Hi, I am still a graduate student and looking for job. Well, although I'm pretty familiar with J2EE developing based on Servlets, EJB and JSP ( I setup apache+tomcat for self traing on my own PC), I don't have much outstanding practical experience. So I think I better take some certificates as a prove for myself. How do you think about Sun's Java certificates and certificates for specific products ( such as IBM's WSAD)? Actually, I think the real companies care more about your skill of some specific products. I just received a call from a company and asked me several questions. Well, I told him my previous experience on J2EE and Oracle, but he insisted his company requires at least 1 year experience on WSAD. And I lost the job. So I don't know if I should take Sun's certificate or Other's (like IBM). Sun's certificate seems to be a "general" test on J2EE. While IBM's seem to be more practical. How do you think? I will be very appreciated to have some advices.
Hi, Like, Yes, you are right, that Sun certification is vendor-neutral; it requires knowledge of Java (Java Programmer), Servlets/JSP (Web Component Developer) and EJB (Business Components Developer). You can pass Sun exams for J2EE knowledge and go for vendor-specific tests to be certified in a particular server. There is IBM's 287 exam, Bea and Sun have their own exams as well. But with IBM there is an alternative way: you can earn an IBM Certified Enterprise Developer job role. To get it, one has to be a Sun Java Programmer and pass 3 other tests: 484 (Enterprise Connectivity with J2EE), 486 (Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with UML) and 287 (Websphere). As you see, this job role includes both vendor-neutral exams and one about Websphere.
Originally posted by Like Zhang: So I don't know if I should take Sun's certificate or Other's (like IBM). Sun's certificate seems to be a "general" test on J2EE. While IBM's seem to be more practical. How do you think? I will be very appreciated to have some advices.
Well, let's start with the basic idea. I do agree somewhat with Serge, but... The Sun exams (SCWCD/SCBCD) are good places to start with proof of knowledge and understanding of J2EE. IBM's exams 483 and 484 are likewise good for this - they show an understanding of how J2EE works (483/484 for the entire API, and the two Sun exams for Servlets/JSP and EJB respectively). These are all generally vendor-neutral, as they deal more with the API sets than with any specific server-implementation. And I also agree with Serge that 486 (UML) is a good one to add to this skillset, or possibly Sun's SCEA exam, to show experience with the architecting end of things. Vendor-specific exams (or even roles, like IBM's Enterprise Developer role) really are more helpful for if employers you're looking to work for are using specific implementations and want demonstration of prior experience. They're helpful... but I don't think that having the certificate for any specific server helps if you don't have the experience on the server. AND, on this one, you can always gain experience to back it up. As I keep saying, certifications are only worth what you and the potential/current employer think they're worth. They're not the end-all and be-all of experience.
Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!