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is Sun kidding about this

Min Huang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 17, 2004
Posts: 100
From the SCJD product outline page:
... a fast programmer might create a solution in about twenty hours. A more typical expectation of a time requirement might be in the order of a working week. If you spend a lot more than two weeks on the project, you might well be creating something that is more detailed than is really required, and you might want to review the scoring criteria and problem statement provided in the assignment.

... or was there an easier, friendlier version of the SCJD that I am not aware of? Or am I a moron because I took forever to finish this thing?


SCJP 1.4, SCJD 1.4, SCBCD (Preparing!)
Nathaniel Stoddard
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 29, 2003
Posts: 1258
Min,
I did mine in 16 hours. Okay, I'm lying. 3500 lines of code in 20 hours does sound a bit extreme. Assuming you actually spend an estimated 3 hours of that time doing your user documentation and an actual design before you "quickly program" it, that leaves 17 hours of coding. So, about 205 lines of code per hour, 3.4 lines of code per minute. Assuming you have an average line length of 40 characters, that makes for about typing 30 words per minute for a solid 17 hours. Not bad.
Of course there are bathroom breaks, soda breaks, and muscle spasm breaks. So, let's subtract another hour for that. So, 16 hours, 218 lines per hour, 3.6 lines per minute, oh .. well still pretty close to 30 words per minute for 16 hours.
I think maybe Sun is trying to make us all feel very insecure about our abilities.


Nathaniel Stodard<br />SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCDJWS, ICAD, ICSD, ICED
Min Huang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 17, 2004
Posts: 100
Yup. And that's not counting time you take for testing.
My friend said, "Hey Min, let's take this exam. I won't be so bad". Boy did Sun throw us for a loop! Maybe they meant 20 hours of coding? Not counting: +20 hours of designing +20 hours of testing?
Nathaniel Stoddard
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 29, 2003
Posts: 1258
Min,
By the time I actually finished implementing the core functionality that would fail me had I not, my code stunk. So, I spent a solid day (or more) just refactoring it to make it all nice and pretty for my grader. I think on average I was pumping out about 300 lines of code a day (for a full work-day). After that my brain would shut down. I guess that would make me about 25% of the programmer I should be.
Denis Spirin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 22, 2004
Posts: 72
Actually, they say that solution may be created in 20 hours, not 3500 lines.
Supposing that "solution" has 1000 lines of code, in 20 hours it would be 50 lines per hour which sounds reasonable. However, they say that
If you spend a lot more than two weeks on the project, you might well be creating something that is more detailed than is really required, and you might want to review the scoring criteria and problem statement provided in the assignment.

I spent about 14 days on programming/documentation working about 8 hours a day and I had to do my own work also, not including testing/userguide/choices.txt. By saying that, Sun supposes that I have to work only on assignment while I have my own work/family/kid/ and whatever.


Regards<br /> <br />Ph.D.<br />SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.4, SCBCD 1.3, SCJD 2
Nathaniel Stoddard
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 29, 2003
Posts: 1258
From the official webpage:
Again, this is subject to substantial variation, but as a guide, 3500 lines of code is a reasonable estimate of the mean size of passing assignments.

Of course, they don't say if that includes the mandatory javadocs, or if it's strictly line of code. I was tempted to run my line counter on my assignment when I saw this post today. But if I remember correctly, I think I did have about 3500 lines of code (comments not included -- which would have stretched it out to about 40K lines it seemed).
Min Huang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 17, 2004
Posts: 100
Actually, they say that solution may be created in 20 hours, not 3500 lines.

So tricky! And after you download the assignment you are faced with more trickyness and vagueness. They really should warn people. SCJP was so simple, and you sign up for SCJD not knowing whats going to happen and bam! it hits you like a rock.
Nathaniel Stoddard
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 29, 2003
Posts: 1258
I'm gonna write a letter!!
Vishwa Kumba
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 27, 2003
Posts: 1064
Do not know if I am really a stupid or a geek with no skillsets...
It took me 2 weeks to understand the assignment and I still have
questions. I work on my assignment now and then.I have a full time job
and friends/family to keep me busy at other times...
3,500 lines of code or less may be expected, but that 20 hrs sounds impossible to me. I would say somehere between 100-200 hrs based on the individual's skillsets...(excluding the time to read/post at Javaranch! )
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Nonsense. I'll contact Evelyn about this.
I would say three months, if you're working a fulltime job, have a reasonable background, and you put in about 10 hours a week.
All best,
M


