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JavaRanch » Java Forums » Certification » Associate Certification (SCJA,OCAJ 5/6)
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Which Certification?

Layne Lund
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Joined: Dec 06, 2001
Posts: 3061
As some of you may know from some of my previous posts, I am a recent college graduate with a degree in Computer Science. I am interested in taking certification tests to add to my credentials. I have been programming with J2SE since Java 1.2 was released. At the moment, I don't have any professional experience with Java. I have written a lot of programs for class projects and a few for personal projects.

So I am wondering whether I should jump right into the SCJP exam or if I should start with this new SCJA exam instead? Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

Thanks,

Layne


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Hong Anderson
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Joined: Jul 05, 2005
Posts: 1936
I think SCJP is better. It's harder than SCJA.


SCJA 1.0, SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.4, SCBCD 1.3, SCJP 5.0, SCEA 5, SCBCD 5; OCUP - Fundamental, Intermediate and Advanced; IBM Certified Solution Designer - OOAD, vUML 2; SpringSource Certified Spring Professional
Layne Lund
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Joined: Dec 06, 2001
Posts: 3061
Even if I get SCJA, I will move on to take SCJP eventually, too. I guess I should have asked if it is better to jump into SCJP from the start. On the other hand, will it be beneficial to have both certs?

Layne
Dibbo Khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 19, 2004
Posts: 147
I think the SCJP should definitely be your choice.

The SCJA is generally a high level exam, but it covers alot of J2EE topics, you need some familitary with EJB, Servlets, Web Services, JMS and so on.

So unless you are at least familiar to some degree with these J2EE concepts I would start with the SCJP instead.


MCPD (Enterprise Application Developer, Windows Developer, Web Developer - .NET 2.0), MCTS (Windows Apps, Web Apps and Disbributed Applications - .NET 2.0), MCITP (Database Developer & Business Intelligence Developer - SQL Server 2005), MCAD, MSCD.net, SCJP 5, SCWCD 1.4, SCBCD, SCMAD, SCDJWS, SCJA
Michael Raymond Jr.
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 16, 2005
Posts: 178
Howdy, Layne!

Congratulations on your recent graduation!

I don't have either certification, but it seems to me that the SCJA is better for someone who can already prove they have basic Java skills, though I think the SCJP can still be used as an enhancer to your degree.

If you used Java in your intro and intermediate CS courses, then I feel like the certification (and the studying needed to pass) is of little use other than to put yourself ahead of someone else with comparable skills(pre and post interview) and to hone your skills, which you don't need to study for a cert to do. If in your CS track you didn't learn J2EE concepts, but used Java to learn basic programming skills, then I'd say study for the SCJA(which, I think, means learning basic J2EE skills) if you want to get a programming job that requires java or possibly C# skills.

Let us know which one you choose, because I think I'm kind of in the same boat as you.


Scooby Snacks for everyone...<br /> <br />SCJA, SCJP 1.4
Peer Reynders
Bartender

Joined: Aug 19, 2005
Posts: 2922
    
    5
You may also want to keep in mind that a SCJP opens up other certification paths like:
  • SCJD (J2SE)
  • SCWCD, SCBCD, SCDJWS (J2EE)
  • SCMAD (J2ME)

  • Santana Iyer
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 13, 2005
    Posts: 335
    I am sorry as I am asking question on different topic.
    But Peer I want to ask as you have java and net certificates,
    how is it to do two technologies simultaneously.

    I mean would you advice to do both focus in both and master them or
    focus energy on one technology.
    Peer Reynders
    Bartender

    Joined: Aug 19, 2005
    Posts: 2922
        
        5
    If you are so inclined you can do both - but most people won't be in a position where they can take advantage of both vendor certifications. But I think it is important to keep an eye on the other camp (and keep an open mind about it) once you decide to focus on one of them. Some .NET zealots will say that J2EE is too complicated, some J2EE zealots say .NET isn't a viable enterprise platform...please. Both have their highs and lows - and both are continually developing and may benefit from some cross-pollination.

