Hey, I'm new to the Ranch but have found it very informative - and the community here is great! I think I may just settle in here for a while.
I have been an IT architect for several years and have focused mainly in MS technologies. Years ago, I worked for a big company that paid for all of my MS certifications, so I went all out and got MS certs in developer(MCSD), database(MSDBA), and engineering(MCSE). That covered my bases for starting a career in IT architecture, and also kind of tied me to the Microsoft world.
I now work for a company that is branching out of the MS world and into more Java based technologies. Always one to look for a new challenge, I jumped at the chance to jump headlong into Java and get some rep along the way in the form of Sun certification.
I also figured that as long as I was working on these certs, some of my coworkers would also be interested and we should form a study group. As I was pitching this idea to various groups in my company, this little study group quickly turned into something else. My core group of mostly .Net programmers was extended to add Cobol programmers wanting to learn OO programming, project managers brushing up on UML and getting an overview of the Java world, and anyone else who may be wanting to break into the exciting field of object oriented programming.
This is no longer a little study group.
So I am pretty excited about the idea of leading a series of meetings/sessions/classes/seminars/whatever-they-are-now. The problem is, how do I structure a curriculuum that will cater to students who are starting with the SCJA and moving up through SCJP to either the Developer or Architecture certs? How deep and broad do I go when my time is basically one lunch period a week, with a few special sessions thrown in where I can justify it? How much time do I spend on basic OO concepts and requirements gathering? How much time do I devote to more technical topics like RMI and JDBC?
Another constraint: One of the reasons I am looking forward to this challenge is that I haven't been a full-time programmer for many years, and teaching your subject is the best way to retain the content. Also, it puts me very close to programmers who are much better than me. But as a teacher, this also puts me at a disadvantage.
Any suggestions would be great!
BTW, I just started putting slides together for the SCJA stuff, and I am using The Object Primer by Scott W. Ambler for the basics right now along with UML Distilled by Mr. Fowler. I plan on requiring Cameron's SCJA books for anyone planning on taking the test, but haven't gotten my hands on them yet! Should I be using a Headfirst Java or the Dietel and Dietel Learning Java book as well?
This sounds like a great idea! I think this topic might be better addressed in our Teachers' Lounge, so I'm moving it to be continued there. After all, knowing the material is one thing, but teaching it is another.
I would encourage people who have taken or are preparing for the SCJA to add their perspective.
"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer sscce.org