"The ARM Accredited Engineer certification program we are developing with Prometric will be a key factor in driving the proliferation of
engineers with demonstrable skills in the design and development of devices integrating ARM technology," said Paul Elbro, vice president and general manager of ARM Services, in a statement. "ARM Accredited Engineer certification will be an important differentiator for the industry's engineers and engineering students."
ARM said on its website that engineers, engineering employers and students would all find the AAE certification program useful.
Engineers could use it to secure better jobs, promotions and pay-rises while students could use the AAE to help demonstrate their suitability to be employed. For employers the AAE benchmark will provide a consistent way of selecting superior engineers, ARM said. ARM is also expecting universities to sign up as ARM Accredited University Partner by teaching the AAE syllabus and purchasing a number of examination vouchers for their students annually.
However, the AAE certification is only first qualification in the program. It is intended to be an entry-level qualification that focuses on software-related aspects of the ARMv7 architecture with a specific focus on the Cortex-A and Cortex-R cores, processors and software tools. It does not include questions about Cortex-M cores and systems.
According to ARM's website the company plans to roll out a suite of accreditation qualifications covering a range of different domains and specialist areas (see diagram). The accreditation scheme divides into embedded, microcontroller and system-chip tracks and covers more specialized knowledge on graphics, security and Android.
Click on image to enlarge.
ARM certification pathways Source: ARM
Candidates for the entry-level exam are expected to be familiar with the C programming language and have the ability to read and understand ARM assembly language code as well as a good grounding in basic software engineering and development skills. The entry-level syllabus could be downloaded from ARM's website when this article was first posted.
To say that only those three are in the microprocessor 'space' shows a lack of knowledge of what is shipping out in the real world. All the older 8 and 16 bit cores are still shipping in high volume, and the fpga/asic IP cores are also shipping in high volume. And most are NOT based around Arm and Mips. I designed high volume products for over 20 years before using an ARM part and that was based on the cost benefit, not any architectual superiority. Certification only has meaning IF the person can apply the knowledge used to gain his piece of 'paper' in the real world.
Well the good news is engineers are not compelled to take the test.
But if employers and HR people start asking for AAE certification as a pre-condition for certain jobs and work then those that have it will get the work.
But engineers with 20 years experience should be able to schedule a test and pass easily, right?
So then it will be back to a level playing field with the experienced engineers beating out the recent grads that only have the AAE.
I believe that this is a good step by ARM, not because it will generate lot of good programmers but it will certainly proliferate ARM's architecture among the student community and be helpful as a guide for employers in ascertaining a candidates profile. The certification has multiple levels so it's not just about processors but includes software, hardware and systems knowledge which makes for an all round skill for intending to go all the way.
It would probably also help in increasing the arm talent pool in the job market and also aid free lancer embedded programmers who are new to ARM.
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