Dec 15, 2012
Finally, I did it. About a month I have passed the java certification exam and it was not that hard as I expected. A brief story how it was.
Firstly, let me give a few cents about the exam preparation. The rule is really simple: if you have a few years (or even not a few) of the experience with Java and you believe that you do no need to read any books and you are by now ready to take it – forget about it, you will most likely fail, because of the specific exam pitfalls. Take a week or two and play with the exam preparation materials.
I have started from the SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Exam 310-065 book. Also, I bought the exam preparation simulator and it helped me a lot – a number of almost-authentic exam questions with great tracking tools were helpful to prepare and figure out how exactly the exam looked like. In addition to the book and software, I found SCJP FAQ and it was helpful as well. As you can see, there are no books such as Java Concurrency in Practice, Effective Java, Thinking in Java, and so on. These books are simply out of the exam scope.
Now, my impression about the exam questions. Some questions cover the java syntaxis and API and even the hardest questions are not that severe if you have development experience and understand OOP. There are no topics related to NIO and reflection, but two or three questions about RegEx did come up. Exam has many questions about OOP principles and you have to understand it well enough. Although the majority of questions was good, I found some things annoying me:
- Code formatting. Well, there was no code formatting for the given code snippets. Oracle, is it really hard to follow own code convention?
- Syntaxis pitfalls. I believe there is no sense to try to catch a candidate on some stupid things as syntaxis mistakes.
- Too many inner classes were there. Yes, I know that the inner classes are important but I got like 5 or 6 questions about this stuff. How about asking a candidate about the concurrency package more deeply instead?
That is it. Now I am preparing to take a few exams related to JavaEE and most likely, I will make an attempt within the next two weeks (though I have no idea what the purpose to do so is).