This is my personal opinion: Learning to program in Java and preparing for the exam should be two different, separate endeavors. First one should spend the necessary months learning Java (and object oriented programming as in my case) and then test oneself taking mock exams if one has decided to go for certification, which is not absolutely necessary especially if you already have a job as a professional Java programmer. Then, after that and again in my opinion, one should frequent forums that hone-in the type of question that may be expected in the exam. I understand that there is a place here in JavaRanch that is oriented to help people learn their first steps in Java (I am new here too so I don't know everything that's available). Finally, and this one is really personal, "when I was young" it was expected that one would have at least a Bachelor's degree in something like Computer Science, Physics or Math to be a "real" programmer... The only reason I mention this is for the following (real and hopefully humorous) reason: I recently went to a 7-11 to buy something and after some small talk with the young (18, 19?) attendant, she asked me what I did and I said "computer programming". She said "Ah yes! they make a lot of money, right? So I am planning to become one now that I graduated from high school. Tell me, where can I go for a three month programming class or course so that I can start making $75,000 a year after that time!?" It never occurred to her that going to college was also an option... at least considering the money she wanted to make. Of course, that would have taken more than 3 months...
Tony Alicea Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
I think that if you want to learn Java, one way to learn is to force yourself through the pain and agony of getting certified. This isn't the way I went about it, or would go about it, but it might be a way that someone wants to go about it because they think it is best for them. I think the point here is that the Programmer Certification forum is getting totally swamped! I would like to see some of the threads get moved to some of the other topic-related forums. Maybe 70% of the content I see now can be moved to other forums. We can make more forums if we need to. Maybe I should make a forum called "Hello World" for the newest of new questions. Maybe another forum for I/O. My question to you all: Do you think we should lighten the load on the certification forum this way? Rather than just doing it, I would like to hear from people in THIS forum if they think it would be the best thing to do. As for the teeny bopper: I would suggest that she take a six month course at a trade school focusing on OO and Java. Then put herself through what it takes to just pass the SCJP2 exam. She can land a job for $60,000. I've met some people who have done this that have turned out to be far better programmers than people with a four year degree in CS. Bill Gates never got a degree. Neither did Steve Wozniak. I'll bet we can come up with at least a dozen millionaire programmers that don't have a four year degree.
As another "new kid on the block" like Tony (well, "new old man on the block" for him ), I'd agree it would be good to shift a lot of this stuff to other forums. I think a lot of us are just used to the other sites where everything is in one big space with no separations, so we just keep posting away the way we're used to. I keep forgetting the other areas exist. But if moderators started moving messages to more appropriate areas (preferably with a brief explanatory note) I'd be all for it. Figuring out which messages to move where may be difficult at times - often "basic Java understanding" issues are mixed in with "interpreting a poorly written question" issues and with "fine points of the language that you don't really need on the exam" issues. But we can work that stuff out gradually, and some things are more obviously off-topic than others. Anything involving bytecodes, for example, probably can be moved out of the Programmer Certification area.
Anything with bytecodes can probably be moved to the performance forum. Anything about garbage collection can also be moved to the performance forum. Jim and Tony - it is possible to have two people be moderators of one Forum. If you are both comfortable with both of you being moderators, I'll make Jim a moderator also. A moderator can move a thread. The technique I like to use is to comment on the thread in the current forum saying "I think this thread will gain more attention in the performance forum, so I'm moving it there". Then select "move thread", click on the options to keep the thread in the current forum, but close it and select the new forum. The old forum will contain the original thread, but it will be locked. The new forum will contain the thread, but it will be unlocked. I think that if we do this for a few days everyone will get the idea and we probably won't have to even think about it for quite a while. So what do you guys think? Anybody else have opinions?
I just tried to move a thread to the general java forum and the system was extra weird. Since the general java forum is forum number 1, that selection was covered up "pick a forum". The thread got moved, but a locked version didn't appear in the old forum. Bummer.
back to the origional point about training. I'm a trainee Java developer at a large compay with an E-Commerce dept. I've just graduated fomr University but actully studied Film there. A lot of companies are taking in trainees who are complete programming novices. My thoughts on this are: 1. they do cos they own't have to pay us too much! 2. They do it so they can indoctrinate THEIR style of programming on us. 3. They do it so that they have people with creative minds about who aren't so into programming they can't see beyond what they think is possible. The only problems lie with the fact that what I learn here is restricted to what is used here ... anything else and I'm on my own. They point is that within thre years I can be considered a senior programmer and earn top bucks ... still less than a four year degree and the actual commercial experience counts for much more than a degree anyway!!
Pounding at a thick stone wall won't move it, sometimes, you need to step back to see the way around.