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Experience

 
Mirko Froehlich
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I would like to hear about the experiences of people who already passed the architect certification. I passed the programmer certification about half a year ago, and now I am considering going for the architect certification, since this is where I intend to take my career in the future.
How familiar were you with Java, specifically J2EE, UML, design patterns, and general design concepts, before the exam? How long did you study for the exam?
I have a few years of solid server-side Java experience (including JSP and XML), but don't know much about EJB at all. I have also studied UML and design patterns, but I am far from being an expert on these topics.
I am curious about anything you have to say about this topic.
-Mirko
 
Shan Moon
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I haven't yet passed any portion of the Architect exam, although I am planning to register for Part I the first week of March.
I have passed the Programmer's exam a few months ago and am about to submit my Developer's exam project.
I worked with Java very briefly right after 1.0 was released, mainly doing some web applets for a couple of months. After that I moved away from Java and did primarily web thin-client work, with a little VB, perl, and C/C++ for a few years.
Eight months ago I started working with J2 again, doing some very intensive projects using RMI and also JSP/XML/Servlets.
For the most part, I found my "real-world" experience far more useful than book study. That said, I would not neglect book study, but I would use it to complement real-world coding.
 
Mark Herschberg
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We're currently trying to hire a second architect. I've yet to see anyone with certification. It doesn't make a difference to us.
I've written many emails to the Job Discussion forum on why I think the other certifications are not that useful. In my mind, their only use is for novice programmers, because it tells me they didn't just read a book and write "Java" on their resume. That's about it, I would still judge a person more on experience, and only use certification if they lack both experience, and a CS degree from an accredited univeristy.
For an architect, because we won't hire one without significant experience, I'd judge them solely on that. I don't care what they can do on paper, I care about what they've done in the real world.
--Mark
heshey@vaultus.com
 
Mirko Froehlich
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Mark,
I tend to agree with you that experience is much more important than certifications. When I got my Java programmer certification last year, it was not because I was hoping to get a better salary or a job that I otherwise might not get. The main reason I went for the certification was because I was interested in learning more details about Java than I had the chance of learning on the job in the previous years, even though I had a fairly solid Java experience in some areas of Java. Sure, I could have studied all this withouth getting certified, but being the lazy person I am, having a specific goal makes this much easier. :-)
Also, it had been over two years since I graduated from college, and somehow I actually miss studying and taking exams. Call me sick if you want. ;-)
Now I am thinking the same way about the architect certification. I would say that I am pretty familiar with Java-based enterprise applications, but there are some areas (such as EJB) that I don't know anything about. My career goal is to move from being a developer to being an architect, even though I hope that I will be able to combine the two and still do some coding. Studying for the architect certification will give me a goal and make it easier for me to concentrate on learning about these things, so I will do it mainly for me. If it has a positive effect on my career, all the better, even though this is not why I am interested in this.
Anyway - I would still like to hear about experiences people who took the certification had.
-Mirko
 
John Wetherbie
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Hi,
I passed part 1 of the exam a month ago and have downloaded part 2. Unfortunately, haven't made much progress on part 2.
I've been an architect for a few years now and am familiar with UML, design patterns, and J2EE. My J2EE knowledge is primarily servlets, EJBs, and XML. I studied for a month and a half and focused on EJBs (really focused on this), UML, and design patterns. I did some studying on security but not much. Having experience in working with J2EE systems helps but you can pass the test without it.
John
 
John Wetherbie
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Hi,
I passed part 1 of the exam a month ago and have downloaded part 2. Unfortunately, haven't made much progress on part 2.
I've been an architect for a few years now and am familiar with UML, design patterns, and J2EE. My J2EE knowledge is primarily servlets, EJBs, and XML. I studied for a month and a half and focused on EJBs (really focused on this), UML, and design patterns. I did some studying on security but not much. Having experience in working with J2EE systems helps but you can pass the test without it.
John
 
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