Monday Jun 20, 2005

The joys of SJCP certification

Having started my first tentative steps in coding on Java back in the early days with my first edition of java in a Nutshell, it was with some trepidation that I decided to take the plunge and get "SCJP certified":http://www.sun.com/training/certification/java/java_progj2se.html . Kinda like driving on a provisional license for years and then having to go and get a real driving license. I find that doing exams helps me focus and really gets me into a subject much more effectively than any course - so with 10 days to spare and armed with Java in a Nutshell, Mughal & Rasmussan's Java Certification book and Java Programming Language, off I set. Survived my own boot camp [despite severe rumblings from the family and plenty of midnight oil, some questions do tend to be a little on the machievellian side] and came out with flying colors thankfully... I have a lot more sympathy with compilers than ever before, boy they do a lot of work for us :) So anyway a few of my compatriots asked me if I could point them to resources and so on that I found useful. So here goes, have fun and good luck. P.s. I did mine on J2SE 1.4 so now 1.5 certification is available, things have changed again, but just check out the Sun Certification web site for the details on what's new for 1.5 to add to the study load :) \*Books used\* "A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification by Khalid Mughal, Rolf Rasmussen":http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201728281/scjpmockexam-20/103-2430451-2518206 Excellent source, only thing that's a little depressing is that every line is important :( "Java in a Nutshell, O'Reilly":http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596007736/qid=1115384441/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/103-2430451-2518206 Has a good way of explaining the underpinings of things like Inner Classes, very good to read after going over above tome [Ch 1- 4]. "Java Programming Language 3rd Edition":http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0201704331/qid=1115384539/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/103-2430451-2518206?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 Really good on Class construction and chaining - again helps to understand what's going on under the covers. \*Useful Sites:\* "Sun SJCP SIte":http://www.sun.com/training/catalog/courses/CX-310-035.xml crucial for exam objectives. "Java Ranch":http://www.javaranch.com check out their FAQ and the forums for lots of useful tips "Java Lang Spec":http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/second_edition/html/jTOC.doc.html if in doubt go to the source "Java J2SE 1.4 doc":http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/docs/api/index.html crucial to sort out any misunderstandings "Marcus Green's Certification guide":http://www.tipsmart.com/studytools/certlinks.htm not bad guide worth taking a scan "Absolute Java":http://www.absolutejava.com/main-articles/test-your-java-knowledge/ Few excellent pieces on scope and visibility. "Agupta's notes":http://www.akgupta.com/Java/notes.htm some useful info on threads. "Carl's Notes":http://www.javaranch.com/maha/Resources/CarlsNotes.txt excellent summary even though has streams, AWT and layout sections no longer required in SCJP \*Online Tests:\* Half of my study was on the core language and half on the exams. You really need to get into the compiler mindset to do well, and practice tests are the best way. There are lots out there, but I found the following more than sufficient. "Marcus Greens":http://www.examulator.com/phezam/question.php Useful set of questions. "Whiz Labs":http://www.whizlabs.com/scjp/scjp-1.4-details.html Very good quality practice exams. "WGS-PREX-J035C":http://www.sun.com/training/catalog/courses/WGS-PREX-J035C.xml ePractice Certification Exam for the Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform 1.4 (180 day subscription)

Friday Jun 10, 2005

Die gridbag die ;)

Only kidding :) Just saw this post about "Coming Soon: Magic in NetBeans Form Designer":http://www.javalobby.org/java/forums/t18969.html Hooray - always wanted to be able to just layout my dialogs as I wanted and let the IDE figure out what the appropriate layout manager was. Lazy I know but if you've ever wrestled with the vagaries of the grid bag layout you will know what a boon this could be. And I know my good old grid bag layout is still there under the covers if I ever feel the need to take a peek. So it appears my prayers have been anwsered thanks to "Project Matisse":http://www.netbeans.org/kb/articles/matisse.html - keep up the good work lads (generic irish term covering all genders i stress), NetBeans has come a long way from the bad old days with 3.5, 4.1 is really starting to kick butt as they say.
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