Java Regular Expressions
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11481
    
  94

I agree with Max - 3 months at 10 hours a week is reasonable for most people.
Regards, Andrew


The Sun Certified Java Developer Exam with J2SE 5: paper version from Amazon, PDF from Apress, Online reference: Books 24x7 Personal blog
Jacques Bosch
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 319
I spent 1 month on my SCJD assignment from start to finish. Must have put in close on 100 hours in that month. And I didn't add any extra funky stuff. Just the basics to pass.


Jacques<br />*******<br />MCP, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD
Vishwa Kumba
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 27, 2003
Posts: 1064
Originally posted by Jacques Bosch:
I spent 1 month on my SCJD assignment from start to finish. Must have put in close on 100 hours in that month. And I didn't add any extra funky stuff. Just the basics to pass.

Jacques & Nicholas:
Next time SUN comes out with the SCJD beta, make sure you guys take it first!
Min Huang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 17, 2004
Posts: 100
my friend said it would be a walk in the park, but when i started the SCJD, i had zero experience with RMI, sockets, concurrency, and file io. i just knew a teensy bit of swing. i had to slave almost 150 hrs to finish it
Nigel Browne
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2001
Posts: 673
I just took a look at my code, I passed with 2555 lines of code and comments in my .java files. If Sun estimate a mean of 3500 lines of code, does this mean that they are passing inefficient code? or are the majority of student doing more than is required on the exam specification ?
Gytis Jakutonis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2004
Posts: 76
I agree with Max. We can split assignment into three parts: database, networking, gui. Currently I see that it takes about one month to build one part(code, choices.txt, javadoc, junit etc.) while working after full-time job about 2-3 hours per day. So if we take 20 days per month (skipping weekends whole assignment should take about 120-180 hours or 3-4.5 fill-time weeks. Also I'm not counting in JavaRanch browsing, time spent to take design desicions etc.
amchi gelo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 01, 2002
Posts: 75
Guys, please remember that this assignment is supposed to mimic a real world situation and in the real world you boss always downplays the number of hours to do an assignment!


Sun Certified Web Component Developer 1.4<br />Sun Certified Java Developer 1.4<br />IBM Certified Associate Developer - WebSphere Studio, V5.0 (285)<br />IBM Certified Specialist - IBM WebSphere Application Server, Adv Single Server Edition for Multiplatforms, V4.0 (158)<br />IBM Certified Solutions Expert - IBM Websphere Studio V4.0 (487)<br />IBM Certified Specialist - IBM Visual Age for Java V4.0 (283)<br />Sun Certified Java Programmer 1.2
Min Huang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 17, 2004
Posts: 100
So, is this why the SCJD is the "lazy bum of the family"? Recruiters look at it and say "Wow. Just 20 hours? Must be easy", and then look at something like MCAD and say "Wow. 3 tests? Must be really really hard!"
I imagine them to be the same recruiters who say "I see you have excellent skills in SQL, but sorry, we are specifically looking for people with 'Sequel' experience."
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
As an FYI, I'm in contact with Evelyn regarding this.
M
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
where is that quote from ? whats the link?
I spent one month doing my SCJD and nearly fulltime everyday. but i just passed it with 1%


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
Min Huang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 17, 2004
Posts: 100
From the jobs discussion forum.
http://www.coderanch.com/t/28619/Jobs/careers/resume-advice
Max:
That's bogroovular.
Daniel Valeriu
Greenhorn

Joined: May 02, 2004
Posts: 1
Guys,
you must be kidding. I am an experienced Java guy, all right, but even without experience I just think that one month of 10 hours per week is too much.
It took me one week end (two days, 10 hours a day) and the following Monday - about three hours of testing - and everything was done.
I don't wanna say that it is important to have it done so quick, but one month is WAY too much...
Daniel
Anna Hays
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 09, 2003
Posts: 131
I think it depends on different people and what you want to get out of it. To make it a functional project, I can do it in like 2 days, but to do it well, like using design patterns and stuff, it will take ages if you are not familiar with it. Also depends on your experience on Java as well... I think majority of us taking this exam is some what not an expert in Java (otherwise you won't be doing the exam), so I think 6 months to get the most out of it, having a full time job and taking the exam in a easy pace, is fair. I don't think there is a right answer for the time thingy... that's my opinion.
Keith L
Greenhorn

Joined: May 23, 2004
Posts: 24
Did you ever get any feedback from Sun on this, Max?
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Not yet, but I'm talking to Evelyn this week, so I'll bring it up.

