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Certifications, the why, the what and the how….

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Certifications, the why, the what and the how….

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Presentation I did at August 2015 Jozi-JUG on the why, what and how of Java Certifications.

Presentation I did at August 2015 Jozi-JUG on the why, what and how of Java Certifications.

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Certifications, the why, the what and the how….

  1. 1. @TOBIASCODEWWW.TOBIASCODE.COM Certifications The why, the what and the how….
  2. 2. @TOBIASCODE My Journey
  3. 3. @TOBIASCODE The Anti-Certification Movement • Experience VS Certification • Too many people have certifications and can’t do the job. • Some people are good at memorising facts, but bad in practice. • Nothing can replace experience. • Money making scheme • It is just another income stream. • Why do I need to get certified? • I have lots of experience getting certified has no merit. • I have a degree, why do I need a certification.
  4. 4. @TOBIASCODE Java Certification Paths Master Expert Professional Associate SESE EE
  5. 5. @TOBIASCODE Java Certification Paths Associate SE Java SE 7 Programmer Java SE 8 Programmer • All about classes, data types and exceptions, the basics. • There are books specifically for the exams with mock exams, questions and exercises. • Overall an easy certification and should require minimum effort.
  6. 6. @TOBIASCODE Java Certification Paths Professional SE Java SE 7 Programmer Java SE 8 Programmer • All about class design, OO principles, Threads, Concurrency, the advanced stuff. • Challenging exam and you will know Java once you pass this. • The ME exam hasn’t changed since 2003. Java ME 1 Developer
  7. 7. @TOBIASCODE Java Certification Paths Expert EE Java EE 6 EJB Java EE 6 Web Service Java EE 6 Persistence Java EE 6 Web Components Java EE 6 JFS • EJB is the most popular certification and JSF is the least popular. • All the certifications require you to know, understand and be able to use their specifications.
  8. 8. @TOBIASCODE Java Certification Paths Master SE EE Java SE 6 Developer Java EE 6 Architect • Makes up only 1% of all Java certifications. • Both certifications require multiple steps to complete. • Both certifications require you to complete an assignment.
  9. 9. @TOBIASCODE Getting Certified • Preparation • www.coderanch.com and www.javaranch.com • Code and code and code. • Read as much as possible, not just the suggested books. • Don’t go it alone. • Writing • The questions simulate real world scenarios. • Programming and conceptual questions. • Follow the 2 minute rule.
  10. 10. @TOBIASCODEWWW.TOBIASCODE.COM Questions?

Editor's Notes

  • MCSE
    Separates you from your peers
    Increased salary and possible promotion
    It is and investment in yourself and your future
    It is cheaper, shorter time and more focussed than a degree
    First certification
    Gives you a more detailed view outside of your experience
    Makes you valuable and marketable
    Skills validation, in a way
    More MS certifications
    Teaches you to study and learn
    Shows that you are a continues learner
    Recognition from your peers
    TOGAF
    Plugs you into new communities
    Might be a requirement for certain jobs
    Teaches you to apply knowledge under pressure
    Java
    Helps you switch over to a new language or technology
    Personal satisfaction of having mastered a new technology
    Gives you more confidence
    Company can benefit from your certifications
  • People Against Certification
    You get people who are anti-certification for some reason.
    Certification is more than just a piece of paper, it is about going through the process and the personal achievement.
    Experience vs Certification
    Nobody ever said having a certification warrants you have the experience, but this also depends on the certification
    Going through the process of studying for a certification helps you cross over some experience bridges faster.
    The certification doesn’t just show you have the skills for the certification, but also that your have a learning attitude and a drive to better yourself.
    Money making scheme
    Somebody had to spend their time to create the certification, somebody has to administrate it. That costs money, plus they are a business.
    There are some low level certifications that really mean nothing.
    It is human nature that something you had to pay for means more than something you got for free.
    Why do I need to get certified
    I have given you a few reasons, if you still don’t see a benefit then I won’t be able to convince you
  • Categories
    Separated into SE and EE certifications across 4 levels
    Associate and Professional is SE only
    Expert is for EE certifications and looks at EJB, persistence, etc
    Master has a SE and EE certification
    For all but the EE master you need to have at least 1 certification from a lower level

