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Updated Exam

 
Nathaniel Stoddard
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Is it just my imagination, or is the possibility of an updated exam for SCEA very, very remote? I searched the past posts and people have been speculating for a very long time. But, nothing seems to have happened in the last 18 months or so. Has anybody heard any news about it?

Ideally, architecture issues should be independent of the technologies used to implement it, so it's not that big of a deal. Anybody have any thoughts?
 
Theodore Casser
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Ideally, I think we're all expecting the exam to be updated because the technology has evolved from when the SCEA was originally brought out. (Notice the exam's title is "Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for J2EE Technology" (emphasis mine). It's not so much a technology-agnostic certification as much as tilted towards our favorite software development language.

That, and the fact comments have been made that we can expect an update to roll out (possibly) this fall. Quite a few of the other certifications - SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD - have seen versioning changes already strike them, so it's probably about time for the SCEA to be updated as well, as the last of the 'older' exams that hasn't been touched yet.

Just my thoughts, as always.
 
Nathaniel Stoddard
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Do you think it's likely that there will be an upgrade exam for the new version if it ever comes out? It's strange to think of an upgrade exam for a skills-based certification like SCEA and SCJD, but I suppose it could happen.
 
Theodore Casser
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I have no idea. I personally wouldn't even hazard a guess...
 
Parag Doshi
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I personally feel that it shouldnt matter which version of the SCEA certification we do, as it emphasizes more on the approach we take on the solution rather than our choices of the solution. In other words, if the upgrade the exam to be J2EE 1.3 or 1.4 compliant, would your core architecture change drastically? Would you thought process change just because you are upgraded to a newer version of J2EE? yeah, you might look at EJBs differently, you might choose CMP over BMP or JDO or DAO or any other fancy acronym supported by the newer version? But, your core architecture would remain the same. Your implementation might change but your interfaces would be the same.I would look towards making my architecture as flexible as I can, so if there are any newer better technologies around, it could easily be seamlessly plugged in the architecture.
A good example is the requirement of my assignment to support web based as well as java application client. If I choose to architect a solution which totally abstracts the client from the business layer, I wouldnt even worry how the user views the system..it could be web based, Swing, hand held or even through his toaster, for all i care. All I need is to provide adequate hooks in the system to support various views of my system and i am in good shape.
So, frankly, I dont care which version of certification we do as there will always be newer versions of everthing in the "near future". There would be newer assignments, newer version, newer solution, we would just have to adapt to these changes and take them in our stride.


Parag
 
Darryl A. J. Staflund
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Hi there,

I submitted my SCEA assignment a couple of weeks ago and looking back on my experience, I can honestly say that what I found most valuable about the assignment were concepts, techniques, and design considerations common to all architectures -- not just J2EE. For example:

a. How to approach architectural design.
b. Design patterns and their role in architectural analysis and design.
c. UML.
d. Distinction and importance of each phase of OOPD, including:

i. analysis
ii. design
iii. implementation
iv. deployment

It is true that I did learn a lot about J2EE development, but the skills I obtained from the Cert has been carried over to Perl, ColdFusion, and .NET projects that I am currently working on.

Darryl
 
Theodore Casser
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Originally posted by Parag Doshi:
I personally feel that it shouldnt matter which version of the SCEA certification we do, as it emphasizes more on the approach we take on the solution rather than our choices of the solution. In other words, if the upgrade the exam to be J2EE 1.3 or 1.4 compliant, would your core architecture change drastically? Would you thought process change just because you are upgraded to a newer version of J2EE?


Actually, I personally agree with you on this point. I don't think that the J2EE technology changes really affect how you architect a system. The question's more for the Part I exam, where it addresses J2EE more than just general design principles, if I'm reading the outline correctly.

I suppose (to answer the question I originally hedged on answering above), they could probably have an upgrade for the Part I, just to show that you've kept abreast of changes to the technology, since the design project would be just as valid regardless.

But again, hey, what do I know?
 
Nathaniel Stoddard
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I completely agree that architecture issues shouldn't be coupled to technologies. In fact, ideally, you shouldn't be thinking about J2EE (and have no reason to) until after you've done an implementation-agnostic architecture of your system. (Grey area, I know -- besides the point.)

However, I've started reading a book aimed at studying for Part 1 of the SCEA exam, and the first two chapters are basically a yippy-for-j2ee propaganda machine. Hopefully, if a new version of SCEA comes out, employers will happily acknowledge that both versions address the same architecture concepts despite the fact that the technologies used differ slightly.

