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You really need to create a Certification Course

[quote=“Gbr, post:23, topic:108355”]

Great stream, thanks for sharing! That’s one of the better ones, maybe even the strongest Epic ever put out.
Its just filled with lots of content / hints / insight. But its light too, while also being pretty brutally honest as well.
Must be an amazing place to work and immensely tough too… Just the talent level inside those walls - wow!

So, we have discussed some sort of Certification program and how that would translate out to the wide world. Right now our main focus is getting a lot of the curriculum updated and in a good place. We’re also constantly making updates to Unreal Engine. We want to make sure it is a great place before we start to step in that direction. We do have a fantastic Educators site you can check out for more information on furthering Unreal Engine studies, which also includes links to some amazing Unreal Engine textbooks. Learn How to Use Unreal Engine - A Powerful Real-Time 3D Creation Platform - Unreal Engine

I’m genuinely curious - why do Epic feel that it would be beneficial to run such a certification programme? The response from most of us in the thread has been fairly negative towards such a thing, and I personally have never found a UE4 textbook worth the paper it’s written on. This is especially the case since we transitioned from UDK to UE4, where even Epic’s own tutorials go out of date quickly as the engine is updated (no bad thing). (Hell I’m still telling people what PCIP is).

What I worry about with this kind of thing, is that developers like myself and others who are “in the know”, would suddenly have to pay out for a course that tells other people I know what a Blueprint is for example. I can understand curriculum-based activities for students, and perhaps to some extent the archviz/design/film communities where they are used to that kind of thing from Autodesk for example - but not so much for industry/games folks.

If such a thing is created - please consider avoiding calling it a ‘Certification’ programme, because it creates the assumption that people without it know less than those with it, which can be damaging.

[USER=“1580150”][EPIC] Kalvothe[/USER]

Certs are fine when the technical subject is narrow and instructions and steps are unambiguous. But that’s not game work! TECHNIQUE is a word that stands out repeatedly in game dev. From GDC presentations to sample-projects. However, its hard to glean techniques from books / certs, as game work is just too practical! In the vastness of game dev, you’d have to break Certs up into much finer sections. For example:

#1. Everything Characters, including Anims and Rigging soft-body / skin-shader

#2. Everything-Multiplayer, including large-worlds and dedicated / listen servers

#3. Everything-AI, including simulating human-player emotions or behaviors etc

But that’d probably explode and become too broad, complicated or ambiguous eventually. What worked in the past was just good ‘sample projects’. For example UDK had 2 solid flagship demos that worked across multiple engine versions (unlike UE4’s C++ shooter demo). Dissecting those and taking them apart, seeing best practice helped a lot. Sadly UE4 lacks definite all-encompassing projects, despite the vast amount of assets and projects given away by Epic. So for UE5 you might think about this… Also, complete reference guides, that explain why one Node or Function should be used over another. In the new workflow of simultaneous commenting + coding, that kind of clarity could help developers out a lot… :slight_smile:

I don’t think a Certification would succeed in an environment where the documentation is still with a lot of holes, not updated, not clear in some cases… How that certification material would look like? It makes even more worried after seeing so many new features coming in the near releases…

To be clear, I did not say we were going to do it, it just has been something that was discussed. When the time comes to actually examine if we’re going to do it, we’ll look at the big picture and impacts across multiple channels before we moved in any direction!

One of the main reasons we have not had those discussions, as I mentioned above, is because we still have some strides to make towards ensuring that our documentation and curriculum is up to date. We have an amazing team internally that work very hard to make sure things stay up to date, but it takes time.

So in short, don’t panic, we’re not committed to one side of this kind of program or another.

Cool cool, makes sense! Be interesting to hear more on the subject when/if it crops up again!

I think I don’t need a certificate nor a fortune teller to tell me that with this attitude your career will burn neither bright nor long. But let me give you a piece of advice nonetheless - the most valuable piece of knowledge, the bit that you will never learn through tutorials, or documentation, is the line of code written by a senior programmer with multiple shipped games. Treasure that code like it’s the most valuable thing in the world and look to it as a reference to everything you do. I keep every single snippet of code that Epic has shared from Paragon and Fornite over the past few years and it’s been an invaluable glimpse into good code practices.

That is not to say that Epic are the only authority on this subject. Spending a week’s time browsing this forum will quickly show you who the people are who, for the lack of a better term, know their ****. Pay attention to posts by those people, the code and workflow posted by those people and you will improve faster than you can imagine.

Or, you could of course disregard this and make another low-effort ad hominem at someone trying to help you, in which case I’d consider risking an infraction to tell you what’s most likely on everyone’s mind when they read some of your replies in this thread.

Certifications can be good but keeping them up to date is problematic.

Dat bump…

Taking certification test only proves that you can answer multiple choice questions about some game development subjects.
Creating games is what you need to show how to do it. Be it your level design, your editor software for a level, your GDD, this is what it takes account.

Let’s prove that Messi is an excellent football player by answering questions about football tactics or dribbling…NO! Everyone can watch what he does on the field!