    In any case you will want to master one first. The choice is obvious if you currently have employment - you choose what you are currently working with. In some larger organizations, especially after a merger, both platforms may be in use and on an architectural level it is then useful to understand both sides of the fence.

    Its not so obvious if you are finishing your education and you are looking for your first (or next) job. How do you know what technology your future employer is going to use? Fact is, that may not be your primary concern.

    Often getting your next job doesn't depend so much on your technical skills - but on your knowledge of the business that your employer is in. So really, pursuing vendor certifications may not be the way to go. Do you envision yourself working in banking, insurance, manufacturing, etc.? It may be more worth your while to invest some time into developing your business skills. There is nothing more valuable to an employer than a "techie" they can talk business with - because ultimately solving business problems is going help your employer stay in the black and pay for your paycheck - its not necessarily important what tools were used in the solution.

    In some business sector's certain tool sets may be more prevalent; if you can narrow it down to a number of employers (where you ultimately want to work), find out what tools they use.

    If you are going the Java route, you also need to consider the Sun, IBM, BEA quandry.

    There are no easy answers.
    [ September 25, 2005: Message edited by: Peer Reynders ]
    Layne Lund
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 06, 2001
    Posts: 3061
    Originally posted by Michael Raymond Jr.:
    Howdy, Layne!

    Congratulations on your recent graduation!

    I don't have either certification, but it seems to me that the SCJA is better for someone who can already prove they have basic Java skills, though I think the SCJP can still be used as an enhancer to your degree.

    If you used Java in your intro and intermediate CS courses, then I feel like the certification (and the studying needed to pass) is of little use other than to put yourself ahead of someone else with comparable skills(pre and post interview) and to hone your skills, which you don't need to study for a cert to do. If in your CS track you didn't learn J2EE concepts, but used Java to learn basic programming skills, then I'd say study for the SCJA(which, I think, means learning basic J2EE skills) if you want to get a programming job that requires java or possibly C# skills.

    Let us know which one you choose, because I think I'm kind of in the same boat as you.


    My first CS courses were in C++. I only learned Java because I took an Intro to Java course as an elective. Some of the upper division classes used Java, but by that point, they expect you to be able to learn a language on your own without covering it during lecture in any detail.

    Most of my Java knowledge has been learned from working on personal projects and participating at Java Ranch and other similar websites. This is one reason I want to continue with a certification track. I think I may get both SCJA and SCJP, but I need to choose one to concentrate on. Since I don't have much knowledge of, and no experience with, J2EE, it may be best for me to go with SCJP first.

    Layne
    Layne Lund
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 06, 2001
    Posts: 3061
    Originally posted by Peer Reynders:
    You may also want to keep in mind that a SCJP opens up other certification paths like:
  • SCJD (J2SE)
  • SCWCD, SCBCD, SCDJWS (J2EE)
  • SCMAD (J2ME)


  • That's a good point. Like I said, even if I get take the SCJA exam, I plan on doing SCJP, too. I think SCJP will open more opportunities, so I will work on it first. I've worked with J2ME a little, but I don't have any experience with J2EE. I want to eventually learn more about both of these technologies and certification will help me pursue that goal.

    Layne
    [ September 25, 2005: Message edited by: Layne Lund ]
    Michael Raymond Jr.
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 178
    "Most of my Java knowledge has been learned from working on personal projects and participating at Java Ranch and other similar websites. This is one reason I want to continue with a certification track. I think I may get both SCJA and SCJP, but I need to choose one to concentrate on. Since I don't have much knowledge of, and no experience with, J2EE, it may be best for me to go with SCJP first." by Layne

    Layne, I agree that the SCJP is still good to get, but the test is still on basic programming concepts which aren't really Java specific (though some of them are), so much of it will be redundant for you since you've taken CS coursework. It will also enhace your resume a bit and you'll learn Java sytax and a few concepts that Java did not inherit from C++.

