This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
I have been using Java since started my programming career way back 2008, now i've shifted from doing Java Enterprise,J2ME,Blackberry to Android in which i love the most.
I do have interviewed people with certifications, in which i was doing the interview with them that i do not have one. So i feel weird doing it, but at some point i think i wanted to do the exam, not because of the company requirements but for me to grow as a java dev.
I was in a simular boat as you Michael. I was a Java developer for a while before I even thought about certifications. At the time I wanted to do it to strength my resume. As I started to prepare for the exam I realized that I knew about 85% precent of the content inside and out but about 15% of it was in area that I hardly, if ever worked with. Thats when I started to appreciate certifications. It helps even experienced developers stay well rounded and not get stuck into old patterns.
It was not a must-have certification, but without it it's often harder to get through an initial screening. Certifications are for a reason and from the point of a recruiter it's much easier to verify someone's skills. What else could they use?
Edward Finegan wrote:I was in a simular boat as you Michael. I was a Java developer for a while before I even thought about certifications. At the time I wanted to do it to strength my resume. As I started to prepare for the exam I realized that I knew about 85% precent of the content inside and out but about 15% of it was in area that I hardly, if ever worked with. Thats when I started to appreciate certifications. It helps even experienced developers stay well rounded and not get stuck into old patterns.
I thoroughly agree with Edward. Because I also felt the same way as he did . Right now I work as a software engineer in a leading company in Sri Lanka. And I got this job as I have completed my Bachelor of Computer Science degree in university of Colombo in Sri Lanka. At first I also thought that it's not much needed to get certifications as I already have a degree. But within last few weeks, as I started preparing for OCAJP I realized that even though I 'll pass this exam or not this preparation will definitely improve my knowledge. Right now I feel that I'm improving my Java knowledge day by day .
As Ulf pointed out, it greatly varies depending upon location. In my experience in the US, certifications are of no help whatsoever. In fact, having a bunch of them on your resume is viewed as a mild negative (as it's usually taken as a sign that someone collects certifications without really being able to put the material into practice).
So in the US, you can use them to better yourself, or to set personal milestones, but they won't do much for your job hunt.
Bear Bibeault wrote:(as it's usually taken as a sign that someone collects certifications without really being able to put the material into practice).
Let's assume that it's true for a moment. Let assume that learning for a certificate gains nothing but a collection of certificates. Do you think a certificate-focused employee/student gains no knowledge about Java itself? Does it mean that he/she doesn't practice to turn theory into real knowledge? And finally does it mean that "collecting" certificates is theory-only activity? I for one am "collecting" certificates because I deeply feel they improve my knowledge and are a kind of projects I should diligently prepare for - theory- and practice-wise.
"Is taking a java certification still a must nowadays?"
Yes and no.
If you are serious about your trade, and have pride in what you do, you will find yourself wanting, if not needing to get certified.
However, you'll find that not all employers and colleagues will have optimistic views of certifications, whether it's because of jealousy or because of the general notion that nothing is better than real work experience (alone).
On the flip side to this... I am a big certification advocate, if I wasn't, I wouldn't have written two books on the matter (Java and NetBeans).
In my humble opinion, as the programmer/developer progresses through their career, there is a tremendous amount of value in achieving the related certifications. It's cool to be able to say... I learned 'this' (whether on the job or through independent study) and then I got certified in it. Also, the nice thing about Oracle is that they have several certifications that marry well with many, many jobs, tasks and skillsets.
I have four Sun/Oracle certifications and am proud of each one of them... and I encourage everyone to get as many certifications as they can.