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O'Reilly Now Competing With Sun Java Certificates 44

Joel Aufgang writes "O'Reilly Media's O'Reilly School of Technology in partnership with the University of Illinois has just launched a Java Programming Certificate Series, which looks like it's intended to compete with the Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP) certification. According to O'Reilly's press release, this is not an exam-based certification but rather a series of project based instructor-led courses that, if you pass, earns certification backed by the University of Illinois. Also interesting is the use of Eclipse as the preferred learning platform as opposed to Netbeans."
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O'Reilly Now Competing With Sun Java Certificates

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  • I don't know... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @05:53PM (#25753373) Homepage Journal

    "I took a class." can be even more easily abused than, "I passed a test." for posing false technical capability. Maybe not though. The market is definitely flooded with people using certifications to mean "ability." I hope this mitigates the problem rather than continuing it.

    • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:19PM (#25753739)

      I took one earlier this year. It was primarily good for testing my ability to regurgitate information about the language and APIs. That's it.

      If I were an employer, I would give much more credence to someone coming in as an entry level hire or switching from another language if they had something like this. Lab-based, graded courses show that you have at least some practical ability to apply the material.

      In hindsight, I agree with a professor of mine who said that a single, solid A in a 400-level CS class is probably worth more than any programming certification starting out. If you want to do this on the cheap, just take a few classes at a community college. That's what I'm doing to get some "official training" to back up the fact that I do know C# well enough to make the switch from Java. One or two audited courses will have the same effect, but cost me less than $300 and I'll only have to do a few homework assignments and exams :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pinkstuff ( 758732 )
        I believe that is the idea - SCJP is about memorising the facts, and the SCJD [sun.com] is about testing the application of that knowledge. I know that when I sat the SCJP I did pickup some things that I never new even with my industry experience, so IMHO it is worth while.
  • by bug_hunter ( 32923 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:30PM (#25753923)

    Java Certification only proves you know how to answer trick questions. It's primarily just shows lines with several operators in it and you have to know which ones take priority.
    The correct answer to most of the questions should be "This code is so horrible I would rewrite it to be clearer".

    When hiring, I've found Java Certified people to be worse than the norm, in no way does it actually test your ability to program.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I work for O'Reilly and I can definitely say we didn't design this program to compete with some test. It's was designed to compete with Universities.
    • This code is so horrible I would rewrite it to be clearer.

      Which is great until you need to read someone else's existing code and figure out what it does. Try explaining to the boss why you spent a week rewriting code that already passed QA because you couldn't understand operator precedence.

      Besides, some of the Sun Java certification is silly stuff like that but a lot is standard APIs, appropriate classes (e.g. given a specific scenario, which java Collection is most appropriate?), serialization, etc.
  • by Garg ( 35772 )
    Also interesting is the use of Eclipse as the preferred learning platform as opposed to Netbeans.

    Wow, so they teach what people actually use? What a concept!

    Kidding (sort of)... NetBeans may be wonderful. But I don't think I've talked to anyone that's used it on a regular basis since 2002, It's about 90% Eclipse and 9.9% IDEA, with the occasional hard-core VI guy.
    • Re:Eclipse (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Electrawn ( 321224 ) <electrawn@PASCALyahoo.com minus language> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:44PM (#25754107) Homepage

      What happened to jBuilder?

      I use Netbeans at work extensively since about 5.5. Dependent projects, auto compiling java code from WSDL web services, debug to tomcat in one click. PHP integration now in 6.5. Rarely do I actually have to screw with the conf files as I had to do with eclipse. Worth a second look.

      • All of those features, and many more, are available in Eclipse directly or through extensions. Take another look. Well, unless you're so happy you don't see any possibility of switching back anyway.

    • When I have to do Java work, I use Emacs. I tried really hard to use Eclipse at my last job, because that's what everybody else used. But after two months I broke down and installed Emacs.

      I found Eclipse to be slow, bloated (even compared to Emacs!), difficult to use, difficult to configure, difficult to customize, and difficult to add new functionality.

  • That loud mouthed good for nothing son of a ...

    Oh. Nevermind, carry on.

  • Got a pretty boring job right now, so I thought I'd tried to bump up my skills during regular office downtime. The Unix sysadmin modules are OK, and a million miles better than crappy 'learn-by-rote' microsoft courses. To get through them you do need to have some clue, though I have found them pretty easy (with 2 years' sysadmin experience). I would recommend them to a total beginner to get up to speed working on real systems. Anyone at a higher level can get just as much from a test system and a bunch of
  • I have a "Web Programming" cert from O'Reilly. One of the six (> $300 @) courses comprising said cert required me to "learn" Unix. I think we got as far as the 'ls' command. The O'Reilly folks are where I turn first for IT books, but, these courses simply do not measure up.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban