Having examined the boards and weighed up the costs, I have elected to take the 1.5 Certification exam. After a mad scramble around various websites and bookshops, I eventually bought a book in a shop (shock horror) as this was the only way I could guarantee having a java cert book that would cover 1.5.
The book I eventually bought was Phil Heller and Simon Roberts' Complete Java 2 Certification 5th edition (compatible with 1.5).
Now, however, I am having doubts; and the root of it is this: Is 1.5 simply 1.4(2) with some extra stuff on top, or is some stuff from 1.4 being scrapped? or to make it simpler is the following correct:
1.4 + stuff = 1.5
This was my initial understanding, but could someone please confirm this? Basically it would suck if I ended up with a cert that no one really wants right now.
Welcome to JavaRanch. And congratulations on you excellent taste in literature!
If you compare the objectives for the 1.4 and 5.0 exams, you'll find that the 5.0 version is a superset of the 1.4 version, with possibly a bit of re-emphasis here and there. So you can't go wrong by going for 5.0 and besides, a lot of those new features are really nifty.
BTW, there's one piece of generics that I wish I had covered in more depth in my book. My publisher will soon be posting an addendum on www.sybex.com, but if you'd like me to email you the word doc just send me a private message with your email address.
Consultant to SCJP team.<br />Co-designer of SCJD exam.<br />Co-author of "Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide".<br />Author of "Ground-Up Java".
Philip is being entirely biased in his recommendation as he wrote the book. However as an (relatively) unbiased commentator I used Philips earlier SCJP books and they were excellent!
One area the 1.5 (Java 5) exam has dropped is the need to know about bit shifting operators << >> etc. As you can spend many years programming Java without using these operators it is not much of a loss.
The new exam covers some I/O topics, which should not be too difficult to learn as there is a large amount of material about, including on the web. The coverage of Generics is a little more tricky though as this is a new feature in Java 5, so make sure you cover that as well as you possibly can.