Win a copy of Node.js Design Patterns: Design and implement production-grade Node.js applications using proven patterns and techniques this week in the Server-Side JavaScript and NodeJS forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other Pie Elite all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Ron McLeod
  • Rob Spoor
  • Tim Cooke
  • Junilu Lacar
Sheriffs:
  • Henry Wong
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
Saloon Keepers:
  • Jesse Silverman
  • Tim Holloway
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Tim Moores
  • Carey Brown
Bartenders:
  • Al Hobbs
  • Mikalai Zaikin
  • Piet Souris

How long does a Certification Last?

 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 238
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How long is the certificate "life"? Is it only good until a major upgrade in the language or is it good from now on? I've heard that it is usually rule of thumb that 5 years at most is how long it is good for. I could agree with this because things change so fast, but what is a real expectation of the benifit to be really helpful?
(Of course the other side of the coin is that it keeps the profits up for some companies by making constant upgrades to make certification a full time gig {ie.. Micro$oft})
Thanks.
p.s. This may be a no brainer question, but a) I am a no brainer and b) I would like to recieve a copy of the book {Yo! Kathy!}.
 
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They used to be good forever but...
From the Sun web site:
Unless otherwise stated, and beginning with all Sun Certification exams taken after September 1, 2002, certification offerings from Sun are valid for two (2) years from the date of certification. The certification date will appear on both a certificate and an identification card with the applicable certification title. The identification card will also include an expiration date, on which an IT professional's Sun certification status expires.
 
Greenhorn
Posts: 29
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thomas,
Does that mean that after two years, a SCJP cannot go for SCJD?
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The description say s that you must be a certified programmer to take the test so it would appear to me that if your certification has expired you would have to take the recertification exam first.
 
Sam Smoot
Ranch Hand
Posts: 238
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In other words, time your certification wisely (ie. before promotions, raises, new career ops). I thougt just getting a degree was expensive...
Oh well...
 
Cowgirl and Author
Posts: 1589
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Howdy Sam and company,
Yep. Two years is the new deal, at least for now, but to re-certifiy you need only the "upgrade" exam and not the full version of whatever is the next exam level.
If things *weren't* changing so fast, then the certification would have a longer expiration date, and that could always happen again in the future, if Java changes started to slow down.
I'm still waiting for word on a 1.5 exam, but at this point it would be nearly impossible for that to happen in less than one year! Just the development and beta process for a new exam takes many months.
And remember, the key thing about the 1.4 exam changes were what was *removed* (I/O and AWT) as opposed to what was *added* (assertions and a few more things on collections).
In the future, more and more changes on the exam will be based around differences in the ways people are *using* Java as opposed to just new additions to the language (which will always be few and rare).
Part of deciding what goes onto exams (and into Sun courses) is a Job Task Analysis that evaluates what people are doing with the language in the *real world*. The move toward server-side Java (mainly via J2EE) is what prompted the removal of I/O and AWT.
(Although James Gosling believes that rich GUIs and client-side Java are poised to make a Big Comeback -- especially thanks to technologies like WebStart, so who knows what will happen next!
But I would certainly encourage ANYONE to take the most recent exam out (in this case, 1.4). The "old" exams stay available only when/because they aren't finished translating the new exam into all the required versions they need. Once that's complete, the old one goes away. So if there is a new exam, take it!
Cheers,
Kathy
"Did you know that this message is being sent from a Macintosh G4 Titanium that ships with a screaming-fast Java 1.3 built-in?"
And I'm running J2EE on my Mac. (J2SDK1.4 coming soon; for that we still have to use the dusty old PC)
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't quite understand the reason for expiring this exam. Java hasn't changed significantly since 1.2. My certification would be expiring in a couple of months and I don't see that Java has changed much (at the level the exam is testing) since I took the test. If you know Java 1.2 then the difference in the test is trivial (spend 20 minutes learning assertions and forgetting I/O and AWT). It seems that this is more just an additional revenue stream.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 96
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So it sounds like if I get certified in SCJP 1.4 I have up to 2 years (unless the rules change) to take an upgrade exam to the current version. And up to 2 years after that to upgrade again.
 
