I want to do the SCJD and have the Monkhouse book already so was wondering if I should do the assignment while going through the book or read the book first and then start the assignment, what do you think? Also how long do people generally take to complete it?
Well... I think that, if you already have experience with Java development and feel comfortable with developing a solution for a real problem, then I think you can start with the SCJD development already. Otherwise, you may consider reading the book first. Anyway, even if you already have experience, it would be nice to take a quick look at the book, since its content is great and it certainly is the best reference for this certification.
About the time, it also depends on your experience and the free time you can spend with it. Some people take a month, others take, like, 6 months (like me), others take years...
And if you plan to take years, you have a problem, because since May 2009 a new time policy was set by Sun: you have 1 year to submit your assignment
This point is interesting to me. I understand if one got the assignment from May 2009 onwards then they have just one year to complete the assignment. How about someone like me, who got the assignment in November 2008 and got of to some of a start but I've now just started getting into it again...does this mean that now I have only got till November 2009 eventhough on purchasing the project it was stated that there was unlimited time.
I intend on finishing it just before November this year but I'd love some reassurence. Any thoughts
You are fine because you got the assignment before they changed the rules. I've had mine for over 3 years. There have been lots of posts regarding this matter. People have written Sun about it, and that requirement will be waived. I think the latest I read on this is that they are upgrading the whole exam so they may not require this on anybody who has the current one. You are definitely safe
After passing the SCJP exam I was offered a 50% discount on certain Certification Packages. At the end of september 2008 I bought the "Java Developer Certification Package, CD-ROM Edition". I received a voucher for the Assignment (submission and a resubmission), the essay exam and the CDJ-285-SE6 course on CD-ROM.
All this for less than the normal price of the submission and the exam combined.
One catch though........ the expiry date of my voucher was august 1st 2009. So I had to finish my exam within 10 months. No choice there.
But is was worth it
I still have to complete the course on CD-ROM