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OCP Java SE 17 Developer - challenges as an author

 
Greenhorn
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IntelliJ IDE Spring Java
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I was actually a bit curious about the writing process for an author for one of these, since I can imagine the swifter release cycle (especially now) poses quite some opportunities/challenges. So I was wondering how you dealt with these, especially with (preview) features that get added relatively late in the cycle.
 
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Well, actually it is not much of a problem, since Java preview features do not appear in any of the exams. I suppose the reason is obvious - it is not guaranteed that a preview feature would be retained in the language in the same form as it was introduced in the preview. This is an entire point of previews - to allow some agree of experimentation, and see if proposal gains traction and if it proves to be practical. As an Oracle course writer I do study preview features, and produce "New Features" style overview courses for short term supported versions of Java. This really helps to be up-to-date with the changes in the Java language, and generally raise awareness of the direction that Java language evolution takes. However, all of such trainings would inevitably include a disclaimer, that these preview features are not to be considered as stable production quality solutions.
Another issue that you've touched upon is a more frequent release cadence of Java versions is also not really a concern. Certification exams are only build for what we call "Long Term Support" (LTS) versions of Java, such as SE11 and SE17 - any other versions between these are not considered "certification worthy" because they are only supported for a short period of time and customers are encouraged to jump from one LTS version to another in their production systems. These "interim" versions are valuable from developer perspective in many ways, such as studying and influencing the evolution of Java language, but probably not from production software development perspective. Certifications are aimed at the production software developers and are considered to be a useful tool for employers. - These audiences are  mostly interested in LTS versions, thus exams cater to their expectations.
 
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Hi Simon,

I doubt very much that Oracle will release a new certification exam for each new release of Java.
However, I would venture that Oracle will release a new certification exam for a LTS-release of Java (long term release).
Next one LTS being Java 21, so maybe a new certification exam in 2024 sometime.
So certification exam releases are less frequent than Java releases.

Preview features and incubator modules are never on the exam.
Doesn't make sense to ask questions on the exam about features, etc. that have not been finalized.

The biggest challenge writing a book for Java certification is determining the scope of the topics from the exam objectives, as some of these are high-level and abstract. In our case we ended up with a two-volume 1851-pages book weighing 5.5 lbs. :-)

 
Simon Verhoeven
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Sorry, I might have worded it poorly. I meant it more in the sense of: aspects that were originally expected to stay a bit longer in incubation/preview due to feedback that still end up in the LTS version (since like Vasily mentioned only LTS get exams, on that front ) since some features are quite extensive scope wise, and it's quite a weighty book already literally and figuratively. Also with the shift from 3 => 2 years for LTS.

When do you generally actually start on the preparation for the next LTS exam guide, given I can imagine it's quite an extensive process given the scope of the material.
 
Khalid A. Mughal
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Hi Simon,

That is a tough question you are asking.
I am also wondering how we meet all the challenges in writing such a book.
I am afraid that if I start thinking about this, I will never write another book.
In short, time consuming and grueling at times.


 
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