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Taking Certification Exams

Sumit Bisht
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Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 329

Hello ranchers.I've got 2 years of experience in java se/ee/open sourced technologies. I have been preparing for scjp 5(now 6) for the past 1 year and am getting marks around 60-70%.
Also, I am in my first year of MCA(Masters of Computer Applications) degree, so I'll be looking for a job in summer,2011.

Should I postpone my actual exam appearance or should I give this exam in December when I have ample time or should I wait and study for, say, a possible java 7 exam(which could be out by then,perhaps)?

Please voice your advice!
Theodore Casser
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Joined: Mar 14, 2001
Posts: 1902

Save that this is probably not the right forum to be posting the question in? (It might be better suited for the SCJP forum.)

I'd say that there's little point in delaying the exam if you feel you're ready for it. One could argue that if you keep putting it off, there will always be another version down the road that's ready for you to take. You can always take an upgrade exam later.


Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!
Sumit Bisht
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Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 329

Well! I was actually talking about this in job context as I've heard that certification taken at an earlier stage (academically) could arise questions at time of campus selection(this is open for dispute!).
arulk pillai
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Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3223
Well! I was actually talking about this in job context as I've heard that certification taken at an earlier stage (academically) could arise questions at time of campus selection(this is open for dispute!).



Why will that be?


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Sumit Bisht
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Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 329

Originally posted by arulk pillai:



Why will that be?

Actually my experience (on paper) regarding programming is nil, so it can pose questions regarding 'how' I took a certain certification.BTW this was told to me by my cousin brother who happens to have 10+ yrs. of experience in this field.
arulk pillai
Author
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Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3223
My view is that certifications are more handy for beginners and become less significant for experienced professionals. The reason being

Commitment: You must display genuine intent in the choice of your career in Java/JEE and the company. Some companies spend a lot of money and time on training graduates. So you need to show the company that you won�t move on too soon and also that you have made the right career choice.

Examples:

Contribution to open-source projects, self-taught Java/JEE projects, Java certification (just one will do and no need to pile one after another), demonstrating on those part-time jobs and extra-curricular activities that you pursued for an extended period of time (both paid and unpaid), and intelligently being aware of the current trends in Java/JEE (e.g. Sought after technologies and frameworks, new paradigms and concepts, development methodologies, etc).


I can understand that SCEA requires good hands on experience but not too sure about SCJP.

You need to highlight your academic accomplishments and the little experience you have. There could be many other candidates with similar qualifications and Java certifications like you. So you need to have something extra to stand out from the rest. This is where contribution to open-source project, self-taught projects using sought after technologies, and transferable skills (i.e. soft skills) gained through your part-time or casual employment and volunteer work come in handy. The main purpose is to emphasize your non-technical skills like interpersonal skills, analytical skills, problem solving skills, leadership skills, adaptability, and ability to learn things quickly and be a self-starter. It is not enough to say that you gained important work place skills such as �team work� or �problem solving� skill while collaborating on a university assignment with other students. Working with a team in the work place provides experience dealing with people of different backgrounds and ages. So, you should point out these skills acquired via other activities like part-time or casual employment, public speaking, tutoring, raising funds for charities, contributing to news letters, laying out copy for a year book, scouting, etc.


These are generic comments only and things may change based on demographics.

Once you are an experienced professional, academic achievements become less significant and there are a lot of other things you can do and show to highlight your superiority.
[ August 21, 2008: Message edited by: arulk pillai ]
Sumit Bisht
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Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 329

Thank you Arulk!
I guess that i'll take the scjp when i have ample time this december.Thanks again for your concerned advice
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: Taking Certification Exams