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The moose likes Architect Certification (SCEA/OCMJEA) and the fly likes SCEA - exam looses its prestige Big Moose Saloon
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SCEA - exam looses its prestige

Alex Pisarev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 49
It seems to me that the most "elite" and prestigious exam of Sun's Java exam family is loosing its prestige.
It's really not so hard to pass it, the certificate is not considered as something special - you can simply pass it even if you do not have a major architecture experience.
I reckon Developer's exam brings you much more headache to clear it.
The list of topics covered is not enough to become an architect. I think that theoretical part should definetely contain OOA/OOD paradigms, commonly used J2EE patterns (Floyd Marinescu patterns could be a good choice), process methodologies, principles of people management/team leading, elements of costs evaluation/planning and all the rest the real-life architects deal with on a daily basis.

Of course, they should have a couple of dozens (or better if hundreds) different non-repeating assignments. Assignment should include not only diagrams, but also architecture documents, vertical slices/working skeletons, framework classes with source code, costs reports, development plans with milestones/deadlines defined (for proposed team) - in other words all the documents you basically expect from Architect on RUP's Elaboration phase.
The wrong assessment system. The diagrams are not the right objects to assess. The quality of architecture should be assessed based on main architecture issues: performance, scalability, extensibility, maintainability, security, etc.
The assessor should be able to point why the candidate gets that particular score and candidate should definitely have a chance to appeal the decision. It's ridiculous to make a decision on candidate's architecture without having proper architecture documents and other usual artifacts. You can say a lot with diagrams, but not everything, for sure. The assessors should have no right to decide that Sun's architecture approach is better than the candidate's one without detailed reviewing the latter. In most cases the assessor should be able to communicate with candidate via e-mail and ask him questions regarding his architecture approach to find out why the candidate thinks in different way from him. That's a common practice in J2EE world when one architect doesn't understand why other architect designed the architecture in a different way from his own. I reckon those of you who have a real world architecture experience understand what I am talking about.
So, I currently, I cannot see any reasons being proud of owning this certificate. The exam should be difficult, however, it's not. I passed the first part without studying - you're expected to know all this topics if you're working on an architect role. I scored 93% for the first part. It took me 6 hours to design an architecture for an assignment and a week-end to draw it down and document it. Take into consideration, that prior to the exam, I had only one simple J2EE system created and implemented by me - so I should not be considered as a cool Java Architect. I passed the second part with 92% and still don't know why I didn't score 100% - I got only 36 of 44 for a class diagram, probably, Sun has its own opinion how to push all the middle-sized system architecture into one class diagram.
Employees prefer real-life experience to all certifications and that seems to be the right point. Certification is meaningless if you already have a lot of experience with Blue Chip companies, so that's probably why top-notch architects do not need them. But if you're not on an architect role but got a certification, that doesn't mean that you'll be preferred over non-certified but Blue Chip-experienced architect.
How many of you have got a J2EE Architect position (without already being on it) after you got your certification? I bet less than 1%.
So, that's my two cents and I hope that someone from Sun Education visits that forum from time to time and will find some things to think about in this message.
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
I thought Shapiro showed more insight than you. Yet he scored lower than you.
Six hours, I would bet you spent more time than that arguing with Shapiro.
IMHO, Sun can't give any feed back or it will show up here and on yahoo. People are already giving away too many answers to the part one exam.
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
I don’t want to hear this man! I need the hardest certification to prove I know my stuff. I’m only on the first year of my degree. I want to know what the hardest certificate out there is .
Alex Pisarev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 49
Originally posted by Gerald Davis:
I don’t want to hear this man! I need the hardest certification to prove I know my stuff. I’m only on the first year of my degree. I want to know what the hardest certificate out there is .

Cisco?
Alex Pisarev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 49
Originally posted by Rufus Bugleweed:
I thought Shapiro showed more insight than you. Yet he scored lower than you.

Strange, isn't it?

Six hours, I would bet you spent more time than that arguing with Shapiro.

Arguing != Designing (thinking over with a pen and a pencil)

IMHO, Sun can't give any feed back or it will show up here and on yahoo. People are already giving away too many answers to the part one exam.

If they could have several hundreds of different assignments, the feedbacks will be different also.
Alex
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
I told somebody around here I thought presentation was as important as content.
Which UML tool did you use?
Alex Pisarev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 49
Originally posted by Rufus Bugleweed:
I told somebody around here I thought presentation was as important as content.
Which UML tool did you use?

