Oracle Certified Enterprise Architect involves three stages –
Part 1 – 1z0-807:
Part 1 is very tough because it is kind of the first exam one faces in this three stage certification. This certification was toughest as compared to other Java certifications because the answers are not "BLACK" and "WHITE". All questions are scenario based (not theoretical) and of all the answer options, atleast 2-3 answers are always right (placing them in the grey area)- tough part is to select the "most accurate answer" given the constraints in the scenario. The amount of detailing expected in learning (7-8 books in various areas) is huge; The books referred, read and re read were –
Design Patterns - Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
Java EE6 Tutorial
Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture by Martin Fowler
Enterprise Javabeans by Andrew Lee Rubinger and Bill Burke
OCM Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect Exam Guide (Exams 1Z0-807, 1Z0-865 & 1Z0-866)
Real World Java EE Patterns - Rethinking Best Practices by Adam Bien
Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for Java EE Study Guide By Mark Cade, Humphrey Sheil
O'Reilly's Java Message Service
Bitter Java, Bitter EJB
The moment I gave Part 1 (one year back) (which covered the breadth of knowledge), my vocabulary in architecture changed, the way we look at architecture, the depth - it really changes. It makes one take that leap from Designer to architect in terms of the breadth of knowledge one gains.
I passed this level in my second attempt with a score of 83%
Part 2 – 1z0-865-
This exam is a different ball game all together. When you get the assignment, I tool atleast a month to just read the assignment and focus on what really is the problem statement. While architecting any solution, over- engineering can be a problem. It’s the same case in the assignment. You need to clearly differentiate between what problem you are trying to solve and keep mark all open ended statements with logical assumptions.
I started with sequence diagram on pen and paper for all the use cases listed and then moved on to creating a Entity Relationship Diagram Diagram. I strongly believe, a stable and robust database design is key to any architecture.
Once Sequence and Entity Relationship Diagram are done, I moved on to the class diagrams – it is crucial that the class diagrams are designed keeping in mind the Core Java as well Jave Enterprise Edition design patterns (for example, Front Controller, Flyweight, Singleton, Factory – whichever applicable for your use case).
I took around 5 months (beyond office, weekends) to complete the assignment
Part 3 - 1z0-866 -
Part 3 honestly was the easiest. If one has done the required detailing and risk assessments for the assignment (Part 2) then justifying the architecture in Part 3 becomes really easy. The only slight issue in Part 3 was the time allotted for answering the questions in the proctored exam. I completed the last answer at literally the last minute.
Part 2 and 3 needs to be completed within 6 months of downloading the assignment while initiating 1z0-865
The day I got my result for Part 2 and 3 (153/160), I had the most peaceful sleep in 6-8 months!
To all those preparing for the Oracle certifications –
Stretch those extra hours, spend those extra weekends because the day you get a result saying - "Congratulations! You have achieved the highest level of Java Certification one can achieve. You are among the elite group of individuals who can call themselves a Java Enterprise Architect Certified Master", you get a peaceful good nights sleep because you are on the right path of being an architect!