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Posts: 1589
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I don't quite understand the reason for expiring this exam. Java hasn't changed significantly since 1.2. ...<snip> It seems that this is more just an additional revenue stream.


Revenue stream is the LEAST of their issues. Java certification is definitely NOT a money-maker. I can't even imagine how much Sun pays in legal fees for all the people who actually sue -- or at least threaten to sue-- when they fail the exam. I'm not exaggerating. There are a shockingly high number of people who refuse to accept responsibility for not studying.
And every exam has to go through an elaborate pyschometric evaluation and test by a third-party company (that Sun has to pay). It goes on and on...
Sun has always insisted that they're in the certification business (at least for Java) because they were dragged in kicking and screaming by the industry. At best, they were hoping that it might encourage more people to learn Java and have those Java skills be recognized in the industry and taken seriously.
So certification was and is part of a Big Picture strategy rather than a revenue stream.
But on to your real question... part of the reason for putting an expiration date on the exam is to show that you are *still* current, as opposed to current on only the *new* stuff. In other words, if you passed the exam two years ago, and haven't touched Java since, your Java knowledge and skills might have faded quite a lot. And that's why the "upgrade" exam doesn't focus JUST on the new added things, but also includes the key important fundamentals, to make sure that you've still got your Java chops (as we say).
So the upgrade exam serves two purposes:
1) to see if you've learned the new stuff (which, I agree, might be fairly minor -- at least on the 1.4 exam, that's true)
2) to verify that you're *still* certifiable
What would NOT have been cool is if your certification expired and you simply had to take the whole new exam all over again. I would have been really upset by that. But the upgrade exam is much smaller, much easier (for those who've stayed current, anyway), and less expensive.
Besides, what would be the fun in never having to study for an exam again? Think of the thrill, the excitement, the utter joy of passing another exam... the pleasure of the post-exam sacrificial burning of your study notes, flash cards, and certification book (except mine -- we used a special fire-resistant paper).

-Kathy
Sun Certified Certification Cheerleader
 
Linda Pan
Ranch Hand
Posts: 96
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just remembered that there is something that I read before that recognizes Java certification by participating vendors. I think it was if you are certified with Sun, Ibm may recognize your certification, as well. Has anyone heard this?
 
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Posts: 1589
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
The description say s that you must be a certified programmer to take the test so it would appear to me that if your certification has expired you would have to take the recertification exam first.


That has not yet been decided. So the official decision is still underway as to whether you can take the SCJD using an "expired" certification. I'll post something as SOON as the decision is made!
Cheers,
Kathy
 
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Posts: 1589
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Linda Pan:
I just remembered that there is something that I read before that recognizes Java certification by participating vendors. I think it was if you are certified with Sun, Ibm may recognize your certification, as well. Has anyone heard this?


All the scoop is at:
http://www.jcert.org/
You're right, there is a group of participating vendors (including IBM) who all recognize the SCJP as the starting point for their own Java certification tracks.
It's actually a cool thing, and only parts of it are currently finished. These jCert exams are more tool and product-focused, whereas the post-SCJP Sun exams are almost entirely technology-focused (but tool-agnostic).
But ALL of them begin with the SCJP, and it doesn't matter which vendor you use to purchase your SCJP (Sun, IBM, etc.).
cheers,
Kathy
 
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Posts: 1589
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I don't quite understand the reason for expiring this exam. Java hasn't changed significantly since 1.2. ...<snip> It seems that this is more just an additional revenue stream.


