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Are certs enough to get a job?

Carly Davis
Greenhorn

Joined: May 31, 2008
Posts: 9
Hello,

I was wondering if people felt that these Sun Certifications actually qualify you for a programming job. Even though I have received my SCJP (and except to get my SCWCD in a couple of weeks) I do not in any way feel qualified to have a programming job. I feel like I can answer the questions fine during an interview but have no real world experience. I don't really feel like studying for the certificates has given me enough confidence or knowledge to be a productive programmer. Do others feel this way? Are companies willing to work with new programmers with certifications but without real world experience?

I have a bachelor's in MIS and have been doing QA work for about 8 years, so I'm not new to IT. I had a baby 2 years ago and quit my job to raise him until he's ready for daycare which I think may be soon. About a year ago really needed something to keep my mind busy and started worrying about reentering the workforce with such a lapse in my resume, so I decided to learn Java. I plan on getting the EJB certificate after getting the SCWCD and then perhaps getting the Web Services cert since I do have some experience with Web Services already. With my QA background combined with these certs is it really possible for me to get a programming job? Thanks so much!
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 39535
    
  27
The value of certifications depends a lot on the job market you're in. In Europe and North America little value is placed on certifications in my experience. And you're right, the SCJP and SCWCD in particular are theoretical exams that do not provide hands-on experience. The SCJD at least involves actual programming. Instead of (or at least in addition to) taking further exams I'd look into doing some actual programming in some shape or form.


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Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
As this question has been asked literally dozens of times before you'd do well to first do a search for it (keywords would be "SCJP" "certification" "value"), you'll probably get far more responses than you'll get in this thread.

--Mark
Varun Nayudu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 26, 2006
Posts: 157
Hi

I think certifications have no value , they just prove that you know java . But when you go for interviews you should know the practical stuff too which only can be learned through experience. I have gone through many post and read many articles and come to the conclusion that nobody puts any emphasis on certification when you go out in the world . It just qualifies that you know java and nothing else .

If North america , Europe dont put emphasis then who does i know for sure that in india no body care how many certifications you have.I guess its thesame everywhere.


SCJP 1.5, SCWCD 1.5
doug rosenberg
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 31, 2007
Posts: 29
Varun Nayudu wrote:Hi

I think certifications have no value , they just prove that you know java . But when you go for interviews you should know the practical stuff too which only can be learned through experience. I have gone through many post and read many articles and come to the conclusion that nobody puts any emphasis on certification when you go out in the world . It just qualifies that you know java and nothing else .

If North america , Europe dont put emphasis then who does i know for sure that in india no body care how many certifications you have.I guess its thesame everywhere.


I know that certifications are big in Microsoft land and Cisco but I don't think anybody cares about Java certifications in the US.


SJCP 6.0
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6657
    
    5

I think it is unfair to say certifications have no value. What is the worst that can happen if you happen to take the certification ? Your employer might not recognize certificates, which is fine. However if you do take the certification and pass it through hard work, you will stand out from the crowd in an interview. At least theory wise, candidates that take SCJP will be able to answer fundamental questions well to some degree.

Certifications can also get you an entry into an interview. A certification logo always looks shiny on a resume. I do have to agree though that certifications can only act like tickets that get you into an interview. Practical experience and knowledge are more important once you are in an interview room. No one will give you a job just because you own certification X.

Certifications are bad for you only if you cheat. An employer that sees a SCJP / SCWCD etc etc might have elevated expectations since you passed the certificate. So a candidate that says 'I do not know what generics is' and has passed SCJP 5 is a sure shot for rejection.


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Vikas Kapoor
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 16, 2007
Posts: 1374
Hello Carly,

You have mentioned that you have an 8 years (huge) experience in QA field. Do you really wanna change the field to Java? Current job market is not at all good and if you look for Java related jobs being a fresher, it would be really really tough.

I was wondering if people felt that these Sun Certifications actually qualify you for a programming job. Even though I have received my SCJP (and except to get my SCWCD in a couple of weeks) I do not in any way feel qualified to have a programming job.

