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Developers seeking to demonstrate their mad skills in Apache Solr/Lucene (news, site) Search now have something new to do other than stay up at night playing first person shooters on XBox 360. Lucid Imagination (news, site) is offering the first Lucene certification -- and it's free for a few Lucene Revolution attendees.

Certification for Lucene Revolution

The new Lucid Certified Developer Exam is the first benchmark of open source search. However, if the exam does well, we will likely see more entrants to the market. Lucid's exam covers:

  • General search and web application environment
  • Lucene fundamentals
  • Indexing
  • Searching
  • General Solr knowledge

A list of topics is available on Lucid's site. However, the abundance of “be familiar with” might raise a few eyebrows among detail-oriented developers. CMSWire will see what the temperature about the certification is among the Lucene developer community at the upcoming Lucene Revolution.

Demand for Lucene skills has grown tremendously over the last few years. Growth in data sizes for organizations of all types has resulted in a need for faster, more efficient access to gain insights at near real-time speed. Open source solutions like Lucene have changed the market by providing alternatives to expensive proprietary enterprise search implementations. The software is offered free, but companies like Lucid offer commercial distributions and professional services.

Lucene and Solr are used at several Fortune 500 organizations, but are just as frequently used by small and mid-sized companies. Currently, Lucene ranks among the top 15 open source projects and is one of the top five Apache projects. The project cited over 4,000 installations when Lucid announced the certification exam.

Lucid developed the exam using a team of subject matter experts including Apache Lucene and Solr committers, developers and trainers. The exam has a $250 registration fee and is available at Prometric test centers. Test takers are required to sign a nondisclosure agreement, which likely just an emotive symbolic gesture because few certifications last beyond a week without “sample” questions finding their way to Internet forums.

Lucid has said, however, that the course focuses more on real-world implementation than memorization; the exam does not have a practical portion that requires hands-on delivery, unlike some certifications such as Oracle’s, previously Sun’s, Java Enterprise Architect certification. According to Lucid's CEO, Eric Gries, 

This test is a benchmark that levels the playing field for search developers. Now they have a trusted global mechanism to demonstrate their top-notch Lucene/Solr application development skills, above and beyond. This will help employers find the people who have the best skills to take full advantage of the best open-source search technology on the planet.”

Several companies have already gone on record expressing support for the new certification exam. Developers and employers can register for the certification or learn more. A limited number of test seats will be offered free of charge on May 24 to attendees of the upcoming Lucene Revolution Conference 2011.

 

 Will you be finding out if Lucid's exam is worth the time?