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IBM Certified Solution Designer information

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Since I want to learn more about designing/architecting systems I am thinking about taking higher level certifications such as this one:

So far I have experience only with Sun certifications and none with IBM certification program.
Here are my questions
1)How long is this cert valid
2)How can you buy vouchers for the two composing exams(833 and 834) and how much do they cost ?
3)Equivalent certifications (if any) from other organisations-(except SCEA which is focused on more than UML/RUP).

So far I have seen that the IBM certs adress their software use and the knowledge of clicking through an IDE does not seem like certification worthy to me.
Finally : Did passing this certif improve your knowledge/experience/confidence on designing systems or is it useful when applying for an (IBM-based company) job only(that is for HR department) ? (This last question is for people who passed the certif).

Strange enough I already have one of the UML books recommended here (bought it to prepare for SCEA) so buying another to prepare for the exam should not be a problem.

Thanks for your time.
pie sneak
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For the SCEA exam, there is nothing about the Unified Process (RUP) in it. And Part 2 is the only one that focuses on the UML, though there are a couple extremely simple questions in Part 1... assuming they didn't eliminate them from Part 1 when the SCEA got updated the other month.

There doesn't seem to be a self-study path for this certification. The best book I know of would be the Craig Larman book, but his focus and terminology doesn't really line up with the sample test: Sample. My guess is that the questions of the exam are based on the power point slides of the classes.
[ October 25, 2007: Message edited by: Marc Peabody ]
Mihai Lihatchi
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Thanks for your answer Marc.

I know the details regarding SCEA as I plan to obtain that certification also in 2008 (the new version for JEE) but this IBM certif does focus on some critical points useful for someone who needs to change his/her focus as 'code monkey' (a concept with which most programmers including I disagree but which really works in the industry in some companies) without jumping directly
to the more abstract architecture level(as SCEA would warrant).

So I checked the Prometric site and found out that each test is 150 Euro(for France where I happen to live) (still have no idea on how to buy the vouchers).
Regarding the preparation material .. still looking for external non-IBM paid resources(maybe a RedBook ?).

Hope somebody can post more info .
Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
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