On the surface the IBM 484 certification looks like a scaled-down version of the Sun SCEA certification without the project. I've heard a couple of people describe it basically this way. Is there more to the 484 than it seems or is this accurate? Also, I know that SCEA is seen as valuable pretty much anywhere that J2EE is used, but under what circumstances is the 484 seen as the most valuable?
I was wondering the same. Having taken both SCJP and IBM 486 (OOAD with UML) and preparing for IBM 484, I am in doubt about dropping the IBM ICED path and going straight for SCEA. I never experienced much interest in the SCJP AND IBM 486 at customer sites or when doing job applications. On the other hand, SCEA seems to do the opposite. Nevertheless, I think IBM 484 could be regarded as a stripped down version of SCEA or at least a good preparation for it. Would like to hear some more opinions on this though.
To further Nicholas' comment, the two exams really cover very different ideas. 484 covers the J2EE technologies from the programmer's perspective, a matter of what does X do, what does Y do. SCEA, on the other hand, comes at it from the architect's point of view - where would you use X, why would you choose X over Y. Having taken and passed both, they're similar on the surface but very different under the hood.
SCEA is valuable if you're going the route of wanting to do software design more than production of code. I think both can be valuable, but it depends on which way you want your career to go.
Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!
I wouldn't judge the content of the exams based upon Whizlab software. I used the Whizlab software for the SCEA and found that it failed to reach the mark on the entry exam. If I had not put in additional work or had experience to cover areas not questioned in the Whizlabs simulator I would have failed - no question.
I agree with everyone else, you cannot compare the two certifications because they have different intentions and are aimed at different professional roles. In theory, although the SCEA is specific to J2EE technology, the principles can be applied to other technologies (e.g. MS .NET). The implementation may be different but the concept of architecture and design very similar. The IBM is specific to developing J2EE using WebSphere full stop! Both exams are useful in the correct context.
Hope this helps!
Ian Roberts<br />Application Architect<br />SCJP, SCJD, SCEA, OCUP Fundamental
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