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is SCJP necessary?

Wang Kaiyi
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 02, 2004
Posts: 9
Hi, all!
I am a Java beginner.I heard SCJP hundreds of times.I want to clear it.But what 's the most important thing is that is SCJP necessary.In other words, does SCJP help you in your position or salary?
Jessica Sant
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

That's very debateable (and if you do a search for SCJP or certification in the Job Discussion forum -- you'll find many such debates). But my take on it is that you should do the exam for yourself and for the reason of becoming a better programmer. For me personally, I learned the finer points of the language and it gave me the ability to understand why I got certain compiler errors or why a particular bug was showing up in my code.
There's definitely a chance that a cert may help you get a job -- and when the economy was better, my employer actually gave you a couple hundred $ bonus for passing a cert. But I wouldn't take the exam for the soul purpose of getting a raise or finding a job. Experience is what counts.
But like I said before -- I don't think getting your cert is a waste of times. Quite the opposite. I think if you study hard and really try to learn and not just memorize, you'll become a better programmer.


- Jess
Blog:KnitClimbJava | Twitter: jsant | Ravelry: wingedsheep
Vad Fogel
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 25, 2003
Posts: 504
I totally agree with Jessica. For the sake of argument, SCJP on its own will probably get you nowhere in terms of boosting your career or salary. However, it will help you become a more rounded programmer letting you also proceed with your certification path. Like Jessica, I found preparing for the exams invaluable in terms of mastering Java technologies.
Wang Kaiyi
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 02, 2004
Posts: 9
Hi,Jessica and Vad, thank you for your reply! I get it!
Phil Rhodes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 27, 2003
Posts: 65
I'd say the answer is very much "it depends." What I mean is, there are some companies that value certifications highly, including some that may require certain certifications before they'll even consider hiring you. On the other hand, there will be companies where certifications mean nothing. I've even heard of rare cases where certain hiring managers took a negative view of people with certifications.
In general though, I'd say that certifications stand to help you with your career. The thing to realize is, they are just one (small) piece of a much larger puzzle, where the puzzle is you. When you are in a dialogue with a potential employer, they will look at many factors... your education, your experience, your certifications, your salary demands, how you're dressed for the interview, your personality, etc, etc. etc. So, a certification might not mean much **by itself**, but it is a factor that's usually weighted as a positive.
So, if you're competing with another candidated for a job, and he has some advantage over you, but you have SCJP (or something else) your certification might help "even the score" so to speak, or even tip the odds in your favor.
I think the key point(s) to realize about certification are:
1) certifications are best used as a supplement to experience, and are not a substitute for experience.
2) BUT, re: 1) above... if you're applying for an entry level job, where all the candidates have no (or low) experience, your certification might actually be very important.
3) regardless, certifications are not a panacea. They don't guarantee you a certain job, certain salary, or whatever. They're just one more way for you to make yourself more attractive to an employer.
4) Ultimately, certifications / degrees / experience / etc. are all just things you put on your resume, which is an advertisement for yourself. And resumes don't get jobs, interviews do. That is, the point of the resume is just to get yourself in the door, for a face to face interview where you can sell yourself. So if you're a terrible interviewer, or show up for an interview dressed like a hobo, you may not get a job regardless of how many degrees and certificates you have.
5) as some other commenters have pointed out... certifications have value beyond the impact they have on your resume. I have found that studying for certifications helps me to gain a better understanding of the subject, which ultimately makes me better at doing my job. I actually try to look at the studying for a certification as a chance to study a given subject intensely for a while, and master it... with the actual certification just an added bonus.
So yes, I think there are very valid reasons for pursuing SCJP, etc. Just don't have unreasonable expectations for what the certification will mean for you in terms of jobs / salary / advancement / whatever.


A+, Network+, SCJP, SCWCD<br />preparing for SCBCD, SCEA, CompTIA I-Net+
Wang Kaiyi
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 02, 2004
Posts: 9
Phil,excellent reply,thank you!
Dixon Alexander
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 48
Cert = Money
If you already work for a company and you're stucked doing something that you're not happy doing. A certification will get you doing that you like doing.
Example:
an office clerk at one of my old employees used to tell me how much she hated the way the engineers(including me) behave, how bothersome we well, how much of her energy we wasted with useless stuff that we could do but we preferred to give it them, such as putting a letter on the mailbox down the entrance of the building.
Well I help her learn java, and she got certified within 6 months, basically from knowing nothing to getting certified then I told my boss about her, and she got a promoted to an associate software developer, and they basically doubled her pay.
Wasn't that amazing!
This might not work all the time but once you're in a company it is your job to make it to the TOP, so you have a technology Job get certified and they will see you as a more valuable asset.


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)
Yosi Hendarsjah
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 164
Originally posted by Dixon Alexander:
Wasn't that amazing!

That's amazing. What a good person you are.
How did she thank you?
Dixon Alexander
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 48
huh!
I rather not talk about that in public
Wang Kaiyi
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 02, 2004
Posts: 9
Hi, all, one more thing!
I have read what you said carefully.And some problem arised.
How can I become a good programmer?
How long should I become a excellent programmer if I work hard?
 
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