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GENERAL COMMENTS

Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
Hi fella ranchers,
The following comments aim at making your study easier and more effective.
I love answering your questions and what follows should in no way discourage you to post your questions.


1. USE THE SEARCH ENGINE
There is a search engine at JavaRanch and it is there for you guys to use it. How many times have we come across closely related questions in two days interval? Too often. A good example, is the ever-coming-back question about String literals and String objects and how they are garbage collected. That question is asked, like, almost everyday. You are just wasting your time and the time of the guys who respond since the answer is out there. Lazyness is no excuse


2. TRY YOUR CODE
The key to your success towards being certified is lots of practice. PRACTICE! In my opinion, one cannot pretend being an SCJP without having even written one line of code. If your goal is just to gain some Java knowledge to augment your cultural package then ok. But if you aim at being a programmer one day, you have to code. Experience is the key. How many times have we seen questions like this one:
In that mock exam there was the following code:

My question is:"What does the code do?"
COME ON! How dare you? When you come across some code you don't understand at the first sight, copy-paste it inside your favorite editor, compile it and run it. Try to decorticate it. Try to understand the tiniest detail of it. By doing so, you'll quickly gain a lot of understanding of how Java works.
Again, lazyness is no excuse!


3. CONSULT THE API
For those who don't know where to get the API, here it is: http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.3/docs/api/index.html
How many times have we seen questions like:
"What does the method abs() in the class Math do?"
or
"Is Runnable an interface or a class?"
For those who don't know it yet, an API is a sort of resume of what the libraries can do. USE THEM! There is no way you can program in Java if you don't use them. The exam asks a lot of questions related to the API. You have to know what argument a constructor can take or what type a method returns. At the beginning you'll have to look at it lots of times, but with the time, you'll notice that you begin to know some part of the API by heart and THIS IS GOOD. Writing Java applications without looking at the API is like writing a text in a language you don't know and you have to look every word of the text in a dictionary. Not very efficient, it'll take a looooooong time, and time is money (your manager knows that ). To me, not looking at the API is clearly a sign of lazyness .


4. CONSULT THE JLS
Very important point. The Java Language Specification is to Java what the Bible is to the Christians and the Coran to the Muslims (sorry for the other religions ). The JLS defines what Java is and every tiny details about the language. You can find everything in there, except some special topics like garbage collection. The answer to a question like "Can a final method be overridden?" can be found in the JLS in like two seconds. The link to that important document is: http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/second_edition/html/jTOC.doc.html
My advice is to read it in its entirety, but if you don't feel like it or don't have the time, ok then. It's not a requirement, just an advice. You'd be amazed what you can find in there. I must admit that some parts are very cryptic, that's why I only recommend the reading.


5. READ THE QUESTIONS CAREFULLY
Pay attention to the wording of the question. Lots of the questions are playing with the words. You must read and understand each word of the question. There has often been the case where questions were misinterpreted and pointed out as being wrongly answered just because the question has not been read properly. BUT there are also mock exams authors who don't care about wording and the only thing the mocks does is to confuse you more than it helps. You should drop those mocks as soon as you notice that the wording is just a joke.


6. FORMAT YOUR CODE
This is sort of important if you want the people to get a precise idea of what your code is doing. Just put the code inside tags.

Ok I think I'm done for the time being, take those advices for what they are worth to you.
Happy mocking !

------------------
Valentin Crettaz
Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform
[Valentin added an important point about code formatting as pointed out by Jose Botella]

[This message has been edited by Valentin Crettaz (edited December 03, 2001).]


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Uma Viswanathan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 14, 2001
Posts: 126
Valentin:
Your comments and advices are very useful for anyone preparing for the exam...
Good comments and useful links for everyone...i too had observed that some questions are repeatedly asked by a few of us (but at the same time some questions are really very useful...)
Hope that we all of us would make the best use of the available resources...
Uma
fengqiao cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 26, 2001
Posts: 71
hi, Valentin Crettaz
thanks for your comments and useful advice
i say sorry to all of your guys, sometimes i post my question and didn't use search engine. i will do that in the futrue.
Jose Botella
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2001
Posts: 2120
I agree with all said by Val
Also
Please use UBB to ident your posts. It really helps to read the programs.
When the poster has runned a code and there was an error, please paste the error. That may help in avoiding to run it again for replyiers.


SCJP2. Please Indent your code using UBB Code
Caroline Bogart
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 21, 2001
Posts: 24
Great post.
Maybe I'm getting old, but I find the CODE tag impossible to read (and I don't even have those half glasses yet!).
So I do this when posting code, hope all will follow to make the site easier to read:
<CODE>
Blue code, size 3!!
I'm pretty happy with the legibility!
</CODE>
This is simply <CODE><FONT COLOR=blue size=3>
your code here
</FONT><CODE>

------------------
I love JavaRanch!


I love JavaRanch!
Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
Good point Caroline... That's true that the code is too tiny...

------------------
Valentin Crettaz
Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform
amit mawkin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 31, 2001
Posts: 73
Hi val & all,
Thanks for excellent advice and inputs from others,
Started implementing some of those
------------------
coffee drinker


regards, Amit
coffee drinker and Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform
 
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subject: GENERAL COMMENTS