The SCJD Exam is pretty small and simple, even then it takes most people months to complete (and pass).
You can have all the Certifications in the world with no experience and yet, loose out against some guy with no Certifications but loads of experience, this will happen 99.999% of the time.
It takes years of "real-world" experience to make a good programmer, I know that there are those who would disagree with me, however, they are wrong and I am right.
My suggestions are these:
Don't kill yourself trying to cram for a project that you can't finish.
Point yourself at a those positions where experience is not required, your SCJP will help you get your foot in the door, but just only.
Work on your resume and interview skills.
Take all interviews, even those that you are not interested in, that way you will be polished and poised when you do get that interview that interests you.
My own story is this. I had loads of knowledge but no experience, I interned one day a week (free of charge) for a year at a company making Nursing Software, before I felt that I had enough experience to pass myself off as a programmer.
You can make a small webapp like a hotel booking system, or an airline booking system. 10-15 days should be more than enough to come up with a preliminary site.
I would recommend that whatever project you do, load it in a laptop and carry the laptop with you to the interviews, or if you going through phone screens, load the application somehwere on the web, so people can look at it. Also, carry your code with you so the interviewer can look at it.
If we were hiring fresh graduates, then I would be mighty impressed by someone who shows me a working project. I mean if we have shortlisted down to couple of candidates who have similar degrees, and similar knowledge, then the guy who shows me a working project will get the job. So, if you have the time, it would be worthwhile to make a project that showcases your skills.
The biggest risk with fresh graduates is that the employer is never sure whether the graduate can actually code or not. If you can show actual working code that you have written yourself, then much of that risk is mitigated
I never cease to be amazed by this question, and I always wonder: why would someone -who can't think of a single thing s/he wants to automate using software- decide to go into the field of software development?
dean singh wrote:so where do we get a new project idea?
where we can search it ?
I recommend to just pick something that you want to do -- and do it. For example, if you are interested in Sudoko, write a Sudoko solver. If you like airplanes, write some sort of airport software to best optimize usage of a plane. etc. etc. etc. It doesn't have to be fancy. You are not looking for a dot com VC funding idea. You are looking for something to do (for learning purposes) -- and when something is interesting to you, you stand a better chance at doing a good job at it (and learning from it).
If you spend the time writing software, pick something that has visual impact, and demonstrates understanding of the software process. One idea would be a project planning / scheduling software, starting from a listing of customer objectives, mapped into a list of developer requirements, mapped into a set of programmable unit tests, mapped into personnel assignments, mapped into hourly and usage rates. Or, maybe a project to convert existing legacy code (that does't contain unit tests) into unit tested modules. I'm trying to think of a project that when you show it to a future interviewer, he can foresee applications of your capability. A third option, you could do something with remote web access to databases, with visualization of the data.
Alternatively, you could spend the available time preparing a presentation on a programming project, either to address a need or to provide training on transition to a new standard. If you spend your time preparing a presentation, look into local user groups where you could give the presentation to develop job leads. Also, a presentation could blend into an interview well.