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How do I become Employabe?

 
Ranch Hand
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Hi,
I would like some wisdom on what exactly I need to do to become employable as a Java Programmer. I am almost finished with the Head First Java book, and then have a list of other books to go through(Data Structures for Java, Head First OOA&D, Head First SQL, and Kathy Sierra's Certification book). I plan on taking the SCJP test as soon as I'm finished. What else should I do to prepare for employment? Thanks.
 
Rancher
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Welcome to JavaRanch.

What kinds of projects or applications have you worked on and successfully completed?
 
Dan Silva
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I haven't done anything except what the Head First book has told me to do(i.e. a midi player, simple Chat gui, simple stuff). Besides passing the SCJP, what else should I have done before I go into a job interview. I am sincerely clueless on what to do. Thanks.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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Well, databases and web apps are everywhere, so a working knowledge of JDBC and Servlets/JSP would probably come in very handy.

To get some more experience, I'd recommend working on a not-so-simple project of your own that combines a variety of APIs. It'd be good if it consisted of at least a few dozen classes, so you get some exposure to the OO design aspects.
 
Author
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Most jobs now adays are based on Web Development and also you need to persist data into a adatabse. As Ulf suggested you need to get some hands on experience. Learn Servelets and JSPs by looking at some tutorials and also some fundamentals (HTTP is a stateles protocol). Also worthwhile to learn and understand JDBC. Also if you have time look at the free tutorials at http://www.lulu.com/java-success to get an idea of popular frameworks/tools used in today's development.
 
Greenhorn
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Interesting question, I hope more Java developers react.

So besides SCJP he/me should maybe get the SCWCD exam plus what api's?

I was thinking of Hybernate, JSF, maybe the Swing framework.
 
Dan Silva
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Thanks everyone for the reply.
I was also wondering how much actual coding experience I should have in order to be considered "Employable". I already have a bachelor's degree and will be a SCJP, but I don't know what I should do about a portfolio to prove I can code.
Thanks again,
Dan
P.S. I'm not worried about pay, but am just looking for solid entry level experience. I live in the Salt Lake area.
 
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I hate when people say "i should take exam this, certification that". I have never taken any exams and have no certifications.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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The value of certifications depends much on the job market you're in. My impression is that in the USA they aren't worth nearly as much as any experience you have.
 
arulk pillai
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Practical experience and understanding core fundamentals are more valuable than certifications (it is academic). The Java/J2EE based technology is advancing in a rapid pace with better frameworks and there are always something new to learn to keep your knowledge up to date. I never bothered sitting for any certifications. I would rather learn a new thing (like Maven2, JSF, Facelets etc ) or get more hands on experience.


You will be employable at an entry level position (i.e. a graduate level). In order to boost your confidence as Ulf advised build a simple practical web based application. You can find a lot of tutorials out there to guide you. Hands on experience and learning core concepts need to go hand-in-hand. May be initially you need to spend more time on hands-on learning.

When you start an entry level position, you will be guided by senior developers and it will be easier than you think to learn. The senior developers will be vertical slices of code and you will have to follow the similar pattern. Also brush up on your SQL knowledge
 
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