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SCJA to SCJP progressive benefits: "Whitebelt Straight to Bluebelt"!?

Stephen Davies
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Joined: Jul 23, 2008
Posts: 352
I recently passed my SCJA (see previous posts) which to me represented the culmination of an extremely beneficial step in beginning my journey into the Java Programming world. I found SCJA material and course objectives to be an asset for any Java Programmer to ensure strong foundations in the language which is an important facet of any form of learning. Not to stray to far from my subject matter, I was at one stage of my life a Taekwondo instructor, and the most important facet of learning a martial art, was that at every level of ability it was vital to retain the basics of the art, it was the central foundation to all skillsets and belt grades.

Thus, I take the same approach to Java. Yet what I find from many forum posts, is many beginners wishing to jump straight in at the deep-end with the SCJP exam. Now do not mistake me, there are benefits to many for such an approach, and indeed there are many areas covered in SCJP which do infact provide somewhat of an introduction to core concepts of Java. However, SCJP does assume an existing basic knowledge of the language, and whist some students may well be able to achieve that without SCJA, many of the SCJA objectives seek to require a knowledge in facets of Java which are not core lingusitic ideas. For example the differentiation in platforms between J2SE, J2EE, J2ME, the idea of Tier Technologies and Enterprise Systems, JavaBeans and EJB's and in addition upon this learning path I came across information of the origins of Java (although this is not an exam objective), which are interesting if not fundamental aspects to understanding Java.(For example see most introductions to Java Books - especially Cameron's).

I also understand that SUN provides no prerequisite to SCJP so there is no need to pass SCJA before taking SCJP, and indeed the skillset offered to potential employer is far more comprehensive to a candidate offering SCJP qualification. Yet I cannot but also wonder, if that the attraction of getting the SCJP as a first Java professional certification is devaluing the SCJA to some extent. As I stated I believe the SCJA to be an invaluable tool for beginners in the Java world, and a good resource to ensure a knowledge o the basics to professional programmers. After all one needs a Secondary School (High School) certificate before University in most places, you wouldn't jump from junior school to University (unless you were some form of gifted child)?

Given this is not exactly the same progression, yet still the basic tennets (at least for me) remain the same, and for which reason I decided to throw this opinion out there to the forum for potential discussion. As a disclaimer, this is my express opinion, so no offence is intended (though I cannot see how any may be taken), I am interested to find out the sentiment on this issue.



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Jessica Ngui
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Joined: Jul 24, 2004
Posts: 57
I feel it is better for procedural developers to pursue SCJA first and SCJP later. The OO codes can be tough for non-OO developers.


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subject: SCJA to SCJP progressive benefits: "Whitebelt Straight to Bluebelt"!?
 
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