    To me it would seem that if you don't know J2EE material, then that's a great reason to study for the SCJA - so you <b>can</b> learn J2EE material. If you get an interview for a programming position, they probably are not going to ask if you know how to do a logical OR, <i>or</i> a while loop, and instead you will probably be asked more advanced Java questions. Of course I don't know this from experience, so this is just my opinion.

    Another quick note:

    A current search of all american states/cities on monster.com for SCJP returns only one result. That doesn't mean only one employeer cares about basic java skills, but it does show that there's not a direct link to knowing how to program Java, the SCJP, and what the HR/IT department looks for in an applicant.

    However, a quick search using the same search criteria brings up over a 1000 jobs (the search engine can only show a 1000 at a time) that are looking for J2EE skills.


    So, with a CS degree, I think a SCJA might give a better chance at getting a job programming using Java, where you will most likely acquire advanced skills. Then, you won't even need to study for the SCJP to SCJD, to etc, etc.

    Anyways, that's my unfounded opinion on the matter. Even so I seem[under statement] like I'm leaning toward the SCJA, I'm still not sure if I should keep pursuing the SCJP first. ;-)


    good luck either way...
    Michael Raymond Jr.
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 178
    My point about the J2EE search results wasn't to suggest the SCJA comes up in the searches, because it doesn't at all. The point is that in addition to putting you're an SCJA on you resume, you can also add J2EE 'stuff' to your skills section of your resume. Hmmm, I think that makes more sense...
    Peer Reynders
    Bartender

    Joined: Aug 19, 2005
    Posts: 2922
        
        5
    You may find the thread NEW CERTIFICATION EXAM: Java Associate's Wanted of interest. In particular look for Bert Bates post. He outlined:
  • why the SCJA was created in the first place.
  • his concern that too many SCJP holders in the beta crowd might skew the results.

  • Peer Reynders
    Bartender

    Joined: Aug 19, 2005
    Posts: 2922
        
        5
    Originally posted by Michael Raymond Jr.:
    A current search of all american states/cities on monster.com for SCJP returns only one result. That doesn't mean only one employeer cares about basic java skills, but it does show that there's not a direct link to knowing how to program Java, the SCJP, and what the HR/IT department looks for in an applicant.

    However, a quick search using the same search criteria brings up over a 1000 jobs (the search engine can only show a 1000 at a time) that are looking for J2EE skills.


    Actually J2EE skills more than likely means J2EE experience, not a any kind of certification. In many cases employers don't even know that the certifications exist - they don't know what to do with them. Furthermore the existance of Braindumpers further devalues certifications. (i.e. people who pass the certification by acquiring NDA violating copies of real exam questions and then memorizing them, rather than actually learning the "skills being measured" or "testing objectives". Often this is expanded to people who pass the tests by taking every available mock exam rather than actually learning the material).
    If an employer is looking for certifications then they may well be looking for IBM or BEA certifications as well.
    You can get through SCJP, SCWCD, and SCBCD without ever being exposed to JDBC code, despite the fact that most businesses use relational databases. I don't care how good your ORM layer is - eventually there will be a reason to get your hands dirty with JDBC and SQL.
    Getting an interview over the other person who has a similar background to yours but who lacks the certifications is the best you can hope for. In most cases experience will beat out a certification.
    [ September 26, 2005: Message edited by: Peer Reynders ]
    Santana Iyer
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 13, 2005
    Posts: 335
    Thanks for reply Peer,

    I must confess I understood little but I believe as I am fresher things will be clear after I start with some technology (hopefully).

    thanks any ways bye.
    Layne Lund
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 06, 2001
    Posts: 3061
    Originally posted by Santana Iyer:
    Thanks for reply Peer,

    I must confess I understood little but I believe as I am fresher things will be clear after I start with some technology (hopefully).

    thanks any ways bye.


