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Failed Part 2

Angus Morison
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2004
Posts: 11
I recently received my result for Part2/3: 57%, which is really appalling.

I was astounded. In part 1 I got 91%. I have read all the books (except GoF), and notably "Core J2EE Patterns" which I studied in detail. I went through the Pet Store Application. Though I have not contributed much to this newsgroup I have followed it, especially the advice of those who did well.

I hoped/expected to get over 90%. I thought there may have been a mix-up in the results, but following confirmation from Sun this is not the case.

I would not normally have said very much about my submission, but given the score I can hardly be giving any secrets away. It seemed to me there were contradictions between what the CEO said in the interview, and the Use Cases given by the Business Analyst. So I gave updated versions of the Use Cases, as well as the BDM. I thought that all my architectural choices: connection to Frequent Flyer System, choice of Web Framework etc etc were discussed and justified.

I do not know if there is anyone out there who has passed the SCEA, and feels competent in the matter, and would be willing to look at my submission and tell me what they think (where I went wrong). If so it would be very kind: mail me at angus.morison@unisys.com.

On a more personal note I may say that, at this very difficult moment, I feel closer to participants in this newsgroup than to my family or colleagues. I have been very touched by some of the contributions to this group, especially - I do not know why - from Indians. I have the impression that there are a lot of Indians active in this group. I do not know if I will try again. I need to understand where I went wrong. Anyway, good luck to everybody.
Peter Sanders
Greenhorn

Joined: May 08, 2005
Posts: 9
Commiserations.

You must be gutted.

Have a bit of a break and then you could try again after a month or two if you feel like it.

You weren't too far away from passing, you could almost certainly get it if you try again.

Cheers

Peter
Geoffrey Chu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 25, 2004
Posts: 70
Hi,

Try it again, I am sure you can do it. Give us some details about your submission and maybe we can help you out.

How many points did you get for each diagram ?
How many classes/components did you have in the Class and Component diagram ?

Good luck man and seriously keep your head up,

Geoff

Originally posted by Angus Morison:
I recently received my result for Part2/3: 57%, which is really appalling.

I was astounded. In part 1 I got 91%. I have read all the books (except GoF), and notably "Core J2EE Patterns" which I studied in detail. I went through the Pet Store Application. Though I have not contributed much to this newsgroup I have followed it, especially the advice of those who did well.

I hoped/expected to get over 90%. I thought there may have been a mix-up in the results, but following confirmation from Sun this is not the case.

I would not normally have said very much about my submission, but given the score I can hardly be giving any secrets away. It seemed to me there were contradictions between what the CEO said in the interview, and the Use Cases given by the Business Analyst. So I gave updated versions of the Use Cases, as well as the BDM. I thought that all my architectural choices: connection to Frequent Flyer System, choice of Web Framework etc etc were discussed and justified.

I do not know if there is anyone out there who has passed the SCEA, and feels competent in the matter, and would be willing to look at my submission and tell me what they think (where I went wrong). If so it would be very kind: mail me at angus.morison@unisys.com.

On a more personal note I may say that, at this very difficult moment, I feel closer to participants in this newsgroup than to my family or colleagues. I have been very touched by some of the contributions to this group, especially - I do not know why - from Indians. I have the impression that there are a lot of Indians active in this group. I do not know if I will try again. I need to understand where I went wrong. Anyway, good luck to everybody.


Geoffrey Chu<br />----------------------<br />- SCEA<br />- IBM UML OOAD<br />- SCJP 1.4
Byron Estes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2002
Posts: 313
Hang in there.

The requirements are somewhat incomplete. I don't necessarily recall issues related to conflicting requirements, but I do recall writing down a number of assumptions that I made because the information was somewhat "scetchy". It's unfortunate that Sun graders don't provide more feedback in the results process. I think they could find a way to do that without giving away the farm and improve the overall calibre of architects.

