Well, let me answer those in reverse order, at least from where I'm sitting.
Demand: Web Services seems to be one of this year's hot technologies from what I'm noticing. My company's just moving into it (finally!) for some of our functionality, but by and large, it's something that's only going to grow as time goes by. Certification would certainly give you a bit of a leg-up over competition in the space if you're looking for work, as it would show some familiarity with it.
Success: I'll admit that I was far better on the book-learning than I was experienced when I took the beta and passed. I found the exam to be challenging, but overwhelmingly difficult - the best I can suggest is being fairly solid with the background concepts and to read up on the spec, take some time to play with the technology, and you'll do fine.
Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!
At the beginning of august I was terminated because, the position was for a senior developer and I was more of an intermediate. Only because of my certifications I had interviews within 2 days and 3 offers in 3 more weeks. Last week I received 15 emails, and 5 phone calls in a 3 day period for people wanting to interview me for intermediate java developer posistions.
The cert may not get you the job, but it will get you infront of the manager and lets you differentiate yourself from other developers of the same level.
CIAO Peter M. Cooke
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