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NEW CERTIFICATION EXAM: Java Associate's Wanted

 
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Marcus said:

"paid commercial experience is the only readily marketable credential"

I'd modify that to say it is the most important marketable credential. Employers want experience. So to get a job you need paid commercial experience. To get paid commmercial experience you need a job. By this logic nobody ever would have got any job at all. Everyone starts somewhere, and certification is another tick in the box on the resume.


There is no entry route into the Java programnming field in the US. Employers in India, including US employers in India, hire many applicants with college diplomas in IT. These same companies accept no substitute for paid commercial experience in the US, but they do sponsor visas for experienced candidates from India.

There are economic reasons for this policy and I don't think the SCJA exam will change anything. I suppose that US applicants could try their luck in India.

The SCJA is a solution searching for a problem.
 
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I think SCJA will make things only worse.
It will heighten the expectation of recruiters about what SCJP (which is after all the next step) guarantees in a candidate only to often be faced with disappointing candidates (or worse, disappointed project managers when an underqualified candidate is hired).

While SCJP will not land you a job anymore, it will make your CV stand out. SCJA may mean SCJP will get to be like MSCE, something you don't want on your CV (I've worked for companies that would not hire anyone who had MCSE on general principle, this after many poor experiences with bad MCSEs even if they had copious workhistory).
SCJA may cause SCJP to end up in a similar situation.
 
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Employers in India, including US employers in India, hire many applicants with college diplomas in IT.



Can you name those companies?
[ March 16, 2005: Message edited by: Pradeep Bhat ]
 
Mike Gershman
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Pradeep said:

"Employers in India, including US employers in India, hire many applicants with college diplomas in IT."

Can you name those companies?


Sure, start with these Bangalore operations hiring freshers:

As per my knowledge fresher's choice is :
1)Infosys(descent salary but huge sea of people)
2)Wipro(same thing)
3)Robert Bosch(good projects and good salary)
4)Persistent(good projects)
5)IBM(good salary but support work and people are 'too old')
6)Trilogy(good)
7)Caritor(descent salary but not much coding work)
8)Novell(very good work and descent salary)
9)AOL(very good salary)
10)Yahoo(good salary)
11)HOneywell(very good salary and very good work)
..
...
and there are N number of large ,N square number of middle and Math.pow(Double.POSITIVE_INFINITY,Double.POSITIVE_INFINITY) number of small companies which have not been listed.Above listing is based on opinions from my friends.and related to Bangalore based companies.

--------------------

Arjun in Bangalore



If you look for Product based companies......

Here are few good companies which i know.....

1) IBM
2) SAP labs
3) BEA
4) BAAN
5) Cordys
6) Oracle
7) Many more................



Most US companies have stopped posting Indian fresher jobs on their web sites (Americans look at web sites) and hire freshers strictly from referrals and college visits. I verified this myself (talking to friends) after seeing a comment about it here at JavaRanch (Jobs Discussion).
 
Jeroen Wenting
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yup, and those Indians are then sent to the US on H1 visa, replacing laid off American workers with years of experience...
 
arch rival
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Mike said

"There is no entry route into the Java programnming field in the US."

Are you saying that there are no job Junior/trainee fresh out of college positions for programming Java in the US?
 
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SCJA = Sun Certified Java Associate is not the exam for SCJP. For obvious reason this exam is not targetted on people with lot of experience and holding SCJP at the minimum. If SCPers wanted to take, it will be just for fun, help in refining the SCJA and collecting paper cert. Why are these experienced java professional whining about taking low level cert while it is not designated for them ??? I see that SCJA coming out with a wrong timing after SCJP has been in the industry for awhile but yet is not that late to correct the problem. So far, I haven't seen any cert progression dependency like you have to take SCJA then SCJP such OCA9i to OCP9i.

If you participated the survey and pay attention to the objectives, they are asking for describe, campare and some OO basics concept and UML basic understand. It is a cert designed for beginner. In fact, I see SCJA leaning towards OO and blended with basic java stuffs. What's wrong with that ??

If you are already did so well in java, you do have an option - do not take it. You wouldn't get anything out of it. Interviewer will skip SCJA and look for SCJP.

