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What resources and procedure to use to get a SCJA certification

Chris Trout
Greenhorn

Joined: May 05, 2010
Posts: 16
Hello Everyone,
I am a new member to the Java Ranch and am really enjoying perusing some of the forums.
I am returned to programming after a long absence. I have approx. 1 year of Java programming experience, but that was approx. 10 years ago.
I've come to the conclusion that a good place to start would be to build my knowledge of the language by getting a SCJA and then go on from there.

I see that there are a number of books out there people have recommended to start with as well as study guides.
Cameron's study guide and questions seem to be highly and often recommended. Please do recommend others if you feel they may work better.

What I need is some direction. What path should I take?
Should I get a book like Just Java 2 or Head First Java (definitely open to other book suggestions), work thru it and then start going thru the study guides and questions?
Also, I've read that an additional UML resource would be a good idea.

Thank you in advance for your advice.
-Chris
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Posts: 4968

Howdy Greenhorn!

I do indeed say some great things about my SCJA guide.

My two books are definitely will help you focus your time and effort, that's for sure. Still, you need a bit of a background and familiarity with Java, so another good book is highly recommended.

Have you programmed alot in Java? I'm a big fan of Head First Java. That's a great book, although some of the syntax stuff goes beyond the scope of SCJA. If you are a bit newer to Java, I actually find my student who are really fresh like Java for Dummies, believe it or not. It's actually a really great book if Head First is a bit too much.

Take lots of mock exams, and do it early. Even if you're getting bad marks on the mock exams, it's still good practice, and it gets you familiar with the terms. So, if you see the term MOM in a mock exam today, you'll be like "What the heck is MOM???" But tomorrow, when you read something online, or you're talking to a teacher, and they talk about "Message Oriented Middleware" you'll make the connection. When you're learning, knowing what you don't know is a great help!

And print out the exam objectives. Look at them and think: if I was giving this test, what type of question would I create on this topic? That gets you into the heads of the examiners, and will help you when it comes time to write.

And ask lots of questions. Yeah, we love getting questions at JavaRanch!

Good luck. Oh, and welcome to the JavaRanch, Greenhorn.

-Cameron McKenzie
Chris Trout
Greenhorn

Joined: May 05, 2010
Posts: 16
Hi Cameron,
Thanks very much for your reply.
I have about a year's worth of Java programming experience, but that was approx. 10 years ago.
Based on what you said my understanding is that I should work thru the Head First Java book and then start to work thru your study guide; not the other way around.
Please confirm.

Also, I have read where some people are having trouble getting your 2 books in a timely manner.
Can you please recommend a source where I can get them from quickly.

-Chris
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Posts: 4968

Hey Chris.

The books get sent out the next day if ordered through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Shipping to Asia seems to be the only time getting the books was problematic. I can't remember the last time Amazon didn't have the latest edition in stock, so you should be good.

Indeed, read Head First Java first. But make sure you have the objectives by your side. When you get to something too complicated, you can say to yourself 'oh, this isn't covered, so I won't waste too much time here.' On the other hand, you may run across a topic mentioned a few times in the objectives, in which case, you should think 'I better really concentrate here.' The objectives have to be your guide.

Let me know if you have any troubles!

-Cameron McKenzie
Chris Trout
Greenhorn

Joined: May 05, 2010
Posts: 16
Hey cameron,
Thanks again for your reply.
When you say "have the objectives by your side", I'm assuming there will be a list in one of your 2 books?

Also, I think I'm going to go ahead and order your 2 books.
Can you please provide links to the 2 books I should order from either Amazon or B&N?

Thanks in advance
Chris
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Posts: 4968

Order from them from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and they'll arrive quickly.

Here are the objectives from Sun:

SCJA Sun Objectives

Copy and past them into word, format them to your liking, print them out, and then sleep with them under the covers.

-Cameron McKenzie
Chris Trout
Greenhorn

Joined: May 05, 2010
Posts: 16
Hi Cameron,
I have been working thru the Head First Java book the past few weeks.
I'd like to start using your study guides but am not sure what to order.
I would very appreciate it if you would please provide links to the 2 books on both Amazon and B&N.

Thanks in advance.
-Chris
Jessica Ngui
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 24, 2004
Posts: 57
Hi Cameron,
<...Shipping to Asia seems to be the only time getting the books was problematic...>
I am from Asia. I managed to get the SCJA Study Guide from Amazon but the timeframe was a bit longer than usual.

Do you have any plan to release new edtions for both books?


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