Meaningless Drivel is fun!*
The moose likes Programmer Certification (SCJP/OCPJP) and the fly likes Would you vote for a sheriff that had practiced horse-riding only on a rocking horse? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Spring in Action this week in the Spring forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Certification » Programmer Certification (SCJP/OCPJP)
Bookmark "Would you vote for a sheriff that had practiced horse-riding only on a rocking horse?" Watch "Would you vote for a sheriff that had practiced horse-riding only on a rocking horse?" New topic
Author

Would you vote for a sheriff that had practiced horse-riding only on a rocking horse?

Michael Sullivan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 26, 2003
Posts: 235
A couple of comments. I've been working with procedural code for years, but for the last year have had to work with Java (as a server side web technology). I'm now gearing up for the SCJP test, and let me tell you why it is not a waste (for me):
Studying for the exam exposed me to portions of the language which I could naturally avoid when creating jsp/ servlets. Additionally, I could code 'the way I know how'... even if that was limited/ legal but not recommended. I've had to explore the language in much greater detail to understand near everything about certain topics... instead of just relying on 'how to make it work just this once'.
I agree with a former statement that the SCJP, SCWCD, SCJD exams are fine as is. Sun has defined the objectives and pre-requisites for each. The employer has full responsability for hiring new employees, whether they be SCJP or PHD in computer science.

Now, on a slightly different topic, but one thats been burrowing into this thread: Should programmers take on other roles? (analyst, architect, etc). Someone had mentioned that programmers should be gathering requirements and such. To this I agree and disagree... depending on your job title. In some organizations you may wear multiple hats and thus program, gather requirements, and analyze systems. In others, you may just get programming assignments and complete them. There are opinions for each, but know this: the more hats you wear... the less likely you will be to become expert at all of them. Where a programmer gets their power is that they can be expert at one thing (programming). When you start adding additional requirements onto the programmer, he/ she may now be less efficient at them.
I've seen it all the time, they take an all start programmer and make them a programmer/ analyst. Now this person has to ration their time between programming assignments and the analyst duties (sometimes withough analyst training or templates). This makes for a strong programmer and a weak analyst.
Some people have the capacity (and drive) to take on the additional roles and be successfull at them, others do not. I think that a minimum, programmers should be programmers first, then those additional roles as they mature. You wouldn't want a half baked programmer gathering requirements, nor a extremely good analyst writing code. It just doesn't make sense.
Leo Campos
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 9
I BELIEVE IN EVERYTHING THAT THE GUYS DID NOT SAY HERE.
THANKS.


SCJP 1.4<br />SCWCD<br />""
james airey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 15, 2003
Posts: 41
I took the exam after 3 years of writing java code part time, as I felt my skills in some areas of Java didn't reflect the experience I would claim to have.
I needed to do quite a lot of work on some areas that I hadn't actually used, and almost none on areas that I had worked on regularly. I guess from that perspective, I can agree with the proposal that you could pass the exam without writing code.
I don't have a problem with that in itself, except that it made studying for the exam quite dull at times, but I do feel that it devalues my qualification. The most important factor here is that emoployers probably don't knpw what the qualification means.
To take the driving theory analogy on 1 step, in the UK, we have a 2 stage test. You now have to complete the theory part before taking the practical one. Are we arguing that it should be the other way round (as it was when I took my test - learn to drive, and then memorise the Highway Code the night before the test)? I would prefer that everyone who got behind the wheel of a car, learner or otherwise, knew what a STOP sign was.
Anyway, I think that any employer who relies on a paper qualification without assessing what it means deserves everything they get.
MAC MOHAN
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 26, 2003
Posts: 2
Originally posted by Tony Collins:
SCJD is very useful as the use of patterns is required/promoted, whether the code is in Java/C++/Smalltalk etc doesn't relly make a difference. Don't get to hung up on technologies or API's, they come and go. IMO.
Tony

APIs do matter because a person takes the SCJD exam to prove his competency in coding a non-trivial app. in the Java language...If a person wants to focus on Patterns (independent of language) then that person should take up the Architect exam (SCEA for J2EE)...
The point I am making is that taking up the SCJD programming assignment will not help a person in the real world because the APIs which you use for coding the SCJD assignment (such as Swing, Threads, Sockets etc.) will NOT help that person in a "real world" J2EE project (which is what most Java projects are nowadays), as these APIs are of little use in a J2EE project...
JR Hayes
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 03, 2003
Posts: 2
Hi All ,
I think most of us are saying the same thing, just in different ways. It depends on you're own situation, your experience what your employer or lack of employer expects.
SCJP is a stepping stone, it doesn't guarentee you a job or that you are an excellent programmer. It is up to the person who hires you to understand the certifications. I think of SCJP and prepration as a tool to help those that are new to programming or new to OOP. It provides proof that you understand one small aspect of software development using Java.
After finishing my BS in CS I had 2 years of support experience. I was able to find a support position quickly. After 9 months I was promoted to a junior level developer. My company requires me to get SCJP as a first step(at their expense). Then they will then pay for me to take sun courses and other certifications. I have some co workers that are excellent programmers that have been using Java for years and were unable to pass the exam on their first attempt. I am also studying JDBC and portals/portlets.
SCJP tells your employer that you have some idea about OOP and Java. Depending on your needs SCJP might be a waste of time or benefical. You just have to decide for yourself.
Jim Bedenbaugh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 09, 2001
Posts: 171
Originally posted by Michael Sullivan:
A couple of comments. I've been working with procedural code for years, but for the last year have had to work with Java (as a server side web technology). . .