Java is not dead, there are still new comers to the industry. Don't think of taking a cert will land you a job. Think of it as a challenge if you are new to it or learn something new. With a cert, interviewer acknowledge that you have basic understanding about the profession you are going to get into NOT an expert though. Without a cert they probably test out on the spot.
 
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Marcus Green:
Mike said

"There is no entry route into the Java programnming field in the US."

Are you saying that there are no job Junior/trainee fresh out of college positions for programming Java in the US?



If the US is like Europe at current that's the case. Noone is hiring people without at least several years professional experience.
 
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Hi Jeroen,

Where do you live??? That is not at all like the market in the UK where I live. The IT market, at least in the South East of England is doing quite well. The C#.NET market is very good and anyone with any experience at all, a few months can get a job. The Java market is a little bit tougher but only a little. I have a friend in Sweden, and I heard the market is not good there. Does anyone have any thoughts about the market in their corner of Europe???
 
Marcus Green
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Perhaps the US economy is not fairing as well as I had assumed.
 
Mike Gershman
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Perhaps the US economy is not fairing as well as I had assumed.


The US market for experienced Java programmers is just fine.

However, US employers overwhelmingly prefer H1B/L1 programmers from India with Java experience on their resume to US college graduates with purely academic Java credentials or even US programmers with extensive legacy experience and multiple high scoring Java certifications. This is a new phenomenon - experienced programmers have always moved to new languages, platforms, and programming paradigms with little loss of market value or job effectiveness.

The issues of why this is true and whether it meets the letter and the intent of the immigration laws is the subject of increasing debate, here at JavaRanch and in the public policy arena. Whether it is true has been settled beyond any reasonable question.

Imagine what Major League Baseball would become if the only farm teams were in Cuba. Now imagine if baseball players were vital to the business world, including the defense industries. Think about it.
 
Jeroen Wenting
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in the Netherlands the market is tough, but apparently starting to slowly pick up.
But that just means that companies are getting orders again, it doesn't mean hiring is up (it does mean the mass layoffs are stopping though).
From what I see advertised in job listings there's no demand at all for people without at least several years of experience, and companies still seem to be able to get away with offering junior salaries and benefits for senior level jobs so there's still a lot of unemployed people with the requested experience out there.

The number of job listings wanting a 25 year old with a doctorate and 10 years of relevant professional experience does seem to be decreasing though (but that's in large part because of tougher enforcement of age discrimination laws that is starting).
 
Marcus Green
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"Imagine what Major League Baseball would become if the only farm teams were in Cuba. Now imagine if baseball players were vital to the business world, including the defense industries. Think about it."

Perhaps not a good analogy, as I know almost nothing of Baseball and the I have never come accross the term "farm team" previously.
 
Dibbo Khan
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Jeroen, this will change soon, the UK was in this phase in mid 2003, in 2004 it was alot better, salaries starting shooting up and now the market is very strong. I think the IT recovery in continental Europe is lagging behind that in the UK from what you say.

Don't worry the vast majority of projections for IT demand in the long term are very positive, any industry can have a down turn. I was very miserable in 2002 as a VB programmer and was dying to get into .NET or Java, I used the time to get some certification and managed to move into C# by early 2003, but salaries didn't start going up until 2004.

I think in 3 - 4 years you will barely remember these bad times.
 
Jeroen Wenting
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there's a strong offshoring trend on the continent, far more so than in the UK.
And what's not being offshored (Pakistan, Malaysia, Russia, and Ukraine are the main destinations) is being handed to Poles being imported cheaply (similar to H1 abuse in the US but fully legal) (though less so in IT than in some other sectors).
 
Mike Gershman
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Marcus said:

"Imagine what Major League Baseball would become if the only farm teams were in Cuba. Now imagine if baseball players were vital to the business world, including the defense industries. Think about it."

Perhaps not a good analogy, as I know almost nothing of Baseball and the I have never come accross the term "farm team" previously.


Too bad. Such a perfect analogy. Let me try to make it work.

If you want to play professional baseball, you start out playing for a small town "Minor League" team, then a small city Minor League team, and finally, if you are good enough, a Major League team in a big city.

The Minor League teams, taken together, are called the farm system because that is where players are grown for the Major League teams. Very few players start their careers playing for a Major League team. The farm teams lose lots of money, but they are heavily subsidized by Major League Baseball.

