I am from singapore & I registered for the course SL-425 (Designing Architectures for Enterprise Java Applications) with oracle university about 4 months back. Next week my course is scheduled. I understand from oracle university I would be the only participant for the course and no one else has registered for the course over last 4-6 months.
Does it imply the unpopularity of the course and the SCEA / OCMJEA certification.
Course fee is quite huge, around 5000 Sing Dollars. Is it worth spending soo much and spend another 1500 Sing Dollars for the exam.
Training might be unpopular but certification exam is not. Have you asked this question to Oracle university? May be the training could be popular but they might not be finding a good trainer in your geography or region-who knows? As you mentioned that you are the only candidate, sometimes a lot of training centers wait for sufficient(read minimum) number of students then only start the training course. For e.g. any TOGAF training center expect at least 6 students to be in the class otherwise they might cancel the training after doing a lot of postponements and then refund the training fees.
In NA-i see a lot of job openings specifically asking for SCEA. So SCEA is popular.
Course fee is quite huge, around 5000 Sing Dollars
Maybe this is the answer? I seriously doubt that any course may help to get SCEA certification. This kind of certification is an indicator of knowledge and skills collected over a long period of time (more than 4 years for sure). I would strongly suggest you to skip this course and save money. Instead, you better buy some good books about JEE, UML, Design Patterns and invest your time into some challenging project as hands-on architect.
SCEA, PMP, OCUP
Lead Architect of fazend.com - Free Hosted Continuous Integration Platform
Here is the issue:
The cost of the course when compared with the likelihood of being able to implement the skills right away in the work environment makes it mutually exclusive for most people. Many of us do not have the access to Enterprise-level Software Architects to become mentors so we explore routes such as this. Upon seeing how expensive this route is and that there is simply NO guarantee that it will contribute you obtaining the certification, it becomes a pie-in-the-sky activity and as such, we place it on the back-burner. In the mean time, an opportunity presents itself for us to become an application or technical solution architect. It is here where we should be revisiting the idea, but realistically, it can also be one of the busiest times in your professional career, so again it becomes no realistic to pursue. So the interest wains, and EVENTUALLY experience fills in the gap and it becomes unnecessary.
NOW, if you are fortunate to work for a firm like IBM that has a complete career track for Architects starting at a foundational level, this can still make sense as it will present an opportunity to accelerate your knowledge in more design centric areas, fusing that with Zachman and TOGAF Enterprise Architecture frameworks, and the general "CITA-P type" business process, relationship management, systems engineering and presentation skills that will make you a complete Enterprise level architect in waiting.
The method that you are taking is still a great path for a career to transition from Developer, through Application/Software Architect up to Enterprise Architect level. What you have to determine is how much time and money you want to put into this. I am a firm believer in the material the course touts as being covered, but not having taking the course myself, I cannot speak to how much it should or shouldn't help. Be aware, that most Architects with less than 10 years of experience are Technical Solution Archtiects [think SharePoint Architects] where they model the proposed configuration, test it, guide the deployment team, and design and oversee some custom development of a few components or web apps. You typically will not get an opportunity to develop an application from the ground up and this is a good thing.
You'll want to focus your skills on working to develop some Cloud Applications and what not [I am going to fuse my OCMJEA training with my IBM Cloud Infrastructure Architect and VCP certs to do exactly the same -- whenever I complete them ;-) ]. From there, be sure to learn as much about SOA & BPM and Java implementations there of. Finally, pick two industries to focus on and incorporate into your practice. Learn as much as you can about them and where their productivity issues lie. This will give you some leverage. From there, it will be easier to get near the top of the food chain quickly -- just be careful to be diligent about your craft or you will fall off just as quicly.
Everything depends on circumstances; you must sail according to the wind.
In the case where there is only one person in class, no it would not be much different unless you had a fantastic instructor who has worked in a role and industry with which you will be working. Then it still may be worth the money. In most cases though, the risk reward is as you said, better spent on books and creating architectures.
Joined: Apr 06, 2001
I will agree-if Company sponsors this training one should go ahead.But training alone will not be enough for SCEA5.
SCEA5 is already expensive-I paid almost $875(300+375+300 for all the parts). I also purchased Sun's ePractice for around $65. Overall around $940 for certification and preparation costs plus around $350 for books. But my company reimbursed it(Certification cost). It might happen that due to this mandatory training-my company won't be sponsoring it for future candidates. SCEA5 might become unpopular due to the mandatory training-may be?
One thing i am noticing here is that - certification as well as training cost in India is lot lesser(almost 50%) than in North America. Sun/Oracle should try to standardize on it.