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I Roberts

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since Dec 16, 2004
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Recent posts by I Roberts

I'm not really sure what the problem is, I purchased the exam a few months ago with no problem. I would contact Prometric because this sounds like a business process failure.
I wouldn't judge the content of the exams based upon Whizlab software. I used the Whizlab software for the SCEA and found that it failed to reach the mark on the entry exam. If I had not put in additional work or had experience to cover areas not questioned in the Whizlabs simulator I would have failed - no question.

I agree with everyone else, you cannot compare the two certifications because they have different intentions and are aimed at different professional roles. In theory, although the SCEA is specific to J2EE technology, the principles can be applied to other technologies (e.g. MS .NET). The implementation may be different but the concept of architecture and design very similar. The IBM is specific to developing J2EE using WebSphere full stop! Both exams are useful in the correct context.

Hope this helps!
The coverage of the exam is very accurate to the content and it is highly recommended that you use the UML 2.0 Specification as a major source of your study. However, concentrate on the coverage areas and not any other areas. It is very important that you are very familiar with the specification. I had about eight years experience of UML but could still have failed due to the nature of the questions being specific to the specification rather than UML "real world" usage. This is a sore point with me because someone on this forum has passed the exam without any experience and therefore, in a commercial environment, how can this be justified to someone failing with say four or more years experience. It makes the exam a mockery and not a true reflection of an individuals capability. By learning the specification you will not be capabile of producing UML artefacts as part of an OOA&D methodology. The certification fails miserably and I am quite disheartened that the OMG have failed to recognise the true potential of a UML certification.

The Kernal diagrams are necessary to understand the specification but were not critical to the exam itself. Some of the questions are phrased from the specification and therefore it is beneficial to know certain parts of it word for word - which is impossible due to the shear size of the specification.

Good luck! If I was you I would simply concentrate on something else!

Your right. You don't need to use the full J2EE toolset just the tools required to complete the assignment.

Good luck,

As with the SCJD, Sun vary the requirements in order to raise at least one area with the student that is unknown (i.e. in your case JFC/Swing). Mine was something different but the purpose of varying the requirements on various technologies is so that the student has to go and investigate the technology as part of assignment.

There is little point asking people in the forum what the design should be as this is YOUR assignment not theirs! I suggest you do the same as the rest of us and visit the Sun site on Swing on buy a book!

By the way, you do need to know the related design patterns because you may want to include the components in your component diagram, along with any necessary pattern that delegates services to your main [server] application.

Hope this helps - not intending to be rude but please use the assignment to learn (as it was intended). It is far too easy simply to ask someone else and you will not learn anything by doing so.


In theory, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to submit an assignment without using Entity EJBs. However, the documentation that came with the assignment specifically stated using J2EE technology.

I didn't use Entity EJBs in all the scenarios of the assignment, only the ones that are applicable to Entity EJBs. However, in both cases I justified my reasons for and for not using them. If you have done the same and made your case secure, you should be fine.

I agree, in the real world you really do have to have special scenarios for using Entity EJBs. However, most of the issues surrounding Entity EJBs have been around a lack of understanding on how to use them rather than the technology itself. Unfortunately, J2EE is very unforgiving if done incorrectly. Composite Entity's are not exactly a complex pattern - this is quite basic for any J2EE developer.

Hope this helps and good luck! It will be interesting to know whether or not you have made your case successful.

Please don't get frustracted. As with the SCJD, the SCEA is designed to provide inconsistency and other types of issues in order to assess how the student will react and deal with the problem. In order to understand the requirements of the SCEA you must treat it like any other project and start from the beginning. The literature provided by the "business analyst" is obviously incorrect in places so, like any normal commercial project, what would be your next step in order to clarify and document any concerns, assumptions, risks and issues?

The exam creators have deliberately made the exam that way, it's not a mistake but another dimension to the test itself.

Good luck,
Literature and experience go hand in hand but, on the literature side I can recommend reading:

- Mastering Enterprise JavaBeans
- Applied Java Patterns
- Core J2EE Patterns
- Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
- J2EE Technology in Practise
- Using UML
- Distilled UML
- UML 2.0 User Guide
- SCEA Study Guide
- "Any good OOA&D book"
- Design Patterns [GoF] - learn definitions for part 1

Books that are not required as part of the SCEA but are highly recommend by architects in the trade:

- Pattern-orientated Software Architecture (all three books!)
- Enterprise Integration Patterns
- Large scale Software Architecture
- Software Architect Boot Camp - very good introduction to architecture principles
- Applied Software Architecture
- Rational Unified Process Made Easy
- Refactoring to Patterns
- Developing Java Web Services
- Practical Guide to Enterprise Architecture
- Enterprise SOA - a must for any architect
- Enterprise Service Architecture

These are but a few of the books on my bookshelf, I've probably another 100 or so sitting around either in the loft or in cupboards. Being an architect is about constantly being one step ahead in order to be able to provide that extra level of judgement and vision into proposed solutions. You are often looked upon as a source of information, which means that a large volume of books, courses, CBTs, Web courses etc., are consumed on a yearly basis. I personally read a book at least once a month in order to learn something new, upgrade or simply to refresh existing knowledge - obviously that is on top of my normal work hours, which can be quite excessive.

Good luck,
You cannot have it both ways and you must decide on whether or not you are going to follow what you want (i.e. a different job) that will result in a brige being burnt or follow the contract (i.e. honour the contract) and probably hate the job and leave within the year.

