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If you were an experiented Java programmer, would you take OCAJP?

 
Ferdinand Victorinus
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Scott Selikoff
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I would take the OCA and OCP, not just the OCA. If you haven't taken any certifications, though, the OCA is required for the OCP. I find it helped make more code far more structured and a lot cleaner. It's a debatable question whether or not it helps in your career. Like everything else, it's hard to discern what might help you land a job.
 
Roel De Nijs
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From Java 7 onwards the OCA exam is the entry-level exam (mainly java & OO basics) and the OCP exam is the more advanced one. If you want to become OCPJP (7 or 8) certified, you must take (and pass) the OCA exam as well. Otherwise the OCPJP certification title will not be granted to you. If you want to get another java certifiction (e.g. OCPJWCD) you need to be OCPJP certified. You can take both parts (OCA and OCP) in random order, so you don't have to take OCA first. But you need to pass both to get your OCPJP certification.
If you are happy with taking the exam of an older Java version, you can still take OCPJP5 or OCPJP6. This way you just need to pass 1 exam (if you don't have any prior java certifications) to be OCPJP certified. If you want, you can always upgrade your OCPJP certification to the latest Java version by taking the OCPJP upgrade exam.
 
Tina Smith
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I like to think I am experienced (been programming Java for about 5 years total although I have a lot to learn), and I have taken both the OCJA and the OCJP. I have both the OCJA and OCJP on Java 7 and I passed the OCJA 8 exam when it was in beta.

Being an 'experienced' Java programmer, I spent only a few hours studying for the OCJA, because I know and use most of the stuff on a daily basis. So there is a lot less time investment into studying than a person who has never seen Java before. It's also interesting to see what I get on the exam because it shows me what I don't know about programming, both during the exam ("I wonder if you can do that"), and after ("I got what wrong?"). Granted, a lot of the questions you get on a certification exam are different from everyday life (because you are totally going to put the main method in an enum on your company's flagship software), but they're great for showing you what you don't know about Java, and conversely, what you do.

Getting the piece of paper is also nice, although it means less because it's not something I had to work towards. If I were to switch jobs, that piece of paper may or may not be useful to me depending on who sees the credential. If I stay at the same job, my employer recognizes that I wrote the exam as continuous improvement, which gets me brownie points (and hopefully more $$).
 
Roel De Nijs
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Having 10 years experience as a java developer, I consider myself as being an experienced Java programmer. I took the OCAJP7 exam at the beginning of this year. So I have to answer with a resounding yes to this question And in the near future I'll take OCPJP7 and OCAJP8 as well. And then of course, the OCPJP8 exam will be the next in line.

I'm very passionate about certifications and I'm probably one of the few who always liked studying and taking exams I always try to convince other developers (regardless of their java experience) to get certified. Since Oracle split the certified programmer certification in 2 parts (OCA and OCP) I think it's easier to persuade someone to pass the OCA certification, simply because it's an entry-level certification about Java and OO basics. So if you are an experienced developer you don't have to invest much time; if you are new to Java you can first concentrate on nothing but the basics and get certified. Everybody wins (and Oracle as well, because you have to pay twice ).

For me personally there are a few benefits regarding certification, I listed them here.

Kind regards,
Roel
 
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