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Why get a SCBCD?

Keith Rosenfield
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Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Hi All:
I'm just curious to the reason that others who are pursuing this cert made the decision to and what they hope having it will do for there lives.
I personally am preparing for it because a lot of job postings ask for EJB. What better way to show that you have a good understanding than to get certified. My hope is that having this cert along with my other two certs will be benefitial to me obtaining employement in this field. I have had a difficult time getting my "foot in the door" and I'm looking for any edge I can get. It appears that I may have made the wrong decision being that I just finished reading another thread posted to this forum that said in a nutshell that EJB is not all that it's cracked up to be. I hope I'm not just wasting my time, energy and money.
With all the posts to this site there is apparantly a strong interest in getting certified. Please share your story with me. It would be interesting to see if others are in the same shoes as me.
[ January 21, 2004: Message edited by: Keith Rosenfield ]

Keith Rosenfield<br />SCJP<br />SCWCD<br />SCBCD
Anthony Watson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 25, 2003
Posts: 327
At the heart of the certification issue lies the idea that there are two kinds of "techknowledge," book knowledge and real world experience. Some people believe that real world knowledge is what it's all about. In my experience, I believe that each kind of knowledge is both necessary and valuable to succeed in IT. A person with working knowledge learns as he goes along, by getting real code to run. This scenario has a large disadvantage in that the person only learns about what he has needed to use to achieve his desired functionality. In contrast, when a person gets certified, he most know the ins and outs of all the major features of a technology. He doesn't just know that you can use a technology to do "A," he knows that you can use it to do "B" and "C" as well. The drawback of only having this book knowledge that comes with studying for certification is that a lot of people get too focused on the piece of paper, the certfication itself, for the sake of being certified. They memorize all the boring details and rules and don't really understand why the limitations exist because they have no real world context to think about. The fact is that someone can read a book and take a test and get 100% on the test and still not be an effective programmer in the tested technology. For instance, a person might be a SCWCD but has never written a working JSP custom tag. I believe that it is thus necessary to have both the breadth of knowledge that comes with studying for a cert as well as the working knowledge that comes with writing real code.
Okay, so I've established my belief that studying for certifications is good regardless of whether or not it helps you to get a job. Now, on to the job part. Recruiters look for a lot of things when they interview someone, not just technical ability. A lot of times you will be interviewed by several people, many of which are not at all technical. Studying for certifications shows that you are self motivated and hard working. It also shows that you have the intelligence to understand technology concepts. This will definitely help you look good in an interview. Certifcations will also, (usually) win you some respect and points with technical interviewers. In addition, we live in very competitive job seeking times. Every certification you have that is related to the job you are applying for is something that separates you from the other candidates. Finally, I believe that the EJB cert is good because it proves knowledge of a highly marketable skillset. The goal of the unemployed programmer is to find work. Whether you think EJB is good or not, you have to go with what companies are asking for. You have to do everything you can to cast yourself into the role of the job description like so:
NewEmployee me = (JobDescriptionInterface)objMe;
As for my story, I believe that my SCJP cert was a big factor in me landing my present job. When I started, I had a little experience with a lot of languages but I was a master of none. I had some real world stories about how I get the job done and I work well under pressure but I didn't have any professional Java experience. I had taken some Java classes in the past but had recently passed the SCJP cert. The person that interviewed me questioned why I got the cert and I said I was interested in Java and wanted to take my career in that direction. He seemed pleased by my answer and by my attitude.
Once I landed the job, I frantically began studying to do J2EE related stuff. I was worried that I was going to be asked to do something with Servlets, which I had never done before. I got a lot of momentum in studying and I decided to just keep going and get the cert. Once I got the SCWCD, I told my boss and he said, "great." That was all, conversation over, no more words of encouragement. I didn't care though, for reasons I'll go into in my last paragraph. The knowledge that studying for certs gave me is much greater than if I had just done the minimum amount of studying to be able to do my job. I also think that certifications are good for job security once you land a job because remember, you could always get laid off and then you're right back out there trying to say that you're better than the next guy/girl for the job.
Finally, a little work philosophy. I decided a long time ago to take control of my career and not be dependent on my company to give me the perfect experiences to move up in the field. If, for example, my company never needs me to do a JSP website, I don't care. I'm going to do my own darn JSP website. I will be in charge of my own knowledge and experiences. I'll buy my own books and work on my own code. I'll be in charge of my career growth. I now know much more than I need to in order to do my job. I will continuously improve no matter what and without any encouragement. When you can go to an interview and say that and believe it, you will get hired.