M
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Spoke to Evelyn, and she said she was going to change it: now, when, I don't know.

M
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Max Habibi:
Spoke to Evelyn, and she said she was going to change it: now, when, I don't know.

M

Two months later "However, a fast programmer might create a solution in about twenty hours." is still on Sun's page. It would take me more than 20hrs to just read your book or to sort out all the vague and contraditory "must have or automatic failure" requirements such as the 48hr rule and the DBAccess interface that doesn't say it throws obvious IOExceptions like file not found.

Could you give her another call?
Thanks, PKW
Mingwei Jiang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 19, 2004
Posts: 63
What? Don't frighten me. SCJD has no time limitation, right?
I downloaded the assignment on Feb.14th,2004 and started working on it last week. There's about five months I didn't even touch it, because I was very very busy on my company's project for several months. And now I'm a little free from that project and I started taking my hand on the project.
So, don't frighten me, is it possible that I would fail for working too long on the assignment? SUN itself said there's no time limitation.
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11481
    
  94

Hi Mingwei,

Originally posted by Mingwei Jiang:
SUN itself said there's no time limitation.


And that is what you should go with.

The 20hrs comments is part of Sun's description of what the SCJD entails. It is a suggestion of how long they think it might take. However as you have seen, many of us disagree with that suggestion.

There is no time limit on how long you take to do it. I know of at least one person who completed the assignment 3 years after starting it - not a problem.

Regards, Andrew
Julian Kennedy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 02, 2004
Posts: 823
So, how long does it take a fast webmaster to change a bit of text on a web page?

Jules
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Julian Kennedy:
So, how long does it take a fast webmaster to change a bit of text on a web page?

Jules


Oh, about 1 minute, the problem is writing up a plan, getting the change control done and then getting the change vetted and the operations acceptance. You know the process can be lengthy.

there was an old Dilbert cartoon with Dilbert and the pointy haired boss.

PHB: how long do you think it will take to put together a project plan and make that chenge?
D: [type, type, type] The change is in.
PHB: now how about that plan?
Paul Bourdeaux
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 24, 2004
Posts: 783
It took me one week end (two days, 10 hours a day) and the following Monday - about three hours of testing - and everything was done.

Impressive. Have you gotten your results back yet? I am not doubting your abilities, I am just curious because you are the first person I have heard of that completed the assignment that fast. I am preparing for the SCJD, but I have a full time job and two kids (both under two years old), so I don't think I will be able to complete it quite as fast
Once I actually start the assignment, I am expecting to take three or four months on it.


“Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.” - Rich Cook
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Hi Paul,

3 - 4 months is pretty fast. Personally, I'm not aware of anyone completing the assignment more quickly.

All best,
M
Roel De Meester
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 22, 2003
Posts: 10
Originally posted by Andrew Monkhouse:
I agree with Max - 3 months at 10 hours a week is reasonable for most people.

Regards, Andrew


It has been 11 months now since i started coding and reading through the great discussions on this forum. It took me about 4 months [10 hours a week] to finish test and javadoc the program. It is taking me 7 months already to write down a decent userguide and choises.txt.
Should i mention that i really don't like to write documentation?

btw. During this 11 months a started my own sofware company and became father of 2 children.
My wife has pushed me now to finish the assignment, stating that i don't get my 30th birthday gift if i don't finish the assigment before my birhtday. [next friday]. I cannot think of a better motivation than that to finally finish things off.

GL to all
Jeff Walker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 25, 2004
Posts: 116
There's a book out in the "Java Cram" series called "Developer Exam 2" that states you should attempt to budget for 100 hours, which includes design, coding, documentation, testing, everything. I believe the author scored 98%. He tries to factor in people's abilities and previous experiences, and it sounds about right to me, considering it aims at people who have not yet moved to this level of development yet. If you have done this level of work before, it will seem easier, of course.