    I think most of the recent comments were directed towards my replies since this is the thread I started. No offense, but I strongly encourage you to start your own thread for your questions. One reason is that it will help reduce the confusion as to whom the replies are intended.

    Layne
    [ September 26, 2005: Message edited by: Layne Lund ]
    Michael Raymond Jr.
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 178
    Peer,

    There are at least two purposes for going to college and getting a cert:

    - 1 is to acquire knowledge (this is also later used/tested if you've been selected to interview for a job)
    - 2 is to look good on a resume with the hope you'll get an interview vs someone who does not have similar credentials

    One thing college or certification is not, in my opinion, is 'experience'.

    It's like asking if the egg hatched before the chicken....

    But in this case it's clear that knowledge comes before repetition of knowledge (aka experience). So naturally experience is valued more. But that�s the point of getting educated�is to get that experience/$$$.

    Having the certification, versus someone without one, will clearly give you an edge verse someone that can't prove they have similar knowledge. Without the cert, and no formal education in Java, how can someone really expect to compete against graduates of CS/IT/EE?

    Layne's question is whether she should pursue the SCJP or the SCJA.

    My point about choosing the SCJA over the SCJP is that mastering basic java skills (though I don't now for certain), probably won't get you a job without knowing anything about J2EE.

    On monster a search for Junior Java Developer (in the US) shows several positions...for one of them the required skills are:

    """""REQUIRED SKILLS:
    - Object oriented development J2EE
    - Java, JSP, Servlets, web application framework
    - IBM WebSphere Application Server
    """"monster.com

    So I fully understand your comment about not getting a J2EE position because they are normally looking for people with experience as well, but there are clearly some positions that don't have such restraints (entry level Java job). And, notice that the Required Skills is NOT (because it�s implicit) knowledge of basic java skills, meaning, I think, in this case the SCJA would clearly prove to be the better cert than the SCJP. Like Laynee(I think), I�m trying to break into the entry level Java job, so SCJA might be the right choice for me.

    Man, I sound like a spokesman for the SCJA..;-) Don�t worry, I don�t have stock in Sun.
    Peer Reynders
    Bartender

    Joined: Aug 19, 2005
    Posts: 2922
        
        5
    Originally posted by Michael Raymond Jr.:
    I�m trying to break into the entry level Java job, so SCJA might be the right choice for me.


    The point I was trying to make was that if your choice is job-oriented, the answer may very well be that neither certification will do the job - because ultimately to most employers the certification is meaningless/worthless. And if you want to take the certifications regardless (for bragging rights) then you might as well start will the SCJP because you will also want to take the SCWCD and SCBCD. But if you are looking for a job, time and money spent on a single, multiple choice question based certification may not be the wisest investment.

    Originally posted by Michael Raymond Jr.:
    One thing college or certification is not, in my opinion, is 'experience'.
    It's like asking if the egg hatched before the chicken....


    You are not the first to see it that way and phrase it that way.

    Currently the most common suggestion to gaining "experience" is to join an open source project or help out a charity of your choice which is running a web site. Use your imagination.

    Originally posted by Michael Raymond Jr.:
    But that�s the point of getting educated�is to get that experience/$$$.


    Well, your challenge then is to convince an employer that you are worth those $$$.

    If you are prone to depression don't read the The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing.

    Its a very expensive proposition to hire someone. In most organizations the IT department is seen as a necessary evil that only cost money, so there is tremendous pressure to get the most bang for the buck. Its even more expensive if you don't get any product from a new hire for the first 3 months or so because they are too busy learning the new programming language, the operating environment, infrastructure, custom built applications AND the business (while at the same time the productivity of the existing staff is lowered by questions the new hire is asking) only to find out that the new hire isn't going to work out - back to square one, less the money, less the time.