I had a 100% on Part I, but didn't do nearly as well on Part 2/3 (I don't recall the score, but I wasn't pleased). I passed it, but I had higher expectations. I've been developing software and architecting systems for a long time. I'm not sure exactly what they were looking for either, although I have my suspicion that I probably "over thought" the problem. This was perhaps a case where my experience may have been detrimental in the scope of this limited assignment.

Grading a test, like part I, which has right and wrong answers (...whether we disagree on how they are worded or not in the Sun exams) is pretty straight forward and is very consistent. Grading a assignment like part II/III must, it must be very difficult to maintain consistent grading over so many assinments. Keeping that in mind, the graders probably prefer assignments that don't suprise or challenge them too much. Try it again; don't give up.


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>
Djafar mohidin
Greenhorn

Joined: May 07, 2005
Posts: 1
Hi Angus

Really sorry...but i am sure that you have all the skills to pass easily this exam.

I have read somewhere on the web an article from a Sun SCEA staff member(a beta tester), he gives some tips about the submission:
quotes:"You shouldn't change the uses case" "keep it simple" "don't submit esoteric J2EE solution" and , if you change the BDOM, give strong justifications and take care that the meanings of the concepts used remain consistent with the customer terminology.
I think that our submission should respond to the GIVEN REQUIREMENTS, nothing else...
I had rewrote MANUALLY (with a pen...) the assignment as it to understand what is given and what is required
Regards
Djafar
vu lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 19, 2005
Posts: 189
Hang in there man... We actually learn more from being fail.
So I gave updated versions of the Use Cases, as well as the BDM.

Unfortunately, Sun does give much feed back. I wonder whether your diagram was fine according to your updated use cases and BDM, but Sun marked you down since you modified the requirement.

You may not agree with the what the business analyst came up with, but the business analyst is no longer available to discuss the situation. This means you have all of the requirements.....
Rashmi Razdan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 06, 2005
Posts: 70
Hi Angus,

Sorry to hear about ur results.
I recently passed the part2/3 with 75%.I got score as expected, becos i didn't provide much of the assumptions and had hardly time to explain my digs.I had even spelling mistakes but still managed to pass, narrow escape.
I was confident only abt my class dig.

Class Dig : 39
Comp Dig : 24
Sequence dig : 12

My class and and sequence digs seem to be correct, then what went wrong in the Comp Dig i can't figure out ( I guess i didnt fulfil the connectivity to FFMS properly ).Im surprised to see full marks in seq digs as they are based on the comp digs.
If anybody has any clue pls explain.
Lucy Hummel
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 71
Hi Angus,

Minutes ago I uploaded my proposal for the FBN architecture.

If I do not pass, I will try again. You know, the second time, I do not have to go to the third part again. Yea, that is great.

Anyway, as some of the others already stated, just relax a month or so and start again.

I guess there is always a chance to win.

YOu know the yahoo card that tells

If you have a dream.
Set your goals
Work hard
And don't give up
Hang in there
You can do it

My best wishes
Lucy
kundan varma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2004
Posts: 322
Hi Angus
FAILURES ARE PRACTICE SHOOTS FOR SUCCESS.
Thanks
kundan


SCJP1.4,SCBCD,SCEA,CNA
Failures are practice shoots for success.
Angus Morison
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2004
Posts: 11
Thanks. You have all been fantastic and given me the encouragement I need to carry on.

I had a mail from Sun which said
"Some general comments are: people that typically score low on the class diagram have not accounted for all domain objects, people that typically score low on the class diagram have not account for all external interfaces."

I definitely was at much too low a level with my Class Diagram. I guess it needs more of what in RUP (Rational Unified Process) they call an "Analysis Model". Ie before you get to the technology details. And I imagine that the Sesquence Diagrams should use the same classes as the Class diagram. (Really just thinking aloud here). But then how do you show patterns like Service Locator, which is pretty low down glue stuff?

Going back to the Sun comment above, I am not sure how you show interfaces in a higher level class diagram (or rather, I am not sure exactly what that would mean). It could not be interfaces in the Java sense, where a class implements them. I will get back to my UML books.

