I've been preparing for the last 4 months to pass the SCJP, and I've just passed today. I think now I have the basics for some real actual coding experience..
I'd like to take the SCJP, but just dont know where to start; I have never coded a real working application before.
I'd just like to get some pointers on where to start? Should I start by learning swing, SQL, or other topics beyond the SCJP? Are there any good resources, sample applications to work on? or should I just download my own programming assignment from Sun and see where I stand?
Working towards SCJD is the right idea in your situation. When I started with my SCJD assignment I had plenty of experience with all major aspects of it already, and I could finish the assignment quickly. I also read many posts from people for whom the SCJD assignment was the first project of that size, in Java, and with RMI. They certainly learned more from it than did, because I learned some of these things from other projects already. And all of them did well and had fun and passed. So either way works out fine.
If you want to do it my way, I recommend to learn Swing and RMI from the Sun tutorial, read "Effective Java" and "Design Patterns" and develop a couple of projects on the way, including 1 - 3 projects with 50 kB or more source code. Also learn to use one testing framework (JUnit, JTiger or TestNG). I'd do it that way again.
If you want to start with the SCJD assignment right away, just take the time to learn basics in Swing (~ 10 hours) and RMI (~ 3 hours) first.
Hi Oscar, Congratulations on passing SCJP! Because SCJD is a large investment, in time and money, and you do not have much experience in using Java, I would advise you to study some books first.
If you have one of Kathy and Bert's SCJP certification books there is a developer certification section (I think it is on the CD in the Java 5.0 book). In Heller's SCJP book there, too, is a section on SCJD.
As a dedicated SCJD book I suggest this one co-authored by Andrew Monkhouse.
Reading those, especially the last one, will help you gain the required experience you need to tackle the SCJD.
Also read the JavaRanch SCJD forum FAQ found here [ March 05, 2006: Message edited by: Barry Gaunt ]