This is a revised version of the certification FAQ that I posted earlier: I. Mock Exams Q: Where do you purchase XML mock exams? A: http://www.whizlabs.com/jwhiz Q: Does IBM have a sample test? A: Yes, http://www-1.ibm.com/certify/tests/sam141.shtml Q: Where do I find IBM’s sample exam for their defunct 140 XML exam? A: http://viktor99.virtualave.net/IBM140a.html II. Books Q: Are there any books specifically for IBM XML certification? A: Not at this time (4/2002). Q: What are IBM’s recommended readings for the exam? A: IBM just recommends the books, but these chapter references are helpful. Professional XML 2nd Edition ch. 2,3,4,5,6,8,9,11,12,24,27 . Professional XML Schemas ch. 1-9. XSLT O'Reilly: ch. 1-9 Q: Do I need to purchase all the IBM-recommended books? A: If you can afford them, you should. They cover the material in the exams, and some of the questions seem to be drawn from these books. Q: What is the one most important book for XML certification? A: Professional XML (Second Edition). Q: Is Professional XML enough to pass the exam? A: No. The books recommended by IBM cover the material fairly well, but there is no book specifically written to prepare for the XML exam. Therefore, it is good to use as many books and online resources as possible. Q: What other books are useful for Certification Study? A: XSLT Programmers Reference (Wrox), XML in a Nutshell (O’Reilly), XML Bible Q: What are good beginners books on XML? A: Some considers Wrox’s “Beginning XML” to be the best book to start with. “A Complete Idiot’s Guide to XML” is accurately named, a very easy book without a lot of information. It may be useful as something to get you started. “XML for Dummies” is at a somewhat higher level. If money is an issue, there is plenty of beginners’ information online. III. Online Information Q: What information does IBM give on its XML exam? A: http://www-1.ibm.com/certify/tests/obj141.shtml Q: Where does Java Ranch have XML information? A: http://www.javaranch.com/gramps/XMLLinks.jsp Q: Where are there other XML certification FAQs? A: http://www.whizlabs.com/products/xmlwhiz/ibm-xml-faq.htmlwww.PerfectXML.com/Certify Q: Are there any online tutorial or cram materials for the XML exam? A:http://certificationguru.com/xmltutorial/index.html Q: Where are some posts from this forum with good information on the XML exam? A: http://www.javaranch.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=52&t=000241 http://www.javaranch.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=52&t=000277 Q: What are good online resources for XML? A: http://www.javaranch.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=52&t=000206 IV. Other Q: How do I get started in XML? A: See the question on beginners’ books. However, there are many online tutorials available that discuss the basics. Q: What is the pass mark and time limit on the IBM XML exam? A: You have 90 minutes to get 38 of 57 correct. Q: Is there time pressure on the IBM XML exam? A: Maybe, some people have reported time pressure, although they usually did not pass. Q: What is the ideal preparation for the IBM XML exam? A: Use online tutorials and “Beginning XML” to get started. Study the books recommended by IBM. Use IBM’s sample exams and XMLWhiz. Q: Are there any other XML certifications besides IBM’s? A: Yes, Active Education has an XML Certified Expert (XCE) certification. This is much less popular than IBM’s, partly because more people have heard of IBM than Active Education. The exam is apparently of comparable difficulty to IBM’s. Active Education’s exam seems to have a lot of questions where you have to actually write XML syntax, and which give partial credit. It probably helps to by Active Education’s workbooks to study for their exam. I would go for the IBM certification first, but if you want another certification to put on your resume, go for XCE too. Their link is: http://www.certifyxml.com/. There are also online certifications at http://www.brainbench.com and http://www.skilldrill.com. Although the online certifications have different objectives from IBM’s exam, they may be useful practice exams which you can take repeatedly. Getting a score among the leaders may be possible on some online certifications: that will probably look good on your resume, although simply having an online certification may not belong on your resume. Q: What skills go along with XML? A: Java, web development, and databases are often used with XML. However, having skills not often seen with XML can be valuable, as it may be hard to find someone with that combination. Q: What languages do you need to know to learn XML? A: Anyone with a decent software background can learn XML. I would say that XML is easier to learn and get certified in from scratch than Java. It is somewhat similar to HTML, so HTML background helps. Knowing SGML is a big advantages, as the to languages are very close. It helps to know Cascading Style Sheets. Web development background helps. However, XML is used as a data transfer format apart from web uses. Background with parsing and string manipulation languages such as Perl helps. A lot of XML jobs require Java, but there is no similarity between the languages of Java and XML. The IBM exam is called “XML and Related Technologies”. Learning XML for certification and practical use involves learning related languages such as DTDs, XSLT, and Xpath.
Joseph, I tried to make a link to your FAQ, but you keep on moving the target If we apply JavaRanch Look&Feel and store it on our site, so it will look like this, will you object? Of course, each Q&A will begin with your name What do you think?
That is fine. I first got a rough version of the FAQ, and I have been adding to it. I hope I will still be able to add to it in the new form. However, it is more complete now, so this is not essential.
Professional XML Schemas has material that matches up nearly perfectly with some of the questions on the exam. I think that Inside XSLT by Steven Holzner from New Riders is really well-written and understandable. There's a sample chapter available on the New Riders site. Check out the XSLFO tutorial at www.renderX.com. It's brief but clear and will help you answer any XSLFO questions on the test. The W3C Specs are surprisingly easy to read and understand; they're also worth a look.
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