my opinion is not relevant to the pending J2EE5 SCEA exam.
the developer exams (scbcd, scwcd, scdjws) are detail oreinted.
the archetict exam is high level: which java technology do we use to meet a specific requirement. what patterns do we apply to make *-ABLE, and the skill. how do we interperate/communicate business requirments to the developer.
Passing the developer before the SCEA will help in that you will know what a specific J2EE technology can/cannot/should/should not do.
I found that having passed SCBCD and SCWCD before the SCEA, allowed me to frequently eliminate 1-2 possible choices.
I don't know about the IBM OOAD/UML certification, but I would not take the SCBCD unless you really want to learn EJB. I have broad experience in EJB 2.x, (including EntityBeans), but found the focus of SCBCD to be way too much on EntityBeans - and EntityBeans isn't really Best Practice.
So, instead of the SCBCD, I went directly for the SCEA. You will need to learn some J2EE / EJB, though, and I would consider reading e.g. Head First EJB. You probably won't need to read the entire book, though. And if it helps, I have put some of my notes here - you might find the file "ejb for scea" helpful
Originally posted by �dne Brunborg: ....but found the focus of SCBCD to be way too much on EntityBeans - and EntityBeans isn't really Best Practice.
I.M.H.O. the exam needs to test knowledge of all EJB's and go overboard on testing EJB functionality that is most prone to mis-use. Most of the companies, that I have worked for, have mis-applied EJB technology. This mis-application of technology has caused their apps to receive very poor porfamance. I will grant you that the lack of knowledge on how to properly choose/configure/use this complex technology has caused developers to choose other frameworks.
That said the SCBCD has just released a new J2EE 5 version. I know nothing of EJB3. How marketable a EJB 3 cert will be, remains to be seen. At least it is proof that you are trying to remain uptodate with current technology. [ February 15, 2007: Message edited by: peter cooke ]