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Is certification just a piece of paper?

John King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 27, 2002
Posts: 165
One recruiter told me that employers do
not care certification anymore, and they think
it is just a piece of paper. Why do we
work hard to get it?
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1297
university degree is a piece of paper too, hell even sun's certificate look prettier than my BSc graduate certificate, my friend's father is a phD in computer science and it is a piece of paper too but he hangs it on the wall, i saw it when i went to his house. But it is actually the prettiest certificate I have seen in my life.....


BEA 8.1 Certified Administrator, IBM Certified Solution Developer For XML 1.1 and Related Technologies, SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCDJWS, SCJD, SCEA,
Oracle Certified Master Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect
stara szkapa
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Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
They are right because the original idea of certification was to certify people who already have required knowledge and experience obtained through work. Therefore if someone got certified without having any experience but only knowledge obtained by studying certification manual, such certification might not have much value for some employers. Still for some employers it has some value regardless of experience, for example IBM support people would not talk to not certified people, or to become IBM business partner you have to be certified in IBM products. Also the most important is, it has value to you if you want to learn and make progress as a professional.
Andres Gonzalez
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Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
Originally posted by stara szkapa:
Therefore if someone got certified without having any experience but only knowledge obtained by studying certification manual, such certification might not have much value for some employers.

I think is even more valuable if you don't have experience, because it's showing that you are capable of learning on your own, are proactive and learning will be even easier when you're working on a team.


I'm not going to be a Rock Star. I'm going to be a LEGEND! --Freddie Mercury
Vishy Raman
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 24, 2003
Posts: 5
I wouldn't really agree to the comment that certification is just a piece of paper. In fact, in this competitive world, employers are giving more value to the certifications nowadays. Being in the consulting world, it is becoming a sales pitch to mention the number of certified people in the company.
I do agree that just having certification and not having any real world experience will be of much help. But just consider two people who have same number of years experience, and one person has more certification than the other, obviously the person who has the certification will be better off. Certification QUANTIFIES the skill set.
Gustavo Torreti
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Joined: May 20, 2003
Posts: 84
Originally posted by Vishy Raman:
I wouldn't really agree to the comment that certification is just a piece of paper. In fact, in this competitive world, employers are giving more value to the certifications nowadays. Being in the consulting world, it is becoming a sales pitch to mention the number of certified people in the company.

Certification, as you mentioned, is one possible way to quantify someone's (or a group's) knowledge. Specially in the competitive consulting world, it is a helpful 'sales pitch' as Vishy said.
I do agree that just having certification and not having any real world experience will be of much help. But just consider two people who have same number of years experience, and one person has more certification than the other, obviously the person who has the certification will be better off. Certification QUANTIFIES the skill set.

The certification alone means nothing, in my opinion. The situation, however, is different: You MUST know a good bunch of things BEFORE getting certified. That way, you have a good level of knowledge even if you dont fully work with the core certification business. If you do have the certification, an employer knows that you have a good amount of skill and that skill can always go stronger.
Certification, imho, is still a good way to go, but you must make sure this is not the ONLY way you go.

Regardz2all,
Gus
[ July 04, 2003: Message edited by: Gustavo Torreti ]

You were trained to handle mission impossible; 'difficult' should be a walk in the park for you.
Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
In case you are interested, this topic has been debated many times:
Is Certification really worth it ?
Opinions on SCJP2 test
The bottom line is that there is no real consensus (and will never be) on how much useful/necessary a certification is. You should primarly get certified for your personal pleasure and not for getting a new job or asking for a raise. Of course, it might help, but you won't become an old war-horse by getting certified, only concrete experience can make you a "wizard"


SCJP 5, SCJD, SCBCD, SCWCD, SCDJWS, IBM XML
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Billy Tsai
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Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1297
experience + high tertiary degree like a master degree and high level certification such as SCJD, SCBCD, SCEA,OCM, CCIE etc
but no exp so I am currently working on the last two part becuase my BSc grades won't that great
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
What about the distinction between different organisation's certifications.
Personally I think Sun's Certifications are much more valuable than any other certifications I know of (MS, Oracle).
This was justified when I saw some US Online Universities (accredited by the same bodies accrediting the Big 10)giving points as credits to their Master's programmes. Sun Certs averaged 20 points(SCJP 16, the rest 20) while Oracle got only 4 (all theirs were 4 points).
I was a bit disapointed with the IBM OOAD cert when I looked at it a year ago. I expected more from IBM. Their other certs are more product related.I'm not sure how *good* it is to learn concepts wih a product.
I also think the Sun SCEA is better.There is just that much more room for expression and development.
regards
[ July 04, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
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Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Yeah, this one has been debated many times
Book knowledge without experience is not ideal, but some people can overestimate the value of experience. If the experience is *not* coupled with a deep knowledge and understanding, then you might just spend three years doing something in a way that is not efficient or optimal!
So ideally, you should have both. If you are not required by your employer to be certified (a LOT of people today *are* required), and IF you are someone who will take the time to study the specs and really learn the technology at a deep level, then certification is probably of very little value to you.
But for many of us, the certifications forced us to understand something at a much deeper and -- more importantly -- BROADER -- level than we would otherwise have learned it. For me, I was always learning ONLY what I needed to do the project I was working on. In fact, each time I study a spec *after* having developed with the technology for a while, I am HORRIFIED by how bad or inefficient my previous code was
Do employers care? Some definitely do. Some use this as a tool evaluating job candidates. Some use it as a tool for deciding who is promoted, or moved into a new position. Some employers do not care at all about certification, and some employers do not LIKE certifications at all! Usually, the ones who do not like certifications have had a bad experience with previous, non-Sun certifications. The Sun certifications are much more difficult than most.
Can some people pass the test *without* experience? Yes. In fact, I'm helping them do that by writing a cert study guide. Do we want this? Not necessarily, but if someone is TRYING to get experience, learning and preparing for the exam is a fantastic way to do that. There is a catch-22 if you are trying to GET a job to GET that actual experience, you might have to first get certified to prove that at least you KNOW a lot about it, which puts you in a better position that a candidate who has no experience and no strong knowledge.
I think in the balance of experirence vs. book/cert knowledge, we should bring in a third issue: *good practice*. Experience alone does not mean the developer is doing a good job.
But here's something else to think about... with EJB, the *code* you write is actually quite easy. You don't manage threads, if you use CMP you aren't even doing your own JDBC code, and you aren't writing the networking code. If you pass this cert, it means you have already passed the SCJP, so you have a strong knowledge of the Java language.
So what is the *experience* needed for EJB? Two main things:
1) Vendor-specific knowledge -- mainly, sys-admin knowledge about a particular server!
2) Design/performance knowledge -- mainly, how to put the right pieces together in the best possible way to solve a problem. We all know that it is possible to write dog-slow EJBs, and that some of the simplest changes can have a dramatic impact on speed.
Managing transaction scoping, for example, by using a Session Bean instead of giving the client direct access to the more granular methods of an Entity bean, can make a huge difference in performance. Knowing when the client should receive 'data' rather than 'remote stubs', can make a huge difference (and you gotta love Home business methods for entity beans now! )
For issue # 1, vendor-specific experience, at least *some* of your skills will transfer to another server. You tend to have to do the same KINDS of things in different servers. So, if I sit down in front of a server, then based on my knowledge of the EJB spec, I can say, "I know I have to do <insert something>, so now I have to figure out how that is handled in THIS server."
If you do not currently have experience, I recommend learning on the RI, then maybe switching to JBoss, and then perhaps *read* about WebSphere or WebLogic or Oracle 9i.
For issue #2, design/performance knowledge, a LOT of this can be gained just from understanding the lifecycles of beans, and how and when things happen. Sometimes I see really poor designs and think, "Did this person not ever read the spec? Don't they know that doing it this way will cause 3x the amount of database hits then if they change this one thing..."
So, if you can think about the *implications* of the knowledge gained in the spec, and how you would apply that to good design, then I think someone who does NOT have experience can be nearly equivalent to someone who does, EXCEPT for vendor-specific experience.
Having said that, though, with EJB often the most challenging part of the job IS learning the vendor-specific things! It can take a long time to really get to know a particular server (although that continues to get easier and easier as it matures, and as development tools improve and become more EJB-aware). And the SCBCD won't help much with that.
So, my thought is that if you want to just pass the exam, then study study study and it *might* help you get a job. If you want to be *good* at this, then study for the certification, really learn the spec at a deep level, take the time to understand WHY things work the way they work (the spec does a good job on the WHAT but not a good job on the WHY), consider the implications of the spec, and then learn J2EE design patterns!!
My ideal learning path to be both experienced AND knowledgeable (and certified?)
1) Study the spec, based on the exam objectives
(the objectives were determined from an analysis of the industry, so if it isn't in the objectives, it is probably not as important in most environments)
2) Practice on the RI and JBoss
3) Read and understand and try to apply the J2EE Blue Prints and J2EE Design Patterns!!
4) If you do not have a job using EJB, then make up your own project. Build your own web store back-end, or find a non-profit organization that could really use your help -- and then DO IT.
One final note on the ways in which industry acceptance or demand for certification is changing... Sun has had research for the last three years that say more and more headhunters have been asking about certification, because the employers they represent are asking about certification. Whether you think this is good or bad is a different question.
And consider this: O'Reilly has always shunned certification books because O'Reilly books favor experience rather than 'just a piece of paper'. But they are -- very carefully and only in some situations -- changing their view, based on current market conditions and perspectives on the value of certification. Our SCBCD study guide will be the first real certification book from O'Reilly. They did NOT come easily to this decision, and I'm not sure that any organization (or person, in the case of Tim O'Reilly) has a better understanding of the "real world" of development today. I see this as a good sign for certification.
cheers,
Kathy
p.s. the opinions I express here are completely my own, and heavily biased in favor of certification
(*especially* in topics for which I have a certification book)
Jonas Isberg
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Joined: Mar 18, 2003
Posts: 118
If you write a book for a certification I'll consider that a quality stamp.
When will your SCBCD book be released?
James Clinton
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 190
Certifications are useful when you wish to work as a contractor or consultant.
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Count me as a converted skeptic about certifications, particularly many of the Sun certifications.
I'm a java programmer with 3-4 years experience, with lots of C++ and C experience before that back into the Dark Ages. Design, Technical Archtecture, full life cycle yada yada.... This spring it became obvious to me that I wasn't making the cut with recruiters on jobs as I had done before, and believe the reason might be that I lacked certifications, a judgement which was backed-up by friends from my JUG who said that they had become de riguer in the London financial district. So I pursued the SCJP and SCWCD and am now working on the BEA Weblogic Server certification with the SCBCD to follow this fall.
The SCJP surprised me with it's difficulty. I thought it would be a piece of cake, but no! I had to learn a lot to pass and am a better Java programmer that I was before taking the test. The SCWCD forced me to learn taglibs, which I hadn't done before, plus generally firming-up my knowledge of the Servlet API and the makeup of web.xml.
Now I'm starting on Weblogic, and my diagnostic exam last week came as something of a shock. I'm going to have to learn about MBeans, Weblogic Workshop, and how Weblogic implements Web Services to pass the current edition of the exam. But in 4 to 6 weeks I should be able to pass that as well.
I find that recruiters take my CV more seriously than they did, though this reaction may vary for our younger colleagues just beginning. My problem wasn't lack of experience but rather validating what I knew.


