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Should I Care What My Cert Score Is?

 
Joe McIntyre
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Seems to me the objective is just to pass. Of course, I want to score high (because I want to know the material well), but as far as employment goes... does it really matter?
 
Michael Ernest
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Not a whit. I wrote my very first SCJD exam years ago and all I cared about was clearing the hurdle. Took about 40 minutes to finish the exam -- when I figured I have enough of them right, I sped my way through the rest -- and finished with 71%. No one has ever has asked me what my pass rate was.
Frankly, I was blown away a couple years ago when it was clear had many people were dedicated to the idea of acing an industry exam. Aside from bragging rights to say you did well, I couldn't fathom it. But them's geeks for ya.
 
Keith Rosenfield
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Hey Michael,
Sounds like your talking about the SCJP exam. I would assume that the SCJD exam would take somewhat longer than 40 minutes to complete.
 
Michael Ernest
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I dunno, man, I've graded a few SCJD exams that look like someone put in about 40 minutes of effort.
 
Al Newman
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Me too, Mike. Same score also.
I don't get the perfect score nonsense, any more than I understand the youngest exam passer contest that seems to be going on out there. There are 14 year olds taking the Sun exams for chrissake! Unless they live in countries with child labor how could that possibly make any sense? By the time they get to working age the sert will be ancient history!
 
Keith Rosenfield
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Sometimes I feel that by time I get employed all my certs will be ancient history as well. And I'm 35 years old.
Do these certs really do anything for the test takers besides making their wallets lighter.
 
Joe McIntyre
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Keith:
Are you kidding!!?? I think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Have you checked the cost of going back to a university lately? And how about the bureaucratic nonsense you have to go through to get in. I say that the only qualification someone should need to better themselves and make themselves more valuable in the marketplace is simply a desire to do so. That's what these certs offer in short order and for a ridiculously low cost. I would like to see similar certs in other fields - accounting, finance, etc. Since most people these days go to school to learn to be a technician, the need for classroom discussion almost doesn't exist anymore. People should be learning these skills online, at a very low cost, on their own time, and should end up with a recognized credible certification. I think the software industry is leading the way with these electronic tests and certifications.
 
Philippe Maquet
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Hi Wally,
You so nicely answered to your own question !
Now - no kidding anymore - I fully agree with you.
In your first post, I noticed that your *personal* objective was to get a high score. I agree with you on that too, even if it's obvious to me.
Is there anybody here who'll pay for an exam, will spend (much) energy to get prepared to pass it, with the ultimate goal to pass it with a low score ?! The guy who would pretend that is a fool or a liar, right ?
I don't pretend that getting a high score is a must. But I think that while preparing for any exam, you shouldn't even *think* of your possible score. Just study till you feel ready (intermediary mock exams may help), and then jump yourself in the real exam. Your final score will be a surprise anyway, hopefully a good one !
But please forget about a low score as a possible objective !
Best,
Phil.
 
Bharat Ruparel
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Well said Phil!
Bharat
 
Ed Tse
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Don't they have CPA for accounting and CFA level 1,2,3 for finance and CMA as well?
Originally posted by Wally Flint:
Keith:
Are you kidding!!?? I think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Have you checked the cost of going back to a university lately? And how about the bureaucratic nonsense you have to go through to get in. I say that the only qualification someone should need to better themselves and make themselves more valuable in the marketplace is simply a desire to do so. That's what these certs offer in short order and for a ridiculously low cost. I would like to see similar certs in other fields - accounting, finance, etc. Since most people these days go to school to learn to be a technician, the need for classroom discussion almost doesn't exist anymore. People should be learning these skills online, at a very low cost, on their own time, and should end up with a recognized credible certification. I think the software industry is leading the way with these electronic tests and certifications.
 
Keith Rosenfield
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Hey Wally,
I have always been focused on learning rather than exam scores. A good score on an exam is just a reflection of your mastery of a skill. I have demonstrated this mastery through my success in school and certifications. I got into the programming field because of my love of it. My motivation has never been exam scores or money. That said, programming is my career choice. I haven't had much success in becoming gainfully employed although I spend at least twenty hours a week in my job search. I have posted my resume on all the major and many minors job sites and have submitted my resume for numerous jobs. Besides an interview I had a couple months back, I haven't been called in for any interviews. That's why I am frustrated. I work so hard at becoming the best programmer I can be but I haven't yet gotten a return on my investment. When I prepare for a certification like the SCBCD, I know from the outset that I will pass the exam because I put 110 percent in preparing, but in the back of mind is the thought "is getting the cert worth all the hard work because if history is any indicator, it won't help me get more interviews." How can someone like me who has excelled in an educational environment and has proven his apptitude but with limited "real world experience" get his foot in the door, in an field where employers are looking for candidates with outrageously long skill sets and tons of experience? I am highly determined to make it in this field. I just don't see myself doing anything else.
Thanks for your input.
 
Anselm Paulinus
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I feel you Keith, but you are not alone. There are a lot of people out there who are not gainfully employed, not because they aint brilliant; but because the job market is terribly bad right now. In this field of technology it seems the more industry experience one has the greather the chances of moving from one job to another. It could be frausterating for beginners who are trying to get a foot into the industry, but what can one possibly do. There was a time when all you need to get interviews and possibly land a job was SCJP, but time has changed. We hope the good days come back soon.
 
Keith Rosenfield
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Exactly my point. Certifications don't hold the same value as some claim they used to.
 
Joe McIntyre
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Keith:
The economy is bad right now. Everybody is suffering. Another question you might ask is "do you live in a good place for Java employment"? If not, then I don't know what to tell you... that's a real handicap. But if you do, then you might want to consider participating in programming related events. For example, I used to work in L.A., and went to the L.A. Java User's Group meetings. Meeting people face to face and making friends is a much better way to navigate to a person or a company that is hiring than putting your resume on the internet.
As for the cert... I would advise you to definately keep the faith. I have a strong hunch it will pay off in the long run. After all, you have to learn the material anyway if you want to be an EJB developer, and the extra $200 for the book and the test is peanuts.
 
Vladas Razas
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Hi people,
The same with me. I lack experience. Heh, I have 10 years experience. 7 years with C++ and I know it well. But I dont feel myself in that field anymore, I want to go J2EE. So I have SCJP and will get SCBCD next week, but... When I sit and say "I will write web application while I am looking for job". Wait?! Numerous questions!:
a) What web/app server I am going to work with
b) How to deploy application in THAT app server
c) I heard they use "ant" to build projects, and it wasn't on cert exams
d) what database I am going to use?
e) how to configure my database?
f) it's said for entity CMP beans I need a method to come up with primary keys for my entities.. and it's not on EJB spec!
Needless to say... Sun does not cover any of these in their exams. All they cover is theory but not implementation. I have MCP in .NET. Well Microsoft prepares well. You don't have these kind of questions. Microsoft certifies on their implementation. Furthermore they also ask you how would you would solve this or that real-life problem. Bonus to Sun - they teach theory better than MS.
So what I wanted to say... Sun Java certs does not prepare well people who has no experience in that field yet The only thing you can do is try to do something yourself for yourself.
Another way is to go for BEA or IBM certificates or SUN middleware certs. Those cover their implementation of J2EE.
 
Vladas Razas
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Ok. Now about getting a job. Those people who lists requirements like: C++, COM/DCOM, MTS, SQL, SOAP, Java, VB .NET ... Oh just skip them. Unless you want to get job where is your employer doesn't have any idea what those technologies do and probably you will end up writing something small with VB and will not be very valued I believe that employers, especially bigger companies wont require you know lot's of technologies but then you better know those few technologies well. After all you don't go to optician and ask to fix your teeth. The same applies to developers. You don't go to web developer and ask to write you distributed business model. Ok! You can know more than one technology but not too many!.
Also while looking for job in US I noticed that if you go through websites mostly you will meet recruiting companies. Not direct employers! Recruiters usualy dont have idea what the technologies do. All they care is to get someone accepted for position and take their cut. I admit there are serious staffing companies around. So in example they have 1 opening and they submit only 1 candidate for that one particular position. And you be sure that candidate submitted will be the one who will tell them he knows more and has more experience. Even if he lies. That's the truth. They can't judge how good is candidate. They know only what you tell and they don't really understand what this is about. So well... Think about it
 
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