Java Oracle Certification - Should you consider it?
I took the OCA SE 7 Programmer I Certification exam two years ago in 2015, which I passed successfully with a score of 86%. This year I will be taking the second exam of this certification path called OCP SE 7 Programmer II. In this post, I want to reflect why taking these kind of exams isn't a waste of time but can be a great advantage for you as a Java developer. Of course, being certified in whatever area will increase your chances of getting a better job because certificates represent some kind of guaranty of your skills to a company. No doubt about that.
There is still a much greater aspect you should have in mind: Even if you think of yourself as an experienced and skilled Java developer, I'm sure there will be certain topics you always wanted to learn more about and even topics which will sound absolutely new to you.
- Have you ever used the keyword
strictfp? (You probably never will)
- How deeply do you understand Java's Generics?
- Covariant Return Types?
- What do you know about (static) initialization blocks?
- Have you ever subclassed a class anonymously?
There are still many more topics I'm sure a lot of people don't know much about! Preparing yourself for Oracle's Java exams forces you to get in touch with these 'hidden' features, which can be very revealing and even fun 😉 I myself was surprised quite often during my preparation. A lot of things are unknown to us Java developers because we use IDEs intensively, which help a lot with fixing compilation errors. Sometimes we make the IDE correct our mistakes without having a deeper look at the reasons.
Although preparing for such an exam can be quite challenging and time consuming I'd like to encourage you to go for it - See it as a very good opportunity for your further training with the nice by-product of a reputable certificate.
I'd like to recommend some books and tools which helped me studying. The books are really fun to read!
Book by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates, Programmer I & Programmer II
OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide (Exams 1Z0-803 & 1Z0-804) (Oca/Ocp Java 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide)
Interactive Learning Software by Enthuware for Programmer I:
OCAJP Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 7 Programmer Practice Exams (English Edition)
Books by Mala Gupta, Programmer I and Programmer II separately:
OCA Java SE 7 Certificate Guide
OCP Java SE 7 Programmer II certification guide prepare for the IZO- 804 Exam
Good luck! 🙂