SCJP1.4, SCWCD
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
My judgement is that at all levels of experience, certification is better than no certification.
While a SCJP certification cannot make a rookie into a veteran, I for one will interview a rookie with a SCJP for any entry-level jobs I have influence over. The person knows something. A similar principal applies to experienced people. Given similar credentials I will argue to bring in the certified person for an interview first! Chances are that they will know more.
The one thing which might give me pause is seeing an inexperienced person with a SCEA, because in my opinion architects need solid experience. It's commendable to get it, but I'm not going to hire a rookie as my architect. If such a person has an SCEA I'd have to ask myself whether I'm not inviting arguments.
I'm more of a skeptic than Kathy is about the value of studying the EJB spec. It's good knowledge, but there are some excellent books which better show what kinds of trade-offs can be made. There are techniques outside of J2EE and EJB which TA's need to know about, like JDO's instead of entity beans. The spec isn't going to cover that.
P.S. Kathy, BEA now has a program which allows developers to download and use their suite of products *free* as long as you sign up with them. Highly recommended.....
[ July 06, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
Billy Tsai
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Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1297
I just came back from a web developer job interview today, and the consultant that was interviewing me did not care about any of the certs I have, he didnt even bother to look at them or ask about them. He only cared about any commercial experience at all in web development and the university grades of my bachelor of science in information systems specialisation degree.
But my grades weren't that high......
and they want ppl like with at least A- or B+ avg or above.
Majority of the company if wanting the employ a new graduate from university are usually looking at high grades so ppl with low grades wont even stand a chance no matter how low the salary is.
Ashik Uzzaman
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Joined: Jul 05, 2001
Posts: 2370

