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Timothy Brown

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since Mar 12, 2012
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Recent posts by Timothy Brown

In my current quest for a Java job, I have not once been asked about JSP or EJB. Rather, the most common question in terms of EE questions is how well do you know RESTful services - period. Knowing the Apache HTTP commons lib has also been somewhat useful. The next thing that helped me to learn was XML parsing, particularly pull parser. Then, the next most common thing people want from me is Java persistence. That's just my experience of course.
8 years ago
My experience in interviews so far has been more along the lines of recreating elements in the Java API's, not using them. I don't want to state the exact question, because I signed a form that I wouldn't, but essentially, say you didn't have the Collections API and really needed one of the commonly used data structures. Ok, now build me one, handle collisions, and while you're at it, make it fully generic. A different interview had me check to see if a tree was in balance. Another one yet was to count unique shortest-paths on a graph using a depth first search - recursively, and then prove mathematically my answer was correct. So, to answer your questions specifically, don't worry so much about knowing Java as a language, know how to program USING Java as your language. The questions you'll likely get will not matter what language you use at all.
8 years ago
Neil,
I'm also in my late 30's trying to become a Java devel. What I've found is that the certs help me get a phone call sometimes, but they don't get much further than that. What is much more important is to do well in the interview, and that means having data structures and algorithms down cold. Most of the questions I've been getting are things like traversing and/or doing interesting operations on binary trees (that's by far the most common). I've gotten some threading questions. I've gotten some bitwise operator stuff, some dynamic programming, recursion, etc etc. All in all, it's been more challenging than I expected, but I'm coming from a completely different engineering discipline, so this is all new to me. I learned it from scratch in the last year or so. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that it is challenging, but seemingly possible, but knowing programming is far more important than knowing Java syntax alone.
8 years ago
Hello Aathira,

I am in the exact same spot as you, so I can share my experience so far. I live near the Silicon Valley. I started learning Java about a year ago. I cleared the OCPJP, OCEWCD, and OCEEJBD exams. That was helpful to learn the language syntax, but what I really found necessary to learn was Data Structures and Algorithms. The most important thing I did for learning was to read the CLRS book. Anyone I spoke with about a career wanted to know that I knew at least a good chunk of the material in that book, and it was certainly the most useful. After that, I went through interview sites and books and kept solving problem after problem until I became better at coding. What I found next is that doing it in an IDE was not good enough. Most people set to interview me wanted to see my work on the whiteboard or on a text editor. So, back to the drawing board, I started coding only using a text editor and then copy/pasted into Eclipse to see where my mistakes were. Only then did I start even having a chance at the interview process.

So, where am I now. Same place really... There are a lot of qualified software developers out there, and a lot of them are looking for jobs too. I get comments back after interview like, you're doing very well, but we just really need to see that you have actually -made- something. A recommendation I have gotten is to start working on Apache incubator projects, which is what I plan to do next. I also found that knowing Java alone was not enough. I have since learned Python, and plan to learn a functional language like Scala. It's a tough process, but I'm committed now...

Best wishes to your success!
8 years ago
Today, I passed the EJB certification (1Z0-895) with an 86% and wanted to share some experienced with those interested in the exam. For some background on my progress, please refer to my previous post: https://coderanch.com/t/570122/sr/certification/Passed-OCPJP-weekend

In a nutshell, I'm new to programming. I wanted to learn JavaEE, so I figured that studying for exams would help me learn what is important, and so far it's been going well. I passed the JavaSE6 exam first, then the Web Components exam, and now the EJB exam. The EJB exam was the easiest of the three for me - the least "tricky" and the least material covered. To prepare, I first read EJB in Action -2nd Edition (which is still a "MEAP") and also some portions of EJB in Action -1st edition to fill in the gaps. I then took the first two of the four Enthuware exams and did not do too well (about 50% average for them). I then studied Ivan Krizsan notes, and I also read the JSR-318 spec for the sections related to the exam. I then took all four of the Enthuware tests, doing much better on the first two, ok on the third, and not so well on the fourth one: 83%, 87%, 78%, 63%, respectively. I filled in some gaps in my knowledge by reviewing sections of the reading material and then took the exam (86%).

I spent 20 days studying for this, averaging about maybe 6 hours per day. Now, I'm looking to start studying JPA. Thank you so much Ivan Krizsan for your most excellent note-taking, and to Paul at Enthuware for yet another great product. I'll be getting the JPA one next. I sure wish you had one for the Web Services.

Best wishes to all,
-Tim
9 years ago
Here's a follow up to my progress since March. I passed the OCE-WCD6 today with a 78%. First and foremost, I must give a huge thank you to the Head First team for the JSP&Servlets book. It is an excellent resource. I also can't thank Enthuware enough for offering such a great product at a very fair price. I see purchasing these two items as essential to getting the most out of one's studies. Finally, I applaud the efforts of Nikos Pougounias for his Java blog and mock exams, and last but certainly not least Piotr Nowicki for the Servlet3 mock exam material. The support in the Java community is exceptional.

Now, for my thoughts on the exam: There was much more breadth, but less depth than the OCPJP exam. It was certainly not as "tricky", but I can see that one really needs to understand the API well. For a complete programming newbie like myself, it was a bit of a shock at first, but it also has now allowed me to understand how to read the specs and API docs much better. The exam was fair, if ever so slightly more difficult than the Enthuware mock exams for which my average score was about the same. I think I got used to its question style, and the ones on the real exam were sometimes a little different. Tomorrow, I will take a day off and Monday begin the HF EJB book in preparation for the next one I'm going to tackle. Thank you again for all the assistance. I'm enjoying the studies.
9 years ago
Just want to say a big thanks to Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates for writing such great books. I'm in the middle of switching careers and really have no programming experience to speak of. I only knew the very basics that they give to us Civil Engineers. So, a couple of months ago, interested in Java technology, I decided a good first approach to learning would be the certification route. I read Head First Java to get acquainted with the Java syntax and OOP. OOP was totally new to me. I then closely read the SCJP book, answered all mock exam questions in the main book and the practice exams. I was disheartened because it was more difficult than I had expected. Well, I stuck with it, and read the SCJP book again and retook all the mock exams. I was getting about 50% correct, and a little concerned. I bit the bullet and just took the real 1Z0-851 and passed with an 80%. I also feel as I have a good foundation to get started writing Java code, with a long way ahead of me. This community is great and I thank everyone.
Kindest regards!
9 years ago