Is my impression that the SCEA certification's (hidden) goal is to couple J2EE to good-ol' fashioned architecture? Maybe the authors of my book just got a little carried away in their "J2EE solves everything and that's why we have this certification" soapbox-chapter.

It looks to me like Sun isn't ever (or in the near future) going to get around to updating the exam--which is sad, because they made a poor choice of coupling a certification whose topic is architecture with a technology (now outdated ejb 1.1?, etc). I don't know to what extent they are coupled, so I may just be a bit paranoid right now. (And now I will stop typing.)
 
Theodore Casser
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Bear in mind, Nethaniel, that it is a vendor-created certification, rather than an independent one. You can hardly expect Sun to suggest .Net or the like when they have a solution they'd much rather you use.

That being said...

If you really think about it (at least, as much as I've been thinking about it), SCEA feels an awful lot like IBM's 483/4 (J2EE Technology) and 486 (OOAD with UML) smooshed together, with a practical component in lieu of multiple-choice for the 486.

My guess - and I emphasize that since I'm not a Sun employee or involved with design of the exam - is that it's to make sure you have a grounding of some sort in a framework for the actual code design and think about it in terms of what components can perform what role when you're architecting a system. (The examples in Cade, for instance, do make use liberal use of JSPs and EJBs.) Since it is a Sun exam, the framework they put forward is their own - it could easily be equally applied using PHP, Perl, or other languages as mentioned above.

At least it makes sense in my head when I think about it.

The coupling issue, though, I think is a moot one - having not sat for the exam yet, and looking at the prep book in front of me, it seems most of the versioned material's in Part I, which could easily be updated without throwing out the whole exam.
 
k.p thottam
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Hi Guys ,

My 2 cents ...

We all assume that the certification is restricted to J2EE 1.2 , and in that EJB 1.1 , since there is no mention of message beans . But if you look at the exam objectives , it never really specifies the version number of J2EE or the EJB spec number .

So in reality what needs to be expanded is the scope of the PART 1 exam , to include other J2EE and EJB components .

Did you notice that they have excluded the web container and it's components ?

As a community we should request that breath of exam be expanded . As a designer and architect I often see situations where there is only a need for web components which interact with a browser / PDA .

I am in MIS , so transactional systems are a rarity , while web components with JDBC are every day occurance . SCEA part 1 seems focused mainly on high volume situations by restricting the focus only to EJBs.

bye
kpt
 
Nathaniel Stoddard
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Then the question is: will a person with knowledge only of EJB 2.0 fair equally well as a person with knowledge only of EJB 1.1?
 
k.p. thottam
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Yes certainly , I do not see why not . The items listed are just a subset meaning session and entity beans and not message beans .

It has been awhile, but as far as I remember the transactional attributes might have changed from 1.0 to 1.1 but not after that, am I right ?
 
Nathaniel Stoddard
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I'm not sure. I'm strictly an >= EJB 2.0 kinda guy.
 
Raghuveer Rawat
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hi
As sun is going to announce Web Service Beta exam results on 23rd of July, Now we can expect sun to announce beta exam for SCEA in near future which will be based on J2EE 1.4 and will include web services, SOA and JMS also.
 
Raghuveer Rawat
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hi
As sun is going to announce Web Service Beta exam results on 23rd of July, Now we can expect sun to announce beta exam for SCEA in near future which will be based on J2EE 1.4 and will include web services, SOA and JMS also.
 
Ajith Kallambella
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Originally posted by k .p.thottam:


My 2 cents ...

As a community we should request that breath of exam be expanded . As a designer and architect I often see situations where there is only a need for web components which interact with a browser / PDA .

kpt


Much of what you are talking about are covered in the Web Component Developer(SCWCD) and the new Mobile Application Developer(SCMAD) certifications.
 
k.p thottam
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Yes I am well aware that the business component developer , web component developer and the mobile developer exams cover aspects like syntax for each of those areas .

What this exam needs to also cover is the design and architectural concepts for above areas well.Designs , concerns and architectural aspects are vastly different between desktop versus web container versus business component container (EJB container) versus CLDC versus CDC versus persistent storage (architects must understand different persistent storage technics to lead a group of database designers), the exam in it's current form cover only the EJB container .

I am saying this just based on the areas that I lead at work . For instance I have a blackberry project , one content manangement system and three web projects all requiring technical leadership .
 
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