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What to choose? OCA 7 or OCA 8 ? Need Advice

 
steve jhonson
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Hi all,
I am a java developer with 10 months experience. I am exhausted with non-java support project in my organization. Though I am a java resource, I have been getting all non-technical work(it been 8 months since I have written java code). I feel I losing grip on my technical skills. But every day I practise code snippets of core java 1 hour. In the process of improving my java skills thereby to move to Java Development side, I am planning for schedule my Java certification exam in 2 months.
The problem is about time which I am getting now after 9 am to 9 pm non-programming work environment I still managing one hour to maintain my focus towards skill.

So Stating my situation above, I am planning to go for OCA 7 and bought "OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide (Exams 1Z0-803 & 1Z0-804). by Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra"

The reason I planned JAVA SE 7 over JAVA SE 8 is mainly due to the
1. The Environment which I have practised(code snippets) so far are on 1.7.
2. The material (K&B) is so reliable. I didn't find such material for JAVA 8(In the exam oriented ).
The above two reasons made me easy for me to prepare for the OCA 7 exam (comparatively with OCA 8).
3. Next year I might be getting the chance of company reimbursable certification (If I decided to stay in the same company) thereby I can move to forthcoming version(JAVA 9).

The above reasons could be wrong, So please correct me if I was wrong in anywhere. If taking OCA 7 over OCA 8 is such a big mistake then please guide me through the best possible solution.


And few doubts:
1. Are two months of preparation enough for passing both OCA and OCP (with 3 hours per day )?
2. Reading K&B OCA 7 will help me towards OCA 8, in case if I changed my mind (more likely "if I get more free time" )
3. If nothing goes right here I will need to think about higher studies(MS) after one year. So how JAVA 7 certification be helpful to get the job after MS, 2 years from now?

Suggest me plan according to my situation I mention above and most importantly correct me If my reasons or assumptions wrong. I need to decide by tomorrow whether I need to start preparing for OCA 7 or OCA 8.
This is my first post in coderanch. if possible please provide me with some helpful links and relatable experiences.

Thanks!
 
Steffe Wilson
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Hi steve.

A similar question (v7 vs v8) was asked here: http://www.coderanch.com/t/663318/ocajp/certification/OCAJP

I would have thought 2 months to prepare and pass both OCA and OCP is highly optimistic unless you know a lot of the material already. K&B is about 1000 pages and you have to know it in great detail for the exams.
Roel gave a couple of useful links in this post re OCA study time:
http://www.coderanch.com/t/642702/ocajp/certification/Time-required-prepare-OCA-Java
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Two things jump out at me with your plan.
1) Two months isn't enough to pass two exams. Especially not while working full time.
2) The Java 9 exam won't be out next year. Java 9 itself isn't due out until 2017. And then it takes time for the exam to be created/tested/released. I think it is fine to take the Java 7 exams. It is best to take the exam that goes with the book you own. I just want to make sure you aren't banking on upgrading to Java 9 quickly.

K&B 7 + a bit of online materials will be fine for OCA 8. You would need to buy a different book for OCP * if you choose to take the version 8 exams.

Disclaimer: I wrote OCA/OCP 8 books.
 
steve jhonson
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Hi Jeanne Boyarsky,
Thank you for suggestion

K&B 7 + a bit of online materials will be fine for OCA 8. You would need to buy a different book for OCP * if you choose to take the version 8 exams.


So for OCA 8 , there is no need of buying an additional book ? K&B 7 + Enthuware + Online material is enough ?
Can you please explain what does the "online material" refers to ? Enthuware ? Can you share any link if have ?

Thanks in advance
 
Roel De Nijs
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Hi steve jhonson,

First of all, a warm welcome to CodeRanch!

steve jhonson wrote:The above reasons could be wrong, So please correct me if I was wrong in anywhere. If taking OCA 7 over OCA 8 is such a big mistake then please guide me through the best possible solution.

It is always a good idea to take the exam you have bought the book for. And there is nothing wrong with a choice for OCAJP7. Once you have passed the OCPJP7 you can always become OCPJP8 certified by taking the upgrade exam. Please note that you can't combine different version certifications.

steve jhonson wrote:1. Are two months of preparation enough for passing both OCA and OCP (with 3 hours per day )?

That's only possible if you already have a good and solid understanding of most of the OCA exam topics and you can take the exam after at most one week of studying. But based on the description of your personal situation, you probably need 6 to 8 weeks (and maybe even more) to prepare for the OCA exam. So 2 months for both is waaaaaay to optimistic for you.

steve jhonson wrote:2. Reading K&B OCA 7 will help me towards OCA 8, in case if I changed my mind (more likely "if I get more free time" )

If you have studied OCA7 and do some additional studying yourself using other resources (online tutorials, articles, these forums,...), you'll be ready to pass the OCAJP8 certification exam. Here you'll find a mapping of the exam objectives of OCAJP7 vs OCAJP8.

steve jhonson wrote:3. If nothing goes right here I will need to think about higher studies(MS) after one year. So how JAVA 7 certification be helpful to get the job after MS, 2 years from now?

A certification won't guarantee you a job at all. But it might make the difference between some equivalent candidates. 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.

steve jhonson wrote:This is my first post in coderanch. if possible please provide me with some helpful links and relatable experiences.

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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steve jhonson wrote:So for OCA 8 , there is no need of buying an additional book ? K&B 7 + Enthuware + Online material is enough ?
Can you please explain what does the "online material" refers to ? Enthuware ? Can you share any link if have ?

Yes, as mentioned in my previous post: if you have studied an OCA7 study guide and you do some additional studying yourself using other resources (online tutorials, articles, these forums,...), you'll be ready to pass the OCAJP8 certification exam. Other online materials refer to the additional exam topics you need to know for the OCAJP8 exam. Here you'll find a mapping of the exam objectives of OCAJP7 vs OCAJP8. One of additional study materials could be the appropriate Java Tutorials by Oracle. If you actually consider to take the OCAJP8 exam, you'll definitely need to purchase an OCPJP8 study guide. So you might consider to buy this certification kit (so you'll have an OCAJP8 study guide as well). The Enthuware mock exams is obviously a very good choice, but you need a study guide (or other materials) to study from as it's not intended to teach you all exam concepts like a study guide does.

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
steve jhonson
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Thank you so much Roel De Nijs , for your point to point explanation. You cleared almost all of my confusions
 
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