Your experience nearly mirrors mine. For 15 years I was a mainframe COBOL/CICS/DB2 programmer/analyst. My creditials as a programmer who understood business systems were impressive enough, but I had no bona fides to prove my Java skills, except to pass the SCJP.
Interestingly enough, I recently interviewed with a consulting firm and did not fair well on the technical review. While I have been studying and using patterns, J2EE architecture, frameworks, etc. (everyone seems to think these are most important, right?) since passing the SCJP in January of 2002, I soon discovered that a large portion of what I studied for the SCJP is mostly not used in everyday experiences and I plain forgot much of it. This probably explains why experienced Java developers often fail the SCJP if they don't study for it. I remember taking the first few mock exams for the SCJP. I couldn't fathom why anyone would write code like I saw in the questions - why in the world would anyone think it's important to know how the compiler would behave in a situation that you most certainly will never face in the real world?
IMHO, J2EE is the substance of the Java world. If you have a solid OO base and decent knowledge of patterns, the language becomes secondary. I can't believe knowing the innards of the HashMap implementation are important to the work-a-day developer.


Regards,
Jim
SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCEA Part I
Dirk Schreckmann
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 10, 2001
Posts: 7023
JAVA LATTE,
Welcome to JavaRanch!
We ain't got many rules 'round these parts, but we do got one. Please change your display name to comply with The JavaRanch Naming Policy.
Thanks Pardner! Hope to see you 'round the Ranch!


[How To Ask Good Questions] [JavaRanch FAQ Wiki] [JavaRanch Radio]
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Originally posted by JAVA LATTE:

APIs do matter because a person takes the SCJD exam to prove his competency in coding a non-trivial app. in the Java language...If a person wants to focus on Patterns (independent of language) then that person should take up the Architect exam (SCEA for J2EE)...
The point I am making is that taking up the SCJD programming assignment will not help a person in the real world because the APIs which you use for coding the SCJD assignment (such as Swing, Threads, Sockets etc.) will NOT help that person in a "real world" J2EE project (which is what most Java projects are nowadays), as these APIs are of little use in a J2EE project...

I disagree a good developer is a person who can catch on to a particular technology and produce a well engineered solution. This is independent of the technology. It's the actual ability to produce a good OO design and be able to read up on the API's provided by the technology.
You'll find good engineers can work with most languages.
Tony
Pamela Hendersen
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 13, 2013
Posts: 13
Khalid A. Mughal wrote:Theory and Practice
As a guest author this week, maybe I can pose a couple of questions (it will turn out they are quite a few) in this forum.
I am very much interested in views on the following observation made by some of the readers.
People can pass the Programmer Certification exam without having written any code.
Is this what the present Programmer Certification exam encouraging?
Emphasizing theory and no practice?
Should the exam be changed?
Do employers know or care that they are getting "theoretical" programmers?
In a similar vain, one could ask the following questions:
Would you feel safe if people, who had only read the driving manual and never driven a real car, were unleased onto the unsuspecting rush-hour down-town traffic?
Would you vote for a sheriff that had practiced horse-riding only on a rocking horse?
(I know at least which horse to bet on.)
[Disclaimer: No innuendos to the sheriffs that go galloping on this site.]
What do you think?
Cheers.
-- khalid


Excellent points Khalid. Well written. Its 10 years later and nothing has changed. It probably never will. I got 87 in my exam easily after about two months of cramming and a little bit of coding.
I never used memory dumps though. Look at me now. I can barely make some serious code. I realized that if one does a lot of good coding problems or small projects (not necessarily toy projects), then
they can understand and remember way more than they would if they only crammed for the exam.

The SCJP is a joke and is not even worth the paper on which it is printed. I wonder why they don't change the exam and make it more well rounded.
I suggest a two stage exam. 1 - Regular scjp with more questions. 2 - Toy application programming


Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14269
    
  21

Nobody ever said that when you've done the SCJP or OCPJP, you're a top-level Java programming professional.

There are more certifications that you can do after OCPJP, for example Oracle Certified Master, Java SE 6 Developer. To get that certification, you are required to follow one or more courses, do an assignment where you have to write and submit a program, and write an essay.


Java Beginners FAQ - JavaRanch SCJP FAQ - The Java Tutorial - Java SE 8 API documentation
 
jQuery in Action, 2nd edition
 
subject: Would you vote for a sheriff that had practiced horse-riding only on a rocking horse?