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How good is SCEA Certification in current Market?

sriram sankar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 26, 2008
Posts: 43
If we get all the answers in the forum ( Not saying it is bad). Does it really measure individual expertise?


SCJP 1.5 , SCBCD 5.0, SCEA 5.0
Teja Saab
Rancher

Joined: Mar 08, 2010
Posts: 152
sriram sankar wrote:If we get all the answers in the forum ( Not saying it is bad). Does it really measure individual expertise?


Many people undertake the SCEA certification in order to keep their skills updated or to sharpen their current skills. Just like you cannot learn to drive a car by reading all the car manuals on the internet, you cannot become an architect by just reading about it.

At least in my company, the architect role is only about 50 percent technical in nature. The remaining 50 percent involves a variety of activities that involve an intimate understanding of the business since architecture always has a business context to it. Also an architect needs to be able to conduct a conversation using the business language and not just technical speak. Unless executives see the business value of anything that is proposed by the architect, chances are they would consider any meeting with the architect a waste of time.

My point is that there is more to being an architect than one could ever get from reading material from a forum or even the entire internet. Also remember that when you are making a presentation in front of your company's executives, you cannot go back to read material from a forum to answer a question that might be posed.

SCEA being an assignment based exam will force the candidate to go through the process of creating a series of architectural artifacts. In the process of creating these architectural artifacts, you will learn a lot of new things that you probably would not have learnt on your own since they may not be required for your day job.

In the end, remember that it is the journey to being a certified architect that matters rather than the destination.

Just my thoughts....


SCEA 5, SCJD,SCWCD,SCJP,PMP,IBM-SOA Solution designer,IBM-XML
amit taneja
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 14, 2003
Posts: 810
very well reply above !!


Thanks and Regards, Amit Taneja
Mihai Lihatchi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 28, 2005
Posts: 138

I am very surprised by your answer Teja.
Normally you have great and flawless answers but now I think you are wrong.
What architects do (normally) is solve a business problem as defined by the business analysts . The actual requirements gathering is not something the architect should do (he/she just needs to understand them). Nor is he supposed to actually make the case for the market value of the system. That's why we have managers .
Of course I as a programmer agree you need to know very well the business domain in order to provide a technical solution(Code Complete).
In fact while discussing with my boss today we agreed that it is more dangerous to solve the wrong problem with a perfect technical solution then to solve the right problem with a bad technical solution (an error in specification detected during development is a lot more difficult to fix during implementation then say a slow algorithm).
In case there is no such thing as a business analyst to relate to you do the analysis yourself and come up with the specs and technical solution.

On topic : Not fantastic but as Teja said above : The journey is more interesting then the destination. Although I am not quite finished with part 2 I learned things I would not have otherwise.
Non technical interviewers have no clue about Sun certifications and some even think I am not confident about my development skills. SCEA is very rare in Romania (only 2-3 of the developers I have met passed it) so it is not highly regarded yet but I think that by passing this certification you get a taste of what a software architect should do and maybe a chance to start doing it.


Better, faster, lighter Java ... you mean Ruby right ?
SCEA5,SCBCD1.3,SCWCD5,SCJP1.4 - memories from my youth.
sriram sankar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 26, 2008
Posts: 43
Teja Saab wrote:
sriram sankar wrote:If we get all the answers in the forum ( Not saying it is bad). Does it really measure individual expertise?


Many people undertake the SCEA certification in order to keep their skills updated or to sharpen their current skills. Just like you cannot learn to drive a car by reading all the car manuals on the internet, you cannot become an architect by just reading about it.

At least in my company, the architect role is only about 50 percent technical in nature. The remaining 50 percent involves a variety of activities that involve an intimate understanding of the business since architecture always has a business context to it. Also an architect needs to be able to conduct a conversation using the business language and not just technical speak. Unless executives see the business value of anything that is proposed by the architect, chances are they would consider any meeting with the architect a waste of time.

My point is that there is more to being an architect than one could ever get from reading material from a forum or even the entire internet. Also remember that when you are making a presentation in front of your company's executives, you cannot go back to read material from a forum to answer a question that might be posed.

SCEA being an assignment based exam will force the candidate to go through the process of creating a series of architectural artifacts. In the process of creating these architectural artifacts, you will learn a lot of new things that you probably would not have learnt on your own since they may not be required for your day job.

In the end, remember that it is the journey to being a certified architect that matters rather than the destination.

Just my thoughts....



