I already am SCJP, SCBCD, SCWCD. I've been working in J2EE for quite a few years now, reading some materials, doing a few J2EE designs here & there , and I feel like it's time to move forward and try the SCEA/OCMJEA. Of course, some formal preparation will be needed first.
I know there is an entire list of books in the "FAQ" section, but i'm pretty sure nobody can go through ALL those books. At least not somebody with a job
So what i'm interested is: what should I read, what is really necessary from that list? I'm expecting there is no silver bullet, but your experience would be a lot helpful to me. From what I noticed around here, I saw that Cade/Sheil is highly recommended, and also Fowler's "UML Distilled". I have already read Sierra/Bates's EJB 3 book (for my SCBCD exam). Any other recommendations?
Start with Cade/Sheil and see what your weak areas are. If you look at my blog entry (see link in my signature), you'll notice that while I read a lot of books, I read them over time and for general learning - not specifically for the exam. If you already know enough the study guide is all you need. If not, you'll need a book on the areas you feel weak at.
I suppose you are familiar with the Gang of Four design patterns. If not, I recommend the Head First book. Are you also familiar with the J2EE pattern catalogue? I'm not sure if knowledge of those is necessary, but it's very helpful at least, because I think that they "score points", if and when applied appropriately of course.