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MS + Cert?

Phil Teng
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 06, 2004
Posts: 7
Hi all,

Currently I'm pursuing a Master's degree in computer information system, which lies in between the business and technology, and my job involves data processing, networking and programming in non-OO languages like VB. In the long run I'm aiming at software product development or project manager and the alikes. I really enjoy dealing both with people and code.

The reason I'm considering a Sun's certificate is because I think Java definitely has the future, and I want to have a solid understanding of it. Of course at the same time, it would be nice if I could show with hard evidence to the prospect employers that I do have this understanding.

So here is the question, should I go with the programmer->developer, or just go with the architect, if at all? SCJP is recommended by Sun for architect but not a prerequisite, so I'm wondering how heavily it weighs in studying for architect.

And do I need to go through a few solid years of hands-on coding to qualify for like, a position in project management? Is it a more practical plan if I do that?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Phil


5th Dan wannabe
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
"Phil",

Welcome to JavaRanch.

Please look carefully at official naming policy at Javaranch & reregister yourself with proper first & last name, with a space between them. Please adhere to official naming policy & help maintain the decorum of the forum. The naming policy can be found at http://www.javaranch.com/name.jsp

--Mark
Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
So here is the question, should I go with the programmer->developer, or just go with the architect, if at all? SCJP is recommended by Sun for architect but not a prerequisite, so I'm wondering how heavily it weighs in studying for architect.

People might disagree with what I'm gonna say but I think that SCJP and SCJD are definitely the way to go for you.

On Sun Education web site, we can read that:
The Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform 1.4 certification exam is for programmers experienced in using the basic syntax and structure of the Java programming language.
[...]
This performance-based certification [aka SCJD] is for programmers and developers who are already familiar with the basic structure and syntax of the Java programming language, and who have a need to demonstrate advanced proficiency in developing complex, production-level applications using Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE technology).

As you can see, a certification exam is not primarly targeted at novices but more at people who already have a fair development experience in concrete industrial or academic settings and who want to get some kind of recognition for that. I don't want to re-open the ever-recurring debate on the certification and its (perceived) value, but I really think it is important that people not only learn the technology but also learn how to apply it on concrete cases prior to taking a certification exam. I once wrote an article about this topic if you are interested. If your curriculum doesn't offer you the opportunity to work on concrete projects, I would advise you to join some open-source projects (sourceforge.net, ...) as a developer. That way you can quickly put your hands in the dirt and gain knowledge.

And do I need to go through a few solid years of hands-on coding to qualify for like, a position in project management? Is it a more practical plan if I do that?

I would definitely say YES! Depending on how much "solid" your development engagement is, the time it will take you to acquire the necessary knowledge will be shorter. Again, project management is not something that you can learn by reading books. Project management is something that you have to live on an every day basis in order to become proficient. There are so many differents facets to project management that make it a complex, yet very interesting, area. In order to become a good project manager, you definitely have to be part of a development team where you can observe how things are done and what all has to be taken care of in order for the project to be successful. And remember that every project is different, so every time you start a new project, it will be different from the previous ones which means that you'll have to synthetize the acquired knowledge in order to apply it to the new project. Projects are not "copy-pastable". Every time you start from scratch again and your experience is what will allow you to initiate, execute and end the project. Of course, there are many other factors which you might not always be in control of, but at least you will have the background for taking decisions on the spot as required.
[ May 26, 2004: Message edited by: Valentin Crettaz ]

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Phil Teng
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 06, 2004
Posts: 7
Thanks Valentin,

That was very informative!


Appreciate it!
 
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