Gavin Lasnitzki

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since Feb 15, 2010
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Recent posts by Gavin Lasnitzki


If you want to look at my notes go to:
There are plenty of tips, resources, etc. at this site.

Please note that I have not gone back and updated my notes after the exam (other than reformatting them). The content is my guess "prior" to the exam. Also, there may be a large question database and I may only have see a very small sample. Best way to pass is to have a good understanding of all the "objectives" published by Spring Source.

As far as opening up the certification, I suggest you contact your local Spring Source representative and ask them why you have to attend the course before taking the exam.
The SpringSource Certification Program Coordinator: or dial +1-877-373-3025
(or both!!)


I passed my Spring 3.0 Certification today with a mark of 88%.

Here is my story...
1. In March I passed my SCBCD and decided to follow it with a Spring certification. I applied to Spring via the Grandfather route. I think I must have been one of the last to be accepted via this path.
2. In July I started on my Spring 2.5 certification. I began by reading the reference doc and summarizing it.
3. My studies took a back seat until October, when I found Jeanne's Blog (super big thank you!!) and I switched to Spring 3.0
4. Using her notes as a base, I studied most weekends in Oct and sat the exam today.
5. Passed with 88%

My impressions...
The certification was MUCH easier than the Sun ones. The questions tend to concentrate on features and concepts and do not ask syntax and implementation.
The "difficulty" is the lack of resources (mock exams, notes, etc) which makes it very hard to tell what is in scope and what is not. Spring 3.0 was much better in this area as it had clear objectives.
The exam itself was of a good standard. Questions were clear, but a little tricky (especially with the use of negatives).

My wish...
SpringSource should open this certification up to anyone who pays for the voucher. Linking it to the training is a pretty poor effort. I passed the exam without going on the training. I now have a very good idea of how to use Spring and its many wonderful features. Come on SpringSource!!!

For the resources I used (and gathered) as well as my last minute study notes (based on Jeanne's notes), check out the link in the JavaRanch Spring Cert FAQ (

Finally, a big thank you to all those who help me along by providing mock exams, hints and guidance. A special thank you to Jeanne!!



I am currently working on my Spring Core Certification (via the Grandfather stream). As part of my studies, I have created a set of study notes which I want to share with the community.

The notes can be found at

These notes are very closely based on the Spring Reference Document (2.5.6). I have tried to summarize the "important parts" of the reference documentation, while excluding the parts that I do not think will be in the exam. This is just my "best guess" based on comments in forums, mock exams and official Spring resources.

I have linked each section back to the Spring Reference Document (so you can easily refer back to the original documentation)

I have also included links back to the Certification Objectives and tried to highlight key concepts and likely exam questions.

As my studies progress and my Spring knowledge increases, I will update these notes.

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Please register suggestions, defects and improvements for these notes (here removed link to self-promoting website, which is not allowed here - Mark Spritzler)

Enjoy and good luck with your certification!!
7 years ago

Just passed the SCBCD with 95%.

My background
12 years Java development.
8 Years experience with EJB 2.1.
A little rusty as I have not used EJB's in anger for about 5 years.

My approach
I was inspired / motivated by a grad developer on my team who passed the certification.
Started at the beginning of 2009.
Read Manning - EJB in Action (a little boring, never went back to it)
Read Apress - Pro EJB 3 Java Persistence API (which was a fun read but only gave me background to the cert. Never looked at it again, however I used some of the samples like the JPA query executer)

Took a long break due to family commitments, etc.

Started again in October.
Read MZ_SCBCD_5_Study_Guide (and wrote summary notes) ... a super huge thank-you to MZ

Started doing practice exams.
Used Enthuware (fantastic!!)
Did many tests, including the 3 standard ones. Used the custom tests to focus on problem areas.
Used MZ, and O'Reilly - Enterprise JavaBeans 3 to clarify questions I got wrong.

Finally I tried Sun's practice exams (these are pretty bad with so many mistakes and poor grammar!! However, they covered some questions that appeared in the exam)
Did the final Enthuware exam, reviewed notes on the day and sat the exam.

Aced it with 95%. Missed 3 questions (MDB, JP Query and Transactions).
Exam was much easier than the practice ones (and of a much higher quality).
ALL questions made sense and actually tested "useful" facts instead of just trying to trick you.
No double negatives or ambiguous questions. (Thanks SUN)

I did not read the spec. It hurt my head too much!!! I had it in pdf and check a few things in it. Some questions came from it, but I was under huge time pressure (young kids, job, etc) so I did not think it was worth it.
I did not do much coding. I wish I could have, but it was not needed for the certificate. Hopefully I will get hands-on experience when I use ejb 3 at work.

Certification was a great experience. Check out my blog on why you should get certified (

If you have any other questions, please let me know.
8 years ago