Hi guys, I'm thinking on certifying the Developer track but not sure about how much effort it will require to get certified. I would like to get some real feedback of the effort you spent on preparing and developing the assignment. Any feedback on total hours (a rough value will be also good enough), and your experience before starting the assignment would be most helpful.
Sun claims you can do it in 20 hours. That assumes that you are a Java Guru, don't go anywhere near this site, and only want a minimal pass. In the real world the shortest time reported is close to 40 hours and typical times exceed 400 hours. A few of us have gone far beyond that.
I too am thinking about doing the SCJD, or rather, I am thinking about whether to do it now or some other time. :-)
Please do not say that typical times "exceed 400 hours"!? Working full time and having a life, it would take the better part of a year for me to do this certification!
I have 5 years of practical Java development experience, a couple more in another object oriented language (ye olde much-appreciated Smalltalk - but one has to eat!)... What would be a reasonable estimate? 50 hours? 100?
I think SUN's certification program is a brilliant way for me to document my Java skills, but I don't want to kill myself doing it.
Honestly SCJD is not a hard assignment int terms of coding complexity. You have a pretty simple problem to solve. There is no complex algorithm to solve. The hardpart about the whole thing is prodcuing a clean simple design to meet the specifications and then documenting all the details. Most of the time will be spent refining the design and the rest coding, debuging, and testing. So I would say total time spent for a person with a descent knowledge of Java is about 50-100hours with nore than half it design time. If you spend a good ammount of time producing a clean design and doing the ground work you will spend less time debuging.
In my case I have no real world Java experiance(although my MS uses a Java based network simulator), just C++ experiance combined with a bunch of hardware based OO language experiance thats it. Morten you should be able to do this without too much trouble. The best way to understand the scope and difficulty of the problem is to read past threads.
I started off by going over a couple of software engineering design books(desing patterns, UP, testing etc). Then as I started figuring out the design. Whenver I came upon an important design issue(locking, RMI etc) I looped up past threads and read through them to find out the problems others have encountered. In this way I was able to produce a pretty clean design and was able to code the assignment relatively quickly. I found that the infomration from this forum far more useful than any SCJD specific book. [ January 15, 2005: Message edited by: Inuka Vincit ]
I had about one and a half year of Java experience and had not programmed any real application before. I think I did the assignment technically using a 100 hours, spent about 200 hours procrastinating and pondering, 50 hours writing the documentation. I had also spent about one month reading an object-oriented book. My advice is to plan thoroughly the structure of the application. all issues and problems and counterbacks all visualized before you begin. Once you begin writing the codes, stay focused and don't think of anything else but coding. That will probably take you 100 hours all together.
Hi guys, thanks for your replies. IMHO, I think that 20 hs, even 40 hs is not a realistic assumption unless you are a Java guru, and don't have a job....
I've read in the book "Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide" the following: "....Sun (and most candidates) estimates that it takes between 90 and 120 hours of solid work to complete the exam, and that assumes you�re already familiar with all the necessary technologies (networking, database, threads/locking, Swing,etc.). Some people work for three weeks straight, as if the project were their full-time job. Others work on it when they can, in their spare time, and might take several months to actually finish it. Of course, there�s always the chance that you download it and discover you�re way over your head and unlikely to get up-to-speed within a year...." I found this book pretty useful in my way to get the Programmer certification, and I will use it for sure to get the Developer also. If you are going for the certification, read this book. It worths every penny.
Also I think that if you have a full time job, the exam will take you a lot more time, because you have to figure out where you were last time you worked for the exam, and things like that.
I have a full time job and a life when I go back to home, so I expect to have just a few (3~5)hours a week to work on the exam. Although I have several years working with Java & OO, my first gess is that it should take me about 120~150 hs to complete the assignment. That is a full year!!!
So please, keep posting here how much time do you spent on the exam, and your experience before starting. It will help me on estimating the effort, and also deciding if going for the certification is the right decision. If everybody spent about 300~400 hs on the exam, I'm sure I will not go for it!!!
I too have a full time job and did the SCJD in my spare time. I guess in terms of elapsed time from start to finish was about 4 months, despite moving house near the start of my preparation. It was well worth the learning experience as I hadn't touched on all topics before (although I did get a little sided-tracked with NIO at one stage).
I guess most weeks I spent 5 hours/week, but as I got coding the time went up as I was enjoying it (it's always amazing how mush time you can find when you're enjoying something).
If I were you - I'd go for it. It does take time and commitment, but its also good fun (after you've panicked about the what is a MUST requirement several times)
SCJP 1.4, SCJD, SCWCD 1.4
Joined: Jan 13, 2005
Hi Steve, I appreciate your feedback. thank you! Omar.
I spent about 200-250 hours on the assignment. However, I was very green. Having basically a college graduate level education in java, basic object oriented design.
I'm still waiting for my submission results but I feel strongly I will pass since I crossed my t's and dotted my i's on any possible deductions or unclear requirements.
I started mid october and finished beginning of january. And spent almost all my free time working on it. I cant say how much I learned, from everyone here and on my own. I really didnt have to read any books besides Max Habibi's bible. There were several online documents I read, some from Javaworld on adapter patterns and lots and lots of posts here, probably 100 threads I read atleast.
I would really recommend this to anyone, I learned the equivalent of about 5 college courses worth of knowledge alone just by doing this myself and I journaled it all on my own website. I'm really proud of myself and I have gained great confidence in my java coding abilities.
SCJD, SCBCD, SCJP
Morten Lauritsen Khodabocus
Joined: Jan 11, 2005
Thanks for your input - I will go for it, hoping to spend 10h a week for 10-15 weeks, we'll see how that fits with reality. :-)
Last Dec I became SCJP (91%), I have also been deciding whether to pursue the developer certification. After reading this thread I think I will. I also just received from amazon my Java 2 SCP&D Study Guide book by Kathy and Bert. They indicate that the SCJD certification among other things shows that you are a "team player" developer, that you care about understanding, following, and implementing specifications/requirements, that you can document properly, etc. I think those aspects in this certification are very valuable, since those actually trascend working with Java, they apply to the practice of software development in general. So I think this certification is very much worth it.
I'm also thinking of pursuing IBM's UML certification somewhat in parallel or during the time I work on the SCJD. Preparing for the UML one might actually help the design part of the SCJD.
Raul Saavedra SCJP 2
[ January 20, 2005: Message edited by: Raul Saavedra ] [ January 20, 2005: Message edited by: Raul Saavedra ]
Joined: Jan 13, 2005
Hi guys, thanks for your replies.
Please keep posting your preparation effort and experience before taking the exam. This post is being really useful for the people that need to decide whether they should go for the exam.
I am "almost done" and now at 70 hrs. I aim to remain below a 100 hrs and I feel that even that is way too much.
Reading posts on this forum may help a lot, but may also give you the feeling that good is not good enough. Try to resist the temptation for gold plating! (Remember that only one person ever will view your code and (s)he will never compliment you for it; you'll only receive some dry numbers and no matter how good you did, they will leave you wondering where you spilt the points you missed...)