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Studying for SCJP while working full-time

Yan Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 15, 2003
Posts: 94
Hi:
Does anyone have experience with studying for SCJP while working full-time. What are your expereinces? Tips and advise are welcome. What is a good timeframe?
Thanks in advance.
Gian Franco
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 977
Originally posted by p intelli:
Hi:
Does anyone have experience with studying for SCJP while working full-time. What are your expereinces? Tips and advise are welcome. What is a good timeframe?
Thanks in advance.

Yes, I'm experiencing it right now for
my preparation of the SCJP.
It's difficult to combine the real-life
programming with the preparation because,
even if there is some Java involved in my
daily tasks, it's in a stage that it covers
only a minimal part of the exam topics.
I tackled this problem by waking up early
and do at least an hour or two early in the
morning. Then in the evening if I have some
spare time left I'm going for another hour
or two. Bare in mind though that my goal is
to be certified in a months time or so, otherwise
I would gladly stay in bed and dream of Java instead.
I've tried to collect as much litterature I can
for my preparation: K&B, Mughal's & Rassmussens
Programmer's guide, Complete Java 2 certification by
Roberts, and thinking in Java by Eckel.
For those days that I don't manage to open a book,
I log into this site and do the Cattle drive, it
doesn't take a lot of your time and it's a good
appetiser. The real testing I do them after every
chapter. I'll tackle Exam mocks in a week or so.
That's all. Good luck.
Gian Franco


"Eppur si muove!"
dennis zined
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 07, 2003
Posts: 330
Hi p. I guess it depends .... if your fulltime work is related to Java, then it would likely be conducive to your SCJP study. In my case and being the unflexible me, I got side-tracked a lot of times due to work and which is not related to Java. I was just dead-tired coming home and preferred switching on the television and relax rather than switching my brain to Java mode and study.


SCJP 1.4<br />SCWCD 1.4
Vicken Karaoghlanian
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 21, 2003
Posts: 522
Originally posted by p intelli:
Hi:
Does anyone have experience with studying for SCJP while working full-time. What are your expereinces? Tips and advise are welcome. What is a good timeframe?
Thanks in advance.

Tell me about it... i have been studying for the SCJP for too damn long and i don't think it will ever come to an end.
Originally posted by dennis zined:
I was just dead-tired coming home and preferred switching on the television and relax rather than switching my brain to Java mode and study.

Oh yeah.

Here is my schedule or shall i say routine:

Hope this help.


- Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth. <br />- What truth? <br />- That there is no spoon!!!
Davy Kelly
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 12, 2004
Posts: 384
hey p intelli,
yeah working full time and doing shift rota work as a fitness instructor!
I am very new to programming and I was taught Pascal before java, but prefer java.
well i have been studying for about a year now and have failed the exam before, so now I am studying harder than ever.
I have found this website to be very helpful, in that I have had things explained to me in a better way here than from my distance learning centre!.
But as of studying, I do about 2-3 hours if I am working, and on my days off or holidays, i do about 5-7 hours, half of that time is searching through the forums to find answers to questions I have.
hope you find your studies easier than me.
Davy


How simple does it have to be???
David Hadiprijanto
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 14, 2003
Posts: 52
Hello,
I shared the same challenge as the others above.
I work full time and no Java used in my work place.
Dennis' said it quite bluntly but I share similar situation, after looking at computer screen and code all day long, the last thing I want to do after going home is to look at computer screen and code again.
Add to that if you have to commute, and/or have family, studying may be the last thing in your mind after work.
Having said that, I rarely spent too much time studying after work.
I probably can read (concept) a little, but not practicing (writing code).
If you can, study regularly, not just once a week (like on weekends).
If you are a morning person, then wake up a little earlier and study.
If you are not, then you can use lunch hour (like I did).
I did not study every weekend and I did not study everyday also, but exposing myself with exam materials at least 2 or 3 days during the weekday, regularly, help me to remember more.
I bought the K&B book in April last year, and I slowly finished it around late October. Around September I started with the mock exams. I used K&B (2 of them), Dan Chisholm (the best that I know of), and Marcus Greene (very good also). So the schedule was pretty relax to me (who wants to study during Summer where I live, here in the Northwest, US?), but I was getting there. A month approaching the exam date, the studying gets more intensive though, probably 2 hours every weekend and everyday during lunch hour. I took the exam in late December.
One more thing, take it easy. Learn to relax while you are going through
the mock exam. You will probably need them the most during the exam.
Hope this helps.
Yan Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 15, 2003
Posts: 94
Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences with me.
If any of you is interested in forming a study group, you can contact me at new_berlin@yahoo.com
Dixon Alexander
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 48
Originally posted by Vicken Karaoghlanian:

Hope this help.


