification programs include:



-    IBM Certified Solutions Expert - DB2 Application Developer

-    IBM Certified Solutions Expert - DB2 Data Administrator

-    IBM Certified Advanced Technical Expert


IBM certification exams range from one hour to two-and-a-half hours. Test fees range from $150 to $200. All exams are offered through Prometric Test Centers, and registration can be done directly with them.


Oracle offers more than a dozen certifications for applications. Each certification exam has its own specific requirements, which are usually a combination of education and professional experience. Exams are offered year-round, world-wide at Pearson VUE test centers. Registration should be done online through Pearson VUE.


College or University Programmer Certification


Another route to certification is through a program offered at a college, university or training center. Generally, such a program includes a number of courses, each culminating in a final exam. Depending on the program, a series of successful courses and exams will lead to computer programming certification. A program may include courses that are product-specific, and an aspiring programmer can select which courses to take depending on their experience or career goals. Coursework and exams may be offered on a college campus or inside a training facility, or they may occur online. In an online certification program, students may be required to report to a local test center to take exams.


All certification programs will have a required number of credit hours that must be completed. Students will either pay by the course or by the credit hour. Requirements for a certification program typically include an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and work experience in computer programming or general information technology.


For more on computer programming exams, see the Computer Programming Test Directory.


Sources: Microsoft, Oracle, Novell and IBM