Just passed Part II and III (90%), which gives me the coveted sweep of the 4 Sun Java certs (now I can tell my boss that I'm DEFINITELY underpaid ). <gloat>What I'm more proud of is that I passed them all on the first try!</gloat> Through my certification experiences with Sun, I thought I might humbly offer a few words of wisdom to those Padawan learners going through the trials: 1. Knowledge is your best weapon. If you truly understand the testing objectives that Sun provides and avoid memorization and regurgitation, the certifications will be defenseless to your powers. 2. Be bold. Take risks. Defend your actions. Sun's submitted assignments are geared toward you having to make design DECISIONS. They are purposefully vague in certain areas. Be your own dog. Propose ideas. That's half of the fun with what we do! As long as you defend your actions and/or propose alternatives, Sun will be hard-pressed to dock you points. 3. Shortcuts only hurt you. Because of the dedication and learning initiative I've put toward these certifications, I have found it to be a richly rewarding experience and I am MUCH stronger software professional as a result of them. I feel sorry for those who are looking for the quickest way out. 4. Keep It Simple Stupid. Occasionally I pop into these forums and see posts of people making their lives way too difficult. Part of our jobs as software professionals is to provide a clear, concise, and easy-to-understand solutions. Adherence to the core requirements of each certification should hopefully prevent this. Anyway, hope you all find some useful tidbits in these opinions. Best of luck! Lloyd Christmas SCEAJ2EE, SCWCDJ2EE, SCDJ2, SCPJ2 (man, that looks cool!)
I *completely* agree with everything you have said, I could say I agree to 110%. I have had the same experience as you, especially regarding the self-confidence that the knowledge obtained to get the certifications (and not the certifications by themselves) has given to me. I really feel to be a better professional than before. I may just add that the certifications are also valuable because they set an immediate goal (to be certified) and so you complete your knowledge because you have a time frame and a set of topics to know. I.e., perhaps you know Design Patterns are important but you have never had the time to study them - than you decide to certify and you are (self-)forced to study, thus completing your knowledge to the advantage of your next project...
Rufus - I passed the Programmer exam on July 26, 1999, so I've been working toward it since then. However, most of that time has been spent procrastinating . As for my new found spare time, it will probably be spent on Monster and Dice . Alberto - Thanks for the support. I agree with your assertions as well. Ian - Thanks for the kind words.
Congrats Lloyd. With a statement like #4 maybe you could spend some of that free time in the assignment certs forums letting people know it. and helpin us out. I don't know how many times I throw my hands in the air when a programmer wants to add the Taj Mahal to their design, and won't listen. But then that could be one way they will learn. Mark