    Now you know why they put together those ridiculous laundry lists of "required skills". On top of that there may be times where you'll be lucky if you spend 15% of your time "designing and programming" because you are stuck in meetings, interviewing users, writing business cases, requirements, specifications, test scenarios, that document your manager wanted, answering phone calls, emails, etc. So those certifications only address a very small slice of what an employer is looking for.

    When it comes to education

    College Diploma wins over Certification
    University Degree wins over College Diploma
    Masters wins over Bachelor, etc.

    However relevant experience can beat that hierarchy because it shortens the ramp up time to make a new hire more productive and the hire is more likely to work out.

    So anything you have that can shrink that delay of productivity makes you more attractive to a prospective employer. One area that is often overlooked by technical people (even the ones that have the jobs), is that relevant business knowledge is a valuable asset. First, its one less thing to learn; second, you can put that knowledge immediately to work, e.g. by working on necessary documents while you take your time learning the technical skills (potentially increasing productivity of the people who are already up to speed because they have been temporarily freed from some of the drudge work).

    And Business Process Analysis/Business Process Management have already become the next big buzzwords anyway.
    [ September 26, 2005: Message edited by: Peer Reynders ]
    Michael Raymond Jr.
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 178
    Hi Peer,

    Well, I think we will have to agree to disagree whether or not certs are worthless.

    I don't think they are all what people make them out to be, but they still have some value. Let's see, how many ways can you prove on your resume (prior to being interviewed) you have knowledge of programming and Java, if you don't have experience?

    - get a degree in CS/IT related study
    - certifications
    - [Note: I think we are in agreement that people aren't born with inherit knowledge of Java.]

    What other ways are there to prove you are worthy for interviewing? I guess you could create a website with mulitple java programs you wrote, then put a link on your resume, but that seems kind of tacky. Oh, wait, you can just put down on your resume that you just KNOW Java...that'll turn heads! Even so you might know the language and how to programm, you don't have any evidence on your resume except your own word. No, I don't think that will do for credentials...I guess the world will still have to get those pesky certifications/diplomas that say how smart they are(even if they are not!). I also think that even if an employeer doesn't know what Java certs exist, they must at least know of Sun Microsystmes, so putitng you're Sun Certified will at least get a glance, I think.


    There are many jobs that don't require experience, I posted one of them above...and many more that do. If you're in America, then all is well, because post 09-11 there are hundreds more IT jobs.
    Bert Bates
    author
    Sheriff

    Joined: Oct 14, 2002
    Posts: 8815
        
        5
    Hi Layne -

    My two cents, based on reading a lot of your past posts is that you'd find the SCJA not much of a challenge, I think the SCJP would be more appropriate and useful for you.

    hth,

    Bert


    Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
    (If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
    Layne Lund
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 06, 2001
    Posts: 3061
    Originally posted by Bert Bates:
    Hi Layne -

    My two cents, based on reading a lot of your past posts is that you'd find the SCJA not much of a challenge, I think the SCJP would be more appropriate and useful for you.

    hth,

    Bert


    Thanks for the vote of confidence. Personally, I think it will take more studying for the SCJA than for the SCJP because I have little knowledge of J2EE and J2ME. I also don't know much about XML. I feel pretty good about my knowledge of general Java syntax, though. Of course, I always learn new things just by reading posts here at the Ranch. I know I will need to study for either one.

    In fact, I agree with the comment above that studying for the SCJA will give me a reason to start learning more about J2EE. I may look into taking both, but I only have enough time and money to concentrate on one at a time. Thus the reason for this thread

    Layne
    Layne Lund
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 06, 2001
    Posts: 3061
    Peer and Michael:

    I agree with many of the points that you have both made and I see where you are coming from. While the value of a certification may be questionable, I would like to think that it might be the cherry on top, so to speak, that can give me an edge in the job market. However, that isn't my primary motiviation. As the saying goes, "The journey is more important than the destination." Taking the SCJP is a personal goal I have for many reasons, two of which include extending my knowledge of Java and adding it to my resume. However, I don't think either of these reasons is more important than the other.