Baseball is also a popular sport in Cuba and some great Cuban players have come to the US, usually directly joining a Major League team.

Supposed the Major League teams decided that the Cuban players were a much better deal and focussed their hiring there. More and more Cuban teenagers would go into professional baseball, Cuban baseball teams would multiply. Eventually, Major League Baseball would stop subsidizing the US farm teams and very few US teenagers would have a way to earn a Major League position.

As you may know, Cuba was aligned with the former Soviet Union and has often come into conflict with the US.

So far, I have simply summarized some facts. Suppose, however, that baseball players were vital to US businesses, including defense industries. At what point should the US become concerned?
[ March 17, 2005: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]
 
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How is the new exam SCJA related to all these ? Are we not going off the topic ? There are other forums I believe to discuss this.
 
Mike Gershman
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Jay, I will answer your question by repeating my earlier post (Sorry, but I don't know how to link to one post in this very long thread).
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Evelyn Cartagena-Meyer
Java Certification Program Manager
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
said:

quote:If you are a beginner or an expert who knows exactly what you'd be
looking for when hiring an entry level programmer into your team, this
is your opportunity to get involved in the creation of the upcoming
industry leading certification exam.


I just don't get it.

Hiring managers and recuiters are unanimous in saying that certifications will not help entry-level programmers get interviews, let alone jobs. Why does Sun think that this cert will be different?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

If I am correct, this new exam cannot serve its intended purpose.

If I am wrong, please show me where I am wrong.
 
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My understanding is that the interest in this new certification comes primarily from Japan at the moment; possibly other countries. Apparently their job market is such that there's a niche for this certification; it's actually something businesses there have requested. Offhand I don't forsee much demand for this cert in the US. But I've been known to be wrong on rare occasions.

For extended discussion of the job markets in various countries, I recommendour Jobs Discussion forums; let's keep this thread about SCJA as much as reasonably possible.
[ March 17, 2005: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
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Honestly, it might be too early to say whether a certification is useful or not, because it is still not in production.

In addition, the expectation of various people are heterogenius, so, one might think it is useless while others do not.

I believe Evelyn and other SUN staffs have thought of this seriously, and finally decide releasing SCJA instead of upgrading SCEA. They definitely have their own point of views and reasons but obviously it is different with our expectations.

Might be SCJA can change the thinking of the market, but who knows.

Nick
 
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I think SCJA is not required. In medical field once you have license you are 90% sure of getting job. In out IT field certification counts very less on resume unless you have experience.
Even today entry level programmer find job (some hard way or some easily) without SCJA. It might improve their chance of getting job but SCJP is not that difficult to pass and once you pass it you can pick up rest of thing on project.
It is another layer SUN wants to create to attract people towards Java or create revenues but not creating weight age in IT industry for Java Certification.
Even today success rates are not very high with people passing certification exam and getting job right away in interested area e.g. SCBCD or SCWCD or SCMAD etc..
 
Marcus Green
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Nehul, have you ever heard or read of anyone who knows about the subject sugesting that a certification alone would ensure a job? It is, and always was an additional feature to the collection of benefits offered by a job candidate to a potential employer.
 
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what are you all talking about..? SCJP exam and tough to clear... i differ
in my company around 30 guys gave the exam last month and all cleared it none failed... many got 90%+

I feel SJCP is too easy that it has little market value in India atleast.. SCJP is driven by Clients ( who are not good at Java always they have their business to work about and give all java coding to us in india).

As the client becomes technical ( my company has worked for microsoft, HP, oracle , Google etc) they dont value SCJP etc . I wish that SCJA is valued by technical clients as well and be very very tough so that just a SCJA certificate gives confidence to employeer that the candidate has got brains in java

Or have different standards like
SCJA Brownze ( passing and below 75%)
SCJA Silver ( 75%-90%)
SCJA Gold(90%-99%)
SCJA Platanium (top 1%)
 
Ken Boyd
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Marcus,
I know read what Sneha has to say..I mean SCJP is easy to clear with top %.. SUN isn't paying enough attention on making exam standard according to real life project standard. It is again like you are doing your normal school, college or diploma which has little or no real time project experience. You learn most of the trick when you work on job. (I mean study gives you solid foundation for sure)
But we are not talking about study or theoretical knowledge we want certification to transparent your actual project experience/knowledge. So once you got SUN certification one will know he has better understanding.
To me I am not very interested towards certification after having 8-9 years of experience. Even when I went for interview for big company in CA they didn't give much important to SUN certification (I know this for sure). Also certification are not creating that kind of excitement or sense of achievement (no matter how small it might be) by having or getting more SUN certifications.
Just my thoughts no need to agree but fact is the SUN certification carries little weight on resume even after you send so much hours and $$$$
 
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I am totally agree with Nehul ...

