This week's book giveaway is in the Other Open Source APIs forum. We're giving away four copies of Storm Applied and have Sean Allen, Peter Pathirana & Matthew Jankowski on-line! See this thread for details.
This is a revised version of the certification FAQ that I posted earlier: I. Mock Exams Q: Where do you purchase XML mock exams? A: http://www.whizlabs.com/jwhiz Q: Does IBM have a sample test? A: Yes, http://www-1.ibm.com/certify/tests/sam141.shtml Q: Where do I find IBM’s sample exam for their defunct 140 XML exam? A: http://viktor99.virtualave.net/IBM140a.html II. Books Q: Are there any books specifically for IBM XML certification? A: Not at this time (3/2002). Q: What are IBM’s recommended readings for the exam? A: IBM just recommends the books, but these chapter references are helpful. Professional XML 2nd Edition ch. 2,3,4,5,6,8,9,11,12,24,27 . Professional XML Schemas ch. 1-9. XSLT O'Reilly: ch. 1-9 Q: What is the one most important book for XML certification? A: Professional XML (Second Edition). Q: What other books are useful for Certification Study? A: XSLT Programmers Reference (Wrox), XML in a Nutshell (O’Reilly), XML Bible Q: What are good beginners books on XML? A: Some considers Wrox’s “Beginning XML” to be the best book to start with. “A Complete Idiot’s Guide to XML” is accurately named, a very easy book without a lot of information. It may be useful as something to get you started. “XML for Dummies” is at a somewhat higher level. If money is an issue, there is plenty of beginners’ information online. III. Online Information Q: What information does IBM give on its XML exam? A: http://www-1.ibm.com/certify/tests/obj141.shtml Q: Where does Java Ranch have XML information? A: http://www.javaranch.com/gramps/XMLLinks.jsp Q: Where are there other XML certification FAQs? A: http://www.whizlabs.com/products/xmlwhiz/ibm-xml-faq.html Q: Are there any online tutorial or cram materials for the XML exam? A:http://certificationguru.com/xmltutorial/index.html Q: Where are some posts from this forum with good information on the XML exam? A: http://www.javaranch.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=52&t=000241 http://www.javaranch.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=52&t=000277 Q: What are good online resources for XML? A: Follow this link: http://www.javaranch.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=52&t=000206 IV. Other Q: How do I get started in XML? A: See the question on beginners’ books. However, there are many online tutorials available that discuss the basics. Q: What is the pass mark and time limit on the IBM XML exam? A: You have 90 minutes to get 38 of 57 correct. Q: Are there any other XML certifications besides IBM’s? A: Yes, Active Education has an XML Certified Expert (XCE) certification. This is much less popular than IBM’s, partly because more people have heard of IBM than Active Education. The exam is apparently of comparable difficulty to IBM’s. It probably helps to by Active Education’s workbooks to study for their exam. Their link is: http://www.certifyxml.com/. There are also online certifications at http://www.brainbench.com and http://www.skilldrill.com. Q: What languages do you need to know to learn XML? A: Anyone with a decent software background can learn XML. I would say that XML is easier to learn and get certified in from scratch than Java. It is somewhat similar to HTML, so HTML background helps. Knowing SGML is a big advantages, as the to languages are very close. It helps to know Cascading Style Sheets. Web development background helps. However, XML is used as a data transfer format apart from web uses. Background with parsing and string manipulation languages such as Perl helps. A lot of XML jobs require Java, but there is no similarity between the languages of Java and XML. The IBM exam is called “XML and Related Technologies”. Learning XML for certification and practical use involves learning related languages such as DTDs, XSLT, and Xpath.