This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum.
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See this thread for details.
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Dear Java Ranchers
I am so happy to see share this mail in my inbox, "Congratulations! You have passed the Oracle Certified Master, Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect certification.
You are among the elite 1% of certified Java professionals who have gone on to achieve the Java Enterprise Architect certification".
I feel so content and relieved knowing the result. I almost spent 6-8 months for this exam, juggling this with challenging work and personal activities.

Sincerely I would like to thank Dmitri, Jeanne Boyarsky and other fellow ranchers for answering my questions regarding Part 2.

I would like to share my SCEA experiences here. Prior to this I have already done SCJP, SCWCD, SCDJWS.
I have 7.5 years of experience. Currently I do the role of both designer and developer. I don't have architect experience.

Part 1:
I took exam on Oct 22nd and I got 81% in Part 1.

I prepared very exhaustively for this part. I took a lot of time to read and cover different topics. I wanted to master design patterns really well.
So I took sweet time in reading both the design patterns book. Printed and pasted the pattern catalog poster in my cubicle.
I applied design patterns in my work. Did some amazing refactoring of existing junk code using design patterns.
I don't want to give preparation timelines as it varies and depends on person.

1) Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by Gamma, Erich; Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides (1995).
2) Core J2EE Patterns: Best Practices and Design Strategies 2nd Edition
Below link provides catalog with good explanation for all the patterns covered in the above book.
3) Sun-Certified-Enterprise-Architect-for-Java-Ee-Study-Guide-2nd-Edition By Mark Cade’s 2nd Edition
4) EJB and JPA Spec
5) MZ Notes
6) Ejb 3 in Action
7) Read different links on topics.. like security, clustering, architecture...etc
8) JSF in Action and different articles on JSF.

Went through all the articles and did mocks given in below links

In the exam some questions were tough, couldn’t apply reasoning here. Some questions were easy and some were challenging.
I feel if we prepare well, we can easily crack Part 1.

Part 2:
I got factory home assignment. Initially it looked very simple, but later when I started working on it, it was very crazy , as I felt requirements was partial.
Did not understand the intent of the examiners. Went through lot of links in the forum to understand it.
Felt many people were trying to solve the problem in very detailed manner.

Read Humprey Shell’s Slide and Chapter 9 book very carefully. Message conveyed is very simple there, but it is effective. Try to keep the design and solution simple.
Even though we can solve it in a detailed manner. It was bit scary when I compared the number of classes in my diagrams with the statistics given by others.
My count was less compared to others. I gave very less documentation in the diagrams, as diagrams are self explanatory. I feel that is the purpose of UML diagrams.

I didn’t modify domain models.
All the diagrams were simple and viewable in single page. They are similar to the one in Chapter 9.
Class Diagrams was simple, the fields for the entities were not too detailed. Kind of synched the jsp names after I did sequene diagrams. I didn’t use class names which didn’t exist like price, currency…etc
Component diagram was simple. Just gave a note to each layer mentioning its purpose. I didn’t follow UML 2.0 usage of interfaces and stuff. It was very similar to the one used in chapter 9.
Deployment Diagram I gave vendor independent hardware spec information
Risks and Mitigation list was one page length.
Sequence Diagrams was also one page length.
Some diagram showed like 95% zoomed in. But this should be fine. It will be difficult to prepare diagrams without any zoom when viewing in browser.
I used Start UML and Visual Paradigm for UML creation.
Assumption doc was 1.5 page length in browser.

I took a lot of time to complete this part. I was trying to solve the diagrams in paper and it took forever. I was getting stuck with the partial requirements.
I think this is intentionally done to see how we proceed with the solution. This is the challenging part of the exam.
Then I went ahead with some assumption and started drawing diagrams.

I took me 2 weeks to complete UML diagrams. Before that I was soaking in the requirements for a month.
Spent a lot and lot of time reading posts in javaranch on my assignment and part 2 questions. I wish oracle provides a detailed instruction on what they expect.
It is so hard and time consuming to understand their rules and expectations informally through forum posts and reading a book with insider knowledge (But both this helped
me pass the exam)

Thumb rules for this part: Keep the business requirement in mind and don’t try to overdo or give a different solution.
Think like a architect and not like a developer. Don’t make your design too detailed ,it makes the examiner job also tough.

I submitted Part 2 on Dec 23rd 2010 and I got the result on Jan 7th 2011

Part 3:
I took Part 3 on Dec 16th.

As my voucher was expiring, I took Part 3 one week before I totally completed Part 2. I had good idea what my solution was.
I took 1 hour to write 2 questions and had to hurry to complete the remaining 6 questions. I was kind of 80% happy with what I wrote.
Be aware of the decision you made during design and its justification.

Next Goal: I have been constantly reading for the last one year. I feel so happy with the learning in my last one year.
I almost made up my mind to be happy even if I fail the exam. Because I put a hell of a effort to learn as much as possible and I did it.
I am thinking of taking a break from certifications for another year.
Want to go back and learn basic computer science subjects like data structures and algorithms again.

SCEA aspirants,
Prepare Hard and Good Luck with your exams.

author and jackaroo
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Dinesh Kumaar
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Thank You
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Ranch Hand
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well done Dinesh
Dinesh Kumaar
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Thanks a lot
Ranch Hand
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Thanks lot of sharing your experience, its helpful:)
Please do not shoot the fish in this barrel. But you can shoot at this tiny ad:
Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop
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