They should make exam some what practical ...

Cirtifications are loosing their value ...
 
Jeroen Wenting
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Sneha, SCJA is supposed to be for people who aren't proficient enough to pass SCJP. So it's easier than SCJP, at least the technical part.

With SCJP being what it is (relatively easy to pass if you just cram for it) there's no reason for something easier.
Unless indeed SCJP becomes a lot tougher to pass, meaning cramming some books is no longer enough, there's no hole where SCJA would fit.
And as Sun wants as many people as possible to pass SCJP (after all, they get money for each of them and can use the numbers for marketing purposes) I don't see Sun making SCJP a lot tougher.
 
Mike Gershman
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I still don't understand the pupose of the SCJA certification.

The SCJA will be easier than the SCJP. It will be targetted at inexperienced Java programmers seeking employment. Certifications without job experience mean nothing to employers.

The SCJP is not that hard to study for and pass, even without experience, and it does demonstrate mastery of core Java.

Who will benefit from the SCJA exam?
 
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OK, I swore I wouldn't post again in this thread, but you guys are getting ridicules.

1) It is being requested by a specific country, because there is a huge demand for this exam, the companies in that country are calling Sun and requesting this exam. Therefore it is for them, but will also be available worldwide, if you want to take it.

Mike wrote

Who will benefit from the SCJA exam?



The country requesting it, definitely.

Sneha - 30 passed, congrats. I wonder how they would do in the SCJP 5.0? Or maybe they just know how to program in Java and have 6-12 months experience.

And finally, last post really. Different people have different opinions on the purpose of certification and what you gain from it. I think it is these opinions that determine whether you think a certification is worth it or not. So just because you might not see a need for an exam, doesn't mean that there isn't a need for the exam. Not everyone thinks like you do, and not everyone thinks like I do. Note the difference and thank everyone for their opinions and realize that you won't change people's opinions and be happy with that.



Have fun

Mark

Soon to be SCJA certified.
[ March 21, 2005: Message edited by: Mark Spritzler ]
 
Nicholas Cheung
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The fact is, no matter you agree or not, SCJA will definitely available soon or later. Thus, for those who think it is useful, simply take it; for those who think it is useless, simply not to take it.

This fact wont be changed because of the discussions here.

For those who said it is easy to pass SCJP with top %, I believe this depends on different people, and we dont know the actual statistics for the whole SCJP takers. In here, even those most of the people said they passed with 90+%, however, they might be only part of the group. It is unfair to say it is easy, becasue there might have people who failed.

Nick
 
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Hold on, I think this exam is for the recruiters and hiring managers so they will know a bit about j2ee so they can make rational decisions in hiring.

"paid commercial experience is the only readily marketable credential"

This is because nobody out there knows what they need. They don't know what type of person to hire to fill the needs. The contract companies are not concerned with finding for a company the most experienced help they need. All they care about is money. So they can put a guy on a job and that guy fails the assignment because he really doesn't know enough about ALL the aspects of J2EE to make the proper programming decisions when writing the code, the contract company doesn't care. They got him hired for less than what they would have to pay a person who has relentlessly studied ALL the aspects of J2ee and has many years solving tough problems for clients in other areas like networking, scripting, systems administration, etc., who wants a decent rate. They can get this guy for less and because he has worked on a project, blundered or maybe no one knew enough to be able to tell that in fact he did blunder the code, but it is just waiting to be a problem which need to be refactored. Now that guy has paid experience. Now he can be sold to a next company so he can go in and fail on their project. The client doesn't know. The program seems to work. Although they may have a entangled mess that can't be dealt with. That's the kind of code I have found. People who know just a little bit. But they've been working, and being "paid", because the contract company can keep putting them out there. Sorry, Java programming and J2EE is not meant to be learned on the job. It takes effort and a will to read the books, the specs, and study the examples. There is a lot to learn!