    Layne
    Peer Reynders
    Bartender

    Joined: Aug 19, 2005
    Posts: 2922
        
        5
    Originally posted by Layne Lund:
    Taking the SCJP is a personal goal I have for many reasons, two of which include extending my knowledge of Java ...

    Probably one of the best reasons for pursuing certifcation.

    Originally posted by Layne Lund:
    ...and adding it to my resume.

    If you've got it, you might as well show it off - just don't expect the world from it.

    You'll probably ask yourself what the big deal was about once you've got it - at the same time you'll have a more thorough knowledge of the inner workings of the Java environment than most of your uncertified colleagues, able to use it more effectively and avoid typical "gotchas".

    Just realize that once you have obtained the SCJP you may want keep your momentum going by selecting the next cert like the SCWCD or SCBCD (which both cover important aspects of J2EE). Everybody who wants to take those certifcations has to get through the SCJP first - in many ways the SCJP is "just the beginning".

    It is for that reason that currently it doesn't matter whether you get the SCJP 1.4 or SCJP 5.0 - the latter one still has the shiny new chrome look - thats why everyone wants it. But any version of the SCJP will give you access to the follow-on certifications.

    Most high quality products take time to get finished - probably the reason why SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 5 Study Guide (Exam 310-055) hasn't been published yet (amazon lists 2005-11-02, the publisher still lists the previous release date of 2005-09-30. I dimly recall that the original release date was 2005-01-31). It's going to be a bit more work to tackle the SCJP 5.0 without this guide.

    Currently you do have the option of purchasing a voucher from Sun for the SCJP 1.4 to secure a SCJP 1.4 exam (inquire for how long it will stay valid - my vouchers were always valid for 12 months). There are two excellent study guides available for that one - you may even be able to buy them used (the authors would prefer that you buy new copies - then again you could just send the royalties separately ).

    Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027)
    A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification: A Comprehesive Primer, Second Edition

    Choose the path that suits your situation best. Good Luck.

    PS:
    Other certs you may want to be aware of:
    XML and Related Technologies
    Test 486: Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with UML Test
    which can count towards the IBM Certified Enterprise Developer - WebSphere Studio, V5.0.
    [ September 28, 2005: Message edited by: Peer Reynders ]
    Layne Lund
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 06, 2001
    Posts: 3061
    Originally posted by Peer Reynders:

    If you've got it, you might as well show it off - just don't expect the world from it.


    Don't worry, I won't expect the whole world. Just my own tropical island.

    Originally posted by Peer Reynders:

    You'll probably ask yourself what the big deal was about once you've got it - at the same time you'll have a more thorough knowledge of the inner workings of the Java environment than most of your uncertified colleagues, able to use it more effectively and avoid typical "gotchas".


    You hit it right on the mark. As I said earlier, the journey is more important than the destination. I expect to have a better understanding of the language and environment once I finish the certs.

    Originally posted by Peer Reynders:

    Just realize that once you have obtained the SCJP you may want keep your momentum going by selecting the next cert like the SCWCD or SCBCD (which both cover important aspects of J2EE). Everybody who wants to take those certifcations has to get through the SCJP first - in many ways the SCJP is "just the beginning".



    Actually, that is one of the other reasons I want to take the SCJP. I hope to be able to have the resources to continue other Sun certifications as well.

    Originally posted by Peer Reynders:

    It is for that reason that currently it doesn't matter whether you get the SCJP 1.4 or SCJP 5.0 - the latter one still has the shiny new chrome look - thats why everyone wants it. But any version of the SCJP will give you access to the follow-on certifications.