Anthony W.<br />MCP, SCJP 1.4, SCJD, SCWCD 1.3, SCWCD 1.4, SCBCD
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Hey Anthony:
Thanks a million for your input. I admire your attitude. Your best advice was being responsible for your own knowledge and experience. I have also tried to take this approach to a degree. Getting certified, for me is a serious commitment of time and effort. There is always a voice at the back of my head saying "is it really worth it"? Your post has helped me put things into perspective. I now have a better feeling about the effort I am putting forth to attain this cert.
Are you currently pursuing this cert as well?
[ January 21, 2004: Message edited by: Keith Rosenfield ]
Anthony Watson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 25, 2003
Posts: 327
I'm planning on taking the SCBCD within a month. After that, I am going to focus on smart design and writing practical applications. When I first started my job, I bought some advanced non cert related books like "Expert One On One J2EE Design And Development" by Rod Johnson. I didn't know enough about EJB to really get the most out of them when I bought them. Once I pass SCBCD, I'm going to revisit that one and then think about SCEA.
Magnus Stattin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 05, 2003
Posts: 65
Hello Anthony
Thanks for a very good motivation for taking the SCBCD certification. My plans are very similar to yours. I have also read Rod's book and have started to use the Spring Framework in combination with EJB. It is truly a great book and his framework is brilliant as well.
I will take the exam tomorrow and then start working with building real applications.
Best regards
/Magnus
Vivek Viswanathan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 03, 2001
Posts: 350
Nice one Anthony Watson, I really liked what you have written. It helped me a lot since I was feeling like I am just getting Certifications and nothing at all, now I feel that I should play both the games of getting a Certification and also activily applying for a new job.
thanks again....you are a star
vivek
SCJP, SCJD, SCEA, SCWCD, MCP C#.NET


Vivek Viswanathan SCJP 1.2, SCJP 1.6,SCJD,SCEA,SCWCD,IBM-484,IBM-486,IBM-141,Ms.NET C# 70-316,SCMAD, LPIC-I
Phil Rhodes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 27, 2003
Posts: 65
Great minds think alike, eh? I've also read (most) of Rod's book, and likewise didn't know enough EJB at the time, to fully appreciate everything I was reading. I took a semester long class on J2EE programming at the local community college last fall, and am now studying for the SCBCD as well.. and like you guys, I plan to revisit Rod's book, and some more of my patterns books, after I finish SCBCD.
Getting back to the point of this thread... I want the SCBCD to show a would be viewer of my resume that I do have at least some knowledge of EJB. Remember, resumes (and certifications) don't get jobs... interviews get jobs... the whole point of a glossy / impressive resume is to get the face to face interview, so you can sell yourself.
In my case, I've been programming professionally in Java for about 4 years, but haven't done any EJB projects. I'm a SCJP and SCWCD, and most of my real world experience is with servlets and JSP. But, as somebody else pointed out, a lot of the job postings are looking for EJB knowledge. I'm thinking the SCBCD, while not a panacea, is better than nothing, to illustrate the point that I do know how to write EJB's.


A+, Network+, SCJP, SCWCD<br />preparing for SCBCD, SCEA, CompTIA I-Net+
Jayant Kulkarni
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 02, 2003
Posts: 56
Hi All,
The point explained by Anthony really thought provoking....Thanks Anthony..!!
Even I thought of the same way whether going for SCBCD would really worth.
I had just cleared SCJP and was thinking of going for SCEA..but later I realized that architecture certification will definitely a good point for getting new job , but you may really need to know in's and out's of the architecture that you are going to design. SCBCD gives you that knowledge and that your peers working on same area may not have.
One thought is if you really get good recap of EJB, passing SCEA would not be much difficult, rather you can very well concentrate on objective other than EJB.
Hence I have decided to go for EJB certification. I am going to buy Kathy's First Head EJB..any other thoughts guys..??
Also please keep in touch so that we can share out study experiences..
Thank you all,
Jayant
Veena Pointi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 20, 2002
Posts: 442
Anthony,
That was gr8 inspiration!!!I got HeadFirst EJB to understand EJB ,part of J2EE suite.I didn't wanna give SCBCD exam now.Coz giving exam requires lot of time and perfection.But your post has made me to rethink about my decision.I will decide that after reading Headfirst once.
Thanks again for that wonderfull,inspiring post.
I think there should be separate forum on Javaranch that just discusses certification validity,anything that is related to certification. Just an idea
Can anyone please tell What is average time an average person ,with Java,servelts,JSP knowledge can take to prepare for SCBCD exam?
Is SCBCD easier than SCJP???I don't think so :roll:
Veena
[ January 25, 2004: Message edited by: Veena Point ]

SCJP1.4
"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential."
*Winston Churchill
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Hey Veena:
Depending on how much time you have to devote to your studies you should expect to spend between 2 and 4 months to prepare for the SCBCD. If you prepare properly the test will be no more difficult than the SCJP. If you do decide to go for it, I wish you luck.
John Summers
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 06, 2003
Posts: 125
Is certification worth it?
A simple test. Imagine you are recruiting a J2EE developer. You have:
10 cv/resume of someone with an IT degree, 2 yrs experience
1 cv/resume of someone with an IT degree, 2 yrs experience & SCJP & SCBCD
Kind of jumps out at you doesnt it?
In fact I am aiming to be the cv/resume that is : 2 yrs experience, SCJP, SCBCD, SCWCD, SCEA.
I think Certifications can make the difference in getting you an interview. In the UK there are loads of graduates but employers dont regard them as being vocationally qualified. Sun certs can ease their fears a bit!
j
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
When u r in a company that builds system using J2EE or develops their own product(platform/framework) using J2EE and Java then u will need SCBCD especially u need to write a lots EJBs in version 2.0