I used Rational.
Byron Estes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2002
Posts: 313
I respect your opinion, even if I don't share the same conclusions on all of your points.
If your goal is simply to pass an exam, anyone can do that with focused study. If you want to really enhance your technical ability, then how you study for this exam is probably different too.
This is a technical certification, so even though I understand that the skills you listed are important to most practicing architects, they aren't relevant to this certification. Project management certifications and good old fashioned experience will provide those.
Which does bring up an important point, on which we do agree: Passing this exam does NOT make you an architect. I think the process of studying for it can help you work toward that goal, but experience and a mentor help too.
I think they should rotate assignments, and I think they could beef up the required/mandatory documents. Keep in mind, you can send them whatever else you want to help them understand/appreciate your design more clearly.
The level of detail is up to you. I think Sun is doing a pretty good job of balancing what you can get out of this without making it so daunting or expensive that it would limit who could even attempt it.
I've been in IT for 15 years, designing and building applications of every type on every platform. Java is my latest tool of choice (about 5 years).
Experience does beat a certification, but having a third party affirmation/assessment is good in that it provides another opinion of your capabilities. One of many opinions that must be taken into consideration before you can sucessfully play the role of an architect on a project.
Ultimately, this is an issue of acedemia vs experience. Earning a degree doesn't "necessarily" make you a scholar. It is one measure that tested your capability in one way. Unfortunately, employer's can't just look at you and know you're good. Talking to you during the course of few interviews is going to give them a complete picture either. So gathering degrees, experience, and yes...certifications gives them a number of "points of data" to evaluate you. Just like in statistics, chances are the answer will be better (...more acurate) with more "points of data" to evaluate.
Lastly, I think what's required for the certification is pretty good. Not perfect, but at least it's not simply memorization. The focus is on scenarios and application.
Regards,
[ August 22, 2002: Message edited by: Byron Estes ]

Byron Estes<br />Sun Certified Enterprise Architect<br />Senior Consulant<br />Blackwell Consulting Services<br />Chicago, IL<br /><a href="http://www.bcsinc.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">www.bcsinc.com</a>
Alex Pisarev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 49

Which does bring up an important point, on which we do agree: Passing this exam does NOT make you an architect. I think the process of studying for it can help you work toward that goal, but experience and a mentor help too.

So what's the need in your certificate, if it doesn't characterize you as an architect, capable to start working on an architect role just after you passed the exam?
Currently, if you're becoming an architect, it assumed that you already have the knowledge and experience (mostly it's senior software development experience) to become one (otherwise you'll not be promoted to this role).
I think that Architect certification should help to say, that you already have enough experience and knowledge to become an architect even if you were not promoted during your software development career. That's regarding your Academia vs Experience matter. Having BSc proves that you have the right to work as a Software Developer having the same level of knowledge and experience as the guy who works on the same role but without BSc.
Again, certification should display, that you're talented enough to start working as an architect immediately, even if you haven't working on that role before. That's what certifications for in most cases. That's why certifications should be as close to real life situations as possible.

I think they should rotate assignments, and I think they could beef up the required/mandatory documents. Keep in mind, you can send them whatever else you want to help them understand/appreciate your design more clearly.

But who guarantees that they actually do such an effort and don't assess you using a random number generator? There's no feedback and that's the main problem.

Experience does beat a certification, but having a third party affirmation/assessment is good in that it provides another opinion of your capabilities. One of many opinions that must be taken into consideration before you can sucessfully play the role of an architect on a project.

The persons who supply the best third party opinion are clients/users of your projects, aren't they?

Ultimately, this is an issue of acedemia vs experience. Earning a degree doesn't "necessarily" make you a scholar. It is
one measure that tested your capability in one way. Unfortunately, employer's can't just look at you and know you're good. Talking to you during the course of few interviews is going to give them a complete picture either. So gathering degrees, experience, and yes...certifications gives them a number of "points of data" to evaluate you. Just like in statistics, chances are the answer will be better (...more acurate) with more "points of data" to evaluate.

