Win a copy of The Little Book of Impediments (e-book only) this week in the Agile and Other Processes forum!
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Java certification

 
Tomas Linhart
Ranch Hand
Posts: 86
2
Java Ubuntu VI Editor
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi,

I have a couple of questions about Java certification in general:

1) What's the practical benefit of the certification? I've read a lot of opinons on this, but I'd also like to hear yours. Is going through the certification topics any good in becoming even better programmer? If yes, what's the biggest gain? If you were and employer, what weight would you give to the certification? What would it tell you about the applicant?
2) Where would you put the certification in the learning process of (not specifically) Java language? I mean, would you suggest to learn Java really well before running for a certification, or try to be certified as soon as possible? (This also relates to the first question, because beeing certified increases your chances of getting a job where you can progress faster.)
3) Is there any reason why take OCAJP 7 and not OCAJP 8 right away? Especially for programmers new to Java. (In my case, I've been learning Java with a book covering Java 6, and AFAIK the leap wasn't that big from version 6 to 7 as from 7 to 8.)

Thanks.
Tomas
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal
Posts: 35279
384
Eclipse IDE Java VI Editor
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tomas Linhart wrote:1) What's the practical benefit of the certification? I've read a lot of opinons on this, but I'd also like to hear yours. Is going through the certification topics any good in becoming even better programmer? If yes, what's the biggest gain? If you were and employer, what weight would you give to the certification? What would it tell you about the applicant?

It's hard to answer this because it depends on what country you live in and where you are in your career. The practical benefits range from getting you resume through a filter to better understanding of the language to being able to interview better to many more. Studying for the certification has definitely made me a stronger program. I pick up idioms and see bugs much faster. When I interview, I expect someone with a cert on their resume to know the material covered in the cert. (unless it was a cert irrelevant to the job of course.)

Tomas Linhart wrote:2) Where would you put the certification in the learning process of (not specifically) Java language? I mean, would you suggest to learn Java really well before running for a certification, or try to be certified as soon as possible? (This also relates to the first question, because beeing certified increases your chances of getting a job where you can progress faster.)

Again, it varies by person. I took mine after being a developer for many years. That said, I did take the Brainbench "certs" while in college so I had something to put on my resume and show at interviews. When entry level, I think it is good to have as many things as you can think of to differentiate you from the competition. It's tricky though because when in college, you don't know what language your first job will be in. (My Brainbench certs didn't just cover Java.)

Tomas Linhart wrote:3) Is there any reason why take OCAJP 7 and not OCAJP 8 right away? Especially for programmers new to Java. (In my case, I've been learning Java with a book covering Java 6, and AFAIK the leap wasn't that big from version 6 to 7 as from 7 to 8.)

The main reason is if you want to get OCP certified quickly. The OCPJP 8 is not out yet. The pre-req for the OCPJP 7 is the OCAJP 7. Another reason is if you've already bought the book for the Java 7 exam :). Seriously though, I would recommend a new developer go with the OCAJP 8 right away. A new developer will take long enough to study for and take the exams that the OCPJP 8 will likely be out by then.
 
Tomas Linhart
Ranch Hand
Posts: 86
2
Java Ubuntu VI Editor
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you for your answers, they are very close to my estimate ;-)
 
Roel De Nijs
Sheriff
Posts: 10662
144
AngularJS Chrome Eclipse IDE Hibernate Java jQuery MySQL Database Spring Tomcat Server
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tomas Linhart wrote:1) What's the practical benefit of the certification? I've read a lot of opinons on this, but I'd also like to hear yours. Is going through the certification topics any good in becoming even better programmer? If yes, what's the biggest gain? If you were and employer, what weight would you give to the certification? What would it tell you about the applicant?

Preparing for the certification made me a better programmer/developer, without any doubt. In my opinion the complete journey towards getting the certification is more important than that piece of paper you'll get. If you prepare thoroughly, you'll get a much better understanding of Java basics and how things work behind the scenes. So you actually know yourself why a given approach is the best one (not because the team lead said so :)). I listed a few other (personal) benefits in this post as well.

Tomas Linhart wrote:2) Where would you put the certification in the learning process of (not specifically) Java language? I mean, would you suggest to learn Java really well before running for a certification, or try to be certified as soon as possible? (This also relates to the first question, because beeing certified increases your chances of getting a job where you can progress faster.)

From my own experience: I took the certification after having a few years of working experience. But that was mainly because these exams were really hard and covered some really advanced topics. As you probably know since Java 7, you have an entry-level (OCA) and a more advanced (OCP) certification exam. So you could take the OCA exam as soon as possible. It's about Java and OO basics, so that might differentiate yourself from other candidates for a junior position and also increase your chances of getting a job (as it shows motivation and dedication). And during your first working experience as a (junior) java programmer you can prepare for the OCP exam.

Tomas Linhart wrote:3) Is there any reason why take OCAJP 7 and not OCAJP 8 right away? Especially for programmers new to Java. (In my case, I've been learning Java with a book covering Java 6, and AFAIK the leap wasn't that big from version 6 to 7 as from 7 to 8.)

I think Java 7 has a bunch of features and syntactic sugar (Project Coin) that Java 6 doesn't have. Of course these changes were not as far-reaching as the introduction of lambdas (and functional programming) in Java 8. Which one is the best one all depends on your plans in near future. If you want to become OCPJP certified immediately after passing OCAJP, you should definitely opt for OCAJP7. Otherwise OCAJP8 will be the best choice. It's these days a very popular question: you'll find answers/suggestions here and here and here :)

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
Tomas Linhart
Ranch Hand
Posts: 86
2
Java Ubuntu VI Editor
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Roel, very helpful. It pretty well agrees to my opinions and corresponds with my plans - learn Java basics to the level where I can get OCAJP (I already have the necessary books on the shelf :-)), then practise a lot to the level where I can get OCPJP. And the reason would be primary to prove myself I'm at the level where I can say I understand Java really well.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic