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SCEA 5 Beta - my experience

 
Morten Franorge
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Thought I'd add my thought about the beta, as I did it today.

First:
I found it a lot harder than the previous one. This might be due to the fact that I didn't do anything to prepare for this one, as opposed to when I did the previous.

There are a lot of scenarios. Some I found difficult, some were not as difficult. What I did like about the scenario questions is that they are more relevant and closer to the kind of questions you are faced with as an architect. (some one mentioned that they got sick of the trendy teenager web-shop scenarios. Well I found the that the Avatar-for-virutal-games webshop was more tiresome ;-) )

The scenarios weren't all black and white (although obviously there wasn't room for interpretation in the answer) - and sometimes I ended up not selecting the "use the latest and greates Java Technology"-option. This seems more realistic than earlier exams.

What I didn't like was that it seemed like 40% of the exam was about JSF and JSP with different extensions and when to use what tag libraries and what not. Web technology isn't my forte, and I have a feeling that I'll fail because of that. (I'm not saying that the exam isn't good because I might not pass).

Also, there were a lot of questions about WebServices which I probably should have brushed up on, before attending the exam. The easier ones was about WebService endpoints and Stateless SessionBeans. The more difficult ones was about which J*X-technology to use in different scenarios.

The security questions were also though, I didn't even know what all the options meant.

All in all I believe that Sun has done a good job, some questions needs better wording but the exam as a whole will certainly test the candidate for many of the important skill an architect needs.

Good news is that making a study guide shouldn't be that difficult. Many of the questions can easily be answered if you had a table saying when the different presentation technologies should be used, when the different WS-technologies should be used. And what to do with security threats.

So, not expecting to pass this one, I'm awaiting a study guide before making another attempt. (Anyone know if a study guide is in the pipeline?)

Edit, added text:
If I have understood the beta process correctly, I will only be asked to do part 2 if I pass part 1. (Even though part 2 opens before the 6-8 weeks that grading part 1 is supposed to take)?
[ October 15, 2007: Message edited by: Morten Franorge ]
 
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
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Originally posted by Morten Franorge:
Thought I'd add my thought about the beta, as I did it today.
(some one mentioned that they got sick of the trendy teenager web-shop scenarios. Well I found the that the Avatar-for-virutal-games webshop was more tiresome ;-) )


Well, I never actually said I got sick of them. They were cute. If it was only a 50 question exam, instead of 160, I doubt you would even notice the repetition.


The scenarios weren't all black and white (although obviously there wasn't room for interpretation in the answer) - and sometimes I ended up not selecting the "use the latest and greates Java Technology"-option. This seems more realistic than earlier exams.



Yes, this made me a little uneasy, as certification exams often act as a bit of marketing and 'cheerleading' for the vendor's latest technologies. Having said that, there were a few questions where the right answer seemed to be "just do it with a simple JSP page and nothing else".



What I didn't like was that it seemed like 40% of the exam was about JSF and JSP with different extensions and when to use what tag libraries and what not.


I think 40% might be a tad high. But I won't deny that there was a long string of questions, one right after another that made it seem endless, that had different scenarios where the answers were always pretty much the same:

-JSP with tags
-JSF with tags
-JSF
-Servlets and JSPs




The security questions were also though, I didn't even know what all the options meant.


What were the key options the security questions asked? Wasn't it about stopping 4 different types of attacks: denial of service, session capture, man in the middle, and something else?




Good news is that making a study guide shouldn't be that difficult.


Heh...I was thinking of doing just that. Look for Cameron McKenzie's SCEA 5 Certification Guide to be out in March or April.


So, not expecting to pass this one, I'm awaiting a study guide before making another attempt. (Anyone know if a study guide is in the pipeline?)


This was a beta exam, so don't stress too much about passing. It's all about getting a feel, providing feedback to Sun, and seeing what is being tested. I certainly didn't ace every question. In fact, a few questions made me realize that there were a few important topics that I should brush up on. That's a huge benefit, and certainly makes it worth the price of admission. Okay, it was a free exam, so there was no price of admission, but you get the point.

Congratulations on enduring that monstrosity of an exam. And thanks for the feedback!

-Cameron McKenzie
 
Rodrigo Malara
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Hi Morten, thanks for sharing your testing experience. I'm on my way of having it tommorow

In various posts I've seen people mentioning between the following options:
-JSF
-JSF with tags
-JSP
-JSP with tags
-Servlets and JSP

I was wondering that JSF itself is built upon a set of core tags so I can't imagine using JSF without using its core tags.

Can anyone give some light on that? How can I differentiate about using JSF with or without tags?

Thanks in advance.
 
Juan Pablo Crossley
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Originally posted by Rodrigo Malara:
Hi Morten, thanks for sharing your testing experience. I'm on my way of having it tommorow


So, how was it?
 
Morten Franorge
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-JSF
-JSF with tags
-JSP
-JSP with tags
-Servlets and JSP


What's the difference between JSP and JSP with tags. Does JSP with tags really require that much more work? Same with JSF and JSF w/Tags

(I seem to remember the alternatives where slightly different, but I'm not really sure)
[ October 16, 2007: Message edited by: Morten Franorge ]
 
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
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I'm guessing that JSP means lots of scriptlets, where JSP+tags means the page looks very much like HTML, with HTML tags, and JSP tags, but no scriptlets. Supposedly, that would make the page less intimidating to someone with very little JSP experience.

I think that was the general direction of those types of questions.

-Cameron McKenzie
 
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