That's right. But, currently, experience overweights all other "points of data", including certifications.
Alex
Kevin Thompson
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 237
Alex: Other than your own personal experiences, have you ever heard other people (co-workers, management, recruiters, human resources type of people) ever say anthing negative about the SCEA?
Our own personal experiences & perceptions don't count. What counts is what the "marketplace" for IT workers perceives.
I have seen job ads that require SCEA and I also know that people in the java user groups want(in a desperate sort of way) to get their java certification(on any level).
I have never heard anyone have negative comments about the SCEA.(Except for this post)
My own personal opinion about people who actually have a title of "architects" is actually quite negative. They have no legitimate job duties. They "research" things(aka do nothing). They have no deadlines. They have no work requirements.
They get paid huge amounts of money for doing nothing. But my personal opinion doesn't count!
The rest of the world perceives that "architects" are impressive, so that is all that matters.
I agree that Sun should have 1/2 dozen assigments or more, so that not everybody does the same thing. This should be true for the Developer certification assignment also.
Kevin Thompson
[ August 22, 2002: Message edited by: Kevin Thompson ]
Edy Yu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 21, 2000
Posts: 264
I couldn't agree more on Kevin Thompson's opinion on those people whose are being called "architect" in their jobs. Those peoples are "old", no offensive for the aged people here, especially in so called "blue-chip" companies. They are, in fact, an obstacle of newer technologies.
[ August 22, 2002: Message edited by: Edy Yu ]

SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, IBM Certified Enterprise Developer, WebSphere Studio V5.0
Byron Estes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2002
Posts: 313
Wow...
There's some pretty interesting stereotyping going on here.
I have but one comment (right! :-)). Judge the individual, not the group. Certainly, there are architects who fit the description that has been painted in a few of these posts, but there are also some who have the title who not only design in the large and mentor others, but who continually refresh their knowledge in new technology and continue to apply it. People who can bring up the performance of everyone and make even the toughest project sucessful.
The only way to really "know" the technology is to use it. If all you do is read white papers and trad rags, there's a problem. If you're out of the trenches too long some aspects of your skills degrade and your value deminishes. I think all "architects" should continue to be involved in project/code delivery, not just high level design. They are what I'd like to call Architect/Lead Develpers.
Also, if you don't love change (i.e. learning new technology) you're in the wrong business. That's the attraction for me personally, always expanding my knowledge of new technology. Those who stand in the way of change will be left behind.
Regards,
flying jordan
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 22
Alex, I understand some of your points. But I can't agree with you on all. You suggested "hundreds of assignment", do you think any company is going to do that for exam takers ?
We are living in a real industry world, not a academic circle. Certificate is always just a certificate, if you expect too much from it, then you overexpected it yourself, unless SUN really wants to create such a "hundreds assignemns" for people. But that's impossible, Sun needs to make money from it still. So, be realistic. Plus, even SUN makes it for people, what if people hire somebody else to do the project ? Do you think SUN should provide a one-month "exam camp" to let people do the assignment in a SUN designated site.
Otherwise, I think it is terrible to have somebody hire another person and pass that "hundred assignment".
So, my point is --- don't expect too much from SCEA. Sun is never going to design your type of assignments for you, like any company, making money is their first priority.
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
Alex, if you could go back in time would you not do the SCEA certificate? What would you suggest in its place?
[ August 22, 2002: Message edited by: Rufus Bugleweed ]
Arfoo Huang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 30, 2002
Posts: 31
It seems to me that the most "elite" and prestigious exam of Sun's Java exam family is loosing its prestige.
-- What do you mean "loosing"? It was better and tougher? Why the most "elite" before?

It's really not so hard to pass it, the certificate is not considered as something special - you can simply pass it even if you do not have a major architecture experience.

-- It is not so hard for some people but very hard for some others, such as me. Pass it with the experience or the education. I don't see any problem with that. Knowledge can be gained from education, sometimes even more efficient and comprehensive.

I reckon Developer's exam brings you much more headache to clear it.

-- True for only some people. For example, it was easy for me.


The list of topics covered is not enough to become an architect. I think that theoretical part should definetely contain OOA/OOD paradigms, commonly used J2EE patterns (Floyd Marinescu patterns could be a good choice), process methodologies, principles of people management/team leading, elements of costs evaluation/planning and all the rest the real-life architects deal with on a daily basis.

-- By the way, it's just an exam focusing on ARCHITECTING but not requirement analysis and design. Also many J2EE patterns are based on or composed of the 23 patterns. What I mean is: you're right, they are not wrong. Of course, it will be better if there is a major in the university called "JAVA ARCHITECT".

