What about the Sun Java Certifications?
Sun offers an intensive testing process for Java.
There are several levels of Sun Java Certfication for developers:
- Sun Certified Programmer for the Java[tm] Platform
- Sun Certified Developer for the Java[tm] Platform
- Sun Certified Architect for Java[tm] Technology
This brief summary of the exam levels is based on information provided by
Olivia Lu - Sun Toronto SE <Olivia.Lu of Canada.Sun.COM>
in a mailing to the JUG mailing list:
There is, of course, an
official Sun Ed web site for the latest information on this topic.
- The Programer level is intended to test your knowledge of the
breadth of the Java[tm] language. This is the one I passed (see below).
- The Developer level tests for the ability to do more complex programing.
There is a programming assignment to confirm
that you have a clue about (i.e., some experience in)
actual Java development, as opposed to having read a book.
- The Architect level tests candidates on multi-tiered
architecture; Web concepts; service-based, object-oriented
architecture; client/server design; and migration (Legacy
Note that all certifications are for a particular version of
the Java platform, either 1.1 or "Java 2". So you get a chance to
renew your certification periodically.
The Java Programmer Exam in more detail
The Sun Certified Java Programmer examination is a two-hour, 60- to 70-question, multiple choice examination.
As such, it allows anybody who knows the language and the core APIs quite
well to pass (a pass mark is 70%). I even passed it on the first try :-).
The process is not perfect, and it's hard to pass:
- Some questions are of the form "Which of the following are correct".
The expected answers can be none, one, or more than one, and you have to
know. While this is OK, there are no part marks. So if there are four
correct answers to a given question and you get three right and miss one,
you get zero, zilch, nada for the three parts you got right.
- The exam has a few bugs. When I took it, one source file had an
extra "." (period character) at the end of a class definition, but
"compile error" was not one of the options. And in one case there was
a command like "javaMyFile" with no space, and another where a variable
name "short S" had a space in it (should have been "shortS"). These might
make a difference of one question, if you were already on the border.
All in all, I guess that's why they give you two hours for 60 questions.
You need to check everything very carefully.
Companies are not yet requiring the SCJP rating as they do for, say,
Microsoft Networking with its MSCE. One reason is that many Java programmers
are working flat out and don't have time to go study for and write an
exam. However, having taken the Programmer's exam,
I find that it does provide a minimal knowledge level baseline,
and will likely be requiring it for instructors I take on for my
There are two books that I looked at.
Sybex' Java 1.1 Certification Study Guide by Roberts and
Heller, is fairly comprehensive, but has quite a few typos.
I'll try to post them here when I get around to typing them in
for the author.
McGraw-Hill's Java 1.1 Certification Exam Guide for Programmers
and Devlopers by Barry Boone is the only one that even tries to
cover the Developer (advanced) certification level. It totally misses
the Reader/Writer classes for I/O, and I found a few typos.
Ian Darwin, Sun Certified Java Programmer