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Certification.. Which one to go for 158 or 486?

 
shrini hubli
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Hi All,
I'm new to this board. I'm a Java/J2EE professional, just finished my contract. Outside market is so bad and demoralising that, I want to do something which will boost my confidence and look good on my resume.
So, I'm thinking of doing a certification.
What is good to have now, is it IBM 158 (Websphere)? or IBM 486 (OOAD with UML). Which one is easier considering the amount of preparation, available material, exam objectives being straight forward?
Which one would look good on the resume and from the knowledge point of view?
Can I do any of those certifications in two weeks? Assuming full time preparation?
My situation: I already have SJCP from SUN.
Have about 3 years of experience in Java/J2EE
I don't have much experience in OOAD, UML. I have not used Websphere in the project, downloaded and playing with it at home.
I'd appreciate a response from you folks with suggestions.
Thanks and Regards,
shrini100.
 
jawa lal
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I think, we are in same boat. i am also prepareing for the same certifications.
From Marketing point ....
Websphere is to impress non-technical who think websphere is greatest & latest after seeing all those ads on mags ....
UML certification will help you impress the Architects...
 
shrini hubli
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Hi Jawaharlal..
Thanks for your reply...
I like your name.. since it's pronounced as
Java-harlal .. like a King of Java field!!
Yeah.. looking at advt. I feel like doing websphere.. Also since I have some J2EE background, I'm assuming it may be easier to do first.. But the exam objectives.. seems to be choosen from scattered materials .. making it hard.
Please any one already passed 158.. share the info as how much of preparation is needed.. Is the FULL TIME preparation of 2 weeks OK?
Thanks and Regards,
shrini100.
 
amchi gelo
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Shrini, please look at the thread
http://www.coderanch.com/t/144037/po/certification/Passed-Test
I think you will need around a month of preparation, but then it depends on what you already know.
 
Theodore Casser
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The only problem I can see with going for 158 is that you don't know (if you're just starting your job hunting) that the companies you'll be looking at use WebSphere.
Personally, if I were going for certifications to bulk up my resume to make myself look more attractive to potential employers, I'd lean towards the UML/OOAD cert (486). It opens up more doors than the product-specific WebSphere certificate (158), and is easily transferrable knowledge-wise between different operating environments. You can always come back later and pick up the WebSphere exam if you end up working for an employer that uses IBM products, which would show your willingness to learn the environment.
(I have to admit that it feels funny advising against a cert I myself have. Then again, I passed 158 when I was working for a company that was moving *to* WebSphere when I sat for the exam, so there was a reason I got it at the time.)
 
shrini hubli
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Thanks Sanjay and Theodore for your replies.
I'm looking for 158 because I don't have websphere experience and I'm seeing lot of companies/clients especially govt. clients going for websphere or thinking of websphere due to the larger presence of IBM in the govt. area.
Websphere certification is to show although I don't have experience in that appserver, I have enough knowledge to adapt in to their environment without muich learning curve.
I'm considering 486 also.. it's just a matter of which one is easier and faster one to do first just to get moral boost and gain some confidence.
Thanks,
shrini.
 
Theodore Casser
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You're very welcome.
I can tell you that my experience with the WSAS 4.0 exam was that I didn't find it awfully hard - it was challenging, but not quite as bad as I had expected it. When I took it, however, I had quite a bit of experience with WSAS 3.5, and between that and fooling around with WSAS 4.0 (and reading the latest-at-the-time redbook), I was able to pass.
As for the feeling that the government is using WSAS.. they are in a lot of positions, but it isn't everywhere. Quite a few departments are using alternatives due to other software requirements. It is a valid point, though, that WSAS is currently the market leader, I think, by a few percentage points over BEA.
The major reason I usually recommend 486 is because I think that it's probably, skill-wise, more transferrable between jobs or through changes in direction programmatically. (I haven't taken it for lack of time/money at the moment. I'm gearing up for 141, which I have a voucher for.) Being able to use an application server is a very useful skill, but UML is rapidly gaining as a desireable skill. My abilities in UML were something that most of the potential employers I interviewed with during my jobsearch inquired about.
If your priority is time needed to take it... Hmm. I suspect that 158 would probably (given that criteria) be the better bet - it took me far less time to prepare for it than for 486. YMMV, once you've downloaded it and tried it out.
 
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