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from zero to certified............

 
sam hudson
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hey guys,
I've only just started learning Java - read a few books and written a few simple programs. I'm interested in becoming certified - just for the fun of it really. Can anyone suggest a simple study method/path and recommend some good sites or books?

Cheers
Sam
 
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
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Smart move on learning Java. With the right exercises, you'll find it is fun, tempered with a bit of frustration. I always compare writing code to putting together a jigsaw puzzle - it's fun, it's frustrating, you have to try things over and over again, but in the end, if you stick with it, there's a great sense of accomplishment associated with success.

Getting Sun Java certified is the right place to start. It really is the most well rounded certification, without requiring extreme, indepth knowledge of the nuances of the language.

You do need to learn Java syntax. For learning Java syntax, especially if you're a beginner, most people agree that Head First Java is the right place to go. It will actually give you far more knowledge than you need for the SCJA exam, as it is more SCJP focussed, but being overprepared is never such a bad thing when you go to write the Java Associate exam.

From there, I might humbly suggest my two Sun Certified Java Associate Certification Books. The first guide really fills in the gaps, giving you what you need to know about object oriented programming, UML, and the client and server Java based technologies that you are tested quite heavily on in the exam. The one book is a Certification Guide, the second book is just filled with questions, hammering you on concepts until you are prepared for the exam.

Just check out my signature links for more information on my Java Associate Study Guides and Prep Material. For that matter, I even have some free mock certification exams on my site as well, just in case you want to get a taste of what you're in for on the SCJA exam.

Also, another good thing to do is go through the various posts here on the Java Ranch Big Moose Saloon. It's great finding out about other people's insight and experiences.

Best of luck!

-Cameron McKenzie
 
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