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Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer

880615 Newbie
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Hi,
I have been doing web development in java for about 2 years now. I already have a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science but I want to stay competitive and am considering an Oracle Certification. The problem is that I am having trouble deciding which one to pursue. I am trying to keep emerging technologies in mind and I know that cloud computing and mobile devices are taking over. But I still know that there are many other companies out there that aren't ready for all that. I have found certifications such as:
Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer
Oracle Certified Professional, Java EE 5 Web Component Developer
Oracle Certified Professional, Java EE 5 Business Component Developer
Oracle Certified Professional, Java EE 5 Web Services Developer
Oracle Certified Master, Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect
Oracle Certified Expert,Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 6 JavaServer Pages and
Servlet Developer

Personally, I think that "Oracle Certified Master, Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect" looks the most attractive because it seems to wrap everything into one. But the prep time and costs for this are both pretty high. Does anyone have any good information or experience that can help me make a better decision?

Thanks a bunch!
  • 1. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    maheshguruswamy Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    877612 wrote:
    Hi,
    I have been doing web development in java for about 2 years now. I already have a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science but I want to stay competitive and am considering an Oracle Certification. The problem is that I am having trouble deciding which one to pursue. I am trying to keep emerging technologies in mind and I know that cloud computing and mobile devices are taking over. But I still know that there are many other companies out there that aren't ready for all that. I have found certifications such as:
    Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer
    Oracle Certified Professional, Java EE 5 Web Component Developer
    Oracle Certified Professional, Java EE 5 Business Component Developer
    Oracle Certified Professional, Java EE 5 Web Services Developer
    Oracle Certified Master, Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect
    Oracle Certified Expert,Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 6 JavaServer Pages and
    Servlet Developer

    Personally, I think that "Oracle Certified Master, Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect" looks the most attractive because it seems to wrap everything into one. But the prep time and costs for this are both pretty high. Does anyone have any good information or experience that can help me make a better decision?

    Thanks a bunch!
    Unless your job requires it or your boss has offered you a considerable promotion if you get a certification, IMHO a certification is worthless. I have interviewed 'architects' who have the exact certification you are interested in, and couldn't answer basic questions about the HTTP stack. IMO, practice is key. Keep programming, keep upto date on recent developments and you will be fine.
  • 2. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    875329 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    My impression from reading this forum is that Mahesh is correct. The certifications are unlikely to make any difference in whether you an be hired. Additionally, none of the job postings I've seen ever list any certifications - they only list the number of years in Java development.

    So, if taking the exams will force you to learn, then do so. It may serve as some kind of mild documentation that you are committed to Java, since you have to pay both for each exam you take and (at the Master level) have paid for at least one course (that's the way I read the recent change), but it's unlikely to make a difference in whether you get past the recruiter (who is looking at years) or get an interview (since the hiring manager is unlikely to consider the exam as being of value). Note that some of the higher levels end up representing a serious financial investment because multiple exams may be required.

    That said, I'm transitioning from doing Lotus Notes development and find that being forced to learn for an exam helps me learn a new language. So, I've passed the Associate SE 5/6 exam and will likely move forward with the OCPJP next. I'm not sure which I'll turn to after that, but I like the idea of the Master certs, as they require you to actually code something instead of just taking multiple choice exams.