100 hours is about 4 months with about 6.25 hours per week. He assumes you have a life away from the PC, like raising rugrats.

I know a guy who just finished a project at his place of work and it was somewhat similar to the SCJD exam assignment, so for him, it looked elementary. He said the toughest part is making good intelligent design decisions, and thinking about how they score the exam.

The exam definitely has no time limit, but if you took a year to do it, I'd say your not really committed.

Don't be put off by the fact it may take you 2 weeks just to understand all of the requirements. I'd say that is acceptable. Work at your own pace. The idea is to pass (and score well), not to show off in an interview with some 3rd rate manager who got his MBA from middle America University and got the job because he dines with the CTO. I would totally respect any person who has completed the exam and done well, and would not care too much how long it took you.

Jeff Walker
(I have yet to do this exam. Still working on SCBCD).
John Covarrulios
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 2
I've been at it for a month part time, have started over a couple of times due to rethinking design choices, and have now settled on a final plan of attack. Now that I've put in the design work, the code is practically writing itself.

As much as I'm frustrated by the size of the project (and the bizarre requirements that would never ever be specified in real life), I have learned a ton. I've been programming for 7.5 years professionally, and I'm not too proud to say there were things I didn't know or wouldn't have thought of before I tackled this assignment.

Anybody just starting this thing, just know this isn't strictly a test. This is designed as a learning experience. Allow for as much time and effort as you would put into a one-semester, 4-unit CS class. That's between 100-200 hours, taking your time. If you get done faster, great. But the idea is to really learn how to architect a solution, not just slap some code together. This ain't VB, this is the big leagues!!!
Frans Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 357
Originally posted by Max Habibi:
3 - 4 months is pretty fast. Personally, I'm not aware of anyone completing the assignment more quickly.


I don't mean to brag, but I completed the assignment in less than 6 weeks. I managed to put 100 hours into it during this time whilst doing a full time job, so you can imagine I did not have much of a life during this period.

I think though that finishing it in a short time span makes for a more efficient and consistent solution, because you don't need to rediscover what you were doing the month before when you last worked on the assignment.

Frans.


SCJP 1.4, SCJD
Saheed Adepoju
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 23, 2004
Posts: 267
Hi all
Hey it aint fair you guys are generalizing everyone as having the same potential! I havent got my assignment yet but i imagine i will take my time(Say 6 months)! I am about to finish my first degree and i just got a job! I figured i could just do the assignment on the job! My advice to anyone scared, dont be scared, that was why SUN made unlimited! I just believe it's SUN's idea that's on the site!


Saheed Adepoju<br />SCJP 1.4<br />SCJD (B&S..In progress)
Robert James Liguori
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 27, 2007
Posts: 531
    
    5

Sun states in the product description for the SCJD certification, "This performance-based certification is for developers interested in demonstrating advanced proficiency in the Java programming language using the Java SE."

As was noted in this thread earlier, Sun goes on to say, "...However, a fast programmer might create a solution in about twenty hours. "

Basically, if you have proficiency in most of these areas: IO, threads, networking, Swing, design patterns, packaging and Javadoc, then this assignment will be a walk in the park for you. You will be able to quickly validate your 'advanced proficiency'.

If you are going into the assignment without this detailed experience, you will probably struggle (at least time-wise), but the experience you will gain will be well worth it.


My Blog (I frequently post on Java, JSF and NetBeans)
Jeffry Kristianto Yanuar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 01, 2007
Posts: 759
Basically, if you have proficiency in most of these areas: IO, threads, networking, Swing, design patterns, packaging and Javadoc, then this assignment will be a walk in the park for you. You will be able to quickly validate your 'advanced proficiency'.


Here is my skill:
IO : know how to serialize, know what basic IO is.
Swing : know the layout manager, Swing component.
Design pattern : know the facade, singleton, factory, MVC.
packaging and javadoc : know how to create it.
Multithreading : know how to create basic thread as well as some class in Java concurrency.
Networking : know how to implement client/server application.

I have all basic to intermediate understanding in those areas. Am I eligible to pass the project assignment?



Jeffry Kristianto Yanuar

SCJP 5.0
SCJA
planning to take SCJD
 
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