I have set a goal of acquiring the OCMJEA 6 certification, and I wanted to know whether it is a good idea to try to get all the expert level certifications (5 currently as per this link: link). I have very limited on-the-job Java EE experience (currently not working in Java), so I am going through courses on Udemy and reading books on Java EE related topics to learn. I appreciate any suggestions on what to do to achieve the master level certification (other than passing the required exams ).
Getting the OCMJEA6 needs 4 steps: MC exam, design assignment, essay exam and mandatory training. The training can be done any time.
Now the JEA cert expects you to have couple years of Java experience preferably design experience. But some people ignore that.
The MC exam covers lots of topics yet none of these need a detail level, unlike those developer certs. As you may know architect suppose to "design" rather than code.
The design assignment is given a scenario and you design it drawing bunch of UML diagrams then defend your solution in the essay exam.
A high level knowledge of the Java EE platform is needed: the 5Ws, pros and cons, comparison with other tech/framework etc.
To start off in Java EE, get familiar with servlets and JSP. With a sound foundation in this area, other web frameworks like JSF, Spring, Struts will be easier to pick up.
The core of the Java EE platform is the EJB, understanding the different types and when/why to use them will help.
Last familiar with the other supporting technologies or API like JPA, JMS, JAAS (auth), JAX-WS (SOAP WS), JAX-RS (REST WS) etc will complete your understanding.
Apart from the JEE stack, other topics in the exam objectives like design patterns, 2/3-tier architecture, design principles etc are also needed.
All in all lots of reading. While you learn get your hands dirty will definitely speed up your pace. Anyway below are some books you can reference to start your learning:
* Head First Servlet & JSP 2e = cover the retired JEE5 web component exam but excellent book for learning servlets & JSP
* EJB 3 in Action 2e = detail coverage of EJB3 and JPA, suitable for EJB developer cert
* Java EE 6 Tutorial = cover the whole platform in just enough detail for you to understand those examples in the tutorial
* Head First OOA&D = if you haven't done design much this book will get you in the right mindset
* Web Services Up & Running = great intro to REST and SOAP
* Head First Design Patterns = great intro to Gang of Four design patterns
Anyway gotta start somewhere and I hope all this doesn't scare you
Should you do the expert exams is something of your choosing. When I started my prep for v5 cert, I ended up doing the developer certs also. Why? Because you already learn these things during my prep. Taking the developer exam is like a small milestone saying I know enough in such and such technology, which "can" help during project designs.
However, do all these relevant or helpful? Not really. I personally did find the EJB v5 cert helpful and WS v5 cert practically useless for JEA5 cert.
Thank you very much for the detailed reply K.Tsang! It sure does sound like a lot of work will be needed. I was leaning towards the EJB expert exam and it's good to know from you that it is the most helpful one on the path to JEA. One thing I wanted to ask regarding that, as you said "EJB 3 in Action 2e = detail coverage of EJB3 and JPA, suitable for EJB developer cert " , do you have an opinion on the Enterprise JavaBeans 3.1 6th Edition book by Rubinger and Burke, since it covers EJB 3.1, which is what is on the exam? Once I get past the EJB milestone, I will start on the other resources you mentioned for the architect path. You mentioned that the WS exam was practically useless for your Java Architect certification, but I see that you are also a certified component developer. Did that help for the JEA?
Thanks again for the detailed response, I am excited to continue learning!