SCWCD Certification - Is It Worth Taking

Is the SCWCD still worthwhile, and if so, how to prepare?

Answer 1:

I've never seen much value in certification, to be honest. The only thing I can see it doing is giving your CV a better chance of getting past an HR department which can't understand the rest of what you're telling them.

On the side of someone hiring, I wouldn't put any store in it, basically. I suspect I can get a much better idea of whether someone's likely to be any good or not based on a 10 minute phone screen than based on their certs.

Answer 2:

If you have taken the Sun Certified Web Component Developer certification, or otherwise know a lot about it, how would you rate its usefulness? How does it compare with SCJP or SCJD, for example? 

As someone considering taking the SCWCD, I'd hope it would improve my understanding of Java EE foundations and the web container model in general; sessions, filters, all that stuff you configure in web.xml, and so on. But I also have some doubts about the usefulness: is learning about "low-level" Servlet and JSP stuff, JSP tag libraries etc., so relevant these days, with an abundance of higher-level libraries and frameworks like Apache Wicket or JSF available? What do you think - do the actually useful and continually relevant things outweight any obsolete stuff?

As for preparation for the exam; as far as I know, there are 2 main book options:

- SCWCD Study Guide by David Bridgewater 
- Head First Servlets and JSP by Bryan Basham et al. 

What do you think of these? Any other resources or practise exams you can recommend?

Some background: For me the main point would be to gain more technical understanding, not so much to improve chances of getting a job (as I'm happily employed currently). However, I do think that aiming to pass the exam would be a great motivating factor for studying these things, and that the certification certainly wouldn't do harm if and when looking for a job in the future. I took the SCJP exam in 2006, and for me, as a junior Java developer, that was a good learning experience. 

I was just wondering if SCJP helps? Does it enhance your programming skills? Or just kinda another exam with emphasis on syntax?  Is it a very good indicator of your technical skills and really matters when appearing for an interview.

Answer 1:

The ability to get the SCJP qualification tells you almost nothing about someone's skills. I've seen people with the qualification who can't even launch a Java program, let alone write one. Because of the nature of the certification, it's easy to pass it with an understanding of the test, not the language.

The other side, of course, is that being unable to get the certification does say something about a developer. You could probably get the same level of weeding out of dross by asking people to spell 'JDK', but at least it's something.

To answer the last part of your question, though, we most certainly can't say that someone with SCJP is fit for real development work. SCJD comes a lot closer, as it requires some actual programming work, but I'd rather talk to someone in person or look at their prior experience than trust their certifications.

Answer 2:

I don't have the SCJP certification, however I have studied for it (I just have to find a good time to take the exam!)

It does teach you about a few things in Java which you wouldn't necessarily know - it's all about details. For example, in what order to constructors run? What takes priority in method overloading - autoboxing or varargs?

I wouldn't say it massively enhanced my programming skills but it did fill me in on some of the details which I would otherwise be missing.

and, of course, I think that the primary purpose of getting a SCJP qualification is to look good on your C.V. :-)

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