    Most high quality products take time to get finished - probably the reason why SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 5 Study Guide (Exam 310-055) hasn't been published yet (amazon lists 2005-11-02, the publisher still lists the previous release date of 2005-09-30. I dimly recall that the original release date was 2005-01-31). It's going to be a bit more work to tackle the SCJP 5.0 without this guide.

    Currently you do have the option of purchasing a voucher from Sun for the SCJP 1.4 to secure a SCJP 1.4 exam (inquire for how long it will stay valid - my vouchers were always valid for 12 months). There are two excellent study guides available for that one - you may even be able to buy them used (the authors would prefer that you buy new copies - then again you could just send the royalties separately ).

    Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027)
    A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification: A Comprehesive Primer, Second Edition

    Choose the path that suits your situation best. Good Luck.


    You actually just answered another question that has been on my mind: which version of SJCP to choose. When I originally started this thread, I looked on Amazon for a study guide and was disappointed that the K&B 5.0 guide is not yet available. If it was, I would have bought it right then.

    I would like to start studying right away, but I'm not sure if I should spend the money to buy a 1.4 study guide or wait for the K&B 5.0 guide. I guess I'll just have to make that decision. From what you said here, it probably doesn't matter. I like the "new chrome" look of the 5.0 cert, but I may decide to just do 1.4 and eventually do an upgrade exam...

    Anways, thanks for your suggestions. Now I just need to make my decision and start studying!

    Layne
    Michael Raymond Jr.
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 178
    It is for that reason that currently it doesn't matter whether you get the SCJP 1.4 or SCJP 5.0 - the latter one still has the shiny new chrome look - thats why everyone wants it. But any version of the SCJP will give you access to the follow-on certifications.


    Would you recommend getting the SCJP1.5 or the SCJP1.4? I ask because I already have the K&B SCJP1.4 cert guide, and was thinking I had to get the new SCJP1.5 book. How much long will the 1.4 version be food for as a prereq to the other certs???
    [ September 28, 2005: Message edited by: Michael Raymond Jr. ]
    Peer Reynders
    Bartender

    Joined: Aug 19, 2005
    Posts: 2922
        
        5
    Originally posted by Michael Raymond Jr.:
    How much long will the 1.4 version be food for as a prereq to the other certs???


    Both SUN and IBM (IBM Certified Enterprise Developer - WebSphere Studio, V5.0) are still accepting the SCJP 1.2 as a pre-requisite - so I doubt that the SCJP 1.4 is in any kind of danger. They just want to make sure that you have a solid understanding of the Java platform in general.

    Originally posted by Michael Raymond Jr.:
    Would you recommend getting the SCJP1.5 or the SCJP1.4? I ask because I already have the K&B SCJP1.4 cert guide, and was thinking I had to get the new SCJP1.5 book


    As I said it doesn't really matter - but I understand the inherent attraction of the SCJP 5.0. As it stands the SCJP 5.0 Guide may actually be "going gold" in the near future (see The K&B book for 310-055).

    But that doesn't have to slow you down. You can get the updated langauge specification now. Reading that is about as invigorating as a trek across the Gobi Desert - but it doesn't matter what any study guide states - ultimately the spec is the law.

    If you don't mind splurging a bit your could always get both Core Java(TM) 2, Volume I--Fundamentals (7th Edition) and Core Java(TM) 2, Volume II--Advanced Features (7th Edition) - they are overkill for the exam, but its always good to have access to a second opinion. If your Java skills need a bit of brushing up start with Head First Java, 2nd Edition (it feels kind of redundant mentioning that one).

    You have access to the SCJP 5.0 testing objectives which you can cross-reference against the ones in the K&B 1.4 study guide after you reviewed the New Features and Enhancements J2SE 5.0 relevant to the objectives - so you can determine which sections of the K&B 1.4 are still valid.

    Anyway there is plenty of stuff you'll want from here.

    So you can spend your time productively with only a slight overhead until K&B 5.0 comes out.