I think I was definitely wrong to redo the Use Cases. Though it did seem to me that there really was a contradiction between the CEO and the Use Cases, especially with respect to pricing.

Well, back to the drawing board.

And again, thanks to all.
Fernando Cavalcante
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2005
Posts: 2
I think that in second sentence the external interfaces are refering to component digram and not class diagram.

Regards,
FC

***
"Some general comments are: people that typically score low on the class diagram have not accounted for all domain objects, people that typically score low on the class diagram have not account for all external interfaces."
****
Daniel Amadei
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Posts: 94
Hi!

Don't get so upset. Rebuild your model and resubmit it if you have money. Maybe you should focus a lot more on the business model and on the component diagram. Relax a bit more for the sequence diagram and try to show in the seq. diagram how the patterns depicted in the comp. diagram works.

And good luck

Daniel
vu lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 19, 2005
Posts: 189
I confuse Cade didn't show any external interface in his class diagram.
I Roberts
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2004
Posts: 66
Angus,

Sorry to hear about your result. I am sitting my SCEA Essay tomorrow afternoon.

Just a few points that I hope Sun will appreciate; in a real world situation, the software architect is more often than not always provided with inadequate information that is either inaccurate or simply contradictory between stakeholders. This is a simple life fact within IT. It is therefore also normal practise to investigate and elaborate on the information provided in order to clarify the requirements and create a more defined baseline to present the foundation architecture for a proposed solution. In this respect, what you actually did was a normal commercial exercise that would be expected by any software architect. It is therefore very worrying that Sun should take points from you for doing what is a normal working practise in the "REAL" world.

I too have changed the Use Case diagram and Business Domain Model and presented them back in the documentation as supplementary information to show an insight into what conclusions I declared prior to defining the actual solution. Most of the courses that I have attended have been Sun based (including architecture and design) and I will be very annoyed if I have points reduced because (a) this is part of my role and (b) it is also what Sun recommend on their courses.

I have to say that I work as a software architect for one of the four worlds leading consultancy companies and, as I perform this role on a daily basis, I have become slightly critical about the SCEA for a number of reasons:

(a) The SCEA Instructions do not define the level of detail required within the design of the system and this provides an obstacle to a number of people within the industry that work at various levels. If Sun made it quite clear the level of detail required more people would stand a better chance of providing adequate information. If a solution was presented based upon the Sun Architecture and Design course, I very much doubt the person would actually pass because the level of information is not sufficient.

(b) The Architecture and Design is very J2EE specific and, although I am a great fan of J2EE, the constraints of the SCEA Architecture and Design is not how I would do it in the real world (i.e. I have based my design in order to try and pass the SCEA not how I would design a commercial solution - for example, I very much doubt I would ever use Entity EJBs - even more so using CMP/CMR - been there, tried it and got the bad performance).

(c) The reference to Enterprise Architecture is not correct. Enterprise Architecture encompasses business architecture and system architecture but the SCEA relates specifically to software or application architecture.

I have to say that knowing what I know now, I wouldn't be taking the exam again if I fail. It has been a great learning process that has resulted in forcing myself to learn J2EE areas that I have not yet come across but I don't have much opinion of how I will be marked. The feedback and appraisals I receive in my professional day to day role is far more important than an opinion of someone marking an assignment based upon the constraints of providing what the assessor wants to see (e.g. Entity EJBs using CMR/CMP - you simply wouldn't do this in a real enterprise application for a number of modern day reasons!). The concepts of SOA and modern day approaches to architecture is simply not reflected in the SCEA and this is a critical and significant issue if the certification is to stand the test of time and be recognised as a valuable asset.

All the best and if you know you are good at what you do on your day to day professional role - that is all that matters not a certification.


Ian Roberts<br />Application Architect<br />SCJP, SCJD, SCEA, OCUP Fundamental
Deepak Pant
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 13, 2004
Posts: 443
Angus,

Sorry to hear about your result. Do not quit.. at least give it another shot.