Yes i do agree, just because they go through certifications it doesn't mean they are good architects. I see so many developers calling themselves Solution Architect/Infrastructure Architect, SOA Architect... ( list goes on). The term Architect is very fluid!!!
Teja Saab
Rancher

Joined: Mar 08, 2010
Posts: 152
Normally you have great and flawless answers

Thank you.

What architects do (normally) is solve a business problem as defined by the business analysts.

What you say makes perfect sense if we lived in a perfect world. However, we don't. The company culture is a key factor that determines the level of importance accorded to the architect and the discipline of enterprise architecture. In a company that is more siloed and uses a hierarchical structure, the requirements might be passed by the business analysts(BAs) to their manager, who might in turn pass it to the IT manager and then have it trickle down to the architect and other folks. However, the problem with this culture is that every communication across teams has to follow a strict protocol of involving the managers.

On the other hand, there are companies that have a more participative culture where the channel of communication between the business folks and the IT department is an open two way street. In other words, business analysts do not work in a vacuum, define the business problem, hand it over and then wash their hands off the whole thing. Almost all small and mid size companies follow a participative corporate culture. In such a company, the architect has a great deal of importance and responsibility.

The actual requirements gathering is not something the architect should do (he/she just needs to understand them).

I agree that the actual gathering and documentation of the requirement is not the responsibility of the architect. However, a lot of times business requirements are driven by what is feasible and inexpensive from a technology perspective. In our company, a requirement is never approved by all project stakeholders until the architect has agreed that it is feasible to do and falls in line with the enterprise IT strategy. After all who wants to spend time going through and approving a requirement that the architect says will cost you 100 million dollars to implement. My point is that even though the architect might have limited say in the functional requirements, his input is critical to ensure that the requirements don't call for building a castle in the air.

Nor is he supposed to actually make the case for the market value of the system. That's why we have managers .

I have to disagree with you on this. One of the perks of being in the IT department is that you have access to a ton of information that even the business folks might not have. For example, I can login into our production system and find out how many million dollars in sales our company has done since this morning even before the CEO has access to that information. With that kind of information available at your disposal which nobody else in the company might have access to, the act of justifying certain decisions requires serious input from the architect. Also, a given business problem might have several possible solutions each involving a different approach/technology combination. Determining the feasibility,cost, ROI, payback period, impact on other existing enterprise applications, new hardware/software required etc is impossible without input from the architect.

That's why we have managers .

Managers generally just facilitate and gather information from the architect and other individuals before presenting it to appropriate stakeholders. If managers handle all estimations, technical feasibility studies, hardware sizing etc in your company, I am tempted to work in your company.

Ultimately I think that each one of our opinions are based on the project and life experiences that we have had during the course of our careers and there are no right or wrong answers on this.


deepak adlakha
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 325
This is what i think.

As the term "Architect" is open and it depends on the company to company and architect can wear many hats at one time or may switch hats from time to time.

In mid size company Architect, may also talk to the business people to present anything or in some big company a architect may not. so it all depend from company to company.

And i am sure at one time, Architect always wear more than one Hat in most cases.

Coming to original post, well its a inidividual decision to go for SCEA or not. Being certified SCEA doesn't mean Architect knows everything. Clearing certification will only help you to make a better architect if you follow the proper guidelines. But it also doesn't mean that people who are not certified are not good architect.

Say you have to go X city. Then there are always different routes to reach that place, as individuals we all prefer different routes.

so at the end of the day, its the individual call and you can find both kind of people in the world, who loves certifications and those who don't.
Ranganathan Kaliyur Mannar
Bartender

Joined: Oct 16, 2003
Posts: 1077
    
  10

I agree with Deepak. There are just too many 'Architects' - I am myself being called 'Application Architect', but I don't even do UML designs - I just fix code. Propably, people don't like the name 'Designer' and so invented the various architect designations. Also, designer usually means screen designer and not UML designer - so, thats another issue.


Ranga.
SCJP 1.4, OCMJEA/SCEA 5.0.
Teja Saab
Rancher

Joined: Mar 08, 2010
Posts: 152
Ranganathan Kaliyur Mannar wrote:I agree with Deepak. There are just too many 'Architects' - I am myself being called 'Application Architect', but I don't even do UML designs - I just fix code. Propably, people don't like the name 'Designer' and so invented the various architect designations. Also, designer usually means screen designer and not UML designer - so, thats another issue.


I think that you hit the nail on the head and indirectly answer the question posed by the first poster in the subject line. A title need not be earned, but a certification needs to be. This is one aspect of the certification that separates architects with a certain level of knowledge from the rest.

If you are a human resource professional responsible for selecting resumes from a huge list of resumes for potential interviewing, you are more likely to choose candidates that are certified rather than those that claim that they are architects since certification is an independent validation of a candidate's skills.
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
An individual that receives a a certificate that contains the word "architect" in it does not magically become a software architect. All it means is that some private company has administered a test that they feel is relevant and has collected a few hundred dollars. The individual that passes the test has demonstrated that they can remember technical information and perform adequate research to study the required materials.

An individual typically becomes a software architect when he/she is receiving compensation to execute the associated tasks and responsibilities of the role. And this is what differs from organization to organization. Hence, according to this definition, if you are not receiving compensation, you cannot be an architect

Will a SCEA certificate help somone find a job? It will certainly compliment an individual's work experience. Ultimately, it is the experience that matters, not the temporary certificate.
George Fung
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 12, 2003
Posts: 98
I am working in one of the largest bank in the world. I totally agree with you. Business knowledge, understanding company's organziation/structure and presentation skill are also very important in the job. SCEA certificate is just a entry ticket.

Teja Saab wrote:
sriram sankar wrote:If we get all the answers in the forum ( Not saying it is bad). Does it really measure individual expertise?


Many people undertake the SCEA certification in order to keep their skills updated or to sharpen their current skills. Just like you cannot learn to drive a car by reading all the car manuals on the internet, you cannot become an architect by just reading about it.

At least in my company, the architect role is only about 50 percent technical in nature. The remaining 50 percent involves a variety of activities that involve an intimate understanding of the business since architecture always has a business context to it. Also an architect needs to be able to conduct a conversation using the business language and not just technical speak. Unless executives see the business value of anything that is proposed by the architect, chances are they would consider any meeting with the architect a waste of time.

My point is that there is more to being an architect than one could ever get from reading material from a forum or even the entire internet. Also remember that when you are making a presentation in front of your company's executives, you cannot go back to read material from a forum to answer a question that might be posed.

SCEA being an assignment based exam will force the candidate to go through the process of creating a series of architectural artifacts. In the process of creating these architectural artifacts, you will learn a lot of new things that you probably would not have learnt on your own since they may not be required for your day job.

In the end, remember that it is the journey to being a certified architect that matters rather than the destination.

Just my thoughts....



SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, SCJP6
To be obtained: SCEA 5
Ajith Kallambella
Sheriff

Joined: Mar 17, 2000
Posts: 5782
Lots of good answers and I have to agree with all of them.

The bottom line is, SCEA is a technology architect certification that attests that the candidat knows how to use Java/J2EE technology to solve a business problem. Recognize here that the breadth of the problem("the assignment") is no where comparable to real life situations, and the approach( that you solve your assignment alone sipping coffee in Starbucks) no where applicable in real life. When you become an architect for real, you typically deal with more complex problems, and the need to apply non-technical skills to implement a solution. That makes the applicabilty of SCEA rather limited. And the cerficiation will not make you an architect. Trust me.

That said, SCEA is a great experience. Just going through the process of self validation and getting your solution assessed by Sun( er, Oracle ) in and of it self is a worthwhile endeavor. It might even help you stand out from a stack of resumes and earn an interview. But once you land a job( if you do) as an architect, your success will depend on not how you got there, but what you need to do there to stay competitive. Understanding the business, selling your value proposition, strategic thinking, leadership, and most importantly, contribution to the bottom line ( $$$ ) are the skills you have to develop to succeed as an architect.




Open Group Certified Distinguished IT Architect. Open Group Certified Master IT Architect. Sun Certified Architect (SCEA).
Chris Creed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2009
Posts: 67

As someone that one day hopes to be at this level, this is an excellent thread and some great explanations. An excellent read. Kudos to all that replied!
gianluca gian
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 14, 2009
Posts: 31
hello everyone, just to tell my point of view... I started to study for scea mainly because I like to give my best in my working days as an architect. To me is not important to give the exam, but is more important to follow a study list objective. I do not think to be an application architect, but in the company where I work, on time to time I'm called to give advices on architecture matters, and I do not like to talk about something that I do not know. I like to give advices that are known to be good j2ee solutions. I hope one day to be a good architect but the way is a very long one!
srivastava ashish
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 12, 2010
Posts: 28
Some very good replies .

I can tell why i want to join SCEA club..

a) Enhance my knowledge following some very well laid out curriculum.
b) Update myself with proper implementation techniques used while designing an application.
c)Gaining inside of some latest frameworks and specifications
d) Most important :- Prove myself that i am ready to face any design challenges.


Certification is just like learning basics of fencing which will not win you a Battle but it surely enables you to fight .



Ashish
 
 
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