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What is HFSJ?

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Originally posted by Ice Penov:
Do you think that this kind of excellent guides for passing the exam can degrade the value of the certificate? Will the certificate become just plain paper?!


But you cannot blame the books or the authors - you have to blame the audience with their respective attitudes.

Really, Sun laid the groundwork for this with the One Language Is Enough nonsense when Java got launched. One infrastructure may be enough - but one language? This is frighteningly similar to the Microsoft's Volks Basic campaign - everyone is a programmer/developer.
The programming language is usually the smallest worry - its the volume of class libraries and APIs that is usually the main hurdle. It seems for each tiny problem there is yet another huge class library to master (where 20% is useful and the other 80% is dedicated to satisfying possible but highly specialized scenarios).

Originally posted by Ice Penov:

4. (again questionable) Real IT professionals has a reputation and style to hold on to. And it is kind a different one from the one imposed into HFSJ. I personally found myself hiding this book away from my coleagues!

Ouch, and I thought some of my statements were elitist.
[ October 14, 2005: Message edited by: Peer Reynders ]
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Hi Ice!

OK, I'm frustrated with not being able to express myself accurately . I have to quote myself and explain...

And I guess that making a certification easier to pass devalue a certification to some extent - I was reading the other day how some employers looked at certification with disdain since they had hired some certified and found that they didn't know as much as they had expected.

Devalue was a bad choice of words, I think. I honestly don't think that any Sun certification has been degraded, especially when you see a top notch employer such as SAS putting that in their list of desired qualities. When you pass SCJP, you know something. But ANY certification book will make passing the exam easier. Sure, it can even teach you enough to pass the exam with little OO experience if you study it hard enough, I think... and what employer would like a candidate like that? How often do you think that happens? I would argue that it doesn't happen very often. First of all, what employer would hire a person in who has no OO experience? All you have is a certification? They're not basing the hiring on just the certification. I don't think certification serves as much more than something to help get your foot in the door. What employer in his or her right mind would hire someone based on a certification alone? All that a certification implies is a certain level of knowledge in the subject, at least at the time the person took the test.

This book is writen by an author that was involved in the actual Sun exam. Therefore, it is logical to expect that you'll be told what you'll get on the exam

I think we're told what the exam will be like, and the sorts of things that will be on the exam. This is no different than any other cert book, except that they can do it for us more accurately than most. If they told us what we'd get on the exam, I am betting they would probably have some legal issues to deal with.

Nearly everyone that get her/his hands to this book gets certified with fantastic score(Yeah, what's up with that? It's kinda strange..)

I'm not sure how much basis you have for this... but let's assume that it's true for the sake of argument. You have to have a certain level of knowledge about servlets\jsp to pass the test... and people who read that book have that level of knowledge, and then some, since the book contains all sorts of extras that are not on the exam. I fail to see how this is a bad thing.

This book will create a warm, fuzzy efect on you after you read it-probably cause of the jokes and characters. You will be convinced that you actually learned something.

I think that a good score on the certification test is probably more convincing that you learned something than the warm, fuzzy effect. And if you passed the cert test, especially with a good score, then you have learned something... which is...

a firm, nice overview of the technology

Bingo! That is all that a certification implies, at least to anyone who understands it. What's wrong with a nice firm overview of the subject?

but won't know how to apply it

I think this is debatable. It depends if you have done any work on the computer of your own, trying out the jsps and servlets for yourself - which the books encourage, by the way. BUT, I think that the certification ONLY implies the very firm overview, I don't think that the certification implies that you have a seasoned jsp\servlet programmer's grasp on the subject. If that's what an employer is expecting when he sees SCWCD on a resume, I think he or she really doesn't understand what the certification is about. A blog I read it the other day put it best (sorry I can't credit it, I don't remember where!), this is all 'catalytic knowledge'. Seeds that have been planted in your brain that you CAN use on the job. It's all that people have, before they have been granted that first job and afforded a chance to get some real experience. That, and any practice they have done on their own. I don't think that most people would expect a SCWCD cert to be equivalent to years of experience.

If 1,2,3,4 are TRUE, than it is likely that HFSJ can degrade the value of the Sun's SCWCD certificate

Most of what you mentioned can be said about any certification book, not just about HFSJ. Are you against cert books, in general? Are you against certifications, in general? As long as people recognize them for what they are, I think they're great. I don't think that employers expect a SCWCD to be a seasoned jsp\servlet programmer. If they do, then the certification NEEDS to be devalued in their eyes, such that they see it as it is - something that implies a nice, firm overview of the subject.

Thanks again, Ice!


[ October 14, 2005: Message edited by: Karen Jirak ]
[ October 14, 2005: Message edited by: Karen Jirak ]
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Posted by Karen:
Are you against cert books, in general? Are you against certifications, in general?


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