  • Associate
    Associate is really entry level SE knowledge
    All about classes and data types and exceptions, etc.
    Available for Java 7 and Java 8. Java 8 has an extra topic for some Java 8 features like the new date API and lambdas.
    There are books specifically for the exams with mock exam questions and exercises.
    There are mock exams available as well
    Overall an easy certification to do and should not require too much effort, maybe maximum a month.
    Java Foundations Certified Junior Associate
  • Professional
    It is still SE, but there is a Java ME certification which hasn’t been updated since 2003
    This is a much deeper dive, you need to know class design, OO principles, Threads, Concurrency, etc.
    There is Java 7 exam and the Java 8 just came out. Java 8 has the new lamba, streams and date API’s in.
    Once again there are books specifically targeted at the exam and there is a Java 8 book coming out in December.
    There are mock exams available for 7, but not yet for 8.
    This is a challenging exam and after going through the studying and writing the exam you are going to have a very good in depth knowledge about Java.
    I recon about 3 months for this one.
    Upgrade to Java SE 8 OCP (Java SE 6 and all prior versions) coming late 2015
  • Expert
    Expert level is all about EE topics and all are on EE6.
    Not all of them are equally popular with EJB being at the top and JSF being at the bottom of the list.
    None of the certifications have books specifically target at the exam, but you can still find relevant books and you sometimes need 2 or three books to cover all the topics.
    Being EE you will also need to learn the specifications linked to the topic, for EJB you are going to have to look at the EJB 3.1 specification, etc.
    All but JSF have mock exams and you are going to need them.
    For all of these I would recommend 3 to 4 months’ worth of studying and prep time.
    These certifications aren’t just testing if you now the API, but also how to apply it different scenarios. For the Web Services certification the majority of the marks come from best practice type questions.
    Being EE6 and not EE7 means that you might have to spend a lot of time studying some older specifications, but who works on the latest Java technology anyway, e.g. JAX-RS is tested on version 1.1 even though version 2 is out.
  • Master
    Of all the Java certified individuals out there only about 1% of them have one of the master level certifications.
    You can either be an EE6 Enterprise Architect or SE 6 Developer, so EE or SE.
    For these certifications you have to go through a couple of steps and for the developer certification you have to be a Java Professional Developer.
    For the developer and architect certifications you have to attend one of a list of courses from Oracle, not sure why, they cost anything from about R12 000 to R21 500 per course and 3 to 5 days.
    For the developer certification you get an assignment from Oracle and you need to create a system, write code, to fulfil the requirements. They will give you some function and non-functional requirements and can be 1 of 2 assignments. The assignment has immediate fail.
    You will also need to go and sit for an essay type exam to answer questions about your solution.
    For the architect certification you also get an assignment, but instead of writing you have to design a system, all UML.
    For this you also have to go and write an essay type exam about the solution.
    For the architect certification there is an extra exam that covers all the expert level certifications as well.
    Oracle recons it shouldn’t take you longer than 6 months to complete the assignment and the essay.
    There are a few resources for both, although the developer resources are quite old. Enthuware has a paid-for service to check your solution before you submit.
  • Preparing
    Decide on which path you want to take, but if you haven’t done any Java certifications you will need to do associate and programmers at a minimum.
    Get the exam topics from the Oracle website.
    Check out Code Ranch or Java Ranch for details about study material.
    Do the reading and practice a lot of coding.
    Don’t go at it alone, get some other devs to join or talk to people who have written the exam before.
    Maybe your company offers certification courses for free like BBD.
    Don’t spread your studying out for too long.
    You have to do mock exams, it is highly recommended.
    Use the mock exam results as a gauge on how ready you are and which topics need more attention.
    You can book the exam online via Pearson Vue or call a test centre like Bytes, Torque IT, EOH, etc, to register.
    Book the exam before you are ready, it will help motivate you and keep you focussed.
    Writing
    The exam is a proctored exam and written under strict conditions.
    The exam is computer based and multiple choice.
    The questions try to simulate real world scenarios, i.e. not just repeating what you studied like a parrot.
    The questions are either programming questions or conceptual questions.
    The questions are all weighted the same as far as I can tell.
    Use the 2 minute rule and don’t waste time on difficult questions, flag them and do them at the end.
    You get your results about 30 min after you finish writing.

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