Of course, they should have a couple of dozens (or better if hundreds) different non-repeating assignments. Assignment should include not only diagrams, but also architecture documents, vertical slices/working skeletons, framework classes with source code, costs reports, development plans with milestones/deadlines defined (for proposed team) - in other words all the documents you basically expect from Architect on RUP's Elaboration phase.

-- I think so too. It's not good everyone is doing same assignment. Maybe some documents. But not source code, not costs reports, not many others. It's just an assignment, 1/3 of the certificate. If it was like that, many people wouldn't have taken it.

The wrong assessment system. The diagrams are not the right objects to assess. The quality of architecture should be assessed based on main architecture issues: performance, scalability, extensibility, maintainability, security, etc.

-- Not perfect. But diagrams partially show the architecture issures.

The assessor should be able to point why the candidate gets that particular score and candidate should definitely have a chance to appeal the decision.
-- It's ok. If not too bad, anyone will pass.

It's ridiculous to make a decision on candidate's architecture without having proper architecture documents and other usual artifacts. You can say a lot with diagrams, but not everything, for sure. The assessors should have no right to decide that Sun's architecture approach is better than the candidate's one without detailed reviewing the latter. In most cases the assessor should be able to communicate with candidate via e-mail and ask him questions regarding his architecture approach to find out why the candidate thinks in different way from him. That's a common practice in J2EE world when one architect doesn't understand why other architect designed the architecture in a different way from his own. I reckon those of you who have a real world architecture experience understand what I am talking about.

-- Very good point. But not easy for Sun to do that. Communicating with the candidate more costs more.

So, I currently, I cannot see any reasons being proud of owning this certificate.

-- I guess that is because you passed it "without studying". I am going to spend 6 months for this certification. I think I'll be proud of it when I get it. Just like other certificates I got. It helped me learn a lot of things.

The exam should be difficult, however, it's not.
-- I feel that it's more difficult than Developer exam for me. At least more books to read.

I passed the first part without studying - you're expected to know all this topics if you're working on an architect role. I scored 93% for the first part.

-- You are really good. Hope you tell us more on how to learn from the architect role to pass the exam.

It took me 6 hours to design an architecture for an assignment and a week-end to draw it down and document it. Take into consideration, that prior to the exam, I had only one simple J2EE system created and implemented by me - so I should not be considered as a cool Java Architect. I passed the second part with 92% and still don't know why I didn't score 100% - I got only 36 of 44 for a class diagram, probably, Sun has its own opinion how to push all the middle-sized system architecture into one class diagram.

-- I don't think many people here have as much experience as you. It takes much longer for many people. How long it takes you downloaded and submitted the project?

Employees prefer real-life experience to all certifications and that seems to be the right point. Certification is meaningless if you already have a lot of experience with Blue Chip companies, so that's probably why top-notch architects do not need them. But if you're not on an architect role but got a certification, that doesn't mean that you'll be preferred over non-certified but Blue Chip-experienced architect.

-- You are right. But will it help if you got this certificate before you took the architect role?

How many of you have got a J2EE Architect position (without already being on it) after you got your certification? I bet less than 1%.
So, that's my two cents and I hope that someone from Sun Education visits that forum from time to time and will find some things to think about in this message.

--By the way, I really appreciate you give us all the information. I come to this web site several times a day recently to try to get more information on the exam. Just wondering if I should take the exam after read your message.
Please give us more opinions. Any information could be very helpful.
Alex Pisarev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 49
Originally posted by Rufus Bugleweed:
Alex, if you could go back in time would you not do the SCEA certificate? What would you suggest in its place?
[ August 22, 2002: Message edited by: Rufus Bugleweed ]


I would suggest spending money in a more appropriate way - for example, taking a vacation on Barbados.
I would suggest spending time in a more appropriate way, for example, to study something new.
Alex
Alex Pisarev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 49
Originally posted by Arfoo Huang:
-- What do you mean "loosing"? It was better and tougher? Why the most "elite" before?

At least, the buzz around this exam a couple of years ago was not so large.

-- It is not so hard for some people but very hard for some others, such as me. Pass it with the experience or the education. I don't see any problem with that. Knowledge can be gained from education, sometimes even more efficient and comprehensive.

Agree, but you can't be an Architect just because you're very educated. It's not a junior role, you know. Who will trust you to develop a several million system, knowing that you have a good knowledge, but not a real-life experience?

