• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Bear Bibeault
Sheriffs:
  • Paul Clapham
  • Knute Snortum
  • Rob Spoor
Saloon Keepers:
  • Tim Moores
  • Ron McLeod
  • Piet Souris
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Carey Brown
Bartenders:
  • Tim Holloway
  • Frits Walraven
  • Ganesh Patekar

With Java 11 certification exam out, how relevant is OCA/OCPJP?

 
Greenhorn
Posts: 3
Eclipse IDE Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi everyone! This is my first time posting here, so please go easy on me!

I am a new Java coder, teaching myself, and started really studying seriously in January doing the University of Helsinki MOOC.  After getting into it a bit, I had made it my goal to pass the OCA exam in August, 2019. I have been working through Jeanne and Scott's OCA exam prep book, and so far, it seems to be going ok.  However, I have just read that the new, Java 11 exam is out there, which is quite tough. I know, I know, I need to first deal with OCAJP, which I still plan to do, but.....let's say that I manage to pass the OCA (OCP next year). Will employers still view it as an asset or will it be old news? If so, how "old news" will it be, in your opinions?

Don't get me wrong-I still plan to do both exams as this OCA book is really helping solidify in my mind the smaller details that make up Java, and it certainly will not HURT me to do these exams.    Just curious as to your opinions of the value of having OCA these days.

Thanks in advance!  

 
Enthuware Software Support
Posts: 4331
35
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jomu Visser wrote:Hi everyone! This is my first time posting here, so please go easy on me!

I am a new Java coder, teaching myself, and started really studying seriously in January doing the University of Helsinki MOOC.  After getting into it a bit, I had made it my goal to pass the OCA exam in August, 2019. I have been working through Jeanne and Scott's OCA exam prep book, and so far, it seems to be going ok.  However, I have just read that the new, Java 11 exam is out there, which is quite tough. I know, I know, I need to first deal with OCAJP, which I still plan to do, but.....let's say that I manage to pass the OCA (OCP next year). Will employers still view it as an asset or will it be old news? If so, how "old news" will it be, in your opinions?

Don't get me wrong-I still plan to do both exams as this OCA book is really helping solidify in my mind the smaller details that make up Java, and it certainly will not HURT me to do these exams.    Just curious as to your opinions of the value of having OCA these days.

Thanks in advance!  


OCAJP/OCAPJP 8 will not be "old" for another couple of years at least.  Java 8 exams already include some of the most important topics (streams and lambda) so I would not worry too much about it going obsolete anytime soon. It will still be as valuable as it was.

I don't think the new exams (815 and 816) are any more tough that the older (808 and 809) exams (Read about our 1Z0-815 experience ) but the absence of books and mock exams certainly make them look like so. This will not be a problem in a couple of months time. However, the bigger issue is the focus of the new exams. The new exams focus quite a bit on modularization. But modularization is not yet a clear winner in the industry, IMHO. So, I don't think you would be losing out much by not going for the new exams.


(Added link to our 1Z0-815 experience.)
 
Jomu Visser
Greenhorn
Posts: 3
Eclipse IDE Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for your opinion on this! As a newbie to the industry changing careers in my late 30's, the thought of certification is quite attractive, as it might help make up for lack of industry experience so far and help me get an entry-level junior coding job, so when I heard that my lovely Java 8 cert was being replaced with a Java 11 cert, I panicked a bit.  I haven't been at it long enough to really have a feel for how fast things can go in and out of style / use in terms of Java.  But your reply makes me feel a lot better.  
 
Sheriff
Posts: 13568
223
Mac Android IntelliJ IDE Eclipse IDE Spring Debian Java Ubuntu Linux
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My opinion is that certifications will give you a slight edge over your competition in the early stages of the selection process. However, professional development is more than just knowing about syntax and the mechanics of a language. What I find most disappointing with most candidates I have rejected in the past is that they don't know the first thing about design. I think many of the problems we have in software comes from too many programmers thinking that design is not their responsibility, that it should be done by architects and designers, not programmers. They could not be any more WRONG about that.

Take a look at some of these images of terrible design. Those images are the equivalent of the kind of programs I often see in the real world because of programmers who both don't know how to write good clean code and who don't know anything about design principles.

Below are some references you might want to take a look at to get a better idea of good design. Knowing about basic design principles and how to apply them to your programs is what will really set you apart from other candidates, especially if it's for an entry-level junior position. In my opinion, it's never too soon to learn about design.

Perspective: Code is design - https://www.developerdotstar.com/mag/articles/PDF/DevDotStar_Reeves_CodeAsDesign.pdf

Simple Design: https://martinfowler.com/bliki/BeckDesignRules.html
Book about the 4 Rules of Simple Design: https://leanpub.com/4rulesofsimpledesign

SOLID design: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOLID

"Clean Code" by Robert Martin - I wish all programmers would read this book first before they try to write any code in a professional capacity.

Finally, here's what Uncle Bob has to say about certifications:

The first principle is the Redaction of Certification Principle (RCP). The principle states:

Certifications generally certify nothing whatever about experience, knowledge, or skill. Generally they certify that the certificate holder has attended (or at least paid to attend) a course. Perhaps they took (and maybe even passed) an exam based on that course.
 
Marshal
Posts: 65107
247
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jomu Visser wrote:. . . make up for lack of industry experience so far . . .

And once you have some experience nobody will ask you what certifications you have any more.
 
Junilu Lacar
Sheriff
Posts: 13568
223
Mac Android IntelliJ IDE Eclipse IDE Spring Debian Java Ubuntu Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
... and Welcome to the Ranch, Jomu Visser!
 
