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Ready for part 1 after almost three weeks

 
Bagwan Mehrat
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Hello guys!
January has been one looong month. I got it into my head in early January to get an SCJEA certification because I was getting bored with desktop applications, and I wanted to see what people were doing with middleware and web applications, which I don't really know anything about.
A little over two weeks ago, I didn't know what an EJB was. I didn't know what a servlet was. I didn't know what messaging was. I didn't know what a design pattern was. But since then, I've read the Blueprints book, the Monson-Haefel EJB book, and the GoF Design Patterns book.
And tomorrow, I plan to read UML Distilled. I don't think that's quite as bad as it sounds - I'm casually acquainted with some class diagram conventions that appear to be precursors to UML, so hopefully learning UML won't be too hard...
I bought my voucher from Sun on Thursday, and they told me that I can use it anytime within a year. I signed up online at www.2test.com today (Saturday), and I booked the earliest date I could find, Wednesday, that is, four days from now. Time to cram!
This seemed like a bit of a rush to me, but if I have to read another thing about EJB, I think I'm going to gouge my eyes out, so I figured that I was too burned out to be able to learn more in the near future, so might as well take the test ASAP, while most of it's fresh anyway.
I figure that I have about a 50/50 chance of passing, which may not sound too bad, but if I fail, no big deal, I think. I can learn from the feedback and from having taken the exam, and probably pass fine after buying another voucher, and taking the mandatory two week wait (hmmm... a $150 practice exam).
I'll report back on my results of course (if they aren't too embarassing). Wish me luck!
 
james edwin
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All the Best,
And Always remember one thing "YES I AM GONNA MAKE IT"
 
Angela Poynton
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I admire your determination, dedication and your attitude that failing first time may not be so bad!
However, if there was one thing I learned from taking the Programmer Certification (and failing) it's this .... don't book the exam date until you are pretty confident you'll pass. If you have any doubt ... delay, learn more, and only when you consider yourself proficient THEN book the exam. Do lots of UML, don't just read about it ... actually design something, if you have the knowledge actually build the application you designed .. you'll soon see if there were any flaws ... if you're not proficient in actualy writing EJB code, then better still find a friend (or even someone here looking for experience) to write it and get feedback on your design. Information stays in your head if you actually use it so do that as much as possible.
Good Luck
 
Bagwan Mehrat
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Thank all youse muchly for the encouragement and advice, but there ain't nothin' adi-merable here!
Listen to this: I squandered the few days between my post and the day of the exam by moping around the house. I was worried about what the test was going to be like. I didn't study. I do not recommend this. Once I took the test, I saw that there were many areas where I could have done better by being a bit more studious, and going over those books once more.
I went to the test center today, and got lost on the way there, so I had to stop at the side of the road and call them up for directions. I got there late. Not a terribly auspicious start. They told me to go to a computer in a little cube to start the exam. I'd never taken an exam of this sort before, but the interface was about as simple as you can expect, with Next and Previous buttons, a Mark checkbox, radio buttons or checkboxes for each screen, etc.
The questions seemed to start out pretty easy, and then get harder. Around the 40th question, I was marking most of the questions for later review. I marked 12 total; I had serious doubts about my answers to those questions. I spent a few minutes going over the questions, noting for future reference what I needed to brush up on, so that I could pass next time. I'd basically already given up.
When time was up, I was given a printout of my results. I didn't expect that - I thought I had to wait for my results.
This is what the summary said:
"There are 48 questions in this exam. You answered 38 questions correctly which gives you a score of 79%."
If you had asked me after the exam what I thought my score was, I would have said, "65%, give or take 5%."
So now, I must apparently wait 4 business days for my results to be recognized at the suned site, so that I can start on Part II.
Since it seems to be working, I will continue to stick to this aggressive modus operandi, and submit my Part II before I think it's really ready.
 
Atif Shah
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hay cool man Congrats!!!
becuase i was bit Encouraged from your mail and attitude ...
many congrats.

at
 
Angela Poynton
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Well despite my earlier post I have to Congratulations!
Don't get me wrong. I'm, glad you passed, but I have one question ... if you were approached by a company now who wanted you to design a full enterprise solution for them ... do you feel you'd be up to the job???
My point really is that Certification is really aimed at people who already have experience and are comfortable with what they do, getting Certified is just a way of having a piece of paper say that they can do it! However, they have the experience to back it up, I worry about the number of people out there who may be thinking if I become a Sun Certified Enterprise Architect I'll be earning an Enterprise Architect's salary in no time .... believe me they don't get that kind of money just because they read a bunch of books in the month before the exam! As long as your expecations are realisitic I'm very happy you passed the exam.
Good Luck for part 2
 
Bagwan Mehrat
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Thank you, Atif and Angela, for your congratulations.
Angela, I can completely understand your point-of-view. I agree that the value of this certification should not be diluted, and that its intention is to point out people who have the technical competence to do a good job in J2EE in real life situations.
It seems that whereever I go, I just bring the property values down. But in my defense, I should point out that it is Sun who sets the bar, not I, and I passed fair and square, utilizing study materials recommended by Sun.
Also, note that I am not yet a SCEA. I merely passed Part I, which is not the real meat of the certification process. If I may speculate on Sun's rationale for this format, which begins with the computer administered multiple choice exam, and ends with a project and a series of essays on the project, they are probably thinking:
Part I: Automatically weed out those with poor understanding of J2EE and software modeling, so that we won't have to hand grade poor Part II assignments.
Part II: Test the applicant's ability to handle a realistic business situation.
Part III: Help judge the authenticity and context of the Part II submission.
So the real judgment is still to come. Just pray to the fairness gods that I will get what I deserve and fail Part II. From where you are looking, I may have taken the certification exam for a cynical reason - but that reason was not to fish for a higher salary - most salary reports I've seen state that what I make is very high for a regular development lead, so I'm not complaining. The main reason I am doing this is to focus my attention in areas recommended by Sun and seek technical knowledge, guidance, and feedback, as I try to grope my way around an unfamilar territory.
As for whether I would be confident if a company were to approach me for a J2EE solution, despite a seemingly cavalier attitude, when it comes to developing software solutions for my customers, I'm quite serious. I've just recently approached a company that is unfamiliar with Java, gave them a proposal, and convinced them that I can lead them through a pilot program to migrate them to J2EE technology. I wasn't going to bring that up, because I think that my business affairs are somewhat outside the scope of this discussion group, but you asked.
I sometimes tend to move forward with reckless abandon, but that's just the way I get sometimes, because life is so short.
I hope that that clarifies things, and that I am not out to sabotage everyones' hard efforts, but am just out there like everyone else in a journey of exploration and self-improvement. I notice that I've rambled on so, so I'd just like to thank you and everyone for your constructive comments, and if I can do this, then I think anyone can, me being the idiot I am.
 
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