-- True for only some people. For example, it was easy for me.

Yes, but you've to write code. It takes much more time than drawing diagrams, you know.


-- By the way, it's just an exam focusing on ARCHITECTING but not requirement analysis and design. Also many J2EE patterns are based on or composed of the 23 patterns. What I mean is: you're right, they are not wrong. Of course, it will be better if there is a major in the university called "JAVA ARCHITECT".

Another mistake. You can't be an Architect, until you worked as a Developer for some time. It's the same, if there have been major in your University called "CEO of a Large Company".

-- Not perfect. But diagrams partially show the architecture issures.

Only partially.

-- Very good point. But not easy for Sun to do that. Communicating with the candidate more costs more.

We pay money for something, do we?

-- I guess that is because you passed it "without studying". I am going to spend 6 months for this certification. I think I'll be proud of it when I get it. Just like other certificates I got. It helped me learn a lot of things.

Well, if you prefer the following way of learning, so, probably, certification is right for you. If you spend 6 month and pass the certification, just a little advice: don't expect too much after you include the certificate in your CV. You will automatically become too overqualified for a Developer and too underqualified for an Architect...


-- You are really good. Hope you tell us more on how to learn from the architect role to pass the exam.

Well, when you're an architect, you just expected to know most of the topics covered, otherwise you'll not be able to fulfill your job properly.

-- I don't think many people here have as much experience as you. It takes much longer for many people. How long it takes you downloaded and submitted the project?

Well, even if I have enough knowledge and can prove my experience, my age is limitation - the potential employers do not even invite me for an interviews when they're finding out that I am just 23.
I can't understand your question in relation to time spend on downloading and submitting. It's the matter of Internet connections, I assume.

-- You are right. But will it help if you got this certificate before you took the architect role?

Well, don't think so. May be it's good if your boss chooses from many candidates which senior developer should become an architect. In that case you'll have an advantage. But it's too seldom situation to happen.

--By the way, I really appreciate you give us all the information. I come to this web site several times a day recently to try to get more information on the exam. Just wondering if I should take the exam after read your message.
Please give us more opinions. Any information could be very helpful.[/QB]

Yes, I think each of you should decide on his own. If there is a need in spending money and time in current job market light.
flying jordan
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 22
so. alex, I am now confused by your points. You said you are only 23 years old. I assume you have a Bachelor degree at least, so 23-22=1. You have one year real world experience , plus some internship maybe ? And you understand that people can't be an architect unless they have few years solid developer experience, etc. So, at this point, why do you need a more difficult and more tough SCEA ? Even there is such a thing and you get it, it doesn't help you at all based on your age and experience. So, I guess you are worrying soemthing you are not supposed to worry at this moment, maybe you should worry about it in a few years.
The real wrong idea is to expect a get architect job with JUST a SCEA certificate. The ONLY way you can get an architec is you have some architec experience, or as you said, a number of years of solid developer. SCEA is always a supplemental.
I am 31 now. Oh man, I wish I were 23. That's a great age. I could rethink a lot of things in my life. There are so many excellent opprotunies there, IT architec is just one of those hundreds. Don't limit your future path too early.
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
I became a grandfather last week, and I have not had a job in IT before. My only option is to complete all four of the sun certification, and complete my degree (one year half left). To start out as a junior programmer I feel like my knowledge is overkill.
mike zhang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 26, 2002
Posts: 59
Gerald, why completing "four Sun certificate" is part of your "only option" ??
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
I need to get my foot in the door, as a simple java programmer. Employees like experience; but I have none, my only option is to get as much certification as possible and I might get a job before I complete my degree. Is there any other way to prove I am the dog’s bollocks?
I need a java project man! I want to be working with other geeks. If I do not get a project, I will go completely mum-an’-dad then I will end up chroming a VB developer. There is no books containing any programming projects; you gotta help me man!
Nate Johnson
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 13, 2002
Posts: 301
go out to sourceforge and look at the open source projects... there are some great projects out that you could jump on and get your name out there...