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
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Hey Billy,
How do you find the time to pursue all those certs? It takes me on average 2 months to prepare, usually full time for one cert. It would take me 6 months part time. At that rate it would take me up to 5 years to complete the number of certs you have.
Veena Pointi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 20, 2002
Posts: 442
Originally posted by Billy Tsai:
When u r in a company that builds system using J2EE or develops their own product(platform/framework) using J2EE and Java then u will need SCBCD especially u need to write a lots EJBs in version 2.0

You mean J2EE means mainly EJB???
SCJP
Veena
David Swan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 33
Like some people here ive had the same doubts about the time and effort im putting into these certifications. Im a SCJP & SCWCD and hopefully taking the SCBCD exam in 2 weeks, im not working so i have no excuse.
But im also looking for a job too, employers definately rate experience as the most important element rather than sun certification. To be honest they dont really care about my 2 years programming experience (VB etc. or that i have done a big project in java for my BSc in IT). But like Anthony put it, do it for yourself, and i am, i also intend to take my SCEA exams too, because eventually when i do get experience in java, also having that certification will be quite impressive.
Im my opinion, Sun Certification will only help you right now if you're in a neck and neck situation. From the employers point of view, unfortunately, experience is ultimately what will get you the job!
Dave


SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
it took me 8months for to get all 5 hava certs but i wasnt working in any projects in the IT industry, but right i now i am working in the IT industry and busy doing projects.
John Summers
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 06, 2003
Posts: 125
I would definitely agree with David that experience is the key. However, I think there are now lots of candidates around with experience, so the certs i think can Definitely tip the scales in getting an interview.
One of the reasons I got an interview for my current job (as a J2EE developer) is because I had Microsoft C#.net exam 70-316 under my belt, and my employer said they were looking for people who could show they were versatile across languages. As this was a fairly junior job most of the other CVs were basically graduates with no experience who only knew one thing: java or vb.
j
Steve Taiwan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 01, 2003
Posts: 166
I also agree with David. The work experience is everything you should prepare for
I am invoded in Customs field for 2 years by using J2EE. However, when I intended to change my job. The interviewers only cared about the domain know-how. They think the Customs java work experience is not what they needed. And Certificates mean nothing because they are multiple choice and lots of people got them. Most of resumes described at least SCJP. and more people got SCWCD or SCJD. MIterviews didn't ask about certifcate. They tried to know what projects you are involved in and they cared about if you have already known the business logics before hiring you. So the training period could be shortened.
It really depressed me. Right now I am still sticked with the Customs java job.
However, I am still preparing for SCBCD since I want to get all certifcate related to J2EE.


Steve Taiwan<br />SCJP 1.2, SCJD 1.4, SCWCD 1.3, SCBCD 1.3, OCP 8i DBA, SCEA
riya s
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2003
Posts: 110
I recently got certified for SCWCD. Even though I had more than 2 years of experience just doing servlets and jsp, I learned a lot of features and what and why I did things were more clarified while studying for the exam. I also learnt better ways of doing the same thing. I am the only java programmer in my organization and I had no way to improve myself apart from learn from myself.. I had read on javaranch that the Study Kit was good and I reffered to that apart from many other books.. I am really happy I have this certification and although I dont have too much idea about EJB and we dont use it.. I really want to learn about it.. I loved Study Kit and I am not sure if Head First EJB is as good as the Study Kit in terms of explanation.. I had not heard about head first books until I came to this forum and I see that Head First EJB is good from everyone so I am going to try that.
A lot of things make much more sense to me now after I gave the exam and when I read some books which I didnt understand before... Guess what.. I understand them now
riya s
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2003
Posts: 110
I recently got certified for SCWCD. Even though I had more than 2 years of experience just doing servlets and jsp, I learned a lot of features and what and why I did things were more clarified while studying for the exam. I also learnt better ways of doing the same thing. I am the only java programmer in my organization and I had no way to improve myself apart from learn from myself.. I had read on javaranch that the Study Kit was good and I reffered to that apart from many other books.. I am really happy I have this certification and although I dont have too much idea about EJB and we dont use it.. I really want to learn about it.. I loved Study Kit and I am not sure if Head First EJB is as good as the Study Kit in terms of explanation.. I had not heard about head first books until I came to this forum and I see that Head First EJB is good from everyone so I am going to try that.
A lot of things make much more sense to me now after I gave the exam and when I read some books which I didnt understand before... Guess what.. I understand them now
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Hey Priya,
I think that is usually the case. Most people learn just what they need to know to get the job done. Sometimes, this is not the most efficient or best way. Their knowledge of the technology is not that deep. Preparing for a cert can deepen your knowledge and bring to light solutions and techniques that you may not have been aware of.
Good luck on the SCBCD. You will learn a lot from Head First EJB. I would suggest reading it at least twice.
riya s
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2003
Posts: 110
Are you planning on the SCEA architect exam keith?
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
I don't have any immediate plans to take the SCEA, but maybe dowon the road a bit. I want to get some practical J2EE development under my belt first.
 
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subject: Why get a SCBCD?