Mike Sanders

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since Jun 27, 2005
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Recent posts by Mike Sanders

It's funny, I'm sort of coming the reverse of you, I just passed web services (barely) today and am looking possibly at SCBCD. I agree that you don't need to know much about EJBs for SCDJWS.

SCDJWS is a very old exam in terms of keeping up with technology, and even the author of the main book used for it has ditched the web service world. I would let something change in that arena before heading that way.
[ May 08, 2008: Message edited by: Mike Sanders ]
Ok, so it's not as good a grade as others around here, but it's a pass, and I am ready to be done with this exam. I was running out of time on my voucher, so I had to take the test before I felt confident about it.

I cannot study at work, and I don't have much time to study online at home, so I found this certification very difficult to study for, as most of the good, concise, and non-dry information is on the web. So for the first 9-10 months of my studying, I was stuck with RMH, which is so boring that I would fall asleep rather quickly every time I picked it up and read a few pages (I am not exaggerating). I am not sure we should use a reference book for this ideally, but it's what we are stuck with.

For the others, in no specific order...

Whizlabs was decent, but the free piece expires before I can use it much.

XYZWS is a nicely organized website, and provides easy reading. The mock exam is a really good test. But some of the material, and the mock exam, was difficult and confusing at times because I think they had trouble with the English language. Some of the answers on the mock exam I also believe are wrong. For the exam, I just tested 10-20 at a time, and then earlier this week I took the full thing and got exactly a 68, so it is not much different in difficulty than the real thing (I tested 76 after a lot more cramming).

The Java blueprints are nice easy reading, as well as the J2EE tutorial for the topics covered in the exam. I wish I read those more in the beginning.

MZ, you are awesome. I can't thank you enough for what you have done for us in our pursuits in our certification exams. Your study materials are simple, nicely organized, and easy to understand. The quiz is reasonably priced, and provides lots of good information. I was a little discouraged because there is a lot of code reading in the MZ quiz, but thankfully the real exam didn't have much code reading. In the end, the MZ quiz's code reading was probably a good thing because it covers a lot of information in one question. Well worth the money.

Val's Blog - Matrix was also fairly important, to cover any remaining objectives that I didn't see as covered by the materials I have already ready. Props to Val, I am grateful. I couldn't have done it without you.

If I had to label the importance of all these, I would go with:
1. RMH (because it's there and portable)
2. MZ
4. blueprints and j2ee tutorial
5. Val's Blog
6. The Sun mock exam
7. Whizlabs

I think they all played a good role in my learning.

Unfortunately, I don't think I can call myself a web services expert after passing the exam, but at least now I have a decent knowledge of Java web services, though it's certainly the older version.
16 years ago
#4 is not correct because name is required, correct?

Originally posted by Vince Chen:

Does this mean if sun's API has SecurityException in update/delete method will never be thrown from your implementation? Because SecurityException is thrown while over two locks want to update/delete the same record.

Very cool question! I pondered that right before I submitted. It does mean that it won't be thrown if only two clients try to lock at the same time, as my wait time was 25 seconds and the lock time is 20. But if you have 3 clients try to lock at the same time, one of them will get the exception. And so on for more than 3. I documented this in my choices.txt and tried to make the point stand out in several places just in case my evaluator had a test to try to throw it with only 2 clients. I had a decent fear that he had such a test.

Thank you to all those congratulating me!
16 years ago
I thought this day would never come. I worked on this for over a year. But I submitted 5 weeks ago, and now I have my result:

Section Summary: Section Max Actual Points Points
General Con: 100 99
Documentation: 70 70
OOD: 30 30
GUI: 40 28
Locking: 80 80
Data Store: 40 24
Network Server: 40 40
Total: 400 371

It's been 5 weeks since I've looked at my project, but I'll try to remember some of the details of what I did.

I knew that a lot of people had trouble with locking, so I really came up with a lot of tests for the locking. I also slammed like 1000 threads of updates/creations/searches at my server all at the same time, which turned up some issues.

I don't really know why I got a low score for my "Data Store". Maybe it was because I had client code doing the record locking. But for the GUI, it could be 3 things.

- While I used comboboxes for my searching, I didn't make the string searching "exactly match". I explained my thoughts about this in choices.txt, but maybe I was wrong.
- The essay exam asked me for a comparison of a decision, where I never had really considered the other option, so I didn't have much to say about the topic.
- I structured my client startup in a way that if there was no properties file, two error popups would come up. Probably not the cleanest thing in the world. But I figured it would only happen once.

I used the Monkhouse book, as well as Exam Cram which people seem to hate. :-) I like having the different perspectives. I have the Sierra/Bates 1.4 book, which I loved for SCJP, but I didn't find very helpful for this. I loved learning about ReadWriteLocks in the Monkhouse book, and tried to use them when I could in my project.

My LockManager was a variation of the Monkhouse and EC books, but I had my own spin on it. Part of that is that I would MUCH rather implement having locks time out, than implement any of the methods of releasing crashed client locks that I've read about. I want total control and guaranteed releasing of my locks when I want it. I also implemented a way that would handle multiple clients trying to lock at the same time, rather than telling clients they can't have the lock, which most implementations seem to do. As a user, I'd much rather wait for the lock a little while than get an error that it's locked. This piece is probably out of scope of the project.