scwcd, scjd, scjp<br /><a href="http://natejohnson.us" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://natejohnson.us</a><br /><a href="http://rice.kuali.org" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://rice.kuali.org</a>
flying jordan
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 22
Gerald, if you don't have any java experience and no project done so far. I sincerely suggest you : Don't try to kill yourself to get all $ certificates. Try to get a SCJP first. Don't try SCEA. I am not saying you can't get SCEA. I am sure you can. But, think about this: If a company finds your resume and they see a person without any experience but four certificates, they will think this guy is over-qualified in book knowledge but inexperienced in hands-on stuff. So it is hard for them to put you in any position. If I need to hire a person in my team, I don't know how to put such person. So, getting one to two certificates is a very good idea. Then you should try best to do some project, open source, voulunterr work, school pj, whatever. There is no meaning for you to get SCEA at this moment.
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
Thanks Fly and Nate; doing an open-source project is good idea, I would not have leave my current job to do voluntary work with the cost of living in London is totally pants.

However, for certification I already I have SCJD, SCJP, and I have passed part I of SCEA and a few brain-bench certs chucked in. Now I feel like I want to have a date with ST. Davy Jones.
Alex Pisarev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 49
Originally posted by flying jordan:
so. alex, I am now confused by your points. You said you are only 23 years old. I assume you have a Bachelor degree at least, so 23-22=1.


I've finished my degree when I was 20. I worked full time during my studies as well. So it's more than 7 years of real-world experience total.

You have one year real world experience , plus some internship maybe ? And you understand that people can't be an architect unless they have few years solid developer experience, etc. So, at this point, why do you need a more difficult and more tough SCEA ? Even there is such a thing and

Because most people do not believe that it's possible to be a good architect when you're 23 even with the coolest certification and all the references. The developer's role doesn't attract me anymore, so I can't work as developer, I can't work as an architect... That's why I am looking forward to start my own business and do the management.

you get it, it doesn't help you at all based on your age and experience. So, I guess you are worrying soemthing you are not supposed to worry at this moment, maybe you should worry about it in a few years.

I don't want to. I don't want for a few years to become an architect, if I can be it now.

The real wrong idea is to expect a get architect job with JUST a SCEA certificate. The ONLY way you can get an architec is you have some architec experience, or as you said, a number of years of solid developer. SCEA is always a supplemental.

Yes. But I have 7 years experience and SCEA and still no luck.
James Liu
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 10
Hi Alex,
You are 23 and you have 7 years experience in IT field, are you kidding me? Based on what you just said, you have a full time job when you went through the whole four years ( or more) in the university, what kind of school is it?
If everything you said it is true, then you are really a genius, off course this certificate is useless for you, and most of us here are just normal guys, this is why we can not understand you, this is why we still think this certificate is useful for our careers.
I think I benefit a lot from preparing this test. Off course the real project experience is not the same as passing the test, but when I was preparing for this test, I did study a lot of new things and got tons of new ideas, I am sure I will use some of them in our real projects.
This certificate is not just a paper for me, it gives me a lot even it costs me a lot, both time and money.
Alex Pisarev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 49
Originally posted by James Liu:
[QB]Hi Alex,
You are 23 and you have 7 years experience in IT field, are you kidding me? Based on what you just said, you have a full time job when you went through the whole four years ( or more) in the university, what kind of school is it?