This is a mess. The contracting companies are wanting 30%. That's 30 thousand dollars they make a year off one person for what again. They hooked you up with a job. I am sorry, I am tired of being exploited. We trouble-shooters need a union or a representing body to stop this injustice. The recruiters are the one's that need to be educated. They should have to take the test so they will know what it takes to develop a project properly with j2EE. A little bit of java just doesn't do it anymore. The companies should rely on the Certification tests because they can't even imagine how many "Paid experienced" programmers there are out there that really don't have a clue.

Chris Johnson
 
Marcus Green
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Nehul, you seem to be contradicting yourself, on the one hand you say that it is easy to pass the Sun exams, and on the other you emphasise the number of hours and cost of passing the exams. Certification exams are not, and should never be interpreted as a single metric to ability or suitablity as a programmer/employee, they are just one additional device. For those who consider the exam to be easy to pass, congratulations. Many, many people do not pass it first time, for many, perhaps most candidates it is not a trivial undertaking.

No qualification is a guarantee of ability, passing a 3 year Computer Science degree with empahsis on programming does not ensure that the student will actually be a good programmer. But it does give some solid basis to assuming that. It is more solid evidence than with believing what is on a candidates resume or accepting verbal assurance. That is the problem with work experience, it it may be one of the most useful guides to suitability, but it is very difficult to verify.

Marcus
[ March 20, 2005: Message edited by: Marcus Green ]
 
Mike Gershman
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Marcus said:

Certification exams are not, and should never be interpreted as a single metric to ability or suitablity as a programmer/employee, they are just one additional device.
...
No qualification is a guarantee of ability, passing a 3 year Computer Science degree with empahsis on programming does not ensure that the student will actually be a good programmer. But it does give some solid basis to assuming that. It is more solid evidence than with believing what is on a candidates resume or accepting verbal assurance. That is the problem with work experience, it it may be one of the most useful guides to suitability, but it is very difficult to verify.



This reminds me of a old story about Frank Sinatra.

A pushy socialite asked Sinatra's agent if Frank would sing in her charity show. The agent called her back: "Frank said no.".

The socialite asked "How can he say no to a charity event". She was told "Frank doesn't like cheddar cheese". She asked "What does that have to do with it?"

The reply: "If you want to say no, one reason is as good as another".


The reason for the refusal of US employers to accept certifications in place of experience is that it is a legal way to say no. Then they are free to do what they really want - import H1B workers.



Jim Yingst said:

My understanding is that the interest in this new certification comes primarily from Japan at the moment; possibly other countries. Apparently their job market is such that there's a niche for this certification.


Of course there is, Jim.

I visited my former employer's Tokyo office several times and I can assure you that no Japanese company would even think of bringing in an overseas IT worker when there was any Japanese alternative. As far as I can tell, this hasn't hurt Japanese competitiveness.
[ March 20, 2005: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]
 
Marcus Green
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I don't understand Mikes responses to either posting. Jim did not seem to be referring to importing workers at all, and I didn't understand the connection to my comments (though I sympathise with Sinatra). Could you clarify.
 
Mike Gershman
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So much for elegance.

The reason US firms will not hire based on any certification is that the recruiting process is a charade. They want to import lower cost workers but they have to satisfy the letter of the law by "trying" to find qualified US workers. There is a fixed population of US residents with Java experience and they do not want that number to grow. Accepting even the toughest certifications for even the simplest Java jobs at the lowest salaries will let more US residents acquire Java experience and interfere with their goals. Never before have US employers been so reluctant to hire IT trainees.

For this reason, Marcus, your analysis of certifications versus resumes is entirely correct but irrelevant inn the US.

Japan is a different case. They have a strong national policy, supported by government and industry, of preferential hiring of Japanese citizens in Japanese locations. Since college graduates can get good grades in Computer Science without learning the practical details of any one language, Japanese employers would like to hire graduates who have mastered basic Java, either in school or on their own. Japanese put a lot of stock in standardized tests and the SCJA makes sense for them.
 