Revenue stream is the LEAST of their issues. Java certification is definitely NOT a money-maker. I can't even imagine how much Sun pays in legal fees for all the people who actually sue -- or at least threaten to sue-- when they fail the exam. I'm not exaggerating. There are a shockingly high number of people who refuse to accept responsibility for not studying.
And every exam has to go through an elaborate pyschometric evaluation and test by a third-party company (that Sun has to pay). It goes on and on...
Sun has always insisted that they're in the certification business (at least for Java) because they were dragged in kicking and screaming by the industry. At best, they were hoping that it might encourage more people to learn Java and have those Java skills be recognized in the industry and taken seriously.
So certification was and is part of a Big Picture strategy rather than a revenue stream.
But on to your real question... part of the reason for putting an expiration date on the exam is to show that you are *still* current, as opposed to current on only the *new* stuff. In other words, if you passed the exam two years ago, and haven't touched Java since, your Java knowledge and skills might have faded quite a lot. And that's why the "upgrade" exam doesn't focus JUST on the new added things, but also includes the key important fundamentals, to make sure that you've still got your Java chops (as we say).
So the upgrade exam serves two purposes:
1) to see if you've learned the new stuff (which, I agree, might be fairly minor -- at least on the 1.4 exam, that's true)
2) to verify that you're *still* certifiable
What would NOT have been cool is if your certification expired and you simply had to take the whole new exam all over again. I would have been really upset by that. But the upgrade exam is much smaller, much easier (for those who've stayed current, anyway), and less expensive.
Besides, what would be the fun in never having to study for an exam again? Think of the thrill, the excitement, the utter joy of passing another exam... the pleasure of the post-exam sacrificial burning of your study notes, flash cards, and certification book (except mine -- we used a special fire-resistant paper).

-Kathy
Sun Certified Certification Cheerleader
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 199
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, I always see I/O being heavily used in every application around me. OK, CMP EJBs may not need I/O, but other than that most data-processing appl. will have some requirement to read/write to some file. I don't see any good reason why SCJP exam decided not to include this topic. In fact, my awkward position is, even after passing the SCJP1.4 exam I'm still fumbling with I/O which is just omni-present. I wish they had it in the exam curriculum.
Thanks
 
Greenhorn
Posts: 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Why only 2 years ?
If i passed SCJP 1.4 then i'm good for Java 1.4 (and all version before). If you make a new exam, why not call them also with the actual Java Version (maybe 1.5 or 1.6 ) So its easier for Sun and us...... or ?
Michael
 
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Posts: 1589
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Sudd Ghosh:
Well, I always see I/O being heavily used in every application around me. <snip> I don't see any good reason why SCJP exam decided not to include this topic.


This was a big debate, and a hard decision because a *lot* of people have the same experience as you, that I/O is used everywhere. But in the analysis Sun did, the percentage of people doing development without using the I/O APIs had changed significantly enough to no longer justify having it in the exam.
(And it's not just CMP, but *all* of the EJB spec that prohibits I/O unless the server provides a way for you to do it by wrapping a transaction around it, etc. So even if you're writing your own BMP (much less common with EJB 2.0), you're still not using the I/O APIs unless you're working outside the spec.)
Again, some people argued that we should also include JDBC, that almost nobody does any work without databases, but that proved not to be true either. (I came from a game development background and in ten years almost never touched a database from my code.)
However, I argued heavily to include serialization, because I have never done ANYTHING without serialization (except the Rule Roundup, which was written in a version of Java before there even was such a thing as Java serialization). I lost, obviously, but there's always next time
What they came up with was based on their current research into how Java is being used in the world today, and statistically, that's what they came up with.
It could change again, though, as the ways in which people use Java continue to evolve.
Cheers
Kathy
(I still think serialization IS the coolest thing in Java)
 
Linda Pan
Ranch Hand
Posts: 96
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read some information about the jcert where other vendors would also recognize your java certification. I would guess the same rules would apply to the IBM Java cert exam, where the 2 year expiration applies to the IBM test. Can anyone confirm?
 
Sudd Ghosh
Ranch Hand
Posts: 199
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Kathy -
I fully agree with you regarding the importance of serialization. But even serialization is a part of java.io package.

Looks like Sun wants everyone to use EJBs irrespective of the nature of the application domain. I don't find this logical at all, hence, I still can't see any good reason of removing I/O.
Thanks, Sudd
 
You showed up just in time for the waffles! And this tiny ad:
Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop
https://coderanch.com/wiki/718759/books/Building-World-Backyard-Paul-Wheaton
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic