Jeff, Carlson

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since Feb 20, 2001
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Recent posts by Jeff, Carlson

The main reason is for yourself. To make you a better all around developer. The skills will give you a better overall picture which by default should make you better. The other reason is for people who have experience and are out trying to get a job, that if two are equal in experience, the one with the most certifications wins!
The Java 2 Certification Training Guide by Jaworski (ISBN 1-56205-950-5)covers all three exams. It dedicates 6 chapters(about 137 pages) to the exam. It also comes with a CD with a simulator for the architect exam.
Hope this helps.
Where I work, the same people do everything when it comes to development; we just put on different hats. When we change those hats, we really change. We are hardly at our desks, because we are usually in one of the design rooms with lots and lots of white boards. Sometimes these sessions last 1/2 a day, sometimes everyday for a week or two. Once we think we have a plan and its documented and then approved. We change are hats, everyone takes their piece and its off to the races.
Our company has architects and data architects. The architects just give us guidance on an overall picture for the structure of the company. They tie all of the branches together and try to keep everyone from doing things their own way. I.e. common means of persistence, five layer architecture, the big picture stuff.
The data architect is actually in our design sessions helping us, and doing research on existing data resources.
I plan on getting the architect certification, because I believe it will help me as a developer with my designs, not because I want to oversee the big picture of the system.
Where I work, we use UML, RUP religiously. We don�t use everything of course, or we would never get any programming done(we use Java). We break things down into small pieces and then do iterations on those pieces. I know of one person on our team, for which KNOWING UML put him over the edge, and it got him the JOB.
I had seen that someone had already mentioned 'Java Design Patterns' by Cooper. It is an excellent book. It follows the �Design Patterns� book or more commonly called the GoF book. He goes over the same patterns, but the nice thing is that he uses java examples for everything, and they are full working programs and are supplied on CD also. I recommend it whole-heartedly.
Thinking only in the terms of money is the wrong frame of mind. The time and dedication it takes to develop the skills necessary to pass this certification and others like it will pay off ten fold. As you learn, your job gets easier and your code gets tighter and more polished. If your only goal for studying is to try and make more money and not to make your code better and your job easier, then you might be in the wrong profession. I love programming and I love solving problems, and that�s the main reason why I study. I am a SCJ2P and I am currently working on beefing up my skills so I can take the Developers and Architect exams. The certification might get you more money. It most likely will help you get your foot in the door and it is definitely a form of personal accomplishment.