I hold an engineering degree and did Java in 1 semester. Im currently holding a job in the finance industry. Im comtemplating a career switch to something that is Java related. May I have advice on the following?
1) Should I take the SCJA or the SCJP to ready myself for this challenge or are there any alternatives?
2) What are the possible career development paths in a java related career?
3) What can i expect from a Java career? Do we mostly do our job alone or we need to work in teams most of the time?
4) What are some of the personal qualities that i must possess in order to excel in this area?
I would be grateful if anyone can share his/her experience with respect to the above.
Today, only a certification like SCJP doesn't make you a so different profile, because many people has it.
Try searching what the companies are looking for, and study the topics they ask.
For instance, I got this from a job offered:
* Experience performing object oriented development
* Experience with J2EE architecture, including experience with one or more of the following: EJBs, Struts, Servlets, JMS, JNDI, J2EE Connectors, JDBC, Hibernate, ANT, etc
* Experienced with Java tools including WSAD, RAD, JBuilder, Eclipse, NetBeans preferred
* Knowledge of J2EE testing tools (i.e JUNIT, JTEST, Mock Objects, LoadRunner, etc) preferred
* Experience with IBM Websphere Application Server, ClearCase, Unix, and Oracle preferred
* UML design tools including Rational Rose/Enterprise Architect preferred
* Experience building scalable, mission critical applications
* Experience with full project life cycle from establishing requirements through delivery and production
* Experience managing onshore/offshore applications development services is a plus
Then do a lot of courses (or study from Internet), because IT is always changing, all the time.
Completely agree with Rogerio. There are so many different ways to differentiate you from other professionals without relying too much on the certification. I have addressed these avenues in my resume companion. Just one certification would do for beginners who do not have any experience based achievements.
-- having the right technical skills (frameworks/technologies/tool sets).
-- Highlighting your prefessional achievements. Quantify it where possible.
-- Highlighting your well ronded ability with business and soft skills.
-- Developing good networking and marketing skills.
I prefer gaining hands-on experience in what the employers are looking for and simultaneously learning the fundamentals through good books and online resources.
Note: This is my personal view only. It worked for me and others may not agree with this.