I am working full time as a software developer, almost only with J2EE. I have about five years of Java and J2EE experience and am SCJP. Since I think it might be a good idea to get some exams under my belt, I was planning on taking the SCBCD.
My question now is: what would you say is the avarage time it takes you to prepare if you can only squeeze out two or three hours a day in the evenings after work?
After an interview it will hopefully be clear which one fits better into my organisation. Certificates have little relevance for experienced people in the job market I'd be looking at, and what's more, they only demonstrate certain technology skills. They can't make up for un unfavorable display of soft skills in an interview.
Just because a guy has 5 years experience doesn't mean he out weighs a certificate.
I am more of a conceptual guy - if you get the concepts you can apply them to any language or flavour of the day. If you can do one thing really well and don't get the concepts.... you are really good at one thing.