5 Essential programming courses for IT professionals


In this age and time of technology, the number of businesses dependent upon computer code is increasing by the minute. Mind you, all these companies are not working in the technology domain. Due to an exorbitant demand, the tech jobs are becoming a high-paying avenue. With almost all domains employing code in their sphere of work, software engineers are working in big firms like Google, and at the same time in your local hospital or tire manufacturer’s warehouse. The boom of automation and technology has opened up a flurry of employment opportunities which require coding skills, with jobs growing at a fast pace. These five major job categories are the top providers of programming employment

  • Information Technology (IT) worker
  • Data Analysts
  • Engineers
  • Artists/ Designers
  • Scientists


Programming is defined as making use of a computer program to write certain instructions to a computer, instead of using already established applications. But it is far more complex than just writing certain instructions in a program. Programming requires impressive technical skills, analytical thinking, an ability to solve problems and a remarkable ability to plan ahead. Employers are looking for a mix of these skills in individuals, which has increased the potential income of good programmers. Proficient programmers are earning a good sum of money for their coding skill and the payout is only increasing.

Researchers reckon that there are over 6,500 languages spoken by humans around the globe, varying as we cross geographical boundaries. But what about programming languages that millions of programmers use every day? Although there are no robust research findings, many believe that there exists a pool of over 2,000 programming languages. But it is important to understand that some of these languages have been used in millions of applications, while some are used just for pleasure.

In current times, programming course certifications impart equal attention to development platforms as they provide to particular programming languages. You can also opt out for some online unity tutorials to make your learning curve steeper. As a large number of desktop programs are web-related or universal applications, programming experts should reflect on adding web and mobile application development experience to their portfolio. Through the course of this guide, we will present you with five programming certifications for programming professionals who wish to make it huge. There are a number of outstanding certifications and training materials available for web and mobile application developers.


Adobe Certified Experts (ACE)

The Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) certification has existed for over two decades now, providing certifications since the 1990s. The ACE certification program encompasses almost all the prominent Adobe products and platforms, which include Photoshop, Premiere Pro, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator. The experts who seek out ACE qualification should

  • Keep in mind the working of their target platform (tool)
  • Be able to create code and solutions to enhance the working capabilities of the tool
  • Make it even more accessible for the less proficient users

Students require a rudimentary experience in working with Adobe products and platforms to be able to excel in the course. Even though they are not majorly required, training classes are offered by Adobe through virtual and classroom training, which spans two days. These classes are priced in the range of USD 900 to USD 3600. Each module costs USD 180, where each student has to take an exam of 60 questions (per product), which are reported on a scale of 300 to 700, where the passing score is 500. Students are provided with a free exam guide, which includes exam topics, number of questions, sample questions and other material for the exam. Students can also purchase additional study material from the Adobe Certification Marketplace, which provides books, e-books, practice exams and a number of other learning tools. You can access the huge amount of courses available here:

C and C++

The courses C and C++ have a rich history behind them, where C made an entrance in the mid-1960s and C++ came forward in mid-1980s. C and C++ have been widely used since their inception and major applications around the world make use of these languages, in one way or the other. Even though most colleges and universities have a programming course on these languages, the C++ Institute has initiated the world’s first international C/C++ certifications. Students can decide from C and C9++ and climb the certification steps from associate to professional and in conclusion, senior. The available certifications are:

  • C Programming Language Certified Associate (CLA)
  • C Certified Professional Programmer (CLP)
  • C++ Certified Associate Programmer (CPA)
  • C++ Certified Professional Programmer (CPP)

The institute also aims to introduce the C Certified Senior Programmer (CLS) and C++ Certified Senior Programmer (CPS), which should be available soon. These certifications will remain relevant for life as these languages haven’t seen much change over the years. But the demand for these skills has only witnessed a growth over the past decades. The C/C++ certification can provide a platform to many other certifications, which have even more demand in the professional realm.

To achieve the professional and senior certification, lower level certification is mandatory. The online courses are provided free of charge, and students who opt-in can get a 50% discount on the exam fee. Each credential will require the student to take an exam which has nearly 65 questions and the passing percentage stands at 80. The exam fee is USD 295 per exam for non-students, and the students who opt-in for online courses are required to pay only USD 147.5. You can access all their credential offerings here:

Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP)

Similar to many other (ISC)2 certifications, the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) credential is vendor-neutral, which is applicable to various kinds of programming projects. The credential is primarily focused at QA testers, developers, and similar professionals, as its centre of attention is the capability of securing applications all through the development lifecycle of software. The exam will cover all the stages of this lifecycle, which include software concepts, design, coding and testing. Candidates should also have an idea of software acceptance, operations, supply chain and other components.

According to (ISC)2, the CSSLP credential is the only one which emphasizes security into the software development lifecycle phases. To achieve the credential, one must have a full-time experience in the software development lifecycle of over four years. The experience should be in any of the CSSLP domains. Students with three years of experience and a bachelors or equivalent degree in an IT field can also apply. Students take a four-hour exam comprising of 175 questions, and need to pass 75% points. The exam fee is USD 549 and it can be accessed here:

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer App Builder (MCSD App Builder)

Microsoft has been providing high-quality certifications for quite some time now. Most prominently, the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer is its prevailing certification for application developers and programmers. Previously, the MCSD program provided credentials in Web Applications, SharePoint applications, Application Lifecycle Management, Universal Windows Platform and Azure Solutions Architect. The program was revamped in 2016 end to align with the technical requirements majorly used by Microsoft partner network, retiring most MCSD credentials. We are discussing MCSE: App Builder credential below, which replaced Web Applications, SharePoint applications, Application Lifecycle Management and Universal Windows Platform.

The App Builder keeps a focus on application developers and authenticates the knowledge of a candidate, along with the technical skills required to create web services and mobile and web applications. In order to get hold of this credential, the candidates should obtain the MCSA: Web Application of MCSA: Universal Windows Platform certification first. Once they have acquired one of the above-mentioned credentials, they are required to pass one MCSD elective exam, which covers the following domains:

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server
  • Universal Windows Platform
  • Microsoft Visual Studio

Candidates pay a USD 165 exam fee, depending on their location. The exam can be accessed here:

Puppet Certified Professional (PCP)

Puppet was founded in 2005 and is chiefly recognized for its configuration management tool. Since its commencement, Puppet has grown significantly and has extended its reach to multiple countries. According to Puppet business statistics, over 35,000 companies use the Puppet tool. The Puppet Certified Professional (PCP) was first inducted in 2017. It confirms the technical knowledge of a candidate using Puppet. Even though there are formal prerequisites to earn the credential, candidates should have a rudimentary understanding of Puppet documentation, best practices, working with data and OS component maintenance.

Hands-on experience of Puppet is also beneficial, and the company recommends that both the Foundation and Practitioner courses, before the exam is taken. Although the certification does not expire, the exams are constantly updated to keep in sync with the latest version of Puppet software. Candidates should check for new versions of Puppet every 18 months for a new certification. The candidates have to pay USD 200 for an exam consisting of 60 questions, which have to be answered within 90 minutes. You can access the course here:



Apart from these five certifications, there are multiple certification programs available that can help the users supplement their career and invest in the development of their skill set. One should always carefully examine the features offered by the credential before taking an exam. Those who have an interest in programming will never face a shortage of programming certifications to choose from, but it is important to choose carefully and wisely.

Author:  Saurabh Hooda, Co-founder of Hackr

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