Ha Ha Ha Ha and another Ha.
Now that was funny


SJCP 1.4<br /> <br />"Go in there and do the best you can. That's all you can do."<br />Tiger Woods<br /> <br />"Practice is the best of all instructors."<br />Publilius Syrus (b. 42 AD)
Leo Wang
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 12, 2003
Posts: 3
My suggestion is that purchasing the Whizlabs SCJP will help you a lot.


Java and XML!!!
dennis zined
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 07, 2003
Posts: 330
My suggestion is that purchasing the Whizlabs SCJP will help you a lot.

I will not recommend Whizlabs at least for the SCJP mock exam software because that's the one I've tried. I had to stop at Practice Exam 4 due to errors. The explanations were not consistent with JLS and there were grammer and spelling errors. Most inconvenient about the software is that you cannot copy/paste code from the exam to your IDE. I had to re-type everything from scratch which is really a big hassle. Also the check boxes and radio buttons does not allign well with the answers. The only positive comment 'bout Whizlabs is the technical support they provide and the money-back guarantee. If you've got bucks to burn, burn it on JQPlus which cost a lot less than Whizlabs and better quality. If you're on a tight budget, you can check this site for a list of free mock exams available. But if there's just one mock exam you have to take, I'd recommend Dan's exam. In my opinion, it's the mother of all mock exams. Those who've successfully passed SCJP has had very good comments about Dan's exams. Visit this site's Sun Certification Results forum.
A good book to study for SCJP is Kathy Sierra and Bert Bate's Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027). A free mock exam comes with the book. Another good book is Khalid Mughal and Rolf Rasmussen's A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification: A Comprehesive Primer, Second Edition. The book also has a free mock exam, but if you dont want to buy the book, you can get it free from the author's web site.
If any of you is interested in forming a study group, you can contact me at new_berlin@yahoo.com

I'm almost wrapping up for SCJP. This site has site has been a very good study group for me. Its members, moderators, and the authors of Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide are just awesome. They unselfishly share comments, thoughts, and advises. What more can I say? I love this site! Just recently I can remember Bert Bate's tutorial on octal/hex/binary/unicode. These authors are just so cool. Khalid Mughal and Rolf Rasmussen's were guests here for some time before and they too were very helpful.
[ January 28, 2004: Message edited by: dennis zined ]
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
You won't have an IDE at your disposal (let alone a compiler) during the exam so learn to program without one...
That might be the reason they didn't allow copying code out of their exam simulator.
I'll be starting the SCJP track again soon, did it once before several years ago but ran into the same problems as so many: lack of time.
This time around I got the company to allocate budget for classroom training (Sun official course) and have the advantage I'm working Java fulltime already for several years (the course for me is mainly a refresher and to brush up the parts I rarely if ever encounter in my line of work like multithreading (I write mainly servlets and related stuff)) and that AWT (which I never use) has been dropped.
I've started reading up on more lowlevel Java code than what I normally write to help prepare as well (more standard APIs and less of the J2EE stuff I see in everyday work).


42
Julie Hay
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 26, 2003
Posts: 4
I guess I am the lucky one. My employer wants me to get certified. (In Sept 03 I got moved from support to programming.) They are paying for 1 test, and let me study at work. I will also get a small bonus after passing. The same goes for other Java certifications.
I easily get burned out studying. I have been studying since October, around 12 hour per week. I have very little prior Java experience. I did use C++ a lot in college though. I have gone from getting 30% on the mock exams to around 65% now.
My first challenge was getting use to the Java syntax. Now I am trying to remember all the little details. When I miss several similar type questions, I come up with a short phrase to help figure out type of question. I plan on having no more than 1 page worth of notes when I take the exam. It will be the last thing I look at before taking the test.
My favorites are K&B's book and Dan's tests.
Julie
(I can't spell either)


Julie<br />Dream a little dream...Then go get it. Little dreams make a BIG dream a reality.
dennis zined
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 07, 2003
Posts: 330
You won't have an IDE at your disposal (let alone a compiler) during the exam so learn to program without one...

i agree but I didnt say I was using or needed to use a compiler while taking a mock exam. studying for scjp, it was important for me to go through and understand all my mistakes after each mock exam run and running the code was an important part of this learning process. to give you an example, ... in one of the questions i had an incorrect mark the answer states that it's a compile-time error and an explanation was given but i had doubts and after running the code to my surpise, it ran fine. you can read more about it here. if i didnt check the code i would have had an incorrect understanding and taken this with me to the actual SCJP exam.
 
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