The situation is not good for any sort of certification now. Its true. However, a person with some certifiactions as well as working experience is weighted more than a person having only working experience, even if a little hihger than the earlier one. This is my experience in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
When I look for people, I give value to the certificates a little because it proves at least the focus or dedication of an individual to a particular technology, however I don't value that any close to work experience.


Ashik Uzzaman
Senior Member of Technical Staff, Salesforce.com, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Billy Tsai
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Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1297
I am feeling the pain of unemployment right now ,I am still in the early 20's and unable to find a good job after graduating few months is very bad despite the fact some ppl graduated with me all have quite good jobs.
Now I know the feeling of all those ppl who committed suicide and I very much know why they did it and I think I feel the same way as they do.
life seriously sucks.
Ashish Sarin
author
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Joined: Nov 20, 2000
Posts: 432
    
    5
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Thats for you Billy.
All the best !! Hope that you'll get a decent job soon.
regards
ashish sarin


Author of
Getting started with Spring Framework
Portlets in Action
Spring Roo 1.1 Cookbook
Portlets blogSpring Roo blog
Ramon Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2003
Posts: 344
Billy, hang on in there. I graduated in 1981, and it took me a year to get a job. I thought of giving up on a few occassions, but I'm glad I stuck it out. I've got a fairly successfully career to look back on.
Dont give up. You'll get there in the end.
Ray Gill - scjp, scwcd.
Gustavo Torreti
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 20, 2003
Posts: 84
Life IS filled up with challenges, and they do tend to be tougher
As Johnny once said, "Keep walking", young man.
There is still much of life ahead of you (with stronger problems awaiting to be solved).
"When the going gets tough, the tough get going"

