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Training Promo: OCA Java SE 7 Programmer Exam Complete Video Course by Simon Roberts

 
Shantha Dodmane
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First time participating in Training Promo. Is the right place to ask question to Simon Roberts?
If so, Simon Roberts, I'm a Quality Assurance Engineer. I would like to move to Java Development.
Will this certification opens the door for me to enter into Java Development?
 
Pierre Gadea
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Hello Simon,

Are there any other materials you would recommend on top of the video course? Is there a certification exam for Java SE8? If so, would this course also prepare someone for SE8?


Thanks,
Pierre
 
Simon Roberts
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Oh, that's difficult. To be honest, how you learn is such a personal thing. There are many good books, so if you prefer to learn from text, you should check them out. Some folks like video, some prefer the relative "page flippability" of text.

My suspicion is that the one thing that you should definitely do, which most people don't really want to do, is go write lots of code. If you've been learning from any kind of training resource, whether my video course, or a book, or anything else, you would benefit from writing code that deliberately exercises the "corners" of the language. The exam doesn't ask many questions about mainstream, easy stuff. It would be a stupid waste of everyone's time to do so. The idea is to distinguish "better" from "ordinary" programmers, and for that, you must ask questions that some folks will get wrong. So, take the ideas that you think you understand, and write code that uses them. Write code that uses those ideas in really odd ways, and make sure that it does what you think it should. If it doesn't, you need to discover why; go back to your training material and see if you can't find an answer there.

Generally, I don't recommend just random googling; there's no qualification requirement for writing something on the net If you check here, of course, there are plenty of eyes watching out for anyone's errors (doubtless including mine!)

I hope this helps,
Cheers,
Simon
 
Simon Roberts
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Shantha Dodmane wrote:First time participating in Training Promo. Is the right place to ask question to Simon Roberts?
If so, Simon Roberts, I'm a Quality Assurance Engineer. I would like to move to Java Development.
Will this certification opens the door for me to enter into Java Development?


Woops, sorry, missed this one.

I believe it will help, yes.

The thing is, a certification cannot prove conclusively that you're a competent all-round programmer, nor that you'll be a good, helpful team member. But, it can help an overworked hiring manager to sort through many resumes, quickly reducing the number that have to be given serious consideration.

One thing is, I've noticed that the attitude to certification tends to say something about the person. Those who are willing to be measured by other people's standards, without hiding behind excuses, or fear of being found wanting, are often those who are generally seeking to improve their professional skills on a continuous basis, and they're good people to have in your team. Those who just say "I can do this, I don't have to prove anything" are less often such folks. Of course there are exceptions! I remember when I created the original exam, while I worked at Sun in 1996, I had some input from one of the lead engineers who wrote the JVM. He was very, very, smart (as you'd expect) a great team player, exactly the sort you'd want on your team, but he did admit that he didn't feel pressure to pass the exam

But particularly when you're starting out, something to help distinguish you from all the others surely cannot be a bad thing.

Another point is that in preparing for the exam, most people,even experienced programmers, usually discover something new about the language.

Hope this helps,
Cheers,
Simon
 
Roel De Nijs
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Hi Pierre Gadea,

First of all, a warm welcome to CodeRanch!

Pierre Gadea wrote:Are there any other materials you would recommend on top of the video course? Is there a certification exam for Java SE8? If so, would this course also prepare someone for SE8?

In the OcajpFaq (besides other very useful information) and this thread you'll find an overview of all available resources (study guides, mock exams,...) to thorougly prepare yourself for the certification exam. And on the OcajpWallOfFame you'll find plenty of (links to) experiences from other ranchers (including resources they have used). So it can be useful to determine which resources are useful (and which are not).

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
Roel De Nijs
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Hi Shantha Dodmane,

First of all, a warm welcome to CodeRanch!

Shantha Dodmane wrote:Will this certification opens the door for me to enter into Java Development?

A certification (even with a good score) will probably not get you a programming job (not even an entry-level). But it might make the difference between some equivalent candidates (or get you an interview where you can prove your skills). It shows different positive aspects for a programmer: eager to learn, want to study and improve your knowledge (in your own time), you are up for a challenge, you have an eye for details,... But you probably not get a job just because you are certified. So a certification is never a guarantee for a job, but it may help turn the scale in your favor. This topic has some great advice about trying to get a job with an OCA certification.

If you started learning Java you'll probably need to read (and practice) using a book on Java first (rather than a certification study guide). Many alternatives are available: Head First Java, Thinking in Java, Core Java, Deitel & Deitel, and so on.

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
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