    I would also suggest that because mobile computing is newer, if you study and certify there (and more importantly, publish some apps, so that you're doing actual work as well), you will be better off. If no one has experience in it, your lack of experience won't hurt you.
  • 3. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    880615 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Wow. Thank you both for your comments. I am very surprised to learn this information. Yes, I have came across many postings that look for "years experience programming in java" but I was looking for a way to show proficiency without having to do a bunch of explanation during an interview. So I will assume that I will get a similar response for the lower level java certs like the one for JSPs and web component developer?
  • 4. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    maheshguruswamy Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    877612 wrote:
    Wow. Thank you both for your comments. I am very surprised to learn this information. Yes, I have came across many postings that look for "years experience programming in java" but I was looking for a way to show proficiency without having to do a bunch of explanation during an interview. So I will assume that I will get a similar response for the lower level java certs like the one for JSPs and web component developer?
    Any good interviewer will never go by certification alone...a good interviewer will always ask you questions which require you to 'know' what you are talking about. Sure..a certification will teach you the semantics of the language...but solving real world problems with it...comes with experience. For e.g. here is what i would ask ...'Talk about a design pattern that you applied in a real world problem in your previous role, why did you choose it, what were your other options and why did you choose your solution over the other options?' No certification will give you the answer to that.
  • 5. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    881149 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I certainly suggest you to go ahead and complete certifications. At the same time mind you to know the subject that you are practicing. Different interviewers would ask different questions such as things like what would be the stack arrangement of HTTP or how you would write a for loop using assembly etc. But all these are context related. If someone is hoping to play with guts of OSI stack then sure you should expect questions on the layering,also if someone is hoping to play with system programming concepts and extremely concerned with compiler overhead then he would be expected to know stuff like C or assembly. On the other hand if you are looking for an architect who is good at J2EE he would not necessarily need to know what the OSI is composed of but the fact that HTTP is realized over such stack and the nature of the protocol would be enough. Bottom line : do certifications and understand what you are doing in there.Wish you good luck!
  • 6. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    YoungWinston Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    877612 wrote:
    Personally, I think that "Oracle Certified Master, Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect" looks the most attractive because it seems to wrap everything into one. But the prep time and costs for this are both pretty high.
    And waaay higher now that Oracle has jacked all these tutored course requirements onto the price of the exams. I'd be surprised if you could get through the Java EE one for much less than 3 grand now.
    Does anyone have any good information or experience that can help me make a better decision?
    Yup:
    1. Google is your friend.
    2. Find a good book on J2EE and go through it; I'm sure you'll get plenty of suggestions if you ask.
    3. Pick a project that interests you and would highlight your J2EE knowledge - and implement it (even if only as a prototype). If I was an employer, I'd be much more impressed by a demo-able application than a piece of paper that proves only that you could afford the exam and read the requisite material.

    Winston
  • 7. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    maheshguruswamy Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    I completely disagree. J2EE is heavily dependent on HTTP....how can you possibly come up with a design if you don't know about the http specification. If you cant characterize the data coming and going to your system....how can you come up with a design? For e.g you are designing a j2ee based system that provides RESTFul services..how would you design it without knowing the HTTP stack? This is exactly why these certifications are useless.
  • 8. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    881149 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Well I guess I have overlooked your previous statement or your description did not convey what exactly you looked for, by saying HTTP stack you had referred HTTP methods , basically the spec. For that I do agree they need to know. But Your previous explanation looked as if you looked in to OSI stack which is not so relevant for them to go ahead with a design. And frankly if you had asked a question on HTTP protocol , its behavior and method definition within the scope of a rest enabled web service they should be able to answer. But I also doubt whether the question raised was clear enough for the person to be answered! - just my two cents ....
  • 9. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    EJP Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    He didn't say anything about the OSI stack. Nobody did, except you, and I don't know why you mentioned it as it isn't a component of any current software. If you refer to the 7-layer OSI model it doesn't apply to TCP/IP either, it has its own reference model.

    All he mentioned was the 'HTTP stack' ...
  • 10. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    881149 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Well I was misled by the term HTTP stack , It could have been HTTP spec.

    Edited by: user2571097 on Aug 9, 2011 10:47 PM
  • 11. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    maheshguruswamy Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    user2571097 wrote:
    But I also doubt whether the question raised was clear enough for the person to be answered! - just my two cents ....
    Even if my question was not clear enough (which it was), i would expect someone applying for a senior position such as technical architect position to ask clarifying questions. My point from the beginning was, you absolutely are not qualified to become a technical architect with just a certification. Here is how the interview went

    Me - How do you find out what your browser is submitting to the server from a purely client perspective?
    Candidate - I will put the receiving server in debug mode and print out values.

