What is All This About LabVIEW Certification?

You probably have heard about Certified LabVIEW Developers and Certified LabVIEW Architects, but what exactly does that mean? In this article, I’ll describe the certification program a little, including what a person has to go through to achieve each level of certification. In the next article: “Do You Need a Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD)?”, I’ll discuss some of the advantages of getting certified. Also, I’ll give some guidance on what you may need for your project.

Several years ago, in an effort to standardize LabVIEW coding practices, elevate proficiency and increase professionalism, National Instruments introduced the LabVIEW certification program. The program has expanded to include many more NI tools, but in this article I will focus on the LabVIEW certifications.

Currently, there are three levels of certifications: Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (CLAD), Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD), and Certified LabVIEW Architect (CLA). Each level of certification requires previous levels to be achieved as a prerequisite. And each level focuses on a different aspect of developing applications with LabVIEW.

The CLAD focuses on basic understanding and familiarization with labVIEW. Candidates take a closed-book, timed, multiple-choice test covering terminology, execution of some simple diagrams, and other aspects that should be familiar to anyone that has used LabVIEW for even a few hundred hours.

After achieving the CLAD, a programmer can apply for the CLD. To get a CLD, the candidate must develop a complete, and fully functional application, involving several modules running in parallel. Only four hours are allowed for this work, from when they first see the multi-page specification, until they have to complete a working and documented application. That is a tight schedule, but the reasoning is only someone very fluent with LabVIEW could possibly accomplish this fast enough. Passing this earns them the designation Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD).

Once someone has a CLD, they can apply for the CLA. This last certification level is very challenging. The idea is to assess how well someone can work on a much larger LabVIEW project. The same four-hour time limit is used, so there is not time to complete the application. Instead, the developer is expected to select an appropriate architecture, define several modules, and design and document enough of the details of each module that “a team of CLD’s can complete the application”. Only a small fraction of the people that attempt this level of certification achieve it.

Certifications have to be renewed every few years, so you know that a certification indicates a current level of ability.

So, why bother? Read the next article to find out.

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