Deepak
Byron Estes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2002
Posts: 313
I agree with some of "I Roberts", no certification is a guarantee of competence and talent. It's a single indicator like an SAT, but there are other factors that are more relevant but harder to measure.

I think his criticism of the certification is a little harsh and you don't need to propose a entity bean solution to pass (...I didn't for some of the reasons "I Roberts" mentioned. I simply documented my reasons for doing what I did. Now, did I get as high of a grade as I would have if I had gone full blown entity EJB. I don't know). Entity beans have their place but unfortunately there are people who once they find a hammer want to use if for everything including putting in screws. By better understanding your tools and materials as architects we are all more prepared to make better decsisions. The breadth of what is covered in the SCEA is what makes it worthwhile. It's far from perfect, but it has some value.

Last note: SOA has been around for at least 2 decades under other names. It's nothing new. At it's architectural core it's a pattern that can be implemented in a number of ways. I really don't see it as overlooked in the certification.
Angus Morison
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2004
Posts: 11
Ian,

(I am referring to the post before the previous one)

I would agree with you.

One might add that the version of J2EE used for Part 1 is almost prehistoric now.

Also, the standard Sun vision of J2EE, with session beans and entity beans, is contested now, with the likes of Hibernate, Spring, etc. (You touch on this).

There are two issues here: "whether EJBs are a GOOD THING", and updating the exam to include Web Services, SOA.. Though I imagine Sun will update the exam when (if) they have the time and money, I can never see them accepting a submission with Spring, Hiberate and Stored Procedures!

That having been said, I still think that - even though the exam is artificial - it does mean something.

I think maybe my downfall was pride, because though I did read all the books, the one thing I skipped over very rapidly was the sample project in Cade. I just went at it, thinking my own experience and reading would be enough.

I will be having another go. I did reasonably well in the Component diagram, which is where most people seem to fal down, so I trust (pray) I will be OK the second time.

Cheers,

Angus
Angus Morison
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2004
Posts: 11
I have gone back to look at the Cade Case Study in some detail, and I think I must have been incredibly stupid not to have done so before.

My view now is that Sun have an implicit methodology they expect you to adopt, and the only way to know what it is is to read the Cade case study. I am not saying their approach is bad, I am just saying that it is one of many. (See, for example, "Building J2EE Applications with the Rational Unified Process" for another).

Take, for example, the component diagram. I consulted "UML Distilled" (Fowler). After saying that there is considerable debate as to what a component is, he says "The important point is that components are independently purchaseable and upgradeable". So I understood a component to be something you deploy (ear file, jar ..). However that is not what Cade means. Otherwise he would not give different Component diagrams for different Use Cases. Their is not much point in deploying for just one Use Case!

So I think the moral of the story is: "Read Cade".
I Roberts
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2004
Posts: 66
Byron,

After 20 years in the industry I fully agree with you that SOA has been around for at least most of that time but under different names. However, what I was refering to was the modern approach to SOA that is still evolving and will continue to evolve long after I retire.

I was probably too harsh in my observation of the SCEA [apologies to anyone that it may have angered] but, as a practising software architect, the assignment simply is too constraint to a specific technology using a EJBs etc and bespoke applications. Commercially, at an enterprise level other alternatives would be assessed. I understand that this is not practical but the certification is quite expensive [at least �500] and therefore should reflect modern approaches using bespoke and COTS altenatives (e.g. Hibernate). However, after learning that someone has passed without using Entity EJBs this is reassuring [not that I do not use them but that the assessors accept other types of approaches].

The problem is that I have probably been brainwashed by my colleagues in the architecture practice who also think it is not a true reflection of Enterprise Architecture but simply application architecture using J2EE. The title of the certification is therefore misleading in its intent. Just my opinion that I accept is not widely agreed upon by this forum but certainly within some leading commercial organisations who provide architectural consultancy. Software architecture and design is only part of the role provided by an Enterprise Architect and some of the equally important aspects (e.g. Business Process Modeling) are ignored.
 
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subject: Failed Part 2