"Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!" (from Mel Brooks' 1974 Western Blazing Saddles)
kent at caspia.com
Fri Aug 10 15:44:43 UTC 2012
On 8/9/2012 5:24 PM, Eric Moore wrote:
> My impression is that the only people who want badges for Thunderbird
> are Mozilla employees. I don't see the point.
Anne presented some of these ideas at the weekly Thunderbird video
conference a few weeks ago, and my initial comments were much like
yours. My impressions were that this is something akin to t-shirts that
we give people to persuade them to work a little harder for free on
But as I thought about it some more, my attitude has changed. As I
understand it, open badges are attacking a very different problem.
As people develop in their professional careers, they collect a series
of verifiable achievements that can be used to introduce themselves to
potential employers or clients - or simply to their colleagues. When I
read resumes (and I have probably read tens of thousands over my
career), I am always looking for little signs of excellence that show
ability and motivation outside of the norm. Certain activities fit well
here: colleges issue degrees, technical organizations like Cisco and
Microsoft have certification programs, some groups have achievement
awards. Regular jobs also provide a verifiable record of experience. But
"volunteered for Mozilla" is not really in the same class currently.
Open badges, done well and with integrity, could provide an alternate
form of credentials that would recognize achievement and ability in
activities performed at Mozilla.
So the ideal of open badges is to provide defined, verifiable
credentials that would be added to other credential programs. Personally
I think this is a worthy goal in general (particularly since the costs
of college education have gotten out of control, and technical
innovation in education and recognition is sorely needed). I am at a
point in my career where I don't think that I would be motivated by
badges, but I suspect that there are others would be.
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