Why would going to college for four or more years be worth anything if degrees, certifications and test taking are all worthless? After all, when you graduate college all you get is a piece of paper showing that you paid your money and took all the required testing. I agree that a piece of paper doesn’t mean you are going to be really good (skilled and talented) in a particular field, but the piece of paper does prove that you were exposed to the majority of the key areas you need knowledge in. People often view certifications and degrees from the wrong perspective. A certification or a degree is more about exposure and knowledge rather than raw skill and talent. So we already understand that a certification or a degree does not mean you automagically graduate with the necessary skill and talent you need to do well in that job field. We’ve all met some so-called degreed professionals that still suck at their job. Don’t even get me started on some of the worthless lawyers and worthless doctors I have encountered with framed certifications and degrees hanging up in their office.

A common problem of getting a job is based on the reality of getting past Human Resource departments who are just looking for pre-specified keywords, and who are also looking for paper certifications and paper degrees. I’ll use myself as an example. I have over 19 years in web design and have been using Photoshop/Illustrator/Adobe Suite, etc. for over 25 years. I have a killer online portfolio showcasing my design work and have worked for major corporations. And here’s the kicker… I don’t have a single degree in Graphic Design, Programming or even a certification in Art of any kind. Now, here’s the real world problem I face all of the time when applying for jobs (mostly 6 months to 1-year contracts) the HR department often tosses my resume into the trash because they don’t see the “Bachelor’s Degree” keyword they are looking for. That’s just the real world reality of not having a piece of paper showing a certification or a degree. The problem is that you really need both. Yes, you need a killer demo reel or a killer online portfolio to showcase your skill and talent, but you also need the piece of paper (certification or degree) that gets you past the HR buzzword police and to prove you have been exposed to important and key field areas.

So has not having that piece of paper hurt me over the years? Yes, you better believe it has. In the majority of senior-level positions I have applied for, the same stumbling block happens to me over and over again: a minimum of a “Bachelor’s Degree” required. My resume gets thrown-out all the time. So if you really think that a piece of paper (certification and degree) is worthless, then you are simply not living in the reality of the real world. Would having a killer demo reel or portfolio be useful? Hell yes. Would also having a certification in Unreal Engine be useful in the game development industry? Yes, absolutely! Is Unity doing the smart thing by providing certification pathways for its user base? Yes, absolutely! The final answer is… ideally you would want both. One to show you have been exposed to and tested in key areas of field knowledge and the other to show you truly have the skill and the talent for the job.

I don’t think it’s worth trying to support that path just because there might be an idiot in the hiring process who doesn’t know anything about the requirements for the job and doesn’t know that certifications in this area aren’t a good measure of skill.

Ok. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is hiring. There are 500 applications and only a week to parse them all. What are your choices?
a. Employ the help of others to figure out who gets to go to the next stage of the application process by looking at portfolios first.
b. Painstakingly read every applications resume and cover letter for details that give you confidence enough to look at that individuals portfolio.
c. Use an automated system to check for aptitude indicator keywords and phrases which automatically selects people’s portfolios for you
d. Well, you tell me!

Personally, c is the winner for me, and sure, whether or not the employer actually cares about certification is up to them, but it is a clear and discreet advantage in most cases that can increase the employer’s chances of having as many quality interviews as possible.

…but the inconvenient reason why the unreal job market might not need certification is simply because there’s just not that much demand! It’s a far more niche market that unity’s, and because of this, the applicant pool is probably going to be less too, meaning that you’re usually going to be able to sublimate to an interview of some sort, as long as you word your resume right, of course.

The market for the Unreal developers could be not that niche as you think if one would trust such reports.

As an employer, I would definitely ignore any certification ■■■■■■■■.
A quick glance at the artist portfolio tells much more than some paper than everybody could obtain mostly thanks to paying for certification.
Such paper also tells nothing about the skills of designers or programmers.

It would be just another thing to appear as “expert” in the eyes of those HR people who know nothing about the job they’re recruiting for… So maybe useful for less demanding industries :wink:

I am a person who often has to sift through applications - certification would be completely useless as far as I’m concerned, because I’m looking for aptitude outside of memorising where features are in a version of the editor that’s years old. Game engines move fast, when I look at candidates, I look at their previous work as an indication of their capability. I will often hire candidates with zero Unreal experience, because I presume that anyone capable of working in a rapidly changing environment can adapt and train themselves on the job.

Can’t help but think the call for certification isn’t just about career progression, its also about being starved for quality learning resources at advanced level. Live-Streams are fine. But there’s just not enough of them, and many take years to return to topics that ran out of time the first time around. What’s left? Diving into source. Fine, but that’s not for everyone! I really wish Epic would focus on making advanced tutorials / docs / wikis AND only do basic / intermediate videos afterwards if there’s time. Talking here about best practice etc. How many years of tutorials / forum threads / AH posts do you need to trawl through to learn the best techniques…???

And what would a certification program have to do with that?

This logic is beyond me.

Training…

Before Certs became a scam on an industrial scale, they used to mean focused education & learning.

A theoretical example… What if Epic were ever to offer Certified Courses in C++ / Multiplayer / AI etc?
It might work, as long as courses offered proven quality of learning, and weren’t just about selling Certs.
Who cares what the Cert means afterwards, its the quality of training that most devs really want / need.
In that sense the Cert is purely symbolic. Its just a fast track to proficiency, versus years of Trial & Error…