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Top 10 Software Development Engineer Certifications

This article outlines the top software development engineer certifications available, including information on the benefits of each certification and how to obtain them.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for a software development engineer in the job market because they demonstrate to potential employers that the engineer has a certain level of expertise in the field. Certifications can also help demonstrate that the engineer has knowledge of specific technologies or frameworks, and can provide proof of their technical abilities. Additionally, certifications can show that an engineer is dedicated to their profession and willing to invest time and money into furthering their skills. Finally, certifications can give engineers an advantage over non-certified applicants since they often serve as a measure of quality assurance for employers.

The article reviews some of the top certifications for Software Development Engineers and explains how they can help to advance a software development engineer's career.

What are Software Development Engineer Certifications?

Software development engineer certification is a professional certification program designed to help software engineers develop the skills and knowledge necessary to design, develop, maintain, and deploy software applications. This certification is typically offered by software engineering organizations, universities, and professional associations.

The goal of software development engineer certification is to ensure that software engineers have the right skills and knowledge needed to build reliable and efficient applications. It also provides a way for employers to assess the qualifications of potential employees in order to hire the most qualified individuals.

Certification programs typically include courses related to programming languages, databases, operating systems, web technologies, security measures, project management, user interface design, and other topics related to developing software applications. Through these courses, certified professionals are able to demonstrate their expertise in both theory and practice.

Having a certified software development engineer can be beneficial for employers because it ensures that they have an employee who has been trained in the latest technologies and best practices for developing reliable applications. Additionally, having certified personnel can give employers an edge when competing for contracts or bidding on projects since clients often prefer working with experienced professionals who are recognized as certified experts in their field. Finally, having a certified engineer on staff can help build customer confidence since they know that their application is being developed by someone with the necessary skillset.

Pro Tip: If you are considering getting a software development engineer certification, make sure to research the specific certifications offered in your field and the requirements for each certification. This will help you determine which one is best suited for your skills and experience level. Additionally, ensure that the certification is up-to-date, as technology changes quickly and certifications may become outdated if they are not regularly updated.

Related: What does a Software Development Engineer do?

Top 10 Software Development Engineer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Software Development Engineers today.

1. Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer

Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer is a professional certification for developers who have mastered the core skills and technologies of the Java programming language. It is designed to validate the skills, knowledge, and abilities of experienced developers working with the Java Platform, Standard Edition 8 (Java SE 8).

The Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer exam consists of two parts: a multiple-choice section and an essay section. The multiple-choice section tests your knowledge of basic concepts, syntax, and coding techniques related to the Java language. The essay portion tests your ability to apply those concepts in practical scenarios.

It typically takes about three months to prepare for the Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer exam. This includes studying for the multiple-choice section as well as writing practice essays. You should also familiarize yourself with Oracle’s official documentation on the topics covered by the exam.

To get certified, you must pass both sections of the exam with a score of at least 70%. Once you have passed both sections, you will be awarded your Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer certification.

The cost of taking the Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs around $300 USD to take this exam in North America or Europe.

2. Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) is a certification program that validates an individual’s ability to develop and maintain applications using Microsoft technologies. It is designed for professionals who have experience in developing and maintaining applications on the Microsoft platform.

The MCSD certification requires passing four exams: two core exams and two elective exams. The core exams cover topics such as developing web applications, developing Windows Store apps, designing and implementing Windows Azure solutions, and designing and implementing service-oriented architecture solutions. The elective exams cover topics such as developing mobile applications, deploying SharePoint solutions, administering SQL Server databases, and creating business intelligence solutions with Microsoft SQL Server.

It typically takes about six months of study to prepare for the MCSD certification. Candidates should be familiar with the technologies covered by the exam before attempting it. Additionally, they should have hands-on experience working with these technologies in order to pass the exam.

The cost of taking the MCSD certification exam varies depending on location but generally ranges from $150 to $200 per exam.

3. AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate

AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate is an entry-level certification offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is designed to validate a candidate’s knowledge and skills in designing, deploying, and managing applications on the AWS platform. The certification covers topics such as networking, storage, computing, database services, security, and application development.

It typically takes around 1-2 months of preparation to get the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate certification. Candidates should have experience with the AWS platform and be familiar with its core services. They should also be able to demonstrate their ability to design and deploy secure and robust applications on the AWS platform.

To get the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate certification, candidates must pass an exam administered by Amazon Web Services. The exam consists of multiple choice questions that cover topics related to designing, deploying, and managing applications on the AWS platform. Candidates must score at least 720 out of 1000 points in order to pass the exam.

The cost of taking the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate exam is $150 USD.