One of the best Universities in Central Asia. Usually, I was studying from 8.30 up to 13.00-14.00 3-4 days a week, then I worked in the office up to the midnight and on the weekends.
One day in the week I devoted to studies and it was enough as long as I already knew most of the subjects we were studying since my high school days.
James, you're probably not aware, but in Russia/ex-USSR it's kind of normal situation when students work full time in the industry while studying. And that experience is considered as a real-life experience, because, in most cases, students are much more diligent and better achievers than other full-time employees.
I had a full time job as a Senior Software Developer (developing complex software for 7 large computerized medical and entertainment systems, as well as VISA Payment gateway for one of the most respectable banks) during my first years in the University. I'd developed several shareware/freeware software projects during my last years in the high school that became popular country wide - that's why it was not a problem for me to find a job at my first year (usually, the students receive jobs only after the third of fourth year of studies).
At the beginning of the third year I've started my own company - we've developed one of the largest and most visited E-Commerce resources in the region (Central Asia - more than 30 million people). My official responsibilities included design of the architecture, main development, team mentoring (although, I had a team, most of the coding were on my shoulders for the first time - it was impossible to find any Java/J2EE programmers at that time - I worked as a trainer either), etc.. Unofficially, I was doing high-level management and client-facing as well - so I worked as Business Analyst/Architect/Lead Developer/CTO/partially CEO at once. It was the first working J2EE system in the region either. I earned a name, I reckon almost everyone related to E-commerce in Kazakhstan knows my name.
Since Oct 2001 I've been invited to the Ireland to work on a permanent role in a small company in Ireland doing J2EE Development as well as being a J2EE Architecture Consultant. I am not mentoring the teams, but my position could be considered as a senior level - all of the developers in the company report to the Managing Director and there are no juniors at all - all of us here have at least 6 years of experience in IT. I took a decision to sell my company to one of the most respectable banks in the region (I've been earning a good money from the project by that time - it was a commercial success, but I had to expand my knowledge, I had to shape my J2EE skills to a new level and that's why I accepted the offer from Ireland and moved out - it was a chance to see other working J2EE projects and to understand and to gain more knowledge - I had no chance to do that whilst I have been working under the only J2EE system in the region).
BTW, I've finished the University with Honours and 92% rating - only three people from my faculty had a higher rating at the year of my graduation.
Currently, the company I am working in is closing down due to bad financial situation and I can't get a new job - I don't want to work as a Junior Developer, I can't get an Architect or Senior Developer role - my age and work permit situations are the only criterions. I passed one of the coolest certifications in IT easily - that didn't help me either. They don't even want to invite me to the interview when they realize that I need a work permit to work in the EU and that I am 23.
So, I am moving back to the CIS and will try to start a business there - I think it's the best way to unleash my talents and capabilities now. "Start up and move forward", - as Larry Ellison says.

If everything you said it is true, then you are really a genius, off course this certificate is useless for you, and most of us here are just normal guys, this is why we can not understand you, this is why we still think this certificate is useful for our careers.

May be you're right. May be not. I am a bit confused myself.
Alex
flying jordan
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 22
Oh Alex, 7 years of full time experience. so you started that "from afternonn to midnight, plus weekend" working life when you were 16 years old, and you keep a 8:30--2pm school life ? And you said it is normal in Russia ?
I will say: if you are a genius, this type life style would have killed your talent. Einstein said: "Imagination is much more important than knowledge". AT age of 16, it is time for people to explore, to think, to dream, not just work... This type of life is totally unhealthy. It may create some excellent knowldgeable and very skillful IT developer/architects, but it does no good to genius, like you (here I assume you are).
Jim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 10, 2002
Posts: 177
This test was hard when it just came out, but
it is much easier to pass it now because the
Mock tests and leak of the questions.
I suggest SUN to update the test by adding new questions for Part I, retire the current
assignment, and also make the SCJP as the
prerequisite.
[ August 29, 2002: Message edited by: Jim Baker ]
Jane Somerfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 20, 2002
Posts: 193
Originally posted by Alex Pisarev:

Cisco?

What about CISSP?
Alex Pisarev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 49
Originally posted by flying jordan:
Oh Alex, 7 years of full time experience. so you started that "from afternonn to midnight, plus weekend" working life when you were 16 years old, and you keep a 8:30--2pm school life ? And you said it is normal in Russia ?

Well, if you don't want to dependent on your own -you've to work hard.

I will say: if you are a genius, this type life style would have killed your talent. Einstein said: "Imagination is much more important than knowledge". AT age of 16, it is time for people

Okay, another quote by Thomas Edison: "Genius is is 99% of sweat and only 1% of talent". While my schoolmates were "dreaming" - I have been gaining my experience and shaping my skillsets - I've been exploring what I were interested in - I liked my work, it could be considered as entertainment at this stage of my life. The main goal were not the money - the main goal was, is and always will be -knowledge. Probably, that's why I've ten times salary difference with some of my schoolmates now.


to explore, to think, to dream, not just work... This type of life is totally unhealthy. It may create some excellent knowldgeable and very skillful IT developer/architects, but it does no good to genius, like you (here I assume you are).

