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OK so I passed the OCA-808...next step?

 
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Hello all!  I am fairly new to Java and programming in general.  

A little background - I have a ChE degree and work in technical chemical sales and make a decent living at it, but it's not what I want to be doing as a career, and very stressful to boot.  I always had an interest in programming, even going way back to my youth when I got some exposure to BASIC.  I have always thought about dev as a career but never pulled the trigger (definitely wish I had a lot earlier).

I made the decision in Sept to self-teach Java, among other things such as MSSQL and go for certificates.  Today I am happy to say I passed the OCA-808 exam (only 72%, but hey, it was enough!).  This was kind of my benchmark to tell myself that this may be worth pursuing.

Having said that, would studying and trying for the OCP exam be advisable?  Right now I have been coding random things, doing tuts, etc. and thinking about ways to build an effective portfolio.  So my goal is to attain an entry level position to obtain experience.  Any advice/experience from people who've done the same?  Thanks!
 
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Welcome to the Ranch and well done. Please add your name to this thre‍ad.

I suggest you would do well to improve your coding skills; cert exams often show you bad code for you to find what is wrong with it, but employers want you to show them good code. Open a Github/Gitlab account and put your code in that. Find people who want something coding; maybe the local football club need something. Show us what yoiu are doing, as you go; we shall be able to tell you lots about your code style and design.

[edit]Other people will have more suggestions, so you will get all sorts of good ideas. You might get more attention if I copy you to a non‑exam‑based forum.
 
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You have a rude awakening waiting for you if you think that a programming job is any less stressful than a chemical engineering job. You might not get the same stress points but I’d venture to bet the stress levels are about the same. I stay in programming because I love it, despite the stress.
 
Billy Willis
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Thanks all!  I think the main thing is for me, as I've been doing the research, is that I realize a programmer's job would not be easier by any means, but I do know that I have a much larger passion for coding and creating than the technical sales and the associated pressures involved with that.  I wouldn't be at all against working hard to make deadlines and adapting to a high paced environment.  It gradually just came to my attention that my passion and skill set would match up way better with a career like this.  And it isn't about the money, although it would be pretty good down the road with experience.  

I just regret not having done this earlier in life.  Even back in college I felt the pull to go into CS (and I often found myself more interested in what they were doing than my own work).  Just didn't want to seem like I quit on something.  But I am definitely in this full steam ahead and becoming part of the coding world!  For now I've been looking at other's code and dabbling with some simple games, etc.  Also learned basic HTML and CSS.  The job market looks like it's heavy in Spring type enterprise applications for a java programmer, so I'll start getting my feet wet in Jakarta.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Billy Willis wrote:. . . .  I wouldn't be at all against working hard to make deadlines . . . .

Who on earth told you that?

. . . my passion and skill set would match up way better with a career like this.

That is a good reason to consider a change

And it isn't about the money . . .

It's about paying the rent, the gas bill, the groceries bill, the tailor's shop bill, the bookshop bill, etc. And all those things take money. Money isn't an end in itself, and it “can't buy you love”, but it is still useful to have.
 
Junilu Lacar
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HTML...CSS...Spring...enterprise Java...Jakarta... these are all tools, and while every craftsman should know their tools and have the ability to wield them with skill, there's also a large part of programming that's more art than science. I'm a mechanical engineer by training and my wife has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. I am the better programmer and now I'm a technical coach. She went down a different path. She used to program mainframes but discovered that her strength is in dealing with people and nurturing teams to perform at their potential and beyond. She is now an accomplished Scrum Master and I'm trying to coach her so she realizes her potential as a coach as well. Sometimes I think she coaches me more than I coach her though.

Anyway, my point is that you should follow your passion and make the most of your strengths. As far as craftsmanship goes, don't just master your tools. Learn principles and practice applying them in all you do. Tools are nothing if you don't know the principles behind their application. Most of all practice, practice, practice. This is where the hard work comes in. I think excellence comes when passion and strength meet opportunity and hard work. And when you're excellent, then money just seems to follow you wherever you go.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Yesterday, I wrote:

Billy Willis wrote:. . . .  I wouldn't be at all against working hard to make deadlines . . . .

Who on earth told you that? . . . .

I am sorry, but I think I have misunderstood your original post I got it totally wrong.
 
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Billy -

I have been checking out the costs/benefits of the OCP Certification as well.  I'm still learning Java too so it appears that we are in the same boat.  I just recently stumbled across Spring AOP.  I decided to learn more prior to deciding whether or not a Cert is needed to break into entry-level Java opportunities.

Here are some links for Spring:

Understanding the core of Spring framework
https://www.codejava.net/frameworks/spring/understanding-the-core-of-spring-framework?utm_campaign=codejavanet&utm_medium=email&utm_source=getresponse

Understanding Spring MVC
https://www.codejava.net/frameworks/spring/understanding-spring-mvc?utm_campaign=codejavanet&utm_medium=email&utm_source=getresponse

Understanding Spring AOP
https://www.codejava.net/frameworks/spring/understanding-spring-aop?utm_campaign=codejavanet&utm_medium=email&utm_source=getresponse


Creating a Spring MVC project using Maven and Eclipse in one minute
https://www.codejava.net/frameworks/spring/creating-a-spring-mvc-project-using-maven-and-eclipse-in-one-minute?utm_campaign=codejavanet&utm_medium=email&utm_source=getresponse


In addition, I suggest you researched Hibernate, Maven, and Postman:

HIBERNATE
https://howtodoinjava.com/hibernate-tutorials/


Maven Getting Started Guide
https://maven.apache.org/guides/getting-started/index.html


POSTMAN
https://www.guru99.com/postman-tutorial.html


There is so much to learn.  I'm trying to determine the breadth and depth of knowledge required to considered "entry-level."


Best of luck to you!




 
Billy Willis
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Yesterday, I wrote:

Billy Willis wrote:. . . .  I wouldn't be at all against working hard to make deadlines . . . .

Who on earth told you that? . . . .

I am sorry, but I think I have misunderstood your original post I got it totally wrong.



No worries!
 
Billy Willis
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Royale Summers wrote:Billy -


In addition, I suggest you researched Hibernate, Maven, and Postman:

HIBERNATE
https://howtodoinjava.com/hibernate-tutorials/


Maven Getting Started Guide
https://maven.apache.org/guides/getting-started/index.html


POSTMAN
https://www.guru99.com/postman-tutorial.html


There is so much to learn.  I'm trying to determine the breadth and depth of knowledge required to considered "entry-level."


Best of luck to you!






Thanks, and good luck to you too!  I've started on Spring and already using Maven for projects.  Haven't got to Hibernate yet but learning JDBC first to grasp the concepts.  Also started on Git.  A lot yet to learn, I'm afraid!
 
Royale Summers
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Billy -

Check out this article:  

15 Reasons to Choose Hibernate Over JDBC
JDBC has its place, but Hibernate comes ready with an arsenal of helpful tools and capabilities that make connecting to your database a much easier prospect.

https://dzone.com/articles/15-reasons-to-choose-hibernate-over-jdbc
 
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