That's one of the things that I don't understand. Why should SCJP be a prerequisite for SCJD? Many friends of mine working in this industry know a lot about Java, they are working on projects that can be categorized in the developer level in JCert initiative. And yet they must passed the SCJP, kind of weird, huh?
Weird? Not at all. They are trying to create a level of expertice that is recognized by the industry as a whole. Some people can pass the SCJP but not program. Others may program, but don't know the basics of the language. When looking at a resume, if one is a SCJD, you know he can program AND has mastered the basics. SCJD has more respect that way. You may wish to debate the order of SCJP then SCJD, but for someone just learning the language it makes sense to learn the fundamentals then apply them. I like the way it is set up, personally.
You have a very solid point. But I don't believe that SCJP should be a person (beginner, no offense intended) his first goal. As you know, programming involves more than what the exam can test you. I certainly do not question the value of SCJP cert, but never the less, if you are hiring someone in programming field, I seriously doubt that you should hire someone who just have a SCJP, but no experience. Of course, the Jcert initiave targets the industry as a whole. But my point is that my friends write many applications, and many industrial strength projects, most of them are more than capable of holding up their ends of the bargain (including me). And many of these projects are more complicated than most beginners can imagine (Content Management, Customization, Personalization, Internationalization, etc.). There are always people out there like you say, but that's not what I meant. If I'm capable of doing these type of large engagement, why should I have to do SCJP before SCJD. It's the order of the exam that I queationed.