Thanks. But, personally, I don't think that I am so extraordinary. There were always people who had more knowledge and experience, who were helping me during my work and studies, who were preventing me from making common mistakes and showing me the right ways to move. So, probably, I was just a bit lucky. That's all. BTW, well, if you think that this type of life has been unhealthy - I'll tell that saved me from being dead at that time - sports. One hour of sports at the school three times a day helped me to survive.
Alex
Mila Donkova
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 10, 2002
Posts: 3
Hi Alex,
I don't think SCEA certification loses its prestige.
I am ashamed to say I am doing my project more than 6 months already but I am getting new knowledges every day and it makes me happy. When I started the project I thougth it would take not more than 2-3 weeks to finish it.
All this time I followed this forum discussions. I really enjoyed your and Gennady Shapiro threads and found that you are very smart and competent individual. I think your OOAD knowledge and experience deserve the highest mark as well as your writing and polemic skills. Starting your
own business is very doubtful thing. Wasting time waiting while someone entrust you really great project is difficult for you too.
Do what you really like!
I would suggest to become some of the guys who writes the books for us like Mr. Fowler, Mr. Ambler, or Mr. Cade.
I feel you could succeed on this field.


Mila
Lipman Li
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2002
Posts: 122
good suggestion, become a writer if you've got nothing to do.
BTW, visit our company www.crimsonlogic.com
our HR is searching smart people just like you.
Lipman
SCJP/SCJD/SCEA
[ September 11, 2002: Message edited by: Lipman Li ]
[ September 11, 2002: Message edited by: Lipman Li ]
Seid Myadiyev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2002
Posts: 196
It is very interesting for me follow this thread of discussion most especially because I know Alex Pisarev from Kazakhstan. As I scrolled down reading last few posts I was, in my memory, taken back to the days in Kazakhstan when I literally longed to do and be part of J2EE project and couldn’t. The only reason for that being – there weren’t enough qualified developers and thus J2EE was not widely known or used.
When I was asked to teach Computer Science for the 1st and 2nd year students I was myself only a third year student in that same university. I accepted that offer and proposed changes to the curriculum to include Java. I chose to do that to be able to promote the use of Java Language and at the same be able to deepen my knowledge of this technology.
I sure hope that this situation has changed by now! And now that Alex mentioned that he is going back I do not think that he will have problems with his age there because age won’t matter to people, especially who know him.
I am also 23 now and I am very hopeful that I will not be faced with the “age problem” to such an extent as not to be even considered for the desired position.
Success to you all!
Seid


Seid Myadiyev<br />SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA-Part 1
Alex Pakhomov
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 12, 2001
Posts: 11
I understand Alex's frustration. Spend $600 and a
lot of time with no red carpet rolled in front of
you. Nevertheless I believe the Architect Certification will eventually play its role in his
and hopefully my life. It guarantees nothing, but
definitely improves chances of being hired.
In the meantime, my cat is playing with my Programmer's Developer's, and Architect's lapel pins. At least someone seems to be happy with it :-)
Chris Mathews
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 18, 2001
Posts: 2712
In the meantime, my cat is playing with my Programmer's Developer's, and Architect's lapel pins.

FINALLY! A use for the lapel pins! I knew a Javarancher would discover one someday!
Alex Pisarev
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 49
Originally posted by Mila Donkova:
Hi Alex,
I don't think SCEA certification loses its prestige.
I am ashamed to say I am doing my project more than 6 months already but I am getting new knowledges every day and it makes me happy. When I started the project I thougth it would take not more than 2-3 weeks to finish it.
All this time I followed this forum discussions. I really enjoyed your and Gennady Shapiro threads and found that you are very smart and competent individual. I think your OOAD knowledge and experience deserve the highest mark as well as your writing and polemic skills. Starting your
own business is very doubtful thing. Wasting time waiting while someone entrust you really great project is difficult for you too.
Do what you really like!
I would suggest to become some of the guys who writes the books for us like Mr. Fowler, Mr. Ambler, or Mr. Cade.
I feel you could succeed on this field.

Hi Mila,
Thanks for the warm worlds - they're really helpful at this cool and nasty day we have here in Dublin today.
I appreciate your idea of becoming a writer, however, I still think I don't have enough practical experience to write books - probably, I don't have something unique in my mind to write about and I don't want to repeat others. However, it will be very interesting for me to develop courses - I always liked to share the knowledge with others.
Well, probably the time will solve that problem, but for now, I'll try to start up. At least I would get a chance to make several steps towards my future MBA.
Alex
James Liu
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 10
Hi Alex,
Will you go to studay MBA? You suprised me again with your new idea. I do not think MBA will help your career as a IT professional, it will be the same as SCEA certificate. After two years MBA study, you still can not say you have two years managerment experience, you still face the same problem you have right now. No certificate can guarantee you in real world.
I hope it helps.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: SCEA - exam looses its prestige