I received notification today that I cleared part II and III with a score of 146!
I had the Gemstone International project and am very happy that my work over the Christmas vacation has all paid off! :-)
Thanks to all on this forum for their help, but a special mention to K Tsang for all the guidance and advice provided.
In terms of timelines, I purchased the assignment on Dec 22nd 2015, submitted on Jan 22nd, took the exam Jan 23rd and received my result today.
This certification has taught me a great deal and I'm pleased to say that I find myself using the knowledge gained in my day to day work.
Thanks again ranchers!
PS Happy to answer any questions or provide advice on the process!
Congratulations Chris. I am on my way towards Part 2/3. Your assignment duration looks very quick. Was it almost full-time? I am spending an hour or two daily, and I am expecting atlas 2-3 months for the assignment.
I purposely wanted to do it quickly so it wasn't hanging over my head.
I started working on it during my Christmas vacation and probably spent 20 hours or so then. Once back at work after the break I was working on it during evenings and weekends. All in all I estimate I put in another 20-25 hours over the course of the three weeks in January leading up to my submission and exam. It was probably 40-50 hours of effort all in.
It seems like a daunting task at first but I broke it down and tackled...
1. Class Diagram
2. Sequence Diagrams
...once those two are done you've 70% there IMO.
The class diagram helps frame your solution and the sequence diagrams, although only worth a few points, really help to solidify your design and validate your class diagram - so I recommend putting in the effort here.
3. Component Diagram
4. Deployment Diagram
The component diagram is basically an abstracted view of your class diagram (didn't take me long) and the deployment diagram is as simple or complex as you chose to make it.
I bought myself a note pad specifically for the project and kept all my notes and assumptions scribbled there - so when it came to #5 it was really a case of reading through and consolidating my thoughts. I recommend this approach - it's very useful to have something you can carry around to jot thoughts down if you're on the subway, at home or in the office.
I also recommend getting your diagrams down on paper before trying to write them up in a tool. The notebook is useful for this as you go through various iterations of your diagrams you're able to look back and see the history of your thinking. The old fashioned approach also enables you to focus on exactly what the problem is as opposed to being distracted by the tool (which is especially true if you're new to the tool you've decided to use).
Dont know how well I can Appreciate you, for taking time and briefing your approach and tips in such a crisp way. Thank you, that will really help me. I am putting my heart and soul to this certification. Hoping for the best output.