So Border's goes belly up and during their liquidation sale I was able to snag Sybex's SCJP E6 study guide for a really good price. I was still in two minds about how useful certs were at the time so I obviously hadn't looked into them much. I thought that the logical first step toward being a certified Java programmer would be to pass an exam called Sun Certified Java Programmer. Of course I was wrong and now I guess I have a few options:
1) Study for SCJA with an SCJP book
2)Try to find someone who has passed SCJA and are going to take SCJP who would swap their book for mine
3)Sell the book and then buy the right one
4)Keep the book and use it to study for SCJP after I pass SCJA and hope SE7 doesn't come out before I need to take it
So I guess this post became more of a poll although it would be interesting to hear how the two tests differ. Is the SCJP exam more in-depth or does it cover a wider range of technologies and concepts than the SCJA exam?
When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a thumb.
The new OCA Java certification is totally different from the old one.
OCAJ 5/6 [Java SE, Java ME and Java EE Basic Skills Required]
Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 5/SE 6 (Formerly Sun Certified Java Associate (SCJA) ) certification provides basic knowledge required to manage a Java project. The exam also tests your Java EE and Java ME basic skills. You can gain basic knowledge of Object-Oriented Concepts, UML representation of OO concepts, the Java programming language, and general knowledge of Java Platforms and Technologies.
OCAJP 7 [More focused in Java SE 7 Programming]
Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 7 Programmer certification provides basic knowledge required to program Java code. You need to complete Java SE 7 Programmer I Exam to achieve this certification. You can gain basic knowledge of Java data types, strings, arrays, loop constructs, methods and encapsulation, inheritance and exceptions.
Note that to attend OCP Java SE 7 certification you should complete OCP Java SE 7 first under certification path. In the case of upgrade path, you should have certified in any version Oracle Certified Professional, Java Programmer OR Any version Sun Certified Java Programmer.
Both these exams empower your knowledge of basic syntax and structure of the Java programming language and can create Java technology applications that run on server and desktop systems using Java SE 7.
Remember to study Java SE 7 features like binary literals, numbers with underscores, try with resources, exception handing enhancements, concurrency enhancements, switch with string, diamond operator enhancements, etc, when you take OCP Java SE 7 exam.
Gary: Pick up any book and start reading; also follow oracle exam objectives. You should also have an idea whats new is introduced in Java 7. To prepare for my exam I used Java 2 book. Basic concepts will always remain same no matter which version of Java it is. SCJP has like 3 more objectives that one need to focus on. Collections, API content. To prepare practice as much as you can. GOOD luck !!