OK, I am one of the bad examples out here, so I have more DON'Ts than DO's to say.
I started preparing for SCWCD about 1 year ago. I revised the book (HFSJ) at least 3 times. I planned to take the exam in January this year, but I procrastinated to February. I joined in a new company at that time so I thought I would resume this pursuit for my certification once I get settled in my new job. I got settled, but I never took it in March or April.
After a while I felt I had the time to take the exam (somewhere in June) but I didn't have the momentum I had before so I thought I would start everything all over again and do a couple of revisions and then take the exam. But when I was re-reading I felt boring.
You guys get the point by now. I procrastinated many times... And I finally thought I would give the exam. I did my final Mock exam in HFSJ and I scored 61%. I didn't bother to look at the questions I did wrong. I went to the exam hall and I finished it in about 1:00 time. I didn't bother to go for a second pass because I was so fed up with myself and I just wanted to end this (for a moment I thought of doing a second pass and I had a slight little fear of failing, but then I wanted to fail cause I thought it would teach me a good lesson). But luckily I passed, thanks to Head First and the authors... They made the book so good that you can't fail, yes, YOU CAN'T FAIL. In fact, I think my score is decent considering that I have no experience in Servlets & JSP. I was just too confident. Or may be I was just stupid.
Let me go to hell, but here are the DON'Ts I have for all the guys who are preparing any certification:
1. DON'T PROCRASTINATE: It's a bad bad habit. The sooner you take the test (after you completed your first thorough learning), the better. 2. DON'T LOOK FOR PERFECTION: Yes, if you think you want a score of 95%+ and you don't feel like you will get it, then just don't go for a another thorough pass of the entire book because you will lose interest. 3. DON'T LOSE YOUR MOMENTUM: Don't ever let your momentum or your examination studying flow go, if you do, get back as soon as possible. Believe me, I faced this. Once you are not in that mood, you will be desperate to complete but you may not have the same enthusiasm and confidence with which you were going through.
I have one complaint. The exam had 80 questions of which they said 20 of them are experimental and the worst part is, they didn't tell which 20 of them are experimental. Before the exam also, they had about 11 questions like: Are you an expert or intermediate or novice in Servlets? Are you an expert or intermediate or novice in JSP? Are you an expert or intermediate or novice in EL? You get the point... The examination was way too long. This was rubbing more salt on my wound.
Next up, I am planning to do a certification in databases, probably this one. Please let me know your suggestions on the database certification for a developer. Whatever the next certification I may plan to take, I decided to just nail it down. Hope you guys will nail your current one...
Congratulations on your success. The Oracle OCP exams make a very good accompanyment to Java certification as most Java projects involve some involvements with databases and Oracle is very widely used.
Thanks Marcus for the suggestion and thank you all for the wishes!!
I also like Linux (I feel like a geek when I work on command line), doing which Linux certification will be worthy and personally useful to me? I work on Linux with little difficulty (slightly better than others in my league). I can write shell scripts but I have to refer to the manuals back and forth. I am familiar with VIM but I am better at Notepad when compared to VIM. When it comes to the knowledge of the Operating System internals and hardware, I am poor but with dedicated effort I think I can get familiar. Any suggestions on this?
To Chunnard Singh II: You envy me? That's a compliment, thank you.
I'm preparing for SCWCD too. I'll try to pass it this year. Just like you, I want to learn something about DBs. I thought about something harder (in my opinion) than your exam: MS 70-229 (Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition). Yes, I know that MS SQL 2000 is quite old (exam introduced in 2002), but it is the only MS exam for developers All new exams are even harder and are for professional DB admins and designers. What do you think guys? Is it a good idea?
I think if you are a developer then a database qualification makes more sense than a Linux qualification. The Linux qualification tends to be aimed at people who want to be system admins. The most wel known and difficult Linux certificaiton is that from Red Hat.
Srikanth, First of all, Congratulations for a job well done! I can well relate to your story, as I currently sail in the same boat called procrastination! I guess its high time I focused and got over with this one! (Its been over a year now, and my signature still reads the same!) Your story has definitely inspired me to start with renewed vigor!
Sun Certified Programmer for Java 1.4<br />SCWCD 1.4 (in progress)<br /> <br />Life is a movie and you are the star. Give it a happy ending!
Originally posted by Kedar Dixit: Srikanth, First of all, Congratulations for a job well done! I can well relate to your story, as I currently sail in the same boat called procrastination! I guess its high time I focused and got over with this one! (Its been over a year now, and my signature still reads the same!) Your story has definitely inspired me to start with renewed vigor!
Me too same situation. Ive been trying since July. Lets say we make a pact to decide on a deadline before which we agree to settle on taking this exam sometime.