    Oh, yeah - keep honing your Googling skills - it amazing how many people around here could benefit from that one
    They should have a certification for that one and make it a pre-requisite for everything else.
    Michael Raymond Jr.
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 178
    Actually, at my university they use the two Core books for a 400 level Java course, though I took a different route and don't have either book...is the CoreII book better than the mammoth of a book K&B wrote on JSP/Servlets? If there were ever a library dedicated to JSP/Servlets, they'd only have that book to check out.

    The CoreI, I belive, is just like the Head First Java book which I already have.

    I think I'll just continue using the SCJP1.4 book by kathy and bert, like you suggest. In fact, I don't think I want to learn all the new 5.0 stuff at all(well, not mastering it for the exam anyhow)...pain in the butt material they added.

    But, I read that the cert expires as a new technology comes out(Tiger 5.0). How does that work out for a resume? Like, would you put 'expired SCJP1.4', or would you just put 'SCJP1.4'? Would it be deceptive to not state that it's expired? Does that make sense???


    Laynne, I'd take a look at the 1.5 exam objectives...they've got some new things on there that seem to be new concepts(generics?)...at least to me, except printf().
    Peer Reynders
    Bartender

    Joined: Aug 19, 2005
    Posts: 2922
        
        5
    Originally posted by Michael Raymond Jr.:
    is the CoreII book better than the mammoth of a book K&B wrote on JSP/Servlets? If there were ever a library dedicated to JSP/Servlets


    Core II contains the updated material on multithreading and the Collections framework which has been updated with typesafe collections (based on Generics). Core I contains the Java fundamentals (and Generics) in much more gory detail than it would be described in "Head first Java". The K&B certification books are very detailed as long as it pertains to the certification objectives. However when you work with this stuff you will need detailed coverage in other areas.

    So you would be using "Head First SCWCD" to prepare for the SCWCD certification but you'll more than likely refer to something like Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages, Vol. 1: Core Technologies, Second Edition and Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages, Volume II (2nd Edition) when you are actually working with the technology (unless you're working with another presentation technology, like Java ServerFaces or Velocity). In general you won't be using the K&B guides once you have obtained the certification.

    Originally posted by Michael Raymond Jr.:
    The CoreI, I belive, is just like the Head First Java book which I already have.

    I strongly doubt that. "Head First Java" is more accessible, yes - but Core I covers other areas and some of them in more detail.

    Originally posted by Michael Raymond Jr.:
    But, I read that the cert expires as a new technology comes out(Tiger 5.0). How does that work out for a resume?


    Orignally, in the 1.2 days Sun planned on expiring the certifications - they have changed their tune some time ago (there are some threads here about that - just google the saloon for it). Now you stay certified for "your" version indefinitely. As it is, it will be some time before most of the major vendors support J2SE 5.0 on their application servers and JEE 5.0 still needs to be finalized as a specification, after which vendors can adopt it. 1.4 is the main stream right now and will be for some time to come. On a resume you simply list
    "Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform 1.4" or "Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition 5.0" whichever applies.

    Anyway as I recall the main updates of the SCJP 5.0 were the updated threading libraries, Generics and typesafe (Generic) Collections - there may be others - just check the Testing objectives and the "New Features".
    Layne Lund
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 06, 2001
    Posts: 3061
    Originally posted by Michael Raymond Jr.:
    Layne, I'd take a look at the 1.5 exam objectives...they've got some new things on there that seem to be new concepts(generics?)...at least to me, except printf().


    I have already started using Java 1.5 on some of my personal projects. I am somewhat familiar with the new features, at least at a very basic level. I will definitely need to study much more in order to understand it enough for the certification exam. I'm also quite familiar with the whole printf() idea since I hava a C background. It seems like we have that in common

    Layne

    p.s. Isn't Layne obviously a masculine name? Now if I my name was Elayne, then it would be feminine.
    [ September 29, 2005: Message edited by: Layne Lund ]
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: Which Certification?