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Different ways of showing proficiency to employers

 
Greenhorn
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Employer behavior might be very region-specific but I'll ask anyway.

My school is paying for the OCA if I score well enough on their pre-tests. In case I don't get to take the exam I don't think I will pay for it myself.

In this case what might be some other ways to prove proficiency in the Java language other than saying "I did x months of bootcamp", which ultimately prove nothing.

Of course there's always the coding test, but there must be other ways since a test can be so stressful.
 
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I don't rely too much on certifications to gauge people's fitness to hire. Here's what I'd look for if I were hiring for entry-level positions:

1. Knowledge of the language
2. Knowledge of unit testing frameworks like JUnit
3. Problem solving approach
4. Coachable
5. Eagerness to learn

This is in order of increasing importance to me, so #5 is most important. Caveat: although I list "Knowledge of the language" as the least important of the five, you at least need a basic mastery of the language so studying for certification exam can still be helpful and passing the exam can still help you get in the door for a more detailed interview.

Regarding coding tests, you need to practice writing actual programs so you can get over your nerves. The more you practice, the more you'll build up confidence in your ability to meet coding challenges that may be thrown at you.

Good luck
 
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How far would you go looking for understanding of general programming principles?
 
Junilu Lacar
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:How far would you go looking for understanding of general programming principles?


Assuming the question is directed at me, not very deep. I don't even expect many experienced people (5-10 years) to know much about principles--I just don't see that many people who know about them that much any more, unfortunately. Anyone who can explain SOLID, GRASP, DRY, YAGNI and the like reasonably well is probably going to have a good chance at being shortlisted though.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Junilu Lacar wrote:. . . SOLID, GRASP, DRY, YAGNI . . .

That is what I meant rather than the theory behind the semantics. Too few places teach semantics nowadays, I am afraid.
 
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If you have (personal / open source) projects in GitHub, that might also help in your application.
Some Employers like to know if applicants are passionate enough about software development that they continue to code even outside of the work environment.
 
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