I failed SCWCD once in 2008, three times in 2009. I tried to enroll again in 2009, but then I discovered that there is a Sun policy that I can only take the exam three times per year.
I have a few ideas of why I failed. I think the exam is not that exciting. Most of the things in the exam don't apply to me, and I am an experienced J2EE and Portlet Developer. The tools do most of the things that we have to learn, and most of the things don't apply to me as a developer. This makes me far less enthusiastic to spend the time and study.
I keep on trying, because the certification is a big addition on my CV.
For info I have been using both Head First and Charles Lyons books.
I'm about to take the exam for the second time and I'm finding it a real struggle to remember everything for the same reasons. I have been a Java developer for nearly 10 years and most of the topics on this exam are totally new to me and I have been asking myself why I chose to do this one (still can't work out the answer!). I have yet to come across an application in my working life that actually uses JSPs, Tags, JSTL, or EL but I'm sure there are some somewhere. I just want to get this out of the way so I can get my life back!
I understand your reasoning, but am wondering why are you preparing for the test, if it isn't really going to be valuable addition to your skill set?
Also, you mentioned that you haven't come across applications that use JSTL, EL, JSPs, etc. I'm assuming that it is because of the availability of other frameworks like Spring. Correct?
Wish you all the best!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I think there are a lot of people in the same situation. Don't give up. You've tried so hard. Like many Sun certifications, experience doesn't count very much. Most of the questions are about core technology, which is nowadays hidden behind frameworks and other bells and whistles. I think it's still worth to understand what's going on behind the scenes. If you haven't tried yet, I strongly suggest you to buy a simulator like Enthuware's. It's really worth it, and will help you focus on the exam objectives.
Which material are you using ? And how are you studying ?
It takes courage to mention your failures on this forum here. Thanks, I appreciate it, because I always think that the people who write here pass everything very easily while it is not that easy at all. Please don't give up trying: try preparing in a different way!
Getting certifications doesn't make you a better developer, although it can. What it actually shows, to lets say Human Resource people, is that you are able to study and able to learn things after getting your school diploma's. They value it maybe more than we (developers) do. Getting the certification should not be a goal on its own: it should actually be fun to learn.
Preparing for a certification is fun when you create your own small project. What I always do is to help a Voluntary Organisation (A foundation that is supporting an orphanage in Uganda) with a certain software feature. I do it for free, but I am always happy to see that they value my work and devotion. I started with a Java project (1.4), when I was preparing for SCJP5 I rewrote it into a Java 5 project. I made it into a web-project when preparing for SCWCD5 and I am planning to remove all the JDBC coding by using EJB3 in my next SCBCD preparation.
My advice: don't make it a goal on it's own, have fun when coding, and try to help others with your newly acquired skills!
I simply could not wrap my head around several of the subject areas ... like 'classic' tags ... until I actually wrote a few of them myself for a small personal side project .... so you've gotta write code! Also... the mock exams will help you ... they will tell you where you are ... I postponed my exam by a couple of months ... so that I can focus on the areas the mocks are telling me i need more work ...
I hope you stick with it ... you are sooooo close!!
PS: When you pass test ... and I think you will ... your story will inspire many others!