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importance of SCJP

Tapio Niemela
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 06, 2006
Posts: 77
First of all, I haven't completed SCJP. Still I can't understand importance of SCJP. From my point of view there's really something wrong if there's books "How to pass SCJP exam" available instead of "How to become good java programmer". (see http://www.amazon.com/Certified-Programmer-Study-310-055-Certification/dp/0072253606 for example) Also this is reaaally nice income source for the book authors if I understood correctly that they (Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates..) created exams and then make books how to pass those exams? If one studies only for the exam, isn't that bit silly and waste of time? Also what I've heard/read (and seen from test exams I've taken) there's questions like "given this code, will it compile?". Isn't that kind of thing to compiler to decide? Aren't computers meant to do things like that, and not humans? Luckily, as I've understood, there's not anymore so much need to memorize APIs to pass the exam as it used to be years ago. Am I correct?

Also, question for java-programmers with couple of years experince who have taken this exam (succesfully)? Has passing this exam somehow improved your daily work input? If so, can you describe how?

Please correct my assumptions and otherwise post reply anyway
Jonathon Stride
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 06, 2009
Posts: 34
i think you should question whether someone who has been doing java programming / working on java related apps
can clear the SCJP exam without specificically studying for it ( or as a surprise exam at work one day :P )

exam just means you have a certain amount of knowledge in java, applying it is an altogether different ball game
what book you use/time you take is upto you (for clearing the exam)


2 interviews failed cause of not having SCJP ( and counting...)
not anymore !

SCJP 6 (70%)

now ready to count other reasons :P...
karthick chinnathambi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 06, 2009
Posts: 196

go and read the sun site.......

it says that
"SCJP doesn't test your programming abilities...."
it only tests whether you are well versed in basic java syntax and semantics, and understand how to program in it


KARTHICK.C , SCJP6-93%
(Born to Win)
Ankit Garg
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9304
    
  17

I have a different opinion here. SCJP does make you a better programmer. The objectives of SCJP have been selected very intelligently. When you study for an exam, then you actually learn something. There are a lot of APIs in the exam, that you'll use in your daily life as a programmer. While studying for the exam, you get a chance to dissect these classes which gives you in-depth knowledge of what you can or cannot do. The K&B book is indeed targeted for SCJP, but that doesn't mean that it is a sort of sneak-into-SCJP book. The book actually teaches you the exam objectives (and sometimes even more than what is required for the exam). But since the book is targeted for SCJP, it doesn't cover topics like Swing etc, if you actually want to lean these things, you should go for a normal java book which covers all these things. If you read on sun's site, this is what they say about SCJP

This foundation certification is for programmers interested in demonstrating proficiency in the fundamentals of the Java programming language.


So SCJP makes you fundamentally strong, if your fundamentals are not clear, you can't become a good programmer anyway. And FYI, sun might discontinue SCJP soon and introduce a new exam called Sun Certified Programmer Plus. That exam will test you as a good and efficient programmer. Maybe you should wait for that...


SCJP 6 | SCWCD 5 | Javaranch SCJP FAQ | SCWCD Links
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6661
    
    5

Also, question for java-programmers with couple of years experince who have taken this exam (succesfully)? Has passing this exam somehow improved your daily work input? If so, can you describe how?


It has. I have seen programmers that catch OutOfmemoryErrors, add values to an arraylist and iterate over them at the same time, use document.write() (javascript) to print out JSP, and I could go on. Anyone that passes the Sun exams will know not to do some of the things mentioned above. The SCJP as such does not teach best practices. But it teaches you Syntax and the so called "rules" of the languages. You can pass SCJP and still write horrible code.

This is the basic building block. Once this building block is strong, you can build more stuff over it by complementing your knowledge with books. I am reading several right now. Effective java 2nd edition, An algorithm and data structure book, Web services up and running, etc etc. The SCJP and other exams helped form a good foundation. Reading the other books has helped build over the core java knowledge and know what best practices / good design are.

Isn't that kind of thing to compiler to decide? Aren't computers meant to do things like that, and not humans? Luckily, as I've understood, there's not anymore so much need to memorize APIs to pass the exam as it used to be years ago. Am I correct?


This is true. A developer need not necessarily remember APIs. But knowing what the underlying API functionality is, is important. For example, Iterator methods, call back methods are important to memorize. However no one can remember all the methods. Not even the authors that wrote them


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