Greenhorn
Posts: 23
IntelliJ IDE Java Windows
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Junilu Lacar wrote:
Below are some references you might want to take a look at to get a better idea of good design. Knowing about basic design principles and how to apply them to your programs is what will really set you apart from other candidates, especially if it's for an entry-level junior position. In my opinion, it's never too soon to learn about design.

Perspective: Code is design - https://www.developerdotstar.com/mag/articles/PDF/DevDotStar_Reeves_CodeAsDesign.pdf

Simple Design: https://martinfowler.com/bliki/BeckDesignRules.html
Book about the 4 Rules of Simple Design: https://leanpub.com/4rulesofsimpledesign

SOLID design: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOLID

"Clean Code" by Robert Martin - I wish all programmers would read this book first before they try to write any code in a professional capacity.

Finally, here's what Uncle Bob has to say about certifications:



Nice, nice, nice!     The book Clean Code looks particularly yummy.
 
Junilu Lacar
Sheriff
Posts: 13568
223
Mac Android IntelliJ IDE Eclipse IDE Spring Debian Java Ubuntu Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ricky Bee wrote:Nice, nice, nice!     The book Clean Code looks particularly yummy.


Thanks. "Clean Code" is a great book but Corey Haines' "Understanding the Four Rules of Simple Design" is a game-changer. In my opinion, it's one of the best books for learning the how and more importantly, the why, of a number of important object-oriented design principles.
 
author & internet detective
Posts: 39399
763
Eclipse IDE VI Editor Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paul Anilprem wrote:OCAJP/OCAPJP 8 will not be "old" for another couple of years at least.  Java 8 exams already include some of the most important topics (streams and lambda) so I would not worry too much about it going obsolete anytime soon. It will still be as valuable as it was.


Agreed!

Paul Anilprem wrote:I don't think the new exams (815 and 816) are any more tough that the older (808 and 809) exams but the absence of books and mock exams certainly make them look like so. This will not be a problem in a couple of months time. However, the bigger issue is the focus of the new exams. The new exams focus quite a bit on modularization. But modularization is not yet a clear winner in the industry, IMHO. So, I don't think you would be losing out much by not going for the new exams.


Scott said the 815 is harder. Neither of has taken the 816 yet so can't comment on that though.

I would strongly recommend people take the OCA/OCP 8. Probably for another year.
 
Jomu Visser
Greenhorn
Posts: 3
Eclipse IDE Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Junilu Lacar wrote:My opinion is that certifications will give you a slight edge over your competition in the early stages of the selection process. However, professional development is more than just knowing about syntax and the mechanics of a language. What I find most disappointing with most candidates I have rejected in the past is that they don't know the first thing about design. I think many of the problems we have in software comes from too many programmers thinking that design is not their responsibility, that it should be done by architects and designers, not programmers. They could not be any more WRONG about that.

Take a look at some of these images of terrible design. Those images are the equivalent of the kind of programs I often see in the real world because of programmers who both don't know how to write good clean code and who don't know anything about design principles.

Below are some references you might want to take a look at to get a better idea of good design. Knowing about basic design principles and how to apply them to your programs is what will really set you apart from other candidates, especially if it's for an entry-level junior position. In my opinion, it's never too soon to learn about design.

Perspective: Code is design - https://www.developerdotstar.com/mag/articles/PDF/DevDotStar_Reeves_CodeAsDesign.pdf

Simple Design: https://martinfowler.com/bliki/BeckDesignRules.html
Book about the 4 Rules of Simple Design: https://leanpub.com/4rulesofsimpledesign

SOLID design: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOLID

"Clean Code" by Robert Martin - I wish all programmers would read this book first before they try to write any code in a professional capacity.

Finally, here's what Uncle Bob has to say about certifications:

The first principle is the Redaction of Certification Principle (RCP). The principle states:

Certifications generally certify nothing whatever about experience, knowledge, or skill. Generally they certify that the certificate holder has attended (or at least paid to attend) a course. Perhaps they took (and maybe even passed) an exam based on that course.



Thanks for all that awesome information!  I have definitely been eyeing the Clean Code book, but I figured I should actually get more comfortable with coding in general before it might stick. However, I can see it as a valuable companion to my learning. Might have to get a copy!

I am quite fortunate in the respect that my husband is an architect, so he is already teaching me Spring Boot and the basics of how to assemble applications according to that framework. That being said, going from my unfinished University of Helsinki MOOC to straight up Spring Boot is a bit overwhelming, but it shows me so many things that you need to keep in mind besides just the syntax and logic of the language. I think knowing how to set up the design aspect  of my projects is by far the most challenging aspect of coding to me... I will check out the design book you recommended, too, because my husband is not always the greatest at explaining things.  

And thank you to everyone else for your contributions to the thread. You've given me lots to think about!  Appreciate it!
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 56
1
IntelliJ IDE Java Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

Paul Anilprem wrote:OCAJP/OCAPJP 8 will not be "old" for another couple of years at least.  Java 8 exams already include some of the most important topics (streams and lambda) so I would not worry too much about it going obsolete anytime soon. It will still be as valuable as it was.


Agreed!

Paul Anilprem wrote:I don't think the new exams (815 and 816) are any more tough that the older (808 and 809) exams but the absence of books and mock exams certainly make them look like so. This will not be a problem in a couple of months time. However, the bigger issue is the focus of the new exams. The new exams focus quite a bit on modularization. But modularization is not yet a clear winner in the industry, IMHO. So, I don't think you would be losing out much by not going for the new exams.


Scott said the 815 is harder. Neither of has taken the 816 yet so can't comment on that though.

I would strongly recommend people take the OCA/OCP 8. Probably for another year.



Thank you Jeanne for the recommendation. I have OCA8 and didn't know which way to go for the OCP (809 or 816 exam). Now the answer is clear, OCP8, there is a lot of material on that one.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!