more than two years in the past, I volunteered as a beta tester for the solar Microsystems certified commercial enterprise Architect for J2EE (Java 2 Platform, business edition) technology exam. I appeared on the planned syllabus and saw the value in the certification, so I decided to move for it. 4 months and loads of hard work later, I acquired my certificates and badge in the mail, nearly as if I had joined a really opt for fan membership! become it worth it? In a notice, sure. My straightforward purpose changed into certification, however i was pleasantly surprised that the certification method opened my eyes to concepts and strategies I readily hadn't had time to investigate in the hustle and bustle of my day job. I continue to engage with sun on the exam's content material and constitution and am presently an examiner for the check. in this article, I share my experiences and additionally choose the brain of Mark Cade, lead developer of solar's J2EE architect exam. in case you wish to develop into a sun-licensed J2EE architect, examine on.Why get certified?
conveniently put, any certification is simply nearly as good as the awarding physique. In their case, the awarding physique is solar, the company at the back of J2EE. That makes the certification forged iron in my ebook. Many different certifications are available from a number of Java vendors, however sun desires to certify and approve architects for the J2EE platform, no longer for utility server X, Y, or Z.
In conventional, besides the fact that children, the price of certification—whether from a school or an organization—is regularly debated in their industry. I do not want a certificate to develop into a working towards software engineer either in the US or in Europe, not like most other professions. first-rate, say some. Their interesting hacker tradition is altering the style the realm works. They live or die via their coding skills, now not by using some dried-up institution's opinion of us. Boo, say others. Fly-by-evening coders produce nonstandard code and undocumented, inflexible programs that are often now not amazing sufficient.
each camps have legitimate arguments. however my opinion is obvious: I see the cost in trade-subsidized certifications. And all different issues being equal, I fee an authorized J2EE architect more totally than an uncertified architect. There are far more susceptible uncertified architects than vulnerable sun-licensed architects.What the examination is
Let's be blunt: The J2EE architect certification examination is a very good approach to differentiate your resume. Candidates who continually make certain they're up to pace on the newest technologies and cling pivotal certifications in their chosen technologies are well-inspired americans who add value to their organizations, each as individuals and as group gamers. As solar's Cade says, "Certification means that you can get your foot in the door. for example, if recruiters analyze two candidates for an architect position, and one has the certification and the other does not, who do you think they are going to trust first?"
it will possibly in reality be fun working in opposition t certification. have you ever wanted to investigate a specific component of Unified Modeling Language (UML) or the enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) specification, or wanted to refresh on a design pattern you have not used in a long time? I used my certification revision time to make myself a far better architect. for instance, half 2 let me evaluate UML modeling equipment I had been itching to are trying, whereas part 1 gave me the chance to bone up on commercial enterprise integration elements I hadn't used earlier than, like screen scraping and legacy integration. J2EE certification in fact is never easy—it's challenging work. but when you adore being a J2EE architect, you are going to benefit from the certification system. there is a real feeling of fulfillment in case you effectively circulate the examination.What the examination isn't
I requested Cade what the certification couldn't verify. His reply in a nutshell: "Certification isn't a alternative for experience." As Yoda might say, "one exam doesn't an architect make." do not are attempting and bootstrap yourself into a J2EE architect certification if you wouldn't have the ability set to returned it up. First, you are going to battle to move the exam, and 2d, being a J2EE architect is an applied skill; in case you do not have the knowledge, you will be right away exposed.
yet another point is that the architect examination is subtly distinct from solar's other Java certifications. "The architect exam is greater abstract, simply as architecture is. The programmer exams look at various whether someone is aware the language. The developer exam assessments no matter if someone can observe the language to solve a problem. And the architect examination assessments whether an individual can use his competencies to architect an answer that a developer could put in force," Cade explains.common candidate profile
The general a success candidate falls into two main corporations: amazing senior engineers who are already architects in all however identify and neatly-dependent architects, might be from different expertise disciplines, who use the architect certification to cross-teach to J2EE, or simply brush up on their J2EE potential.
