About Mark Shead

Mark Shead

Mark Shead

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Passing the Java Programmer Certification Exam

After using Java for about four years, I started wondering how well I really understood the language, so I started looking into Sun’s certification. Sun offers the following certifications:

  • Sun Certified Programmer
  • Sun Certified Developer
  • Sun Certified Web Component Developer
  • Sun Certified Business Component Developer
  • Sun Certified Developer for Java Web Services
  • Sun Certified Enterprise Architech
  • Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer

The Programmer certification is the pre-requisite for all of the other certifications. It consists of a 61 question, two hour test taken at a Prometric testing center. You need at least a 52% to pass. At first I was surprised at such a low passing score, however it makes more sense given the complexity of the questions.

The Developer certification involves writing an actual application based on specifications from Sun. After completing the program, you take a test over your design choices. It seems the test is to make sure that you actually wrote the code yourself.

Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027)Since the Programmer certification was the only one I was eligible for, I started looking for a good study guide. Several years ago I worked through a book by McGraw-Hill when preparing for a CCNA exam. I liked the format so I was pleased when I found for the Java exam. I ordered it used from Amazon. After it arrived I noticed it was jointly written by Kathy Sierra. Kathy specialty is cognition and learning. She worked for Sun and helped develop the Java exams. She is also the creator of the Head First series of books published by O’Reilly and Java Ranch (a website dedicated to Java certification topics).
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