Jeroen Wenting
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Plus of course in Asia in general and Japan in particular diplomas (or more correctly the education those prove the person has) are valued very much.
In the US and Europe education valued far less (in fact, the image of the mad scientist and the evil genius bent on taking over the world as created by Hollywood and Marx has caused education to be seen as suspect and anti-social in many circles).
 
Chris Johnson
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And then came Java. Companies have all these good employees and have even hired a few green ones that look promising. These people all have their secure jobs and must now work the company's project into java. This goes on for years. The company is still not where they want to be. They ask the employees to go take the certification tests. Some pass the java programmer test. They still don't know enough to do their job, to bring the code to where we are today. It takes extra effort. Someone who has the passion to learn. These are the folks taking all the Certification tests.

The company looks for the Java J2ee Senior Systems Developer Architect. They want that one person that can set them in the right direction and teach all their deadbeats how it goes. If an employer is looking for a candidate, and he will only look at the group that has already had this experience he is getting all those programmers that have never gotten it together to crack the books and learn the new technology. Companies are looking in the wrong places. The people with experience might not know so much, but they have been working for a long time, struggling to learn java at the job.

Companies are schitzed. They don't know where to turn so someone has told them that all the people in India know java better than those in the US. They say, man, we got to get this stuff rolling it is costing us a fortune to develop. They look for someone from India. They must not realize that this is not true either. The people in India are just as we are in the US. There is a group that will excel and a group that won't . People need to be educated so they can tell who is an exceller and who is not. That is what the Certifications were meant to do.

The contracting companies and the recruiters have put a plague on the industry. Their answer was, "We don't even know the programming business, but we can sell you someone for sure. Here, look at this guy, he's got 5 years java working experience. That's the only way we know that he knows it or not".

All the government agencies in town have bought Websphere. Now those managers are trying to develop systems and processes for their organization. Java/J2ee is what they need, what do they ask for: Websphere programmers, not understanding that Websphere is just the TOOL. The contracting company has a guy who has worked as manager for a Websphere department at IBM. Now what is wrong here. It is possible that a manager for a Websphere department at IBM may know java or even j2ee, but I have my doubts. I would think that daily business at IBM for a manager rarely allows for much code writing or even time to study the books.

I am tired of being asked by a recruiter if I have used J2EE, like it was a windows editor program or something. There is a big gap, you've got someone who can say they worked for a company for 5 years and that company did java programming, and they wrote this little piece, so that makes them a java programmer with 5 years experience and you've got this other group that has spent their own personal time learning the technology, reading the code, the specs, taking the certification tests. Companies must learn what to look for those select few who really do put the extra effort in to learn what it takes to be a great java programmer. You have to learn it before you can use it. Companies need to be educated in how to look for that special person. Experience is nothing. Not any more. There's too much range in that. They need to be able to spot those individuals that have the will to excel. The ones that go that extra mile. These individuals will bring to the company what it needs to succeed.

Chris Johnson
 
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When will the exam objectives be published? I took the usrvey and at last they said I can take the new SCJA exam for free in May. I want to prepare for it now! (I may (actually hope) become a beta 1.5 SCJP on 22 April :roll: )
 
Mark Spritzler
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When you took the survey, those were the exam objectives. However, I believe that this is the week they are having their workshop to create the exam questions. So look in the not to distant future for a real public release of the Beta and the exam objectives, which will be the same as the survey.

Mark
 
Nicholas Cheung
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When will the exam objectives be published?


The objective should be published at the end of April or early May.

If you have copied the objectives when you are working for the survey, you can make use of that version as I believe it wont change too much.

Nick
 
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I think these lines best describe what set of questions would the new certification address:
"This
weighting aligns industry expectations with the developer skills to be
validated.
"
And what is that that industry expects regarding developers skills? Maybe someone at Sun got tired of testing prospective coders on obscure aspects of the synthax and is ready to address the testing for the skills that the industry actually needs...
Sincerely, the only reason that I will take the SCJP test is to stuff my resume. If I was a programmer that has projects in line awaiting to be worked on, I would be neck deep into doing the job and wouldn't even think of waisting my time shifting my focus to preparing to answer a swath of trick questions and decypher lines of code that no one in his/her right mind would ever write... but in my case, the projects are yet to come and the willingness is here...
 
She'll be back. I'm just gonna wait here. With this tiny ad:
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