Couldn't say any better.
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Some suggestions for you, Billy:
Some things to try in your job search. Search out and attend a JUG (Java User Group) in your area and network.
Pick out firms whom you would like to work for and ask whether you can come for an informational interview. Ask people from the JUG, classmates, or whoever you meet for referrals. An informational interview is not a job interview, but rather an opportunity to ask questions. You can ask whether certifications make a difference, what kind of technologies are important, what they look for in an employee, etc. Ask whom else they would advise you to talk to.
Informational interviews can result in job offers, though don't expect them to. Go in, get some info, and get seen.
Check college or trade school bulletin boards. I landed my first good leads off of college BB's, which limited competition.
When talking to a firm about a job, consider offering to do a small project free to prove your bona fides. I landed my first job that way in a lousy economy off of lead from a college BB. The manager said he had 6 CV's on his desk and knew nothing about any of us. So I offered to do a free project for him, and he gave me something which took me about 20 hours. Now he knew something about one person. Guess who he hired?
If you have a chance read a book named Guerilla Tactics in the Job Market by Tom Jackson. Ask for it at your library.
P.S. Mention the certifications in your job interview. The interviewer may not have noticed them. If he/she discounts the certifications, ask her why he feels that way? If you can get into a discussion about what they are and what you learned from the process you may have a chance to change their mind.
[ July 07, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
barry boatfield
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 7
It depends on the certification. The sun SCJP is just a piece of paper, that is a necessary stepping stone to developer certification. It doesn't convey much by itself. Where as I believe the developer and Architect does because you it brings togerther more conceptual and practical thoughts.
Certifications are good for focusing learning and in some cases, such as SCJP making one learn about things that one will never probably need again and one can look up in the manual.
The idea of doing certification for personal pleasure is just plain silly. There are far better ways to pursue learning for the joy of learning or even just far more better things to be doing.
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Andrew ,
Those are very good tips on job-hunting, some of which I've forgotten about. But what does a Java User Group actually do : Do they use it in a group or are they users of Java who talk about Java ?
regards
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
HS, were you writing to me? Oh well, I'll go and answer anyway.
A JUG can range from a regular monthly meeting where they give regular presentations to just a knees-up in a pub where Java geeks get together.

A JUG is akin to a SIG (Special Interest Group), but they didn't want to call it a Java Interest Group for obvious reasons....
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Sorry ,Alfred. I did mean you.
Thanks for the info.
Java geeks doing a knees-up .. a sight for sore eyes!!!
regards
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1297
Maybe I should move to india or taiwan but I dont even have the money to buy airplane ticket
hell I dont even have money to register for anymore certification exams...............
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi Billy,
Where are you, Singapore? Schools there are tough, they modeled after UK. Try to follow Alfred advice, it's sound. Singapore is a diversify country, hope you could find a nich market there. Taiwan on the other hand is not. India only claim to be, but time will tell.
Did you followed my advice in the earlier time? Try to locate the company that have your school alumni and try to apply their because sometimes by mention the name of your professor and the courses you taken, he or she will salute you internally.
I see you invested too much money into certs when you need is industry experience just reiterate.
BSc and PhD are not cert. They are degrees issued by the country state you lived. It depends on your country diplomatic relations with the world making the degrees will be widely accept on the world labor market or not.
Regarding PhD, it is a hardest to obtain. The one degree that voted by your peer of discipline, there is no teacher to grade and the topic has to be new and unique not existed anywhere on the world. I would be surprise if your friend father tossed it in the corner somewhere in the house.
Good Lucks,
MCao
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
One place to look, Billy, is at colleges or universities. Researchers and Profs working on projects frequently need cheap talent, and they don't tend to advertise widely. Visit the placement center and ask where listingas are posted.
Look elsewhere at the school also. Nose around in the various scientific deprtments and ask if anyone is looking for programming help.
They won't pay much but it's a helluva place to get experience.
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi Alfred,
Those revenues also looking for good grade standing too. The alumni connection is more reliable, but make sure the alumni member has hiring authority not just his friends barely joined the company.
The other route is hiding his degree and apply for nonprofessional job, once inside hang around with those professionals learn how the company operated, and when the opportunity arrive applying from inside.
Regards,
MCao
[ July 07, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi John,
The company I am worked does not value certs over degrees, certs only take into consideration when there is a tying between the two candidates.
Regards,
MCao
S. Palanigounder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 145
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
What about the distinction between different organisation's certifications.
Personally I think Sun's Certifications are much more valuable than any other certifications I know of (MS, Oracle).
This was justified when I saw some US Online Universities (accredited by the same bodies accrediting the Big 10)giving points as credits to their Master's programmes. Sun Certs averaged 20 points(SCJP 16, the rest 20) while Oracle got only 4 (all theirs were 4 points).
I was a bit disapointed with the IBM OOAD cert when I looked at it a year ago. I expected more from IBM. Their other certs are more product related.I'm not sure how *good* it is to learn concepts wih a product.
I also think the Sun SCEA is better.There is just that much more room for expression and development.
[ July 04, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]