I used RMI for my networking. Seemed an obvious choice, plus I wanted to learn RMI.

I can't remember my patterns off the top of my head, so I won't post that unless someone really wants it.

The killer to this project is that you never know when you're done. There's always some new interpretation of the requirements, or something you think you should be adding. It goes on forever. As others have said, don't take this certification if you just want something on your resume, as it'll take a while. There are many other faster certs.

I think that's about it. I just wanted to post something here about the decisions I made, because you guys have been such a help for me. I don't know how people pass this exam without reading Java Ranch. Thank you so much for offering your opinions in this forum. Not only did it help me pass, but it made the whole project interesting. There's just so many ways to think of this project, design, and requirements. While I'm glad it's finally over, it was pretty fun at times. Thank you!!!

And thank you Andrew!! You are the man!

Moving on to the WS cert now... always something!
16 years ago

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Congrats to you all!!!

How did you like the exam?

I liked being given the motivation to learn the overall pieces available for Java. I thought the exam was rather easy, but, I trust that you considered many factors to come up with the 68%, and, I don't know which questions made the final cut. :-) Time will tell, as paying customers take it. That's the best way to judge.

The first version of anything always needs adjustments!
18 years ago
I passed :-)

18 years ago
I used a website downloader to download all of his notes, and it came in really handy. There's a few shareware/freeware downloads that will do this for you.

Make sure you study the MZ notes a lot!!
I agree. And, yes, it's tough to do really well right now on the 5.0 test with the limited material out there, but once you get it, it'll be more valuable than 1.4. Plus, it is certainly doable to switch from 1.4 to 5.0 in your studying. Just make sure you study guides like the one by MZ thoroughly. That was my mistake. I just read through it, but I didn't really shift my focus to it.

Or, you could wait til the 5.0 study books come out.
Yes, I remember coming across this buggy question a couple of times when I was doing the practive exams last week...
Also, Suresh and Patrick.. don't be scared off too much by what happened to me. If you study the MZ guide THOROUGHLY along with your K&B, you should be ok. I didn't take the new objectives seriously enough, and I also spent too much time on the old objectives that didn't even appear in my test.
18 years ago
I was afraid this post might get moved over here if I started getting lots of congrats. :-) I do appreciate them though.

I wanted to talk about the "Task" (drag-n-drop) questions, how you're not prompted for non-answered ones later, and how you can't go through them later because you wipe out your previous answers.

I also wanted to know if anyone else got the "Cars" / "A,B,C" question that I thought might be a bug.
18 years ago
Well, if it makes you feel any better, I barely passed with the same thought process, and got a 62%. The focus is different in 5.0. There were a lot of things in the 1.4 K&B book that I never got questions on in 5.0. Thanks to MZ for getting me familiar with the 5.0 objectives, or I would've failed too. If I was smart, I would've read the MZ docs *thoroughly*, and I would've passed easily. For you, I would suggest that.
18 years ago
It seems like you wouldn't get many responses with a question posted in the "Sun Certification Results" forum. Maybe one of the other forums that are more relevant would get more people.
18 years ago
Hi all,

Well, I passed the SCJP 5.0 exam today, with a fantastic 62%. At least it's passing. It would've been much more embarassing to fail it. I was feeling pretty confident about this exam, since I do pretty well on the mock exams, and did 85% and 97% on the K&B exams in the past couple of days. For my study guides, I used K&B 1.4, and the http://java.boot.by/scjp-tiger/ Tiger guide. I sprinkled in other websites and mock exams when I got the chance, but nothing major. Obviously, I didn't study the Tiger guide as much as I should have. The test is so different from the 1.4 mock exams, I may have done myself a disservice by getting ready for 1.4 and then deciding on 5.0. It might have been better to just wait, and study for 5.0. I know, I had a warning when I saw that K&B was going to be changing by like 50%!

Generics were my biggest fault. I thought I felt good about them, and have used them at work, but I didn't study nearly enough on the many tricks you can do with them.

The way the exam was structured didn't help either. The drag-and-drop questions were a killer! Just when I thought that a point-n-click exam couldn't be just like real coding. ;-) I used all of my 3 hours, with no time to really go over marked questions.

I'm not complaining - at least I passed, with no 5.0 study guides on the market. But, this hardly seems worth bragging about.

I do have one question.. one "Task" question I ran into had answers that all referred to Cars and other real-life objects, when the actual question/code had nothing but objects named A, B, and C. This might be a bug. I typed something about this in the Comments section. Do people read those? Who else should I ask/email about it?

There was also another issue I had with that question. I had not answered it, expecting to get prompted for it at the end of the exam. But, I didn't. I think these "Task" questions with the popup-window of drag-n-drops don't get flagged when you don't answer them. Has anyone else seen this? I also didn't like how if you went back to it, you'd have your answers wiped out, and you'd have to re-answer it. But, I can deal with that part.

I was thinking about getting the 25% discount and getting the voucher for SCJD, but these results have my confidence a little shaken. I've never had a score like this. Should I be worried?

Any feedback is appreciated!


[ June 27, 2005: Message edited by: Mike Sanders ]
[ June 27, 2005: Message edited by: Mike Sanders ]
18 years ago