I need sugegstions and comments from JavaRanshers where in Iam confused about becaming an "J2EE Architect" from developer position. I have 3 years of Java/J2EE experience.Have the thurst to learn new technologies and to be an Architect which is career goal.
By doing SCEA certification,I hope I can knew all theoretical concepts involved top to end of an entire project... If iam wrong,correct me here.
My doubt is having SCEA Certification and another more 3 years of experience(So total 6 yrs),Can I became an "J2EE Architect"....
You're either a code monkey that is happy to get on coding your little part of the system OR you're someone that likes to/needs to see the big picture on whatever project you are working on.
Where I'm from (London), I have not once seen a job advert that mentioned SCEA or otherwise. Extremely rarely, do I see mention of other Sun Java certifications other than the SCJP...and even then it's a minor consideration. In short, I wouldn't do SCEA for job prospects neccesarily unless you think you can use it as a negotiating tool for your current employer when it comes to salary review.
However, I realise in other parts of the world, certifications are treated differently. Also, in other parts of the world, using brain dumps etc. is common place and thus certification values are pretty worthless.
If you've been doing J2EE for 3 years then you should have more than enough experience to do the SCEA, that is if you've taken an active role and interest in the analysis and development of the projects you've worked on etc.
I've never done any J2EE or even Java professionally. I haven't worked in IT for two years. I passed part I of SCEA with 91% after only one weeks preparation using information from JavaRanch etc. I'm quite confident I can do parts II and III with little trouble.
In summary, I wouldn't do it for career purposes (though it won't hurt) but rather do it for yourself. Perhaps to solidify your professional experience and bring all of the pieces together. After completing it, you will know that you have the knowledge you're "supposed" to have which gives you a good grounding and even perhaps some more confidence to call yourself an "architect" than you might have had before. It will probably turn out that you knew more than you thought.
Thought I'd put in my two cents as a counterpoint to Peter's post.
Like he's mentioned, I have never seen an ad looking for an SCEA in any of the places I've searched for work (and that would be Texas, New York and the Baltimore/Washington markets in the United States). It's not so much, I think, a slap against the certification as much as recognizing that it is not the most popular certification out there - the figure that was quoted to me by a Prometric staffer at JavaOne '05 was that SCEA makes up 1% of the Java certification exams taken through Prometric. I'd suspect that the relative rarity of SCEAs probably contributes to the lack of specific requests for certified persons.
Personally, I took SCEA because of one of the reasons Peter listed - that I wanted to prove something to myself - but also because it did serve a job purpose. As one of those 'code monkeys' he referred to, I wanted to prove that there's no reason I couldn't take on additional architectural responsibilities that have been left previously left to the team leads, and perhaps using that as a means to find myself a path of advancement that wouldn't have me doing just code for the rest of my life. Getting that slip of paper has helped a little bit in that regard (and not just because of the boost of self confidence).
And, to agree... you don't really need to be a developer to pass SCEA. You just need to know the various Java EE technologies and how to best use them to create an app. Part I was easy for me, and Part II just took time to work through.
So, whatever you decide - best of luck!
Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!