| As more and more of the big software vendors committed
heavily to Java, a multi-vendor certification initiative was created.
These vendors, such as IBM and Novell
have some specialty Java certifications under development but
the initial level of certification remains the Sun Certified Programmer.
Current information on the multi-vendor
certification initiative supported by IBM, BEA Systems, Sun
Microsystems, and a number of training organizations can be
found at: the JCert Web page. This organization was moribund
for several years but now seems to have become much more active.
What are the benefits of becoming
Being certified will demonstrate to employers a minimum level
of knowledge of the Java language. Because Java is a relatively
new language there are few people with extensive practical experience.
It will also concentrate your mind on the fundamentals of the
With the proliferation of GUI based
tools it is possible to create good looking Java applications
without understanding what is going on "under the hood".
It doesn't try to cover all of the Java technologies. You can
become certified an still know nothing about JavaBeans, Corba,
RMI or servelets.
What Java Certifications exist?
In a press release on 20 May 1999
IBM, Novell, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and the Sun-Netscape Alliance
announced a collaboration to establish a standard for recognition
of Java skills. In the short term this probably does not affect
most people as the current Java Certified Programmers exam remains
the pre-requisite for all of the other exams.
This new alliance does seem to
be very good news however in that a wider recognition of the
certification exam means it should become more valuable. The
announcement also introduces some vendor specific exams, so
after you have passed the Programmer Exam you can take a test
to show your knowledge of a particular development tool such
as IBM Visual Age or Oracle JDeveloper.
I'm already a Java programmer,
will I have to study?
Yes you probably will. The exam
asks all sorts of tricky questions that you might not consider
in the real world and may not know the answer to. Thus a question
may take the form of
"If you were to write this
particularly piece of code you would never dream or need to
write, what would be the output."
This side of the certification
can put some people off.