Java capabilities should not an argument for a a success candidate. rather, the challenge is to display that you would be able to devise and speak a strong and proper J2EE utility design for a given problem. different essential expertise consist of the capability to take into account that there is never all the time a perfect reply for every given difficulty, and to coherently and cogently safeguard your proposed design to an examiner.examination anatomy
The examination is cut up into three sections, every designed to test a different factor of your advantage. determine 1 illustrates the necessary steps to become a solar-certified J2EE architect.determine 1. The direction to J2EE architect certification. click on on thumbnail to view massive picture. part 1
half 1 consists of forty eight dissimilar-option questions, covering all aspects of commercial enterprise application design with a strong focus on the EJB specification and architecture. part 1 tests you on topics from design patterns to the EJB specification's core interfaces. You need to recognize EJB interior and out—the differing types, their lifecycles. You ought to have in mind EJB containers and capabilities EJB pitfalls. You additionally need a powerful hold close of alternative constituent J2EE technologies, equivalent to JavaServer Pages (JSP), servlets, Java Database Connectivity (JDBC), and XML guide. be taught the leading design patterns and their groupings; respect them from their UML "signatures." business-to-enterprise (B2B) structure questions could additionally determine prominently.
You have to circulate part 1 earlier than moving to half 2.half 2
half 2 is the heart of the examination. during this part, candidates ought to put up their J2EE-based solutions for a given enterprise state of affairs. For glaring causes, I can't divulge the precise business eventualities used, suffice it to assert they comprise both B2C (business-to-customer) and B2B facets. There is rarely a good deal prep work that can also be completed right here; you need to quite simply use your purposeful expertise to devise a J2EE-based answer. Clear communication is essential; you should convince the examiner you know what you're doing. don't count on anything else. All delivered diagrams ought to be UML compliant.part three
partially three, candidates must reply a series of questions on their part 2 submissions. These questions examine your capacity to investigate your design objectively and also be sure that you have got in-depth capabilities of your proposed system's key facets, together with maintainability, efficiency, and scalability. Your responses to those questions can be purchasable to the equal examiner who corrects your half 2 submission, and he will go-reference provided solutions with the submitted solution to evaluate your essay answers.exam tips
Let's get right down to the brass tacks. What information am i able to present to potential candidates? here are the suitable mistakes I've considered in part 2 and part 3 submissions. I don't focus on half 1, because it is a straightforward multiple-choice section; you both understand the appropriate answers or you don't. figure 2 captures the important thing elements of both successful and unsuccessful exam submissions, in accordance with direct examiner feedback on the grounds that the J2EE architect exam launched.
determine 2. consistent characteristics of successful and unsuccessful exam submissions. click on on thumbnail to view considerable photo.exact submission errors
eventually, in case you fail the exam, be trained out of your blunders. if you accept as true with you have the correct profile and that you simply failed on account of bad examination technique or guidance, put it in the back of you and regroup. All submissions receive a breakdown of the place marks were awarded and deducted. Use this to identify your submission's weaknesses. when you address these weaknesses, then resubmit.
On the flipside, let's seem at the general qualities of successful submissions.a hit submission qualities
with regard to part 2, don't get hung up on what modeling device you employ to generate the specific UML deliverables. readability and correctness should be your main dreams. Any device of option is great as long as you stick to the particular deliverables (e.g., providing a prime index.html web page).Future tests
Reflecting the development J2EE and its constituent technologies proceed to make, the architect exam itself is also under revision. The updated examination will cowl J2EE 1.four, J2EE design patterns, the Java Connector structure (JCA), and design methodologies such as the Rational Unified process (RUP) and intense programming (XP). different deliberate extensions to the latest structure include a comments mechanism to permit examiners to query candidates about specific facets of their structure.
The revamped exam will no longer involve face-to-face interviews with potential candidates. As Cade says, "a lot of being an architect is being in a position to speak your ideas written and verbally. they will catch the written part of the conversation, but they can not assess candidates on their verbal capabilities. here is why employers ought to have a radical interview system."
a captivating phenomenon is that options submitted for part 2 over the closing 12 months have changed besides the fact that the examination itself has now not. The creation of web functions and a stream in opposition t a more modular, features-driven strategy to structure in popular reflects in the types of options candidates put up. That represents to me one of the crucial architect exam's actual values. It continues to stay imperative even because the favored techniques and underlying applied sciences morph and mature.Have your say
optimistically, you now have a clearer feel of solar's J2EE architect certification and consider why I trust it is neatly price pursuing. it be challenging work, but the reward is that upon a success completion, you might be a higher architect. The architect exam is presently being revised to retain tempo with the J2EE platform, and solar welcomes your input on the examination's content material and constitution.
if in case you have any ideas about how to improve the exam, i would like to hear them. Use the JavaWorld feedback form (see substances) to ship us your concepts. it be a very good approach to assist affect the subsequent section of the architect certification procedure.
The substances section below includes positive links to get you all started. The examination is no substitute for palms-on architectural journey, nevertheless it's an outstanding complement to that adventure, above all in case you embrace the certification work as an opportunity to fill gaps for your talents. if you're currently working in opposition t the examination, decent success! if you're no longer, why are not you?