It seems to me that lately lots of people have been seeing certification as a banality. Well, guess what, it's not Getting certified is not a way of "looking cool" or use the spare time between two school semesters. Getting certified is a serious matter. If you are seeking for certification, that means that part of your life is dedicated to Java, hence, you already are a Java programmer to some extent. The obtention of the certification just confirms it. The path to the certification is first to be fluent with Java AND THEN get under the hood and look further into the intricacies of the language. That means that a newby should first get acquainted with the language AND THEN seek for certification. Don't see SCJP as a means of learning the Java Language from the ground up because it's not. SCJP is for Intermediate to Advanced Java Programmers who want to get some paper proving what they claim to be (the quality of the certification is not the question here). If you don't know Java, first take Java 101, read some books, code a lot (very important) AND THEN prepare for certification, not the other way around. From the first paragraph on the Sun certification Website
This certification is for programmers experienced in using the basic syntax and structure of the Java[tm] programming language.
Note how "experienced" is stressed here. Well, don't take this wrongly but sometimes things are better said than left untold... HIH [ January 29, 2002: Message edited by: Valentin Crettaz ]
I couldn't agree more. Coding is very important to passing certification. Almost all of the questions include code. If you do not have the experience with the behavior of code, it becomes very difficult to determine what the code you see does.
You asked: why I want to be certified. The answer is to prove my understanding of java to employers. So I can get a job. I am now a Sun SCJP, and I still have no job. In fact being a SCJP doesn't mean that you are able to produce some robust code, it just mean that you are able to read code, and understand the way it goes.(personal experience) And now I have to relearn Java and code a lot to be a real programmer. So I would like to say That I totally agree with you Valentin.
By constantly trying one ends up succeeding. Thus: the more one fails the more one has a chance to succeed.