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Head First vs the rest

 
Anselm Paulinus
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Hi Katy:
This is the only book on SCBCD exam right now. In your opinion how does this book stack along with other EJB books in the market judging from the fact that there are lots of books on EJB though not focussed on the exam spec per se.
 
Ko Ko Naing
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Even though many people passed the SCBCD exam by reading EJB Specification, almost of them already have experience in EJB Environment. The Head First EJB book concentrate basically on the exam objectives and here is some of the quotes from the book...
You'll learn not just what the technology *is*, but more importantly, *why* it is, and what it is and isn't good for. You'll learn tricks and tips for EJB development, along with tricks and tips for passing this latest, very challenging Sun Certified Business Component Developer (SCBCD) exam.

U bet... The book will be very successful like their SCJP & SCJD book....
 
Giselle Dazzi
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That�s exactly what I wanted to ask, how much practical experience is necessary to take this test ?
I�ve started working on a EJB project at work and believe me things can get complicated in the real world when performance and security is involved.....
 
Ko Ko Naing
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Originally posted by Giselle Dazzi:
That�s exactly what I wanted to ask, how much practical experience is necessary to take this test ?

I don't know too... Coz I also have not much experience on it... In my opinion, if we got about 1 years experience on a technology, we can fetch the concepts easily and go for a certificate... It also depends on the individual's ability too...
 
Andres Gonzalez
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Guys, I think it is exactly the same as with other certifications. For SCJP, many people ask if you need to have 1+ year or more of experience. The same with SCWCD.
I am not a SCBCD (yet). But as it has been answered many times in the ranch, experience does help, because you can get the concepts easier (you are familiar with that because of the experience you've earned). But it is *not* a requirement.
I've read many people that have passed the SCWCD with 0 experience and without writing a single line of code (doesn't happen in SCJP though).
My advise is (and I'll be following that when I begin my studies): stick to the specification (or to Head First EJB if you have it), understand the concepts and play with the code (if you want). if you still not feel confident, then go back to the bible (the spec), re read and code more. Also, don't complain about EJB stuff (like Entity beans are useless, we all know that ). The exam is asking you how good you understand the concepts and the specification and how to develop ejb components.

[ October 28, 2003: Message edited by: Andres Gonzalez ]
 
Burk Hufnagel
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Giselle and Ko Ko,
With respect, I'd like to suggest that you first read the exam objectives then decide how to tackle the exam. I know some people who can read specifications and somehow seem understand all the implications. Personally, I tend to need some hands on to really feel like I understand things.
The first step though is to identify the goal - so here's the link to the SCBD exam objectives.
 
Ko Ko Naing
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Originally posted by Burk Hufnagel:
Giselle and Ko Ko,
With respect, I'd like to suggest that you first read the exam objectives then decide how to tackle the exam. I know some people who can read specifications and somehow seem understand all the implications. Personally, I tend to need some hands on to really feel like I understand things.
The first step though is to identify the goal - so here's the link to the SCBD exam objectives.

Burk, u know the specification are not user-friendly like the ready-to-read exam preparation book... I guess more efforts must be used, if we used only Spec... But as for me, I think Head First EJB is some kinda helpful to me... Thank you for your advice... I appreciate you... Really...
 
Anselm Paulinus
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quote:
You'll learn not just what the technology *is*, but more importantly, *why* it is, and what it is and isn't good for. You'll learn tricks and tips for EJB development, along with tricks and tips for passing this latest, very challenging Sun Certified Business Component Developer (SCBCD) exam.
U bet... The book will be very successful like their SCJP & SCJD book....
......................................................................................
Mr. Koko Naing:
Did you have the opportunity to preview the book before it was published? The fact that one person or the author of a book admonished a book would not surely make it an instant hit at the market though the authors are people of repute in the subject area; also the fact that it follows the spec does not make it an instant buy when compared with other books on EJB that are already out there in the market.
I still want to know from the authors of the book how the book stacks when compared with other books out there at the market.
 
Bert Bates
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Hi,
Maybe there are at least two goals here:
1) Learn and use EJBs in the real world
2) Pass the SCBCD exam
The exam is designed to determine whether someone has really been using EJBs for a while and whether they know their stuff . A lot of people study very hard for various certifications without ever even using the technology. That's possible for the SCBCD exam too .
I'd say the best case is that you get some real world experience and study, then take the test, but I think you could pass just by studying our book. The book is an intro to EJBs and it's a certification study guide. If I wanted to use EJBs, I'd start with our book, download the spec, then get more specialized books as needed. I don't think that any complex technology like EJBs can be totally covered in a single book, and why would you undertake a huge, expensive EJB project and skimp on reference materials?
 
Jamie Martel
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Hi,
I'd like to hear from anyone who has already taken the SCBCD exam, and of their experience of it, the resources they used, what was helpful and what wasn't.
Thanks,
 
Kathy Sierra
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Howdy all!
OK, here's my opinion on how our book compares with other EJB books...
The main difference is that other EJB books do not have *retention and recall* as the primary goal. In other words, they SAY the right things, and often in a very clear and understandable manner, and then they move on. Our book is designed very differently, so that you will understand the content and *remember* it. Where you see the greatest difference is in how much time / pages we spend on a particular topic, and of course the way in which we present things (60% visual). We might spend 10 pages on something that is covered in another book in two paragraphs. And we have exercises within the book (that you do with a pencil) to help reinforce the concepts.
In fact, there might be a few topics in the exam that are not covered at ALL in some EJB books, or mentioned only briefly, yet you are expected to have them memorized for the exam.
Using EJB is not the same as really KNOWING and UNDERSTANDING how it all works. Some people (as I used to) use EJB by following recipes or looking at examples, without really understanding WHY they're doing what they're doing. Without that level of understanding, you will not necessarily make the best choices for performance and safety and efficiency, and even program correctness.
Of course, this means that we have also NOT included some topics in our book that ARE covered in other EJB books. So, our book is not for the EJB veteran who really just needs a hard-core, heavy real-world problem-solving book. Ours is for two groups of people:
1) Those who want to pass the exam (our book is the only one that is focused on specific topics and examples related to the exam)
2) Those who are new to EJB and want to learn and understand the key concepts, and really "get it", without having to re-read over and over.
I saw at Sun that so many people would read a book, or even the spec, but then forget 50% of it when they began developing. They would ask the most basic questions over and over. Our book can't completely eliminate that, but it is dramatically different from other EJB books in the way it approaches helping you understand and remember the core concepts in a deep way.
So...
OTHER BOOKS: excellent material, broad coverage, some deep real-world examples, very little emphasis on retention and recall. Harder to work with if you want deep understanding in the simplest, quickest way.
OUR BOOK: fewer topics covered, fewer real-world tricky problem solutions. FAR more emphasis on deep understanding of all the important topics, and a much better focus on retention and recall.
THE SPEC: everything you need to pass the exam is in the spec. If you already know EJB, you don't need our book. Just make sure you understand everything in the spec, take some mock exams (go to the bookstore and take our mock exams in our book, but don't buy the book. Be sure to wipe off the coffee spills before you put the book back on the shelf, carefully
Problem with the spec: it was NOT designed for learning and understanding. If you try reading the spec and don't automatically understand it all, or you find that you do not do well on mock exams, then you might consider our book.
Hope that helps explain the difference. Again, if I could summarize the main difference between our book and others, it is that we are much more focused on helping you understand, retain, and recall the key concepts.
cheers,
Kathy
 
Anselm Paulinus
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Thanks Kathy for the response.
Sounds objective to me.
 
Ko Ko Naing
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Originally posted by Anselm Paulinus:
[QB]quote:
Did you have the opportunity to preview the book before it was published? [QB]

Of course I had the opportunity to preview some chapters... If you want to, you may be interested in the following thread...
http://www.coderanch.com/t/158071/java-EJB-SCBCD/certification/First-Chapter-Sample-Head-First
 
Mario Levesque
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Hi all,
I recently started working on a project that will require EJB knowledge. 75% of the code is complete and I'm working on a billing module to add on.
My question is: Are there sections of the Head First book that someone could skip in order to learn the basic about EJB without learning all the details usually required for a certification exam? i.e. are the different chapter fairly independant or do you need to read all pages in sequence to get a good grip on EJBs?
Thank you.
Mario
P.S. any tips on learning EJBs in the shortest amount of time would also be welcome
 
Kathy Sierra
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Howdy,
Hmmm... I have to think about your question a little. we *do* help you get up to speed very quickly, but we do cover *some* things in much more detail than you need. The chapters are not completely stand-alone, but if you read the first few (actually, you could probably just skim the first one or two - they're background info), you'd have enough to tackle any of the later chapters, even without having started at the beginning without skipping anything. The thing about a Head First book is that it is meant to be used in two different ways -- by working through it, start-to-finish, reading everything and doing all the exercises, and also by simply flipping through the pages and reviewing the pictures and large quotes, etc. You can do almost the entire book without actually reading the detailed text, and get the most important concepts. So if you're not taking the exam and just want the key details fast, I would say that this book is perfect for you because of the format.
I'm trying to get more samples posted tonight, and that might help give you a better idea. But again, you can always just find a bookstore (in a week or two when it's in stores) and just sit down with it. Three large espressos and you'd probably have most of what you want without buying it. But if you do it, as we always request, please wipe the coffee off before putting it back.
cheers,
Kathy
 
Ko Ko Naing
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Originally posted by Mario Levesque:

My question is: Are there sections of the Head First book that someone could skip in order to learn the basic about EJB without learning all the details usually required for a certification exam? i.e. are the different chapter fairly independant or do you need to read all pages in sequence to get a good grip on EJBs?

The first chapter of the book does mention as the following...
The more you
understand from this chapter,the less you �ll have to memorize later,so don �t skip it!

Even though the writer make the chapters independent of each other... If we skip the basic chapter, we will have to make more efford on studying it...
 
Mario Levesque
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Kathy,
Thank you for your reply.
I just downloaded the first chapter and it reads quite fast. I'll be placing an order for your book.
Hope you get enough support for it to motivate you to continue with other java subjects using the same style.
Cheers,
Mario
 
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