    Me - What if you don't have access to that server?
    Candidate - Well, its my server.

    Me - Okaay, you open your browser and go to CNN.com and click on a link, how do you find out details about that request?
    Candidate - You can't.

    Me - So you are saying you can't inspect what your browser is sending in http requests?
    Candidate - yeah....i guess.

    Me - Have you heard of tools such as wireshark, firebug, httpfox, http analyzer, tcpmon etc
    Candidate - No, never heard of it.

    I ended the interview after that.
  • 12. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    881149 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Having read your last reply I really understand now the basis of your previous replies. The person that you interviewed definitely did not have enough knowledge for such a senior position, even an entry level programmer would be able to answer the questions I believe. And I do agree that your questions are clear enough. Anyways did he really have "J2EE Enterprise Architect" certification ? , I really doubt that. It is expected to be a difficult enough certification that most people could not just pass. But on the other hand we should not forget that not all who got certifications are at the same level. There are some brighter guys out there surely...
  • 13. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    gimbal2 Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    maheshguruswamy wrote:
    user2571097 wrote:
    But I also doubt whether the question raised was clear enough for the person to be answered! - just my two cents ....
    Even if my question was not clear enough (which it was), i would expect someone applying for a senior position such as technical architect position to ask clarifying questions. My point from the beginning was, you absolutely are not qualified to become a technical architect with just a certification. Here is how the interview went

    Me - How do you find out what your browser is submitting to the server from a purely client perspective?
    Candidate - I will put the receiving server in debug mode and print out values.

    Me - What if you don't have access to that server?
    Candidate - Well, its my server.

    Me - Okaay, you open your browser and go to CNN.com and click on a link, how do you find out details about that request?
    Candidate - You can't.

    Me - So you are saying you can't inspect what your browser is sending in http requests?
    Candidate - yeah....i guess.

    Me - Have you heard of tools such as wireshark, firebug, httpfox, http analyzer, tcpmon etc
    Candidate - No, never heard of it.

    I ended the interview after that.
    Hmm. Probably this guy didn't know what he was talking about, but still I wouldn't necessarily demand from someone applying for an architect position to know the gritty details of development; that's too low level for someone who should be focusing on the big picture. I'd rather have someone that knows how to design and guide people to build maintainable systems in stead of someone that knows how to sniff packets.

    But then again you'd have to define what the architect role in this case exactly means. For all I know it is actually a senior developer position with a slightly better ring to the title ;)
  • 14. Re: Which is the best Oracle certification for a programmer
    maheshguruswamy Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    gimbal2 wrote:
    maheshguruswamy wrote:
    user2571097 wrote:
    But I also doubt whether the question raised was clear enough for the person to be answered! - just my two cents ....
    Even if my question was not clear enough (which it was), i would expect someone applying for a senior position such as technical architect position to ask clarifying questions. My point from the beginning was, you absolutely are not qualified to become a technical architect with just a certification. Here is how the interview went

    Me - How do you find out what your browser is submitting to the server from a purely client perspective?
    Candidate - I will put the receiving server in debug mode and print out values.

    Me - What if you don't have access to that server?
    Candidate - Well, its my server.

    Me - Okaay, you open your browser and go to CNN.com and click on a link, how do you find out details about that request?
    Candidate - You can't.

    Me - So you are saying you can't inspect what your browser is sending in http requests?
    Candidate - yeah....i guess.

    Me - Have you heard of tools such as wireshark, firebug, httpfox, http analyzer, tcpmon etc
    Candidate - No, never heard of it.

    I ended the interview after that.
    Hmm. Probably this guy didn't know what he was talking about, but still I wouldn't necessarily demand from someone applying for an architect position to know the gritty details of development; that's too low level for someone who should be focusing on the big picture. I'd rather have someone that knows how to design and guide people to build maintainable systems in stead of someone that knows how to sniff packets.
    Don't you need to know the details of the small picture before you can come up with the big picture? ;)
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