However, the third possibility is that you might like the job and be glad that you made the right choice in the first place. I did take another job after signing an employment contract but that was my decision and one that I knew would result in a bridge being burnt. However, surprisenly it wasn't for more but less money! Mad, I had a first baby on the way and the contracted job would have required either working away or moving the whole family. My mistake was accepting the job in the first place but at the time it was the only offer.

Good luck and make the decision! Only YOU are responsible for your actions and I wouldn't want a forum to steer my view one way or the other. Make it and either regret or enjoy!

16 years ago
Apart from the constraints of the Sun learning paths, you don't need to do the SCJD before the SCEA, it all depends on what you are trying to achieve. The SCJD does not cover J2EE and therefore, as the SCEA does include J2EE, provides limited value in preparation for the SCEA.

My recommendation is to go for whatever certification you require using the recommended learning path. For the SCJD you must do the SCJP. When I completed the SCJP and SCJD I was an Application Designer, specialising in OOA&D but, as I was performing more and more architectural roles, I decided to use my training and experience for the SCEA. On all three certifications I learnt something that I did not previously know and therefore all three [in my opinion] where worthwhile.

Have they helped me get promotion or find a better job? I think they have in the same principle of an educational qualification; in that they provide the employer with some degree of prove that you are capable of learning new technology and, more importantly, are active in providing yourself with some personal training. I don't think an employer will look at a SCEA and say "Wow, you are a guru, here is a cheque" but they will look at the SCEA and think this guy has put some serious effort into learning new skills.

I spent a year interviewing contract and permanent staff for architecture and design roles and, on the odd occasion I came across a certification, I knew that the guy was [at least once] dedicated to keeping up his skills. I still checked the level of his understanding but the ones with the SCJD and SCEA always had that little more understanding in regards to OOA&D, UML and Java Technology. This was before I had any certifications and convinced me that they did provide an additional insight into their objective subject.

16 years ago

I totally agree with what Paul has put. Twenty years ago I went on a college course to learn basic Information Technology, included Microsoft Basic (a long time before Visual Basic) and dBASEII (eventually replaced by Oracle). After the course I struggled getting a job because I was either too qualified or didn't have enough experience.

However, I kept sending the letters and attending the interviews and eventually (after about five or six interviews) I was finally accepted as the IT department "gofor". That is, while learning other programming languages and approaches, I had to deliver coffees to about five or six meetings per day, collect the computer listings from the mainframe room and any other task that was the lowest of the low. But, it wasn't long before I was a junior programmer, receiving even more extensive company paid training, and finally on the ladder.

You have to start somewhere and it may take time but keep at it and while you wait for the ultimate role, keep picking up more skills and (if possible) certifications. It took three months before I was employed after my college course and the fortnightly visit to the dole queue nearly killed me - it was my first and hopefully last ever visit.

Keep trying - it will be worth it if IT is what you want.
16 years ago
Whoops, better correct what I have just said before someone else does! UML diagrams without personal extention are suppose to be programming language independent. UML supports dynamic generalisation and multiple generalisation; Java and .NET do not.
UML diagrams are suppose to be independent of programming language implementation. However, the OMG Superstructure Specification does lean towards the Java camp rather than the .NET camp in terms of naming conventions etc. The main purpose of independence is that the models are suppose to be independent in relation to model-driven architecture (MDA).

The only reliable source on the UML specification is the UML Superstructure Specification that can be downloaded free from the OMG website:

Hope this helps?
The SCEA is a much more challenging prospect and more importantly uses UML in context of an assignment and a development methodology. As part of the SCEA, the author has to determine the best possible presentation of the architecture and design constraint by the very specific requested deliverables. I supplemented my assignment with numerous other UML diagrams to provide different perspectives of the solution, whether or not the assessors took these diagrams into consideration I don't know but it made me feel better and allowed me to understand the overall model much more. There are a lot of decisions to be made in the SCEA and quite a few deliberate contradictions and errors in the requirements that requires the author to make a number of important architectural and design decisions. Ultimately, all this must be presented in at least seven UML diagrams. Create the diagrams using a personal undocumented version of UML notation or incorrect notation and the overall score will be reduced significantly, which will probably result in a fail.

Personally, I think that the OCUP should have one exam but, rather go into the superstructure and metamodel in areas, look at the overall context of UML modelling. In my opinion, the content of the exam far exceeded the objectives.

Good luck on the SCEA - it's a great achievement and takes a lot of free time.
Just an update in case anyone else is thinking about going for the OMG-100 OCUP Fundamental level certification.

Although the exam is not specifically about the metamodel it does relate to it and most of the information regarding usage of the metamodel can only be easily located within the superstructure specification. The problem with the superstructure specification is that it contains alot of metamodel content but it is difficult in the exam not to ignore it.

Anyway, I passed the exam with less than eight hours of studying the superstructure specification but with about eight years extensive experience of UML. I have to admit, had I studied harder I would no doubt have been more confident and less tired at the end of it. It is a hard exam if not studied extensively. What is worrying is that although I had eight years or more experience of UML, I could have failed simply because I did not understand certain aspects of the metamodel. The objective of the exam is "work with commonly encountered UML elements, create simple UML diagrams, and qualified to be member of a UML development team".

It is very difficult to decide whether or not studying and achieving towards the certification has made me a better modeller! As architects we have to understand a whole range of concepts, methodology, standards and technology and therefore have to abstract some of the information in order to cram it all in! I don't think I needed to know the aspects of the OCUP Fundamental Level to make me a better UML practioner - that could have been achieved by refreshing my knowledge with a good UML book (e.g. like the new UML User Guide for UML 2.0).

Still, it's nice to pass it - and it will be on my CV - so, I suppose it was kind of worthwhile.