Where can I find the information about the
"points" for the cert. I think SCEA is worth
more than SCWCD and should get more points.
Billy,
Sorry. Where are you located?
Randall Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 01, 2003
Posts: 65
There was a recent article in Computerworld (I think), and many CEOs did not believe that certifications meant anything. The reasoning was made that since major consulting firms were running crash/cram courses and many of the certified people couldn't even write the code.
I have run into a few in my day, and don't like being around them.
Not having a BS degree, I am Certification heavy and with some of my certs expiring I still have over 7 and am still working on more. I didn't even take the SCJP until SDK 1.2.x and I had been programming in Java since JDK 0.99a.
I agree that Application Architects should have experience prior to the certifications, but know of companys that hire College Interns for Application Architect positions.
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1297
I am in Auckland, New Zealand.
I do not want to work in mcDonalds or delivering pizzas when I have a IT degree.
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Here's the points list :
Accepted Certifications: Bachelor's Program
Accepted Certifications: Master's Program
This is from a university strong on e-learning.
Try finding a red-brick ,traditional University doing the same and it's a different story:
Obstacles to Certification Adoption

Missing the Target in the IT Job Hunt
puts job-hunting in perspective of College graduates, Certified IT people , HR and employers..
All dis-connected.. It's up to us to make the connections. If you think the certifications are good, show them how by doing something with it.
See Alfred's point about doing a free project.
You can use that free project boosted with additional learning on top of your Certifications to also get you a relevant Bachelors/Masters at the same time.
I've also heard comments that undergraduates who had learned Java at Uni , then took up the SCJP, SCJD, enoyed the latter much more and thought it was far more enriching than that part of their Uni course.
. I can relate to that , too.
I think the best advice would be to get the experience interleaved with Certifications/ University degrees. You can accelerate that learning but you certainly don't want to go it alone. Neither do you want to be held back
by a backward group of "peers", so go it alone for some of the time and get back into the fray ASAP.
A Certification(to start) + Project can help concentrate on one area at a time to a depth any Phd student will be proud to claim. Just be seen to be out *there* doing it!
How many graduates/post-graduates don't actually work in the fields they graduated in !
regards
[ July 08, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Those revenues also looking for good grade standing too.

I assume you mean employers, Matt. What employers are looking for are people competent to do the job. The GPA or even something like a high SAT score is a proxy for competence.
Large organizations sometimes use very inflexible criteria to hire new grads, such as GPA. But many employers are glad to trust their own instincts. Merit takes many forms. When I was searching for my first job I almost landed a position through nothing but a phone interview, over several people with much better formal qualifications than I posessed at the time.
What I'm saying to Billy is that if the GPA rules militate against him, he has to find another way through the door. It's not at all impossible, I did it. With a less than stellar GPA, too.
The alumni connection is more reliable, but make sure the alumni member has hiring authority not just his friends barely joined the company.

It's unlikely that any of Billy's school friends have hiring authority but they may well be able to tell Billy who the important people are in their company. Billy can contact these people directly with his request for an informational interview.
Specifically managers and senior developers/designers. The latter don't usually have hiring authority, but if they know Billy they may well recall him when the time comes to hire. I know a bright young spark. I wonder if he's still available?
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
There was a recent article in Computerworld (I think), and many CEOs did not believe that certifications meant anything. The reasoning was made that since major consulting firms were running crash/cram courses and many of the certified people couldn't even write the code.

Hmmmm. I worked for KPMG Consulting when they were pushing Cisco products and were heavily encouraging their people to get Cisco certified, so there is that much truth to the rumor. KPMG agreed to get 4000 of their people the CCIE qualification, which would be a miracle indeed. I knew a fellow who went to at least 3 of the CCIE labs and failed each time.
But KPMG didn't encourage their people to get Sun Java certifications. Or any other kind of cert. The opposite if anything.
I have run into a few in my day, and don't like being around them.

