First of all, congrats on getting your SCEA
, but I do have a few comments:
Taking the SCEA was a "spur of the moment" decision as I had very little window of time (about 10 days) to prepare for and complete all three parts. I'm an experienced J2EE architect and felt that I knew most if not all the topics already
If you are alrady an experienced J2EE architect, why did you feel that you had to get SCEA and why did you only have 10 days?
Is it possible that you are/were going to a new project or job that required this type of knowledge/credential?
The guide gave me a good indication on which areas I need to review (eg. various bean state transitions.) For each of my weak areas, I read up the relevant sections from the actual EJB specification document to refresh my memory
This is actually a big reason why most people do the work and spend the time to get technical certifications.
They either have no experience, limited experience, or some experience with the particular technologies, but they want to learn more about it, get credit for it, and hopefully get paid more for it, as well as learn some best practices.
When I opened the assignment I almost laughed. I had expected a huge architectural problem yet on first reading, the assignment seemed rather trivial (albeit vague.)
To someone with limited J2EE architect experience, I'm sure that when they open the assignment they feel quite challenged. Judging from the posts in this forum, most SCEA candidates seem fairly challenged, yet the vagueness of the assignment leaves openings for a candidate's creativity and their own experience to be applied. Also, an Architect must learn to ask the right questions, and we thank this forum for providing a place where those questions might get answered.
Overall, except for my time constraints (and Sun's technical glitches), I felt the exam itself was a bit too easy. It has neither the breadth nor the depth I had expected. I'm sorry to say, that after taking the exam, I lost some of my respect for it. As part of my job I go through many resumes, and now I give the SCEA a little less credence than before I took the exam.
How can you give the SCEA "less credence". I would respect anyone that has gone through the process of passing the exam, especially those working a full-time job, and also especially those that have limited experience, but want to learn more/most/all aspects of a technology.
I also review resumes and interview candidates for hire, and I look highly on those that have gone through the certification process. My experience has been that certified professionals are almost always highly driven/motivated/passionate about keeping their skills up to date and willing to spend time and learn new technologies to provide higher quality services/solutions.
To give the SCEA "less credence" you need to indicate what the SCEA lacks in providing a credential towards being a J2EE Architect. You have indicated that the SCEA was easy for you, but since you are already an experienced J2EE Architect, I would like to hear more from you with regards to what you feel it is lacking.
Based on my own preparation, I would imagine that some people would feel that some of the concepts are irrelevant to them (e.g. Screen Scrapers, etc.)
For a non-EJB and/or non-J2EE developer, given the breadth/depth that the SCEA requires, candidates that do the research, learn the material, and then apply that knowledge - I feel they get the most out of it.