I took the Architect exam a year ago -- the format has changed since then. The reason I took them out of order is that I do mostly architecting -- which is to say, I only get to write code when I have been very good, or when I can disguise it as a "prototype for something I am thinking about". I really spend most of my time working with Rational Rose and UML and attending meetings. So, in some ways the architect exam was more relevent to me. On the other hand, I dislike "architects" who have no experience with the technoligies they are specifying. So I keep my hand in coding wise.
I know 2 or three other people who took the architect exam first. As a matter of fact, I decided to take the architect exam when I found out that a co-worker was a certified java architect and I thought "well if he can do it, so can i". As far as i know, there isn't a required order to the exams...just a suggested one.
The architect exam I took a year ago struck me as a poor test. too much opinion, and many poorly worded questions. At some point in the RHE book they say something to the effect that the programmer's exam is not an exercise in rhetoric, and they don't have many "trick" questions. I didn't feel that way about the architect exam. It reminded me of the radio show "whadda ya know" where "ambigious or misleading questions are par for the course"
Also, there wasn't much information about the exam and what to study. Jaworski's book had some stuff, but it was a poor reflection of the actual exam and I wouldn't recommend it.
Having said all those bad things about the previous architect exam, the format has now changed (but I am not sure I want to do it over again), so hopefully it is a much better indication of what your knowledge is. So I am not sure my comments above are really relevent any more.
Hope this helps.
Originally posted by Peter Tran:
I thought the JAVA certification exams had to be taken in the following order: Programmers -> Developers -> Architect. You're the first person I've read that did it out of order(?). Did you find the Architect exam difficult? Why did you choose to take the Architect exam first?