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Java beginner - Bad experience  RSS feed

 
Tasja Malant
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Hi Java Ranch, I have 17 years programming experience in Unix, Pro C, Pl Sql, Oracle Forms and Apex. I want to learn and Object Oriented Language to up my skills, and of course I decided I want to learn Java.
I was hoping to find a long term course with practice included, as I feel this is very important to learn a new language. Could not find it, and then contacted Oracle to assist. They suggested starting with the Java SE 7 Fundamentals Course. I enjoyed the course as it explained the concepts of Java very well. In the package they included an exam voucher. After completing the course I was told to do the OCP Java Programming I (IZO 803) exam.
As I do not work in Java at all, and have no practice in Java, I also bought the Kaplan prep exam. When I started doing the questions, I realised it was way above the Study Material I had. I actually felt as if the course and the exam was a mismatch. Even contacted my Oracle consultant to ask if they are sure this is the exam that follows the course I did… I was assured it is. By this time, the exam voucher was almost expiring, and I had no choice as to go write the exam.
It was a horrific experience, I could not finish 2/3 of the exam, and was unsure about all the questions. I failed badly.  As you can imagine my self-confidence took a big knock, I am still recovering…
Felt as if Oracle should never have advised me to go write that exam. But the reply I got is that I need at least 6 months practical experience. Wish I was told this upfront…
So now I really need some help/advise as to how to get the correct practical experience to get my knowledge up to the level to try the exam again.  At work I continue to work in my expert languages as the time lines to deliver are always very tight. Also nobody at work with Java experience.
Please can you help me with advice how to get my knowledge up with practical experience so I can go rewrite the exam?
Thanks
 
Knute Snortum
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I'm sorry you had a bad experience.  I had trouble with that exam even with some experience and using an exam prep software package (http://enthuware.com/).

I have found that having some sort of project in mind -- something real but small -- and working on it really helps you learn Java.  A project could be a simple contact manager, a tic tac toe game, or the like.
 
Tasja Malant
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Thanks, will take your advice!!
 
Henry Wong
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Tasja Malant wrote:
Felt as if Oracle should never have advised me to go write that exam. But the reply I got is that I need at least 6 months practical experience. Wish I was told this upfront… 


Yeah, I too, remember the "at least six months" recommendation (many years ago). Also, to choose the version of Java based on the current project. I don't see any of this on the Sun/Oracle site anymore.

The jaded part of me speculates that there is probably a larger market for newbies (particularly university CS majors) looking to enter the job market, than companies with Java teams, that they would like to improve. Oh well.... and BTW, this is my opinion only.

Henry
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Welcome to the Ranch too.
Do people with CS degrees sit the cert exams?
 
Junilu Lacar
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It wouldn't surprise me at all if half the new CS grads out there have a hard time passing the cert tests.
 
Daniel Andres
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Knute Snortum wrote:  A project could be a simple contact manager, a tic tac toe game, or the like.


Tic tac toe game would help and it's a lot of fun. It was challenging to program. This game helped me strengthen manipulating substrings, characters, switch statements, booleans and the use or arguments back and forth between methods.

I do recommend programming a game of your liking!
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Junilu Lacar wrote:It wouldn't surprise me at all if half the new CS grads out there have a hard time passing the cert tests.
When we were taught programming, we had to produce code that compiled. So far so good. The cert exams as you to predict whether code will compile, which is a different skill, and not nearly as easy as it sounds.
 
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