Then why did you get one and trying to get more?Certification does matter. For example consider current market situation where hundreds of resumes come for one position. They can't interview each of them. How would they filter? They would look for something uncommon that put his/her apart from other hundred like rich experience, certificates, location, availability etc. You can't get good percentage (more importantly knowledge) over night. To get certification with qualifying marks and to get it with very good score are different things. Don't get certificates just to add to your resume. I have started writing better code after getting my cert. So I would repeat again certificates matter.
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3216
In my view, it is good for beginners to have one or two certs. But, as you get more experienced, put more emphasis on hands-on stuff. Nothing beats experience.


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Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 335
Vishal Pandya wrote:You have mentioned that you have an 8 years (huge) experience in QA field. Do you really wanna change the field to Java? Current job market is not at all good and if you look for Java related jobs being a fresher, it would be really really tough.


Yes, and no. Her experience as a tester might prove to be a valuable advantage, since most developers that I've encountered (myself included) are pretty myopic when it comes to predicting how their software will work in unconventional situations. Coming from a QA background provides a different perspective, which an employer might be looking for.

Certification does matter. For example consider current market situation where hundreds of resumes come for one position. They can't interview each of them. How would they filter? They would look for something uncommon that put his/her apart from other hundred like rich experience, certificates, location, availability etc.


That's correct, and experience will trump absolutely everything. Then location and availability, and certification comes last on that list. I don't disagree with you that there is a non-zero benefit to certification, both when seeking employment and to one's own skills, but it's pretty far down the list.

I have started writing better code after getting my cert. So I would repeat again certificates matter.


I've found that the more code I write, the better code I write. Software development is no different than writing or performance art; the more you practice, the better you are likely to be. If a certification causes you to engage in more practice and gain more experience, then it is of benefit. But I don't believe the cert was what made you better, just the process of getting said certification.

Cheers!

Luke
Karl Krasnowsky
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 16, 2009
Posts: 97
arulk pillai wrote:In my view, it is good for beginners to have one or two certs. But, as you get more experienced, put more emphasis on hands-on stuff. Nothing beats experience.


Agreed, but if you're in the market for a job your resume is your ticket to get the interview where you can then attempt to impress the interviewer with your experience. Experience doesn't mean squat if you don't get the opportunity to express it.
IMO, if it gives you an advantage to get in front of a potential employer it can't hurt.
BTW, have you looked through the topics covered in SCJP (esp Java 6)? I was surprised of the depth of the content. Problems with experience is you can spend a great deal of time focusing on a narrow area of development and leave holes in your holistic understanding of the API. enums are cool!


[SCJP 6]
[SCBCD in process]
Carly Davis
Greenhorn

Joined: May 31, 2008
Posts: 9
Thanks everyone for the replies! I'm trying to change fields from QA to dev because I moved to a city with very unfulfilling QA jobs (I was in Silicon Valley for 6 years where the job opportunities were creative and fun), the jobs have been more like tester positions that any high school kid could do, so basically I went from learning and participating in hot new technologies.. to point and click testing. Any advice on what other technologies or Java certs I should get in order to become a website developer - book advice would be great. Thanks again.
Marcel Wentink
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 19, 2008
Posts: 157
Hi, I had a more or less simular experience. I was doing support for 4 years, after doing programming for 7 years. What I actually did these 4 years was not customer support, as in the customer being a PC novice. It was actually developper support since I was technically supporting the use of a CORBA library to other programmers. My company sold CORBA and generally mid tier solutions to other software companies. Nevertheless, especially Human Resourcers and Managers do not have clue about technical stuff. For them my latest job was support (in your case QA) and that's what role you should play. It was sometimes hard to get passed that thought. I myself needed six weeks to shift from the support job to the programmer job, but in the six weeks I did like 2 to 3 interviews a week I think, so it did take me between ten and twenty interviews to get hired. I think your main problem would also be to get passed the 'sticker put on to you', and I think that in this case the certs would help. I know how managers think. If it's not directly the job experience, it are the social skills and the ability to work together in a group they value. So focus on that. Then for your technical skill, you have your certs. These are nice simple 'stickers' for the managers and human resource people. So the certs say you know technical stuff, and the former work experience, and your charms of course, will convince them you're a team player. Then I think you can get the job.
 
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