"Tom and Daisy were careless people."
Over the last two years, I've given a fair piece of my idle-cycle time to thinking about how we go about making people aware of what's in their true economic and personal interest -- and how to organize people to further those interests.
I've been thinking, in other words, about class consciousness.
I toyed with the idea of trying to start a "professionals guild", that people could join to support one another, bargain for health care, provide reference or job-skills services, etc. Each downturn the economy takes brings us closer to the (to me, nightmare) vision of 'jobs and email without borders'; if we were going to end up there, I reasoned, we'd better have a posse behind us when we did.
I thought the August Group might be a start down that path. But what I learned from that was that to get something going, you've got to fight to make it work every day, and what's more, you've got to have an idea of what you want to accomplish. If both of those things aren't true, you've got nothing.
The key for all of this is trust: Do you trust the people you are committed to helping? Do you trust them to be professional (whatever that means)? Do you trust them to validate your endorsement?
Certification doesn't solve that problem. Professionalism is something that's known by reputation, not certified by test or process.
Technology goes stale, and that's especially true for Microsoft technology. (Not a slam, just a fact -- it's designed that way.) Today's MCSE is tomorrow's trivial wall-decoration. Much more of value are the projects you've worked on, and the opinions of their stakeholders.
But of course, getting that information would take time, and can't be automated.
And what's more, when you get it, the impressions are colored by the fact that almost no project is properly defined to begin with, so no one can honestly tell why it succeeded or failed, or who was responsible.
And while that's a truism across modern industry, no groups of professionals in business know more about that than IT and Development.