Yesterday I passed the 1Z0-808 OCA exam at my first attempt, obtaining 85%. I am particularly proud of this achievement because I do not have a programming background (at all). After 10 years working as a clinical researcher in a pharmaceutical company, I wanted to change my career to become a software developer. A couple of months ago, I started learning java (and programming topics in general) on my own, which is why I am very pleased with this result.
I found Jeanne and Scott's book very helpful. I complemented this with an online video tutorial on Udemy as well as the Enthuware mock exams. And a lot of practice!
I also want to extend a heartfelt thanks to all the people here on CodeRanch who have taken the time to help me out with my basic and sometimes silly questions.