4. CompTIA A+ Certification

CompTIA A+ is an industry-leading certification program that validates the skills and knowledge of IT professionals. It is designed to provide a comprehensive foundation of hardware and software knowledge, as well as best practices for troubleshooting and problem solving. CompTIA A+ certification is a globally recognized credential that demonstrates competency in areas such as installation, configuration, diagnosing, preventive maintenance, and basic networking.

The CompTIA A+ certification consists of two exams: Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002). Both exams must be passed to earn the certification. The exams cover topics such as hardware, networking, mobile devices, operating systems, security, software troubleshooting, operational procedures and more.

It typically takes between 3-6 months to prepare for the CompTIA A+ exams depending on your experience level. There are many resources available online to help you prepare for the exam including practice tests and study guides. Additionally there are several training courses available from CompTIA approved partners which can help you prepare for the exam in a structured way.

The cost of the CompTIA A+ certification varies depending on where you take the exam. Generally speaking it will cost around $200 USD per exam plus any additional fees associated with taking the exam at a testing center or via an online proctoring service.

In order to get certified you must pass both exams within three years of each other and meet all other requirements set forth by CompTIA in their Continuing Education policy. Once you have passed both exams you will receive your official certificate from CompTIA acknowledging your achievement.

5. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

A Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is a professional designation earned through the Scrum Alliance, an international organization dedicated to promoting and teaching best practices in Scrum, an agile software development methodology. The CSM certification is designed to demonstrate that a person has a comprehensive understanding of the Scrum framework and can effectively apply it to their work.

To become a CSM, individuals must attend a two-day training course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). During the course, participants learn about the roles and responsibilities of the Scrum Master, how to use Scrum for project management, and how to facilitate successful meetings. At the end of the course, participants must pass an exam in order to receive their certification.

The cost of attending a CSM training course varies depending on the provider, but typically ranges from $1,000-$2,000 USD. After passing the exam, there is an additional fee for registering with the Scrum Alliance ($100 USD). Once registered as a CSM with the Alliance, individuals are required to pay annual membership dues ($50 USD) in order to maintain their certification.

In summary: To become a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), individuals must attend a two-day training course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), pass an exam at the end of the course, and then register with the Scrum Alliance for an additional fee ($150 USD). Annual membership dues are also required ($50 USD) in order to maintain certification. The cost of attending a CSM training course typically ranges from $1,000-$2,000 USD.

6. Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert

Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert is a certification that validates an individual’s expertise in designing and implementing solutions on Microsoft Azure, the cloud computing platform from Microsoft. The certification requires individuals to demonstrate their skills in designing and implementing solutions that run on Azure. It also covers topics such as storage, security, networking, identity, compute, app services and more.

It typically takes around 3-6 months to prepare for the exam and gain the necessary knowledge to pass it. To get this certification, you need to pass two exams: AZ-300 (Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies) and AZ-301 (Microsoft Azure Architect Design). Both of these exams are available through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers.

The cost of the two exams varies depending on your location but is usually around $165 USD per exam. Additionally, you may need to pay for any associated training materials or courses that you choose to take in order to prepare for the exams.

7. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)

Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) is a certification program designed to validate the skills of system administrators and engineers who manage and deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. It is offered by Red Hat, Inc., an open source software company based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The RHCE certification requires a candidate to pass two exams: EX300 (Red Hat Certified System Administrator Exam) and EX310 (Red Hat Certified Engineer Exam). The EX300 exam tests a candidate’s knowledge of system administration tasks such as installation, configuration, troubleshooting, security, and maintenance of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. The EX310 exam tests a candidate’s ability to configure networking services and security on Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems.

It typically takes about six months to prepare for the RHCE exams. Candidates should have experience with administering Linux systems and be familiar with the command line interface. Candidates should also be comfortable with network technologies such as DNS, DHCP, NFS, FTP, HTTP/HTTPS, SMTP/POP3/IMAP4, SSH/SFTP/SCP etc.

To get the RHCE certification, candidates must register for the exams at redhat.com/certification and pay the associated fees ($400 USD for each exam). After registering for the exams candidates must schedule their exam date at least one month in advance. Once they have completed both exams they will receive their RHCE certification from Red Hat Inc.

The cost of taking both RHCE exams is $800 USD plus any applicable taxes or fees associated with registration or scheduling of the exams.

8. Zend Certified PHP Engineer

Zend Certified PHP Engineer is a certification offered by Zend Technologies, the creators of the popular open source scripting language PHP. It is a professional certification that verifies an individual’s knowledge and skills in developing applications using the PHP language. The certification is designed to help employers identify qualified developers who are proficient in PHP development and can contribute to their business objectives.

