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Should I try for the IBM 486 or is it too early?

Jacob Pressures

Joined: Jun 04, 2004
Posts: 7
Hello guys, I just learned about the IBM 486 OOAD Exam for UML yesterday and have been looking for help ever since. I would like to take this exam. I bought the book An Introduction to OOP with VB.NET. it has some UML in it. I also bought UML 2 for Dummies which I have not read yet.

I plan to use UML when I create this new application for my job. I�m not really a programmer yet, but I�m using my skills on this job with hopes that it will land me a programming position in the future (near future, I hope). Can I learn all the UML that I need to know and understand for the exam within say 6 mos? I�m new to programming and to UML. I guess I will buy UML Distilled and read it. I just don�t want to spend a lot of time doing this if it is beyond my ability with my lack of experience. I could be using the time better by studying VB.NET if it will take me more than a year to learn UML. However I think UML would help me be more well-rounded as I move towards OOP. I like UML and im sure that would be impressive but an employeer would rather I be a good programmer too. I�m just trying to find some skills that can complement my lack of knowledge. My hope is that by demonstrating a well-rounded and balanced foundation I will look impressive to an employer looking to hire for an entry level position.

I have A+ and CIW Associate certs. IBM 486 would be a step in the right direction I think and would show that I�m quite well-rounded but would hopefully let the employer know I�m a high achiever. My ultimate goal is MCAD or MCSD.

Do you think i need more experience to pass the UML exam than developing one application? It is pretty involved actually but not too detailed. Just a few basic database connections and multimedia things. Will reading a book or 2 do?

[ June 04, 2004: Message edited by: Jacob Pressures ]
Junilu Lacar

Joined: Feb 26, 2001
Posts: 6529

The 486 exam is not just about UML, which is IMO just a small, almost incidental, part of the exam. The main focus is Object-Oriented Design.

Two years ago when I took the exam, the recommended reading was Craig Larman's book on Applying UML, OOAD and Design Patterns + UML Distilled by Martin Fowler. It may be possible for someone with no practical experience with OOAD to read the books, internalize the concepts, and pass the exam but IMO, it would be highly improbable. There were a number of posts in the past that discussed a number of questions from the practice test that used to be freely available from the IBM website. Try searching for "ICE" and "486" in this forum to try dig those old threads up. If you can follow the various discussions then you may have a shot at passing.

Also, you may want to guage your readiness by taking the pre-certification test, although as I understand, it is no longer free of charge.

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Vikrama Sanjeeva
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 756
Hi Jacob,
In my humble opinion you must go for 486 exam. As Junilu said, it does not only focus UML but it will make and polish your OOA&D concepts. Which will definitley help you in building applications in Java, dotNet etc.

Wish U Best of luck!


NOTE: This forum contains extensive information on 486 exam. Just spend some time on searching.

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Jacob Pressures

Joined: Jun 04, 2004
Posts: 7
Thanks for the information Junilu and Viki!

Do you know anything about OMG's UML fundamentals exam?

I just bought UML Distilled and learned something about Patterns so that will be my next step and i guess a step towards IBM 486 eventually.

thanks guys. Now i need to find out what people's opinions are about OMG's UML exam.
I agree. Here's the link:
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