I hope this is an appropriate place to post this. I'm new here so please be gentle
I recently passed OCAJP 8 with 80%, with the help of Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff's guide (excellent book!) plus Enthuware software (also excellent!).
My background is that I have about 8-9 years experience with Java, though Java coding has never been a primary requirement for my role. I'm a technical consultant working for a financial services company who use multiple vendor supplied middleware technologies that implement frameworks and/or 'meta languages' based on Java eg webMethods, Filenet, OutSystems, HPX, etc.
Recently (in the last 4 years or so) I've started taking Java more seriously as I wanted it to be more of a focus in my career (also because I like it) and have been actively involved in any and all Java development I could get my hands on. This has culminated in me investigating Java certification about 3 months ago and ultimately studying for and passing the OCA exam a couple of days ago.
To be honest, I didn't think I would take it any further (my company certainly doesn't require me to be certified, I just did it to help me learn and boost confidence, also because I was a bit curious). However, I have found the actual process of studying for the exam so beneficial to my coding and overall competency that I want to carry it on.
The problem is, whilst the exposure I get to Java development at work might be enough to help with the kind of level you need for OCA (well, sort of, I still had to supplement with a fair bit of sample code), I don't think it will be quite enough for the OCP. To be honest I found the OCA exam pretty tough going (more so than I expected given my experience) though I think coding relevant 'real Java' in my job helped me a lot. I really don't want to be exclusively writing sample code for the OCP, both because I think it will be tougher to learn from it, but also because I would like to provide some additional value for someone from the lines of code I write other than passing the exam.
So, in a long winded way, what I'm saying is that I'm very keen to get involved with an open source project somehow and hopefully provide some real world benefit as well as helping me towards OCP. However, I'm not sure about the best place to start with that, and especially how to best get into a project that is going to help with the core aspects of OCP. Can anyone offer any advice? I'm not very good at inventing projects, but give me something real with a clear technical requirement, and I'll go at it like a Trojan. Just looking for some advice on the best place to start. Any and all suggestions will be considered!
Many thanks in advance and sorry for the long post!
What I'm about to offer might seem like a joke, but here me out. I'm heading an open-source project for a minecraft mod(yes that's what makes it seem like a joke), but we're trying to work on stuff like real-life genetics( a few of us work(ed) in labs and have hands-on experience with this stuff) and would like to implement machine learning for creatures we want to add. Our hope is to build a base in minecraft, because it is a great tool for modifications and testing out ideas(especially as to how Microsoft is trying to advertise it), and eventually build a game based on our mod. It would mean a lot if someone of your caliber joined our team.
Well, you're certainly stroking my ego in the right way with words like "your caliber"
In all seriousness, I don't know if you noticed, but I posted this nearly a year ago. The idea was to get a bit more meaty experience before having a go at the OCP (I'd heard from someone at work that the exam was "super tough"). However, that was before I actually looked at the objectives, which weren't as scary as I'd been led to believe, and actually my existing experience was close enough, so I just ended up studying for and clearing the exam in the "normal way" (passed last week actually).
All that being said, I'm still intrigued and interested... especially as I'm about to leave me current role to take up a job as an Architect where I will be even less hands on than I am now... which might make me a little sad... so a "side project" in Java would be quite welcome... and as I haven't gotten any better at inventing new requirements than when I posted this, you certainly have my interest. What is especially interesting, and coincidental, is that I'm also half way through an MSc in Data Science (did you know that?) so your work with machine learning is of particular interest. Anyway, please tell me more... preferably around exactly how you think I can help and how it involves Java...
Ok. I read your other message. My biggest problem is that until I read this I didn't really know what minecraft was (yes, really... I had to google "minecraft mods"). I've also no experience of game programming. But still sounds like could be an interesting challenge for me. Can you perhaps PM me some more info?