To become a Zend Certified PHP Engineer, you must pass two exams: Zend Framework Certification (ZFC) and Zend Certified PHP 5.5 (ZCPE). The ZFC exam tests your knowledge of the Zend Framework components and how they interact with each other. The ZCPE exam tests your knowledge of the core concepts of the PHP language, including data types, functions, classes, and object-oriented programming.

It typically takes around 4-6 weeks to prepare for both exams depending on your current level of experience with PHP development. You can find preparation materials online or attend training courses offered by Zend Technologies or third-party providers.

The cost of taking both exams varies depending on where you take them; however, it typically costs around $200-$300 USD for both exams combined.

9. Salesforce Platform Developer I

Salesforce Platform Developer I is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in developing custom applications on the Salesforce platform. It is designed for those who are experienced with Apex, Visualforce, and the Force.com platform.

It typically takes 40-60 hours of study to prepare for the exam. To get certified, you must pass a multiple choice exam consisting of 60 questions, which you have 90 minutes to complete. The exam costs $200 USD and can be taken at any Pearson VUE test center or online.

The Salesforce Platform Developer I certification is valid for two years from the date of passing the exam. After two years, you will need to retake the exam in order to maintain your certification status.

10. CIW Web Development Professional

CIW Web Development Professional is a certification program designed to help individuals develop the skills and knowledge necessary to build, maintain, and deploy web applications. The CIW Web Development Professional certification is an industry-recognized credential that validates a candidate’s ability to create, manage, and secure web sites.

The CIW Web Development Professional certification consists of two exams: the CIW Site Development Associate exam (1D0-620) and the CIW JavaScript Specialist exam (1D0-635). Both exams must be passed in order to earn the certification.

The CIW Site Development Associate exam covers topics such as HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, AJAX, and Responsive Design. It also covers topics such as website development processes and best practices for creating websites using current technologies. The CIW JavaScript Specialist exam covers topics such as client-side scripting with JavaScript and jQuery, server-side scripting with PHP, databases with MySQL, security principles for web applications, and performance optimization techniques.

It typically takes about 6 months of study to prepare for both exams. Candidates should have a basic understanding of HTML/CSS before taking either exam. To get the certification candidates must pass both exams within 12 months of each other.

The cost of the CIW Web Development Professional certification varies depending on which test center you take your exams at. Generally speaking it costs around $500 USD for both exams combined plus any applicable taxes or fees associated with taking your tests at a particular test center.

Do You Really Need a Software Development Engineer Certificate?

The short answer to this question is, it depends. A software development engineer certificate can be beneficial for someone who is looking to break into the software development industry or advance their career in the field. Depending on the specific job requirements, a certificate may be necessary or it may not be.

If you are looking to break into the software development industry, a certificate could give you an edge over other applicants who do not have one. It will show potential employers that you have taken the time and effort to learn more about software development beyond what was taught in your undergraduate studies. Having a certificate can also demonstrate that you are committed to continuing your professional growth in the field of software development.

On the other hand, if your current job does not require any additional certifications or qualifications, then obtaining a software development engineer certificate may not be necessary. However, having this certification could still benefit you in terms of increasing your understanding of software engineering and giving you an advantage when applying for higher-level positions within the company or even outside of it.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a software development engineer certificate depends on your individual goals and needs as well as those of your employer. If you feel that obtaining this certification would help further your career goals, then it would be wise to pursue one.

Related: Software Development Engineer Resume Examples

FAQs About Software Development Engineer Certifications

Q1: What is a Software Development Engineer Certification?

A1: A Software Development Engineer Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates a software engineer's ability to design, develop, and maintain software applications. It is an industry-recognized certification and can help to advance a software engineer’s career.

Q2: How do I become certified as a Software Development Engineer?

A2: In order to become certified as a Software Development Engineer, you must complete an exam administered by an accredited organization such as the IEEE Computer Society or CompTIA. The exam will test your knowledge of software development best practices and principles, programming languages, and other related topics.

Q3: How much does it cost to get certified as a Software Development Engineer?

A3: The cost of certification varies depending on the organization offering the certification. Generally speaking, it can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars.

Q4: How long does it take to get certified as a Software Development Engineer?

A4: It usually takes 6-12 months of studying and preparation in order to successfully pass the certification exam.

Q5: Are there any prerequisites for becoming certified as a Software Development Engineer?

A5: Yes, most organizations require applicants to have at least 2 years of experience in software development before they are eligible for certification. Additionally, some organizations may require applicants to have completed specific courses or training programs prior to taking the exam.