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I've studied for the MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) and it consists of 4 tests; 2 for programming (VB or C++)& 1 for 'Solution Architectures' (which I will call 'SA'). The SA exam tests your ability to create a case study and then determine the the best technical solution based on the business needs. The test has much to do with business requirements and modelling databases.
While I'm not the greatest programmer in the world I rather prefer the world of UML, Use Cases, Essential Use Cases, System Modeling, etc. Are these the type of skills covered on the Java Architects exam?
I take it that the Architects exam is more along the lines of mapping out the top-down view of implementing J2EE solutions as opposed to coding?
In how it is differnt from the developers exam I will have to go check the website for details I suppose is best.
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There may be some overlapping objectives between MCSD and SCJEA -things such as object modelling( using UML ), writing use cases etc. But SCJEA is also about J2EE.
You are required to understand the specifications and scope of various infrastructures and technologies offered by J2EE - JSP, EJB, Servlets etc. you should be able to make decisions and justify them when it comes to chosing the right combination of these technology offerings to solve the problem at hand. You are expected to understand and implement various language-specific patterns as a part of your solution which means you should've programmed in Java, or atleast know its strengths and weaknesses.
In short, SCJEA may not share quite a lot of common things with MCSD. But having passed MCSD will certainly come in handy at some stage during your (SCJEA) certification process.

Ajith Kallambella M.
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java�2 Platform.
IBM Certified Developer - XML and Related Technologies, V1.
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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