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What is the value in taking Java Certifications for a SOA position?

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I am seeking employment as a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) / Java Developer. I have over three years of SOA Experience, however I do not have actual work experience as a Java / J2EE Developer? Hence, I am looking to get the Sun Java Certifications: "Sun Certified Java Programmer Certification" (SCJP), Sun Certified Web Services Developer Certification (SCDJWS) and Sun Certified Enterprise Architect (SCEA) Would you agree that obtaining the Sun Java Certifications would be helpful in obtaining employment as Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) / J2 EE Enterprise Developer / Analyst position? If so, please reply back to this email and explain from a Java Developer perspective or from a management perspective, as to why such Java certifications are beneficial in accessing a candidate's Java skills for a SOA position.

The reason, I am asking is show the need for Sun Java Certifications to Colorado Workforce Center; so that the Workforce Center will help procure the Sun Certified Java Programmer Certification Training Value Package and the Sun Certified Web Services Developer Certification Training Value Package.

The Colorado Workforce Center requires three replies as the the benefits of Java Certifications and the value in studying for the exams?

What is the value in taking Java Certifications for a SOA position?

Your reply, would be greatly appreciated.
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My personal experience with SCJP and SCWCD is that apart from adding a certification to your resume, they make you a better programmer. SCDJWS is based on Web Services and SOA is based on web services. So SCDJWS will definitely help you with getting better at SOA and getting a SOA job. Certifications give you an opportunity to study a topic in depth and explore all bits and pieces. SCDJWS requires you to be SCJP so you'll have to clear SCJP before you can go for SCDJWS. SCJP will help you understand the basics of Java a lot...
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I agree with everything Ankit has said.

From what I have observed, those who get certified tend to know the core of their subject much better than those who claim to have learned it on their own, and in some cases they may know it better than someone who has used the technology for work - if that worker never expanded their knowledge beyond the bare minimum required for work.

It might be worth you while to look for some of Bob Martin's talks about the concept of software Master Craftsmen - one example of this is this Software Engineering Radio podcast. One of the things he mentions often is the idea that there is no end to our learning, just as there is no end to learning in any other discipline. One example he uses is that of a medical doctor: would you want to go to a doctor who has not opened a book in the 50 years since they finished medical school?

It is the same with us as software engineers: we must always be striving to learn new things. In many ways the continuous learning is mandated by the industry: if you learned programming 35 years ago, you might have been lucky to learn C, but it is highly doubtful. More likely you would have been taught Cobol or RPG or some other language that was in high demand back then. If you stopped learning after earning your degree, you would have no hope of competing in today's OO world.

Most good employers understand this, and they will look at what you do outside of work to improve your knowledge. Showing that you are proactive in improving yourself is a highly regarded skill.

The fact that you are going for Sun and/or Oracle certifications is also a good thing - these are highly regarded certifications known around the world. If I see that a candidate has listed a certificate on their resume, I will ask them a question that is relevant to that certification to verify that they earned their certificate, and then I'll be happy that I am employing someone who has actually studied the code - not just someone who will be continually using Google to try and find answers.

It should be emphasized though, that the certification is not (in my opinion) a gateway to employment. It is the reasoning behind why you got the certification that would interest me as an employer.
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