What do you mean? These non code-cutters? I met plenty of fakers at KPMG Consulting, but while a few of the fakers may have landed a CCNA or CCNA, I cannot think of a one with a Sun certification or even a CCNP. Such things cannot be acquired after a week's worth of cramming I think!
Billy Tsai
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Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1297
I was aiming to do a master degree(postgraduate programme) but I was officially declined by the universities( University Of Sydney and uni of New South Wales) because of my low avg grades.
I would like to know if I have several certifications say like more than 6 inlcuding high level ones such as SCBCD,SCEA, also OCP DBA as I am interested in Database and programming would that help me to get accepted??
because it was my goal this year to get a master degree from a good university.
by the way we were never taught J2EE in the bachelor degree only like one or two powerpint slides on what it is.
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
From Missing the Target in the IT Job Hunt:
According to Rosenblum, educational institutions are often creating the lag by offering courses that are not realistic relative to market demands. "They will typically offer courses and certifications in technologies that are already outdated or for which there is already a glut of talent in the market, such as MCSE or HTML developers," she says.

Gawd, isn't that the truth! I've quit looking for leading-edge adult education Java courses in London. There isn't a single night course in EJB in all of London, much less really bleeding-edge topics such as JMX, Xp, AOP, or JDO. Nothing on Design Patterns. Nothing on RUP. Maybe one on UML.
They are still offering classes in VB6 rather than VB.NET for crap's sake!
New York University has the single really good adult education program I am aware of, though I suspect that Silicon Valley must also have good ones.
As HS Thomas understands, the point I'm making about doing a 'free' project is that it's the single most convincing way to show that you can do the job. It also shows committment, as you have offered to put some personal skin in the game. And all for the sacrifice a little time which you have in plenty anyway!
It's also the perfect way to trump someone with a higher GPA than you! From the POV of a potential employer, who are they gonna hire? Someone who has proven they can do the job, or someone with a higher GPA?
Even if you don't get the job after all, ask for a reference from them.
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1297
after reading that article above I remebered seening a ad for a senior software developer with 10 YEARS of experience in J2EE
J2EE not JAVA it wrote J2EE.
wahahahaha
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Hi Billy,
SCBCD,SCEA, also OCP DBA as I am interested in Database and programming would that help me to get accepted??

The full post this one is a reply to:

I was aiming to do a master degree(postgraduate programme) but I was officially declined by the universities( University Of Sydney and uni of New South Wales) because of my low avg grades.
I would like to know if I have several certifications say like more than 6 inlcuding high level ones such as SCBCD,SCEA, also OCP DBA as I am interested in Database and programming would that help me to get accepted??
because it was my goal this year to get a master degree from a good university.
by the way we were never taught J2EE in the bachelor degree only like one or two powerpint slides on what it is.
--------------------
Microsoft Certified Professional,
Microsoft Certified Database Administrator,
Microsoft Certified System Administrator,
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform 1.4,
Sun Certified Web Component Developer for Java 2 Enterprise Edition.

Unfortunately, probably not, certification in itself, won't help you.
Masters programmes and Phd are about research.
You could try finding directories where research papers are published. Find some that interest you. You might find some from Universities that just aren't that good (I did find a few ) and improve on them (Just be sure to put the original as a reading reference - ) . The experience /conditions that they were researched under was quite limited.If that was the standard, experience alone should probably be worth several PHds.
Others are just right up there in the Stratosphere , highly concentrated - understood only by Experts in a highly specialised field.
People's experience normally doesn't come anywhere near those levels of research.
Companies can judge just what you are capable from this.
Studying research projects may help you decide what it is you want to learn.
Talk to the Universities directly (even the ones that turned you down officially) , and they'll work out a plan for you. They may ask for additional exemptions/credits from recognised Computer Societies first.
Practise in polishing basic skills are crucial.
(Reading and comprehension,writing,communication
- the sun certs go some way to demonstrate these.)
- Joining a User Group demonstrates social skills while sharing common professional interests.
If your aim is to find work, this may be a quite a long path to take , unless you